Saturday, December 1, 2007
So…today we woke up late…actually at 9:09AM! We had breakfast at Chill Awhile. French toast and banana pancakes. Both good. The view from the restaurant is just amazing.
We saw our resident cats again. I tried to take pictures, but couldn't. They kept hiding, then coming out, then hiding.
We took some pictures in the garden by our room building. One of the nice security guards took some for us.
We were on the beach by 11:45AM..a very late start for us.
We had lunch at Chill Awhile. I had the Chicken salad and Chuck hamburger with bacon. Chuck really likes the burgers here, but not the cheese. He says it tastes funny. Both very good.
Idle Awhile Frisbee guest played with some local boys for a little while, but it was too windy for them to continue for long.
We watched the sunset again.
We decided to go ahead and get Margaritaville out of the way. I knew that this was a very touristy thing to do, but we went anyways.
Here's my thoughts on this place…nice ambience, not too many people there (around 7PM). We sat outside in the sand. The service good. The food GREAT (but more expensive than other places here). Not bad compared to US restaurants, but expensive compared to Negril prices. I had the Caribbean Chicken Salad with Jerk Chicken in it. The Salad was great, but jerk chicken was more like regular grilled chicken. But still good. Chuck had the Jerk Sandwich (regular hamburger with a side of Jerk sauce that you pour onto the burger). He said it was good. Total, with two red stripes and one banana daiquire and tax was $39.00 US. My problem with this place, was…when we got there, they had the TVs playing with Jimmy Buffet and some playing the Sports Channels, but the Jimmy Buffet music was playing loud. Cool. Then…suddenly…they changed it to the football game! No more Jimmy Buffet singing (still on ONE TV, with game on like three other tvs, and the game loud and clear! Couldn't believe it…no Jimmy Buffet music at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville! We go into the store after eating. Buy two T-Shirts, $45.00US. Everything here was a little pricey. Oh well. It is out of the way. I noticed that there were a LOT of what I call "Scottsdale Yuppies" hanging inside bar. All dressed up, sparkly shirts, high heels, hair and makeup done (we're in shorts and casual tops, feet in the sand, sandles off). All wearing their pretty colored All-Inclusive wristbands. I remember thinking to myself…this is like their one night out from the AI and this is the place they come to. The most Americanized place we've been to so far! Ha Ha. Too bad for them that they don't get out to experience the REAL Negril. But whatever. Just my thoughts.
We walk the beach back to Idle Awhile to drop off the shirts we purchased and I grab a sweater. (YES! We are from PHOENIX, thank you! 80 degrees is chilly to me!)
We decide to walk down to Bourbon Beach because all day yesterday and today we heard the guy on the beach, in a boat, and in a car with a megaphone promoting a "Hot Hot Hot" and "Free Free Free" live reggae band…Snowman, I think, or something like that. So…we start walking.
We meet Jonathon. He asks first about ganga…no thanks. Then he asks if we've been on the bus tour. We said no. He says OK…I give it to you. So he walks with us! I don't know why or how it happened, it just did and we couldn't get rid of him! He pointed out "here's Merrills" (OK…I can read). Here's the 23/7 bar (OK…again…I can read) Watch that rope in the water! (I can see the damn rope!) We stop at a bar to get another red stripe. Then we sit down. Finally…we politely tell him we can make it on our own, thanks. Then he asks for a little something something for his "services". We give him $200Js and send him on his way. He was with us for a good 10 minutes! Really…I know this stuff and I know how to say No Thanks, but we couldn't get rid of this guy any sooner! So…if ever you're walking the beach at night…and you meet Jonanthon and he asks you about the Bus Tour…turn and run in the opposite direction!!
Side note…I know it's Off Season and all…but where the heck are all the people! We seriously saw just a handful of people walking between Idle Awhile and Bourbon Beach, which I estimate is about ½ mile. All the bars we passed along the way had MAYBE 3-4 people in them, if that. It was just so weird. By this time it was about 9:15PM - 9:30PM ish. And the place seems deserted.
Anyways…finally we get to Bourbon Beach for the show that was to start at 9:30PM. There are … I wouldn't say a lot, but some people already there, maybe 25 or so. We decide to go upstairs to watch the show. While up there waiting for the show to start, we get a look at the Jamaican Ladies hitting on the single old guy up there. Two on one. They were VERY much working that night. A few more single young guys come upstairs, followed shortly after by several more Jamaican Ladies-of-the-Night. I wonder if we are in the wrong section!
They band isn't even there yet, and the bar is just playing some Reggae over the loud speaker until the band starts. It sounds like they are playing the old vinyl records, it was really statically. And they had some interesting songs. I mean really…Celine Dion!! With a Reggae soundtrack behind her vocals to "So You Think You Can Fly". REALLY? Really?
So, the 9:30PM show finally started at around 10:15PM. Ok. Island Time. I get it. The band comes out and does about a 15-minute sound check. Right at 10:30PM, the real band begins playing. The lead singer comes out in gray sweatpants, a red long shirt and a flannel shirt over it and starts singing! There is this REALLY old Rasta onstage with him dancing around all crazy. The singing…I have to be honest…was terrible. I even took some video of it on my digital! And the sound system was even worse!
So…about 15 minutes later, and about 3 songs too many into it, we decide to bail and go home and call it a night. In talking, we thought maybe our "Americanized Version" of Reggae is just what we prefer. To each his own, right? Or maybe this was just a really bad band. I mean, there really was a really weak audience, not a lot of clapping, even after a song ended.
So…we're walking back up the beach to Idle Awhile, and who do we pass? Yup. JONATHAN! He's walking next to a nice fresh-meat-looking couple, the opposite direction that we are walking. They look like we felt earlier "How the HELL do we get rid of this guy?" Me and Chuck started walking a little bit faster! Then we started laughing. He got another couple!
So, we are walking up the pathway to our room and can hear some loud Reggae music playing, sounds like it is coming from the front of the hotel. So we decide to check it out. We get out to the road and see a BUNCH of cars and people parked in front of the Best of the West and Green Leaf Cabins, right across the street. We go over to BOTW to get a couple of drinks. Turns out, a local Rasta had his supped-up truck parked out front with speakers everywhere and lights on his truck playing music out of his radio! There are about 50 locals (and a couple of tourists) just hanging around, drinking, dancing and having a good time (Along with a few more Ladies-of-the-Night). We hang out for a while and actually had a BETTER time there listening to music (although not live) than we did at Bourbon Beach. Who Knew!! I asked the bartender to verify that it was just coming out of the truck's stereo system, and she said yes. I also asked if this happens a lot, and she said no, tonight only. Chcuk and I joked…that truck out front was not only playing better music, but the sound system was better than the one at Bourbon Beach! And I have proof! Remember I took some video with my digital camera at BB? I took some video here, too. Not so much for the movie portion, but for the sound quality.
So…after a couple of drinks we head back to our room. (I am writing a summary each day at the end of the day, as events are clear in my head and I am sitting out on my patio and can hear the music from across the street and it is SO NICE!)
Note…still unable to connect to the wireless. I was able to in the morning, and this time the username and password worked. I got into my Yahoo email account, typed an email to the parents (they worry about us) and hit Send….then lost the connection. Don't know if it went through or not. Couldn't connect again. Brought laptop down to FD to try there, thinking maybe better reception of the wireless router thingy-ma-bob, but no luck. Keep getting error message of "Limited or No Connectivity". Chuck thinks it is our laptop, I think it is an issue with the wireless here. Who knows. Finally gave it up and decided to use cell phone to call home. Only…we couldn't figure out how to dial International! Followed the steps to dialing from the hotel phone (minus the "9" to get an outside line", and a few other ways, couldn't get it to go thorough. Finally broke down and just made two really quick calls using the hotel phone. Wonder how much that will be. Oh well. At least it is a free service offered by the hotel, and I'm not paying "9.95 a day, as I would be at most hotels in the US. So…guess I can't really complain about it.