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Full-time photographer, mom-boss, wife, and dog lover. Probably binging a true crime podcast while I edit. Speaks fluent memes + sarcasm, but loves people. Welcome to my blog.

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rachael

4/08/2014

Vacation | Part II

Ready for Part II? (if you missed Part I check it out!) I am, except it means this is it – all the photos I have of our trip have been taken and it’s over now, alive only in memory. *sniffle* #dramadramadrama ūüėČ

Ha. Sorry….Anyway! Back to the fun stuff and so reviews of the resort in case I can talk any of you, my lovely friends, into going (hint: you should). We stayed at the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, which is an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort in Runaway Bay, Jamaica (not too far from the Ocho Rios area). We loved it! We’ve only done all-inclusives once before (we stayed here on our honeymoon five years ago and adored every second) so we are hardly experts in the area but we (David and I) find them to be a great (and not unreasonably priced) way to vacation worry-free. Additionally, now as parents, we found it to be incredibly helpful as it meant doing everything on a toddler’s schedule was easy-breezy and it allowed us to stay comfortably at the resort during our trip without having to locate restaurants or entertainment elsewhere. Anything that makes vacationing with a toddler in my book gets major thumbs-up props!

Obviously, the resort was beautiful. The weather, too, was perfection itself Рespecially after experiencing the never-ending-winter that was Narnia Illinois this past season. Oh and did I mention the resort had coffee? All the time? On the beach? Dark, bold coffee on demand? #shamelesscoffeeaddict The vacation mastermind relaxing. Love him.
^ Sorry, but baby butts are cute. I dare you to disagree.¬†And this girl…oh this girl. She was made for vacations. She had a wonderful time and took to the beach immediately. The staff called her “Princess Smoothie” and “Little Diva” – nicknames her habit of demanding (she would literally smack the counter and yell – so graceful, my daughter is) smoothies and fresh juice from the bar multiple times a day earned her.I mean….how CUTE is she?!?! I die.I know as a mother I am probably biased toward my child, but I swear she gets cuter every day.¬†My favorite shades had to accompany me everywhere….I know, they look better on Aria (everything does), but they’re still my favorite.¬†Shameless DSLR selfie right there, that is. ūüėȬ†This baby girl just has my heart. Love her.¬†And how cool are these swing chairs?! I want one…or five….for my backyard. #pleaseandthankyou¬†Let me take a minute to rave about the staff at our resort. Y’all – OH MY GOODNESS. They were just WONDERFUL. Just the sweetest, kindest, most fun people. Honestly, by the end of our trip, they felt like friends, not staff. Seriously. They warmed up to Aria immediately and were so overwhelmingly sweet to her. They took time to talk to us personally, get to know our family, and share about themselves as well. I honestly have never encountered such amazing resort staff before….I cannot say enough nice things about them, and I only wish they could all stumble on this post so I could give the most heartfelt THANK YOU, YOU GUYS ROCK!!! to each and every one of them. They made our vacation ever so much better just by being a part of it. I would love to go back and reconnect with them again.¬†The resort had plenty of fun and relaxation – volleyball, yoga, dancing, and water sports for those seeking some fun, lots of shade and peaceful spots to curl up with a book or nap, and loads of white sand and these nifty water-net things (so you could tan and float in the ocean, complete with drink holders) for the sun-bathing crowd.¬†The resort is made up of these perfectly picturesque little villas that open onto the beach. Ours looked like this (complete with the giant standing fan my husband walked to the local store to buy just for the week because – hello – who could possibly sleep without a giant fan…sorry David. Love you…and your fan addiction!).¬†And those rooms open up to this…….Have I sold you on the merits of this resort yet?¬†There are several restaurants – a Thai one, a seafood place that also has some fantastic jerk chicken, and a large buffet that had a great mirror for more shameless selfie taking.¬†And you get to enjoy your meal – whichever restaurant you choose – with lovely ocean views. So nice.¬†The entire time, I kept (probably driving him crazy) telling David that I would do anything to shoot a wedding at this resort. It would make the perfect destination wedding getaway. One of my goals on my bucket list is to shoot destination weddings…..someday!¬†We didn’t do much in the way of excursions off the resort, mainly because our number one aim was to just relax and disconnect from the world so we could reconnect with each other (this included a no cell phones being turned on rule and extremely limited internet access – which, honestly, speaking as a total Facebook and internet addict was one of the best decisions we could have made on vacation. Sometimes unplugging is so good!). We did however do a trip to see the Dunn River Falls – sadly, I did not bring my camera since we were told we would be able to do the climb with a toddler. Let me clear something up – NO YOU CANNOT. There is no way in heck you should even think about attempting it with a small child. That is crazy talk, and even my happily-has-surfed-with-sharks, jumps-off-bridges-for-fun husband agrees with me there. However, you can still do the boardwalk with small kids and it is just as lovely to look at (albeit less adventurous) and you absolutely could take a camera. So…sad face here that I missed out on that, but oh well. We still had a great time.

The only other trip we did (other than to locate a pharmacy for more diapers and baby butt rash cream…oh the glamour of parenthood!) was into downtown Ocho Rios for some shopping and street photography (ok, I was in it for the photography, husband was in it to locate an hour of free wifi and an iced coffee).

I was glad we got off the resort and got to see some of the real “normal” Jamaica.¬†Our excursions always get cut short by nap times…..of course, as soon as we get back to the resort she always wakes up on cue. And once we get home? Naps? Forget about it. ūüėČ #mommyproblems #lifewithatoddlerI had to take a photo of the sign because it says “haberdashery” and that, my friends, is just a fantastic word that we do not use nearly enough state-side.¬†Shopping at the local market.¬†Oh the flowers! After a long winter of grey and brown, the vibrant colors everywhere were like medicine to my soul.¬†Goodbye, Jamaica. xoxo.

Want to know anything else about our trip? I’m happy to share information and travel tips about it or any other trips we’ve taken (we’re something of avid travel junkees in the Osborn household) – just shoot me a comment or an email! And I would still love to hear your favorite vacation spots!

 

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