Let's start this story on the airplane. We took a flight from SF to Miami leaving at 11pm, getting to Miami at 7am. I had an aisle seat which I believe I requested. In my experience aisle seats have the most leg room for my 6'6" legs. This plane ride changed my thoughts on the matter.
For one, I needed to sleep, yet this didn't happen. I physically need a window seat to lean my head against the window side wall. I had a hard time sleeping with my head directly back or forward.
Second, the guy in front of me was easily the biggest douche I've ever come across on a flight. Upon seeing me, he sat down, immediately leaned his seat back, then continued to rock in his seat to get every millimeter back the seat would allow him to have.
Skipping forward, at the end of the flight, he didn't put his seat in the upright position for landing, he did, however, flick his dandruff filled hair back a few times. He tried to cut someone off by jumping in front of them in the narrow plane aisle, and I'm pretty sure he kidnapped a kid in the airport. Ok, so I made the last one up- but it seemed like something he would've done. I hope Dexter got a hold of him in Miami.
Having never traveled outside of the US, I am happy to say that the process of getting in and out of the country was not awful. It took a little patience, but overall, it was speedy and no one really hassled us.
Off the plane in Jamaica, you could tell immediately that we were not in the US. There were performers, musicians, and rouge street vendors around the airport which clearly would not fly in the US. We were directed to the Sandals lounge where they had complimentary Red Stripe and other drinks. After one beer, our taxi was ready.
We had an hour and half drive from Montego Bay to Negril. The lush greenery was fun to look at, but being placed in a car on a road with Jamaican drivers was a little nuts. They drive on the left side of the road, everyone tailgates, and almost all the roads are barely enough for one lane each way. Everyone passes each other in the oncoming lane, and as a bonus, drivers get to dodge people walking, riding bikes, and generally wandering around. Luckily, we had safe travels throughout the trip.
Our driver had us stop on the side of the road at a store that had a guy BBQing jerk chicken on the patio, also looked like a drugstore, and sold beer. The sign above the shop said, "We fully intend to apply for an alcohol licence the next time they are available." And yet I purchased another Red Stripe from them. Love the lawlessness of Jamaica.
Upon leaving the store to drink and get some fresh, humid ocean air, two things struck me. One, there were dogs just roaming around. The seemed friendly, though a little underfed. Hopefully the BBQ dude was going to hook the dogs up with some jerk chicken.
The other thing that was obvious, was the guy around the corner where the restrooms were who was whistling at us. No, dude, we're not buying drugs from you. Yes, I understand you have good stuff. No, we're seriously not interested.
Once we finally got to Sandals Negril, we were immediately give Rum Punch and a ice cold towel. Our bags were taken to our room and we got a mini-tour then also went to our room. The key to the room was not working properly, so they called maintenance. A friendly guy named Stanley helped us out by spraying WD40 in the lock. We found food at the Beach Grill, which was essentially the resort's fast food grill that is open any time the other restaurants aren't (for example, it's open from 11pm - 6:30am.) I think I got Jerk Chicken and fries during the first sitting. During my first bite, I had a vision of angels in heaven singing the most glorious harmonies about how good Jerk Chicken is.
Since we hadn't slept for an entire night, it was time to take a nap, then get our bearings together. Part 2 tomorrow...