• Melissa Mooney

Ocho Rios, Jamaica: 100 Memories



We vacationed in Jamaica again this past March. After four years in our beloved Negril, we decided we wanted to explore a different part of the country. Because we've loved our time with the Couples Resorts, we chose Couples Sans Souci in Ocho Rios as our home for a week.

"The details are not the details. They make the design."   - Charles Eames

Last year I started keeping a list of the tiny things I wanted to remember from our annual trip to this special island. It's those moments that make the experience so wonderful. Here's the 2015 list:

  1. getting a red "TSA expedited" stamp on my boarding pass and not having to take off my shoes

  2. seeing a gorgeous sunrise outside the windows at Logan as we waited for our flight

  3. having a direct flight this year (yay! no stress!)

  4. watching and enjoying Big Hero 6 on the way there

  5. only spilling a tiny bit of Red Stripe on my shirt this time on the bus to the resort (baby steps!)

  6. getting to see a whole new part of Jamaica on our bus ride, especially the beautiful coastal vistas

  7. the Mr. and I letting out a simultaneous sigh after we stepped out of the bus and saw the orchids and lush greenery at the entrance to the resort

  8. seeing our room and the amazing balcony view for the first time 

  9. drinking my first dirty banana of the trip and enjoying a grilled red snapper sandwich while seated at a table right on the beach

  10. discovering I didn't have to jump up to get on the perfect-height-for-me swim up bar seats

  11. feeling sad yet intrigued by a tiny dead tree frog floating in pool

  12. getting a special delivery of Ting to our room

  13. enjoying cheese and crackers on our balcony before dinner

  14. seeing my first little lizard

  15. watching the white egrets fly past our balcony at the end of the day

  16. enjoying the beach party with some of my favorite Jamaican foods: escovitch fish, fried bammy, and rice and peas plus a very yummy sweet potato tart for dessert

  17. getting a seat just inches from the ocean

  18. listening to our favorite steel drum band, The Silverbirds

  19. sipping a rum cream at the Balloon Bar before turning in for the night

  20. watching the egrets fly back the other direction in the morning

  21. witnessing a giant piece of fruit falling off a tree, just missing our heads

  22. diving in to our first breakfast at Palazzina -- fresh papaya, sour sop, guava, salt fish and ackee, pineapple French toast, and fried dumplings

  23. walking on the beach and finding tiny pink shells and a huge crab

  24. finding an awesome seat at the pool with a view of the ocean

  25. trying a few new-to-me drinks -- Banana Banshee, Peach on the Beach, and a Jamaica Delight

  26. winning second place in trivia and getting a bottle of rum cream for my morning coffee (and discovering that it was Miss Jamaica Universe who beat us)

  27. enjoying a jerk burger and a rum and Ting for lunch by the beach

  28. discovering how much better a piña colada tastes with a rum cream float

  29. spending the last few hours of the day on the beach

  30. finding a giant crab and a giant spider in its giant web on the way back to the room

  31. having a lychee martini at the Martini Bar

  32. The Mr. saving that martini (and me) after a rat almost jumped on my shoulder 

  33. savoring an incredible dinner at Palazzina: Caesar salad with crunchy proscuitto bits, charred tomato soup, lobster, and passion meringue pie

  34. feeding lobster bits to the kitties

  35. plotting to empty the bowl of anchovies into my purse so we could lure the kitties back to protect us from those rats

  36. starting the day on the balcony with a little rum cream in my coffee and a chocolate croissant with some banana bread

  37. wandering around the spa paths and checking out each massage hut

  38. finding the hidden beach

  39. walking on the main beach with my honey

  40. eating a beef patty with extra jerk sauce and a chocolate ice cream cone for dessert

  41. walking around the pond and seeing pelicans divebomb the fish in the pond, and seeing egrets, herons, and turtles

  42. meeting the green parrot, Crackers, and having her whistle at me

  43. taking our first dip in the mineral pool

  44. soaking in the hidden jacuzzi and then relaxing by the mineral pool

  45. enjoying dinner -- beef tenderloin with jerk sauce and ackee rice -- at a beachside table for two at Bella Vista 

  46. eating fried bammy and fresh papaya for breakfast

  47. getting a hot stone massage in a hut overlooking the ocean, waves crashing below, on my birthday 

  48. having some quiet time on the balcony afterwards

  49. discovering the cookies in the lobby!

  50. taking a trip to Scotchie's to enjoy jerk chicken, roasted breadfruit, and a Red Stripe with our gracious driver, Orville

  51. finding Anita, the blue macaw

  52. being addressed as "m'lady" for a week

  53. being completely overwhelmed by the wonderful Starlight Gala -- and especially enjoying the red snapper with lime buerre sauce, tomato soup, and banana dessert

  54. watching Milton and Co. dance and listening to the fantastic singer, Tammy T (and little bro Clive with his awesome dreadlocks)

  55. enjoying my morning coffee with rum cream and croissants on the balcony

  56. experiencing a quiet early morning by the pool

  57. listening to the birds squabble in the trees

  58. discovering the popcorn machine at the beach grill

  59. dozing underneath the pool umbrella as the rain poured all around us for about 20 minutes

  60. loving the cassava chips with pumpkin jalapeño and roasted artichoke dips at the mineral pool

  61. following it with a chaser afterwards -- a snapper sandwich

  62. finally feeling like we knew our way around the paths of the resort

  63. savoring dinner at Casanova: shrimp and salmon kebab with the awesomest risotto, tomato and crab soup (with vodka), and beef tenderloin

  64. listening to the reggae show, playing on the terrace below, during our dinner 

  65. sipping Blue Mountain coffee after dinner

  66. being awake for that early morning moment when the tree frogs are still chirping and the birds begin to sing 

  67. despite inertia, getting up and going on the morning nature walk

  68. seeing a doctor bird

  69. seeing my childhood hero, Rikki Tikki Tavi, aka a mongoose darting across the lawn

  70. eating almonds fresh off the tree

  71. appreciating the magnificent rubber tree

  72. eating fresh papaya and muesli for breakfast

  73. sitting in the jacuzzi during a rain shower

  74. seeing a little black lizard inflate his throat 

  75. watching the talented Brian at the Balloon Bar do his cocktail tricks

  76. enjoying Blue Mountain coffee after dinner (again!)

  77. listening to the jazz entertainment back in the room while falling asleep

  78. waking up to sunshine after a cloudy, rainy day

  79. getting our favorite poolside seat for the last day

  80. realizing we still have a ton of resort credit left and booking a private sunset boat tour for our last evening

  81. walking along the beach and finding a cool shell and the remnants of a palm leaf arch used for a wedding next door the night before

  82. swimming out to the floating dock and dangling my toes in the Caribbean while watching the boats go by (and laughing when the Mr.'s shorts almost fell off when he climbed the ladder)

  83. enjoying my morning Banana Banshee

  84. eating my last beef patty with extra spicy sauce and a rum and Ting

  85. buying a few photos of ourselves that we actually liked

  86. taking time to explore the hidden beach

  87. finding the hidden mineral grotto

  88. taking a photo walk on my own

  89. sadly taking our last dip in the pool

  90. enjoying everything about our private sunset cruise on the Dolce Vita

  91. going really, really fast and managing to barely spill our champagne

  92. discovering there was a cheese plate to enjoy on the boat

  93. seeing Dunn's River Falls and Lobster Dave's from the water

  94. finding Mick Jagger's house on the top of the mountain

  95. sipping champagne while watching the sunset

  96. ordering room service on our last night and enjoying my favorite, grilled snapper with lime butter sauce 

  97. one last room service breakfast of Blue Mountain coffee and buttery croissants, and dumping the rest of the rum cream in my cup

  98. sitting outside on the balcony in my underwear until the very last minute when I had to put my pants on to get on the sad bus home

  99. taking in everything on the final ride home and seeing slices of Jamaican life (and Usain Bolt's school and track)

  100. eating our traditional cheeseburger before our direct(!) flight home

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