Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jamaica 2011 - Day 2-3

On Sunday we played ball hockey with the Jamaican kids of the staff that worked at the resort. None of these kids had ever held a hockey stick before so it was kinda fun teaching them how shoot and not high stick each other and all of that. There were other Canadian families at the resort and we let some of the other kids play. We had one of our guys sing the Canadian anthem and someone in the Jamaican group sang theirs. We provided a goalie and one Canadian kid playing forward that was put on the Jamaican team was a real ringer. He scored all of their goals and it was great to see his team congratulate him! The kids from Jamaica learned quick by watching him where you go and what you do. Pretty soon we had cherry pickers all in front of the Canadian net but that left no defenceman at the Jamaican end (led to a few 7 on none breakaways). After the kids game and the handshake lineup and group photo the adults wanted to play us. Oh man, I was not expecting that. 

Us older Canucks got together and decided that we would show them the passing game, pass 5 or 6 times before we took a shot. There were two guys from Toronto who were not part of our group and they wanted to play on team Jamaica. We didn't have enough adult sized sticks so I took the big one I had and gave it to someone on the other side and ended up with a kid's stick that came up to my waist (grin). That passing game went out the window real quick. I was at the side of the net and someone centered and I grabbed it and had two whacks at it before getting it back and hopping a lob over the pad of the downed goalie. Oops... Then it was a shooting gallery. Sorry guys, It's a Canadian thing. I'm not sure what happens when hockey sticks come out but national pride takes over and suddenly your only focus is putting that puck or ball past that line into the net as many times and as fast as humanly possible. It was a lot of fun. At one point one of our defensemen cleared and two guys on the other team sort of did a jump shot with their sticks and just about tapped the ball down from 15 feet in the air. I guess we didn't go over that rule, but no one got hurt and everyone still has the teeth they started with.They beat the hell out of us at beach volleyball afterward!

Our kids hit the waterslides and lazy river and pools after lunch and our group grabbed a big chunk of real estate at the bottom of the water slides which happened to be right outside our rooms. You could keep a great eye on the kids as they ran up the towers because eventually, depending on the lineups (sometimes there were none) they would come popping out of one of the two chutes. Our youngest daughter mostly traversed the lazy river in a tube and at 6 years old she could touch in all of the places in the water except one.

That night at the stage they had a fire eater and a guy on stilts that made balloon animals. The Balloon guy had made a pile of swords and all the kids were running around whacking each other on the heads with balloon rapiers. The Fire guy set fire to himself (including his junk at one point) and it makes you wonder how he learned to do that to himself. Being from Canada, it's not something we seem to be interested in here. Our eldest daughter wanted a bit of a break so we let her stay back in the room and we gave her an FRS radio and took one of the others and kept in contact that way (Costco man, set of three with batteries and a charger! we used those things the whole trip!). Unfortunately when she turned on the TV it was set to a Japanese sci fi channel that scared her a bit and when she couldn't figure out how to switch to the Cartoon Network she called us because it was freaking her out.

Luckily Empire strikes back was on! It was like being back at home in our own house! 

The next day I borrowed a friend's underwater camera and went snorkeling in the coral reefs for a couple of hours. It was awesome! I saw tons of fish and crabs and brain coral and sea anemones and sea urchins and star fish. I was thinking of going on a dive while there but with this set or reefs just off our beach there was no need, I could get my underwater fix right here! I took some video but found out after that I had it set to low def 15 frames per second. I'll have to take it out again and ramp up the settings. As I was leaving I found a big 40 foot drop off on the far side which I wanted to come back and check out. There were some coral caves and there had to be interesting fish down in there at the mouth of those. At that point I looked out into the deep blue sea and felt a little like the clown fish in "Finding Nemo" in that anything big coming out that that open water would make me uncomfortable. Time to get back into the coral channels!

That afternoon the first of the "Spring Breakers" arrived from the US and spiced up our trip. At 5:00pm when the water park shut down they discovered the waterslide and spend some time running down it dry, drunk and screeching and yelling and then cannon balling into the shallow water at the bottom. Thinking they were going to kill themselves, or break the equipment and ruin part of my kids vacation, I called security. The line was busy. Apparently most people there were calling security. Before I got off the phone someone from the hotel was getting them all off the slides and shooing them all over to the other side. I found out later that the pirate ship play structure in the pool was closed just because of the Spring Breakers because they try to kill themselves on it doing drunken high-dive antics. As we went to dinner that day I saw nurse Ratchet again tending to some young ladies who had drank themselves silly a few hours into their arrival (I wonder how much that costs?). 
We had dinner in the Italian restaurant that night and the waiter made up a table for the kids who ended up behaving beautifully. In the end it was the adult table that got shushed because we were getting out of hand. At the kids table once they finished eating they whipped out the Apple Itouches and Nintendo DS's and kept themselves entertained. That night Dan got dragged up on stage to be the entertainment in some kind of dance off/ drinking game. I ran up to the side of the stage and snapped a picture of him and the next thing I knew I was dragged up on stage as well (for taking a picture). Three other guys were chosen including "Mr Bacon", a portly gentleman from from the US who I recognized from the Breakfast buffet who loaded his plate up with a foot high of bacon each morning. We had to do a five step dance and at the end of the dance we had to run and get a shot of vodka from any of the nearby bars. The last guy up on stage got to drink all the shots poured into one glass. Newsflash, I don't drink so I was not gonna lose this thing. The bartenders are watching the show so they give you a bit of grief when you bolt to the table and scream at him for a shot of vodka. They take their time so you have to win it in a footrace back through a maze of chairs and then back onto the stage. The stage was pretty big and had two stairways on either side but from my former life I know that if a stage is just over waist high to me I can jump it safely. Mr Bacon went down first, followed by everyone except me and Dan so even though I made it back ahead of everyone each time, i didn't win because when it was down to just two of us they declared Dan the winner and he had to drink the Vodka. Oh well! Worked out for the best! I love how they take us vacationers and make us the entertainment! Before I go down again I have to enroll in Hip Hop Dance lessons (or maybe erotic pole dancing, it aligns more with what they make you do there BAM BAM!).

As we made our way back to our room we saw the moon. It was directly overhead. I'm talking smack dab in the middle of the sky. very cool. That night we were woken up by Spring Breakers at 3:00am returning from the bars. They kind of forgot what room they were in and were banging on doors when the key would not open. I went out to introduce myself real polite like and asked them to take it down a notch and met some lovely ladies from Ithaca University. The least drunk in her group (she was just swaying slightly side to side while her other friends needed to lean on the wall and or each other) was trying to shut her friends up because when you're that drunk in Jamaica you have a need to speak at full volume for some reason. One of the leaners looked at me and asked her friend-post "IS HE REALLY THERE?". I made a face and shushed her explaining that I have two kids and I do not want to have to deal with them waking up at 3:00am and she turned back to her friend and said "HE MUST BE REAL HE JUST SHUSHED US!" Her leaning post asked "WHERE ARE YOU FROM? WE'RE FROM ITHACA!". 

They were polite and all, just drunk and loud. I'm going to get my kids to run up and down the terrace banging pots and pans at 7:00am tomorrow.

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