Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Off to Jamaica

On Thursday morning, May 23, I was out the door at 6 AM -- with a temperature of only 46 degrees (7 C)-- to get a taxi ride to the airport. I was off on a 7:30 AM flight to Atlanta. One thing that didn't make the trip was the computer and  truly it was fun to travel a bit light!

Once in Atlanta I quickly found information about the gate for my flight to Montego Bay. The train that provides transit between concourses stopped a very long time at each concourse and since I had to travel from Concourse A to Concourse E, this train ride took a bit of time. I got to the gate for the flight to Montego Bay and got to sit down for one whole minute before boarding. Then I was off to Montego Bay.

Much to my surprise the line for passport control was very long. I thought that perhaps late May would be the start of the low tourist season. Once through passport I changed a bit of money into Jamaican currency, then found my bag and was off to the "Authorized Taxi" desk.

After days and days of rain I was ready for some sun. The cloudy view was discouraging.

Soon I arrived at the Hotel Rose Hall.

The entrance area has a charming fountain.

My purpose for going to Jamaica was to attend the Fulbright Academy Global Health Summit. Thus we had a conference rate for our hotel rooms. I wasn't expecting to get ocean view. When I entered my room the curtains were drawn over the window. Moving them aside I was pleased to see I had something other than parking lot view. 

 I wandered around the grounds trying to get oriented. 

Here's the view of the pool and the ocean from the second floor terrace. 

I found what I see from the room is the Wedding Chapel. 

The resort has an inclusive policy. Everyone wears a plastic bracelet to show they are registered guests. All food and most drinks are covered within the daily rate. This was my first experience with such a policy. It is most convenient to not have to pay for everything each time, and there are no tips. What made me somewhat uncomfortable is that there is also no rubbish bins. If one gets a drink in plastic glass, you simply leave it when you are done and someone picks up after you. 

The hotel has one large restaurant which serves meals buffet. That is where I headed for some supper. 

I had food on the plane so I was very hungry. Above is stuffed flounder and some sugar cane. I never could figure out how to eat the sugar cane. I couldn't cut it nor could I bite it. 

While eating a woman at the next table began talking to me. We discovered we were both there for the same conference and that's how I met a professor from Simmons College.

After eating I went out to the terrace and enjoyed the evening show. 

This was a nice jazz group. 

A great first day in Jamaica.

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