Thursday, March 11, 2010

Was it all a dream? A really really good dream?

I can't even express how much fun we had in Jamaica. It is now one of my favorite places. Seriously. They beauty there is astounding. The people are both gorgeous and genuine. The food was glorious and Andy and I were on cloud nine.

I can already tell this will be a long post. So buckle up and here goes!

The night before we were supposed to leave we had everything ready and tried to get to bed at a reasonable time. I was so excited and a little nervous at the same time. Almost like the first day of school or when you are about to have a baby. That kind of nervous excited. The alarm woke me up at 3:30. I popped out of bed ready to go. I got ready, did my hair, made sure we had everything, grabbed a book and I was ready. I had to coax Andy out of bed, but it wasn't too hard, we were leaving for Jamaica after all. Before we knew it we were headed out the door after some last minute reminders to Nicole (Andy's sister who was watching the kiddos for 3 days). When we got in the car as I always do I ask if it is ok that we leave. This time I was a little more apprehensive because the night before Jadeyn fell and hurt her leg pretty bad. I woke her up before we left and had her walk to our bed and she was still limping. I was so nervous about that. Was I the worst mother in the world for leaving my little girl when she was hurt? AS you can see we still went, but it wasn't till that next day that we heard she was doing a lot better that I finally fully relaxed.

We got to the airport in great time, parked our car in long term parking and off we were. It was all just so exciting. I just could not believe that we were going to Jamaica somewhere I never thought we would ever go and for FREE! That was one of the best parts about it I must admit! We arrived for a little lay over in Dallas then next stop was Montego Bay.

I have never traveled out of the country and customs/immigration was quite the experience. At least Jamaica it was. A lot of lines and waiting, but it didn't seem to bother us, we are in Jamaica after all. Once we got through all of that we found the Heartland Dental care sign for our ride and off we were to the hotel.

I knew it was going to be nice. I knew that, but this place was incredible. I just don't even know how to explain it to really describe the beauty and all around 5 star service. When we arrived we were greeted with cold towels, which I am still not sure what exactly those were for. Some were using them on their hands, some were wiping their know the usual. I am guessing that is what they were for. We went in, checked in and got our wrist bands that marked us for that hotel and then were greeted by a Heartland table with a special present and itinerary along with a list of things we could do if we wanted waiting on the table to be signed.

When we received our itinerary via the UPS it told us all the different events we could do while we were there. I basically wanted to be on the beach, eat and enjoy peace and quiet together and the beautiful hotel. Andy wanted to do that all too, but the zip line sparked his interest. Boy oh boy do I wish I would have looked into the zip line thing a little more than I did. For some reason when I think zip line I think of a line but you are sitting in something and you go across all powered by a machine about 5 or 6 feet off the ground. I could not have been more off on that, but more on that to come. So anyway, we signed up for the zip line, I did it knowing I would not actually end up doing it.

The Beautiful Hotel Lobby

The Piano Bar

We were led to our room by the guy with our luggage. I kind of get a giggle every time I picture us walking in while he is holding the door for us and all the ooh's and ahh's he heard from us. It was as if we never get out EVER and have never seen the beach before Ever and have never stayed in a hotel before. He just kind of smiled with a little chuckle. He pretty much unpacked our stuff which was nice and then he disappeared. Andy and I kept going from one place to another to another. Even the bath room totally impressed us. It was huge, as was a storage/closet/pantry hall. It was stocked with food and drinks. The bathroom was equipped with bath salts, gels and other fancy things. The decor in the room was exquisite. Just beautiful and the balcony that was more like another room was too cool. It was almost hard having such a beautiful place to stay. We didn't want to stay in our room the whole time, but man it was awesome! After we unpacked and got ready we were down to the beach for a welcome reception.

Our Room

The glorious bed!

The Sitting Room.

View from our room.

The awesome swing.

Our room was the third floor the third room in.
When we first got there, we were a little excited.
When we got there they had a photographer there to our pictures. Then they had amazing appetizers and drinks. They were all so good. I knew at that point I knew I was in trouble. The food was so stinking good.

The Reggae Band at the Welcoming Reception.

We stayed for a while and then decided to get to know the resort a little more. This place was huge. There were like 4 sections to it. We were in the grand hall that was for all adults and more of the first class type restaurants and stuff. They had shows there and discos and piano lounges and all kinds of different things. There was never a dull moment. We did find out however cell phones and calling cards were of no use. You could buy one of their calling cards and use a special phone area they had there to call out if needed. We had to just to check up on J while we were gone. Then I realized that they had a computer lounge as well so we were able to keep tabs on her progress through that. That is the only reason why I checked and even posted on FB while I was in paradise! After checking everything out we went to our dinner reservations at the Japanese Steak House. We were very excited for that! IT WAS SO DELISH! I mean SO SO good. I mean my mouth is watering right now just thinking about it good! You basically just order whatever you want off the menu. Anything. Which is dangerous. We got appetizers, and soups and salads and two main courses and sushi and dessert. It was just crazy. Really crazy and really good. We ended up sharing a hibachi with a couple from France and a couple from Canada.

Our fun new friends. The couple on the left, we just extra extra sweet. Just awesome people.

It was so fun. We felt like we were really friends by the end of it all. Could be because we were in there of about 2 and a half hours. It was so fun though. We waddled our way back to our rooms taking the stairs three times to sort of kind of balance that dinner out. We arrived at our room and on the dresser there was a gift from Heartland. It was so fun. Such a treat. Andy got a Visor and I got a beautiful silk scarf. They also had a turn down service and chocolates on the bed. The slippers and robes laying out for us. It was just amazing.

Having so much fun!

My slippers set out for me.

I wanted to try the jacuzzi that was in our room so I did, but I was so tired I fell asleep in there. I woke up and hopped into bed. It has been such a long day and night and we were so tired. We needed that sleep and the bed was just so perfect we got great sleep.

The next morning someone was knocking on our door at what seemed to be maybe 5 in the morning. I woke Andy up and told him someone is knocking at the door. He said, at 4 in the morning? He went to the door like it was the middle of the night and they guy said we are here to restock your bar and pantry. Andy told him we were fine and as he was getting back into bed he noticed the clock said 10 in the morning! So much for the meeting at 8:30, right? We had know idea it was that late. We set his alarm on his prehistoric phone that apparently died in the middle of the night. We got up quickly and rushed out of there to find out that no one was at the meeting, luckily for us and we grabbed some breakfast. It again was so amazing, you will here that adjective a lot in this post, right? and headed to the beach. We laid there for a while and then grabbed lunch and headed back to our room to get ready for the zip line craziness. Then we met at in the lobby to catch the shuttle.

This is the part of the trip that was a little out of control for me. As we are waiting for the shuttle I am casually talking to the other 30 people going to this thing and I am slowly realizing zip lining is a whole other animal that what I was picturing. I wouldn't say I am afraid of heights, but I don't really care for them. It is nothing I freak myself out about, but I can do without putting my life in jeopardy for "fun" if you know what I mean. So as we all cram into this little tiny bus I am starting to feel a little nervous. We get there after going up and up and up the mountain. We get out, get all our gear and then get into another bus that takes us up even further. Cue, freak out mode. I actually did pretty good. It was kind of like an out of body experience. It was like I was out of it, or else I really would have been freaking out. After a crazy, see video, ride up there we were off. I decided I had to go last. Well second to last. Andy had to go after me, so if I fell to my death he would witness it. I had no idea, like no idea it would be A., so fast B., so long C., completely in my control and D,. SO crazy. The first two I actually did pretty good. Really well actually. It was weird when they said ok just sit back and jump. I really don't know how I did it. The only reason why I did go threw with it, is because I had no other option. Everyone else, just acted like it was a day at the office. It was surreal. After the first two, we repelled straight down, probably about 500 feet. It was insane. Then is when the big guns came out. We had run almost a mile long they said and prefaced it by saying don't pull on the line too hard because you will stop and will be stuck, basically forever, but make sure you keep your hand close to the line so you can stop yourself when you get to the two by two platform when you need to stop. Well I took off and could not reach the line or get my balance to reach it. It was NO good. I get to the platform and almost ran into a tree and took the boy with me. It was scary. I think the guy was even a little scared. After that I was freaked out, but had to put on my game face because I had to keep going to get to the end. They just kept getting longer and faster. Finally the 10 lines were done. I have never been so relived in my life. Of course I was known as the lady with five kids there and I said I honestly would honestly take a major operation with a c section than do that anytime. It felt so good to be done. The guys running the whole thing were just so adorable. One in particular was just so darn cute. Their personalities, pretty much every Jamaican we ran into were so adorable. I asked Andy if we could find a child in need of a home and bring them back with us. I don't think he thought I was serious, but I was and am.

All of us crammed into the little bus.

It was beautiful up there.

Putting on my game face.

Andy and his game face.

Getting ready for our ride up even further=higher!

The ride up there was for sure more fun than the actual zip lining.

This boy on the left, is SO SO cute. Adorable. I totally fell in love with him.

That is me. Waaaaaaay up there. I cannot even begin to tell you how high it was. I could not even see the actual ground.

See that little tiny platform. That is where we had to "land".

Yes we are actually that high. It was insane. A beautiful view that I actually coulnd't even process because I was too worried about the five kids I was going to leave behind.

This is what we repelled down. Andy zoomed up so he could get a better picture of the little thing we were on. My heart is beating a little fast just looking at this picture, no lie.

Here are some of these adorable boys again. They were so sweet to me and helped me so much. What kind kind boys.

Thankfully I was safe and we were back at the hotel. We rushed to get ready for a spa treatment. Andy is so sweet to endure my indulgence. We got a couples mud massage. It was AWESOME and much needed after the most stressful situation I had ever been put into in my life. It was so awesome. We both loved it. They even had a wellness pool which was like a huge hot tub that we used before getting our treatment. It was awesome! Amazing. Perfect.

Then we were off to the Gourmet restaurant.

We took like 10 shots and I am not even kidding the one above is the ONLY one where Andy's eyes are open. They all looked like the one below!

We have only been to a "Gourmet" restaurant one other time in Chicago when the dearest people ever took us to Everest. It was awesome. We were pretty sure we would never be back or to a French place anywhere again so we jumped at the chance. It was so fancy just like all the places at this hotel, but this place was just a little fancier even.

The pre-appitizer.

The onion soup that was the BEST soup I have ever tasted.

The Lobster appitizer, lobster is one of the great loves of my life. I was in Heaven because everywhere we went there was lobster!

This is how our dinner was served to us. This was my lobster. Isn't is beautiful. The best thing I have eaten pretty much ever.

Delicious Chocoalte Eclairs.

So good and amazing. Like the places you see in the movies, you know? So good. The food was the most delicious food I have ever eaten. Just so tasty and good. I had a little too much fun with the camera there too. Note all the pictures and videos. It was all like a dream.

Then we walked around for a little while took a stroll on the beach. It was Heavenly. I missed my cute little kiddos, don't get me wrong, it was just SO nice to have some time just Andy and I with the only noise being the sounds of the ocean. It was everything perfect. We got back to our room with more gifts. Who doesn't like gift once in a while. We each got beautiful wallets. They are awesome, we enjoyed our chocolates and fell asleep quickly.

The bar in the pool.

Everywhere you looked there were pools. Although we only saw two people in them the whole time we were there. It was so windy.

The next day, Saturday, was ours to do nothing whatsoever, other than a banquet that night. We just had to be at the stairs in the lobby at 6. We pretty much spent the whole morning on the beach or eating and having our tasty pinacoladas, non-alcoholic. I can't even tell you how many of those things we went through. It was a good thing there was no alcohol in it or we probably would not have remembered Saturday. We got back to our room around 4 and started getting ready. We arrived in the lobby to see them taking THE picture of everyone who made president's club. We were told to be there at 6 figuring the picture would be a little after, well they took it before. So Andy missed it. He was really sad. He got over it real quick. We waited for the banquet to get started. The weather was awesome. As we approached the seating table, I got a little nervous as to who we would be sitting by. We were called to table 13. We were sitting right next to two older doctors who have recently sold their practices to Heartland and work for them now, an awesome couple from Africa who practice in the states and the President of the company. The owner this past year turned it all over to him. I was a little nervous at first. What on earth would I have to talk to them about? It ended up being the best conversation we had with other people the whole weekend! It was so fun. They are so fun and so easy to talk to, it was only when they told me they were taking the private jet to Minneapolis the next day that I realized how far apart our two worlds really are. I love how grounded and normal they felt. It is refreshing. They had a nice dinner and awards and plaques and all that jazz. It was at this point I started feeling sad it was all over. Just one more day I wanted!

Note to self, wearing powder lighter than your skin proves to not be very good!

The owner of the company, Andy and the president.
My feet after my strappy shoes. They actually didn't hurt, just looked really bad!

We got back to our room and changed into more comfortable clothes and hit the show. It was really good and fun. When we got back to our room there was a beautiful frame with our picture in it from the first night. It was so good and such a fun thing to get! I just can't get over how beautiful the Jamaican people are. They have such wonderful high cheek bones and awesome bone structure. I am already reading a book about Jamaica and plan on learning a lot more about that beautiful country. We got back to our room and watched a movie and I think we ordered room service again. I was not hungry, I don't think Andy was either, but he liked the fact that everything was free. Not one single dime of his was spent. That was an added bonus I must say.

The next day we decided to get up real early and be one of the first ones on the beach and get the big beds out there. We succeeded. We started with breakfast first. I said on FB that for the past 6 weeks I have worked out about 6 times a week and probably sabotaged all my efforts due to this all inclusive resort. We stayed out there as long as we possibly could.

I finished my book so the rest of my time I spent with my ipod and

Andy was busy trying to finish his.

We took one more stroll on the beach all the way down past the resort where we went to some little crazy shops. The price was right at these little "stands" but it was a little interesting. Andy thinks we got a little high off just conversing with the people there.

We scored a few things to bring home, although I think the kids enjoyed the chips we brought home from the mini bar more than anything. We like the little things we got. Bennett's favorite thing was the $100 and $50 dollar bills we brought for him. Seems like big money to him. They both cost us under $2 dollars!

We went back to our room packed everything up and sat in the lobby till the bus was there to take us back to the airport. This is where the fun began. Their airport was crazy. Crazy lines I should say. We waited in line to get our tickets, then in line to check our bags then in line for immigration then in line for security then another security line. These weren't just your average lines. I am talking hundreds of people in each line. It was crazy. I was surprised we made our flight. We finally got on our plane and made it to Dallas where our flight was bumped and arrived home around 1 AM. Luckily my mom took off Monday so she slept at our house and allowed Andy and I to sleep in a little. It was a crazy long day that day, but all I kept saying was who cares, I was on the beach this morning!
We had to take a picture with this thing. The little boys love all things pirates.

IT was a wonderful trip. I cannot find the words to describe how thankful and grateful I am for this trip. The weeks leading up to this vacation were rough. I was so wore out from who knows what and needed a break in every since of the word. This hit the spot. It was surreal, it was beautiful it was perfect. Being there with the man I love most in this world just made it more perfect than I could describe. We could have gone anywhere and I would have loved it. Just him and me, once in a while, there is no other place to be. We did miss our kids and both said a few times, this is so great, but really being with our kids is the best. We really do feel that way, but as I said, this trip was perfect in every way. I am so thankful to Nicole Andy's 21 year old sister that not only did such a great job, every time we talked or texted {can't wait to get this cell phone bill!} she only reassured us how great the kids were and how much she loves them and loved being with them. IT was so so so nice to hear. I also need to thank my parents for helping out and watching them Saturday night and Sunday. I feel so lucky that my kids can spend time with them. When we got back all the laundry was done, our sheets were clean and Andy's clothes were ironed. My mom is superwoman I tell ya! I am too lucky! I also need to express how much we have enjoyed our time with this wonderful company. We just love Heartland Dental Care so much. It has been, other than picking our spouses, the best decision we have ever made. We feel very fortunate to be with such a great company. And last, but not least,{it sounds as if I have won an Academy Award!} I am so blessed to have Andy as my partner in crime. He works so hard all the time. He has shattered his goals at work and continues to amaze me by his hard work and love and dedication to the love of his life, the dental field. He truly loves his job. I have never ever heard him come home and complain about work ever. It is like he gets to go play everyday. Sure there are stressful moments, but he is doing what he was born to do. I am so proud of him. You are awesome Andy and thanks for picking me to share this awesome week with. After this weekend, do not expect me to ever rush you home, stay at the office as long as you need to honey. If it will get me more weeks like this past one, keep on keepin' on.


Anonymous said...

This was So fun to read! I'm so glad you guys had such a great time! I am completely jealous, but I will be in paradise (workin' my butt off, I know) soon enough, I guess. I love all the pictures. The people seem amazing! Oh man, and I would have Loved to be there hearing Andy imitate their accents, because I know it happened haha. That picture of him with his "game face" was the funniest! And the picture of your guys' feet with the beach and then the last one were so cute! Love you guys!


Anonymous said...

How Jealous am I?? Very!! What a wonderful getaway and congrats Andy for always being at the top of his game!! P.S. Terica you look terrific!!! I love that black and white dress and you tan just highlights everything!! Oh- and all the I'm in paradise faces helped out too!! Loves

Amber said...

What a dream. I would love to do something like that sometime. I am glad you were able to. You are such a cute couple.

Bonnie Wayne said...

That is AWESOME! I think you just TOTALLY sold me on Jamaica. And wow - that food looked so good too -hellloo!! And I am with you - I think its so healthy for couples to leave their kids once in awhile and have some good R and R together - nothing like it to rejunivate everything!