1) Early Mornings!
Mornings are the best time of the day for me! I love waking up early before everyone else in the villa and going outside with a hot cup of Blue Mountain coffee and just watching the sunrise. It’s the best time of day to see the colors of a new day breaking, anything from the different shades of indescribable blues, oranges, lilacs, yellows…… I don’t think they have those colors identified on the colour charts as yet. By the time you think of a colour name, its changed again into a different display of awe. The atmosphere is nice and quiet, the waking up of song birds, the breeze just starting to pick up rhythm and the Jamaican people getting energized for the new day of activities!
2) Jamaican Food!
No matter what country I have lived or travelled, I always feel the Jamaican cuisine has the most flavor, aromas and textures. The scotch Bonnet pepper plays an important part – I am more of a dipper into the pepper, not an outright eater of the pepper like some people I know! – but this single ingredient brings out the flavor to a newer level that I have never found elsewhere in the world. It is not only a hot pepper, it is a pepper with taste. When I come home, my chef knows I am looking for stew peas, escovitch fish, and jerk pork! Scotch Bonnet pepper is a part of all those dishes! The diet will come later! But the Jamaican tastes have to be now!
3) The People – so colorful and so much character!
When I go home to Jamaica, the most intriguing to me is the Jamaican language, patoi. I was born in Jamaica, educated in Canada – and yes, I understand Jamaican patoi. But over the past few decades, the language has evolved so much and I have to listen even more intently to catch the meaning. Sometimes I sit down with my housekeeper and she tells me new parables and phrases and we laugh, I try to imitate and we have such a good linguistic day! The Jamaicans are so imaginative, and I am amazed at the language that has been created on this island. It is a real linguistic craft that has to be enjoyed!
4) The Service in the Villa!
Where else in the world will I get my butler service with a Jamaican twist? I love waking up early in the mornings, but before I do, I know that my butler is way ahead of me. He has already set up the Blue Mountain coffee, and without hesitation…..I know it is already on a fresh brew. I stroll out and the doors are already open to the pool area and the pool chairs have been set and beach towels perfectly rolled with a touch of colour with a bougainvillea flower to give it the style of perfection. I know the dream team has already bought the freshest ingredients at the fresh market for the breakfast to come. But I don’t have to think about the logistics of that….. I am on the perfect villa vacation. It is my time to relax and enjoy my family. I know also that the housekeeping will be done, the villa always looks pristine! The laundry will be folded by the end of the day and I don’t even have to think of that. I just have to concentrate on the smaller things, like us getting a massage at the villa, and inspecting the different colors of blue in the sky while laying around our own private pool, the formation of small white clouds drifting by. The enjoyment of close family and friends, Jamaica gives the perfect villa vacation for me!
5) One of my favorite activities on any island for me!
I know that people who go to Jamaica a lot may want to skip seeing Dunns River Falls, but for me, it is like the fountain of youth! I was born in Jamaica and I have been going since I was a little girl. Today, I am still amazed at the formation of the rocks that the waterfalls pour over. I have taken my children there, my husband, his family, his friends, and anyone who has come from far and wide and they are amazed at Dunn’s River Falls. I can gaze at that seemingly endless amount of water that pours gracefully over the smooth rocks. I amaze myself so many times, when I look back at the steep falls and say, “My gosh, I really climbed that?!!” The water along is so refreshing, exhilarating in fact and it almost feels like a personal achievement has been accomplished. You can’t buy that feeling from anywhere else. You can’t box it nor can you buy it off of Amazon. It’s priceless. I always enjoy the lush greenery around the falls, the burst of blooms of red gingers, the tree canopy that stands majestically over the falls, the sounds of laughter of other people enjoying what I know is the same indescribable feeling you get when you go there. I always leave there amazed that Jamaica has this special God created wonder that is beautiful and leaves the soul refreshed. We are so lucky in Jamaica!