Crazy enough, our honeymoon was the first ever vacation Jordan and I took just the two of us! We have traveled together over the years, but it was always for family vacations or weddings. So we were really looking forward to kicking off our marriage with a vacation that we could spend some real time together. And we were absolutely able to do just that!
We left for our honeymoon four days after our wedding because since it was on a Friday, we wanted to be able to spend the weekend with all of our family and friends who had come to Wilmington from out of town. It was so much fun to have all of our favorite people in our little town and to hang out at the beach together, explore downtown, etc. I think it really allowed us to hang onto the “wedding weekend” so it didn’t feel like it was over in the blink of an eye! And I am so very glad we did that because it was so nice to still have the honeymoon to look forward to days after the wedding.
Tuesday we hopped on a plane and headed to Ocho Rios, Jamaica where we stayed at an all inclusive resort called Moon Palace. The resort was almost 2 hours away from the airport, so we had to take a bit of a shuttle ride to get to our final destination. But it was kind of nice to get to drive along the coastline and get a glimpse of what Jamaica really looks like!
When we got out of our bus at the resort, I was greeted with a flower and we were handed cold towels and a champagne flute of pineapple juice. It was so fun to immediately feel pampered and that we had indeed landed on a tropical island. We checked into our ocean view room and right away changed into our bathing suits so we could hit the beach & pool. It was slow season for the resort (we assume because of hurricane season), so it was almost as if we had the place to ourselves. We were hoping to meet some new friends, but it was also rather nice to not have to wait on service or deal with a crowded pool. All afternoon we drank tropical cocktails and swam in the water. Later that evening, we grabbed dinner at an outdoor seafood restaurant and watched an incredible show by the “Silver Birds,” an amazing steel drum performance group.
This one was probably the most fun. We slept in, hit the breakfast buffet, and hung out at the beach & pool for the WHOLE day. We made friends with our favorite bar tender, Jayden, and he made me mimosas all day long. To the point where I had to take a nap by about 5pm, ha! But Jordan and I had the most fun riding the “flow rider” artificial wave, eating the jerk chicken made on a little tiki hut on the beach, and playing an intense game of sand volley ball with some other couples at the resort. Later that night we ordered a room service dinner and stayed in bed to watch movies until falling asleep.
Another fun pool day in the books. We also decided to buy our own snorkels and goggles and do some exploring around the little beach cove we were staying at. It was so fun to be out there swimming together and pointing out all of the cool (and not so cool) things we found in the water. We saw so many cool and colorful fish, giant sea slugs (we think thats what they were?), and even a dead rat (among the not-so-cool things). The second time we went out snorkeling was closer to the evening time, and I had a minor freak out when a sting ray was right underneath me. Seeing one made Jordan super excited, but I chickened out and continued to watch him snorkel while I drank a pineapple rum drink instead.
We also spent a lot of time on the “Flow Rider.” Well, mainly Jordan. I definitely tried my hand at it a few times but it felt nothing like surfing or wake boarding. It was completely different and while it was challenging it was still a ton of fun! The wipeouts from both of us certainly made for a ton of laughs. It was Jordan’s goal to accomplish a “360” by the end of the trip, and with the help of the guy who ran it at the resort, he did it by the time we left Monday!
Our first excursion was to a fruit farm called Sun Valley Plantation. This was one of those things we booked on a whim to use up our resort credits, but it actually ended up being our favorite activity! We got to see how so many exotic fruits and spices were grown, got to drink fresh coconut water, and sample some delicious new things like bread fruit, jack fruit, and sugar cane. There were also two puppies that followed us around our tour (and obviously distracted us with their cuteness the entire time). Their names were Deacon and Marco and if I could’ve gotten them through customs, I might have tried to take one of them home with us!
The farm even had a “pet” humming bird that we got to witness eating from the hand of someone on our tour. We saw how vanilla beans, coffee beans, and cocoa plants were grown. And I also snapped a few shots of some crazy fruits and spices that we were shown along the way.
We took a catamaran ride to Dunn’s River Falls. Everyone told us that this excursion was the one that we “had” to do, but it actually ended up being the one we enjoyed the least. While the waterfalls were definitely cool, we didn’t love how touristy the area was and how we had to stop every 5 minutes on our way up the falls because they organized us into groups of other tourists. It was very crowded and it felt a little like we were at an amusement park. We both agreed that we would skip that trip next time we go back to Jamaica. However, the boat ride over there was really enjoyable! We were with some other cool people from our resort, and we got to do some snorkeling at the coral reef there. Out of the whole excursion, the snorkeling was our favorite part. I even got to hold a little sea urchin while tons of colorful fish came and ate out of it! I was scared to death that I would get stung, but it was also a really awesome experience! Later that night we watched an incredible reggae band, made friends with an awesome couple from California (also on their honeymoon), and had some drinks at the “Loud Bar” at the resort.
On our last full day, we grabbed breakfast from the buffet (as we did almost every single day– I ate way too much bacon), and then went to the on-site spa. This spa was absolutely incredible and so huge that you could get lost in it! We enjoyed a really great couples massage, and after we got done they allowed us to hang out in the lounge with a hot cup of tea. From there we each did a few different treatments from the steam room, sauna, ice room, hot tub, and more. Jordan also went for the “polar plunge” which I passed on, but he seemed to really like it.
Unfortunately it rained for most of our last day there, but we still hung out by the pool with our favorite bar tender and enjoyed it as much as we could. We had a fun dinner at Hibachi that night with the friends we made the night before, and our chef was super entertaining. As he cooked, he asked us tons of trivia and pop-culture questions from the U.S. We all really got a kick out of him, and the food was also pretty tasty!
The worst day– we had to head home! We hopped on a shuttle bus and headed back to the airport. It was quite the trip home since we left our resort at 10am and didn’t arrive back to Wilmington until 2am. It’s safe to say we were severely exhausted but it was completely worth it for one of the most fun experiences we have ever had together! We absolutely loved Jamaica and we can’t wait to plan our next trip there soon! 🙂