On Saturday, we got up and went to go do some bodysurfing. And finally, I took some pictures from the ocean!
After we showered, we fought off the denial and went to talk to the front desk about the shuttle back to the airport the next day. He told us it would be there at 9am. We hadn’t seen anything close to 9am in a week!
We walked down to Time Square and found the ATM operational: that meant we were 2 for 4. Afterwards, Matt stopped to buy some jerk chicken from chef Michael. His whole setup was amazing:
The meal came with extra sauce and two fat pieces of white bread on top. We asked Chef Michael if he had any Red Stripe, too; he said he’d get us some, and took off across the street. He bought two beers off the vendor over there, and dashed back with them. That’s some kind of service.
We stopped at Shamrock again for more beverages, and Matt also bought a Rock Bun just for the name. Then we stopped in at Miss Sonya’s, right across the street from our hotel, for a vegetable patty. Some people we’d met the first night told us that that place was one of the best. I got that in a to-go bag, and we headed back to our patio for lunch.
Everything was amazing. Yes, even the Red Bull. But mostly the patty and Matt’s jerk chicken. And the Pickapeppa, which I want to eat on everything.
After we finished eating, we stopped back at our hotel room to drop things off. I checked my phone, and there was a text from Orsi saying that their flight was delayed, and they were stuck in Atlanta for the night. They’d be arriving in Jamaica at the same time we were leaving! That changed our plans slightly, so we decided to run some errands and then decide what we wanted to do for the evening.
As we left the hotel and stepped onto the beach, we were approached by a guy who kind of reminded me of Rick Ross. He handed us a flyer (which I still have in my journal) and introducted himself as Money Cologne. He was having a big birthday bash on Wednesday at Roots Bamboo. I glanced at his giant bling necklace, which read ‘Trevor’.
It was all we could do to not die of awesome over meeting the fabled Money Cologne. We expressed our regrets that we would be leaving the next day, and wished him a happy birthday.
We went to the store behind 23/7 to get a souvenir for Wendy. I’d been staring at it for almost a week, so we knew it had to be hers: a beach towel in sunset colors, with a naked lady on it. PERFECT. I also had to get this gloriously tacky birdfeeder carved from a coconut, and Matt got a 23/7 tshirt. We brought our purchases to the room, and went to go get a cab up to the cliffs.
We had the driver drop us off at the Rock House, one of the places that was highly recommended. It was surprisingly empty for being a fancy resort; there were maybe five groups having dinner, and about a million servers clustered around the bar. We got a high table near the bar, and ordered cocktails. They were fantastic.
We had decided that while the cliffs were gorgeous and it was easy to go snorkeling there, we wouldn’t want to spend an entire week in that area. The beach was so easy; we spent almost three hours a day in the ocean. Also, you can walk to everything without fear of being run down by a taxi. It’s not that easy to get around on the cliffs. So maybe next time we’ll stay at the Rock House for a night or two (preferably in one of the cabanas with a whirlpool and private access to your own snorkeling area), then go down to 7 Mile Beach. It’s so appealing.
We decided to get some food, so I ordered a salad and Matt got conch. We also got plantains to share, though we did not have another throwing contest. They’d likely have frowned on that.
We watched the sunset, and then I went to get lost wandering around the place, looking for the bathroom. I’m glad I did, because I got to see some of the sea caves from above. That was amazing. I brought Matt to show him, too, and then we decided to go get our wander on.
We were in search of a bar called No Limits, which is apparently one of Kris and Orsi’s favorite spots in Negril. We were hoping we could go leave them a message or pre-order a drink for them, since they’d be there the next night. I asked one of the guys who worked at the Rock House, and he had no idea. He asked a few other guys, and none of them knew. Then he got on the phone with a friend, and that guy didn’t know. I love Jamaicans for stuff like that. They’re so awesome.
Finally, someone came up who thought he perhaps knew where it was. We’d have suspected it didn’t exist at all, were it not for Kris and the fact that a cab driver had pointed it out to us on the way back from Rick’s. We knew it was a tiny white building, and it was on the opposite side of the road from the cliffs. We were pretty sure it was to the left, as Rick’s was to the right, but the guy was convinced it was the other direction, though it was a ways from there. He directed us to walk on the other side of the street because there was approximately 1/4″ more space to move there, and so we set off.
We walked and walked and clung to the edge of the road or the grass as taxis sped past, honking. It was kind of harrying, since it was also getting dark and it was hard to see where we were going. We passed a million awesome bars and asked several people if they knew of its whereabouts, but no one was completely sure. Finally, we got to Rick’s, and we knew it had to be the other direction. Since we were tired and sweaty, though, we decided to stop at the place we’d previously noticed because of its very awesome name: the Stress-Free Beer Joint.
I have to confess that the Stress-Free Beer Joint was a little bit stressful. It was a tiny hut on the side of the road, though enthusiastically painted in Jamaican colors, with bead curtains in the entryway. The front room (in a manner of speaking, since nothing’s really indoors in Jamaica) was very dark, with a few tables and a very loud radio playing reggae. There were a couple shady-looking guys hanging out there, and we weren’t sure who actually worked at the place. A lady stood up and it became clear that we were supposed to go into the back room to order, where they had a counter set up with a vast array of beverages on display. We followed her, and asked for a couple of Red Stripes and a Lucozade.
We sat out at a table in the dark for a short time, but the creepy guys were… well, kind of creepy. We decided there was no way we were going to find No Limits, so we went out to the road to get a cab. Unlike an hour earlier when there were a million of them rushing by, it had quieted down (the crowd at Rick’s must have been long gone). We finally encountered one parked on the shoulder, and hopped in to ride back down to our hotel. The driver was awesome (his name was Mr. T!), and he told us all about the history of hurricanes in Jamaica. Basically, the really bad ones only come around once every 40 years or so, so people tend to forget about them even being an issue there. Good to know!
Ansel and the Foxtrots were playing again at our hotel, so we hung out and watched them for a while. Then, sadly, we decided to go over to 23/7 to say goodbye to our favorite bar and bartender (Kimmy, whose name we didn’t learn til that night). We watched hockey on TV at the bar, which was kind of mindblowing (re: the hockey bar we’d found in Puerto Vallarta, and the fact that Jamaica John was wearing a Canada hockey jersey). A big group of Minnesotans wandered in, obviously having just arrived (at that point, we recognized most of the tourists in the area). They had a bunch of snacks with them, including Target-brand trail mix and cheese in a can. They ordered about 10 giant pizzas, delaying our french fries order by almost an hour.
I ordered one last rum punch, and it ended up actually being the final rum punch of the night: she emptied the rest of the bottle into my glass. SIGH.
Walking back into the hotel, we saw the cat climbing out of the garbage can. We said bye to our tiny lizard, and went to hang out on the patio for a while longer. Fortunately for the hotel, we were out of plantains.