Day 5 – Ya, mon – Jamaica! – last port of call on this trip. We docked at a nice, new port built by Royal Caribbean Cruise Line and took a trolley tour first. When we left the port area, it was quite a different look at Falmouth. The downtown area was old and lots of people were out on the streets; among them, a man selling porridge from a bucket on a corner we rounded and a young guy smoking pot under a shade tree. Our guide told us marijuana is legal in Jamaica, so ‘no problem, mon.’ We passed historical buildings and stopped to dip our toes in the turquoise Caribbean. There was a man nearby showing off a huge turtle and selling his trinkets. I thought it was a little bit sad, but our guide told us there are so many mango, avocado, and breadfruit trees, no one goes hungry in Jamaica.
I know you think we’d be done shopping by now, but not quite. We split up back at the port, and Kelly, Hannah, and Yvette got their hair braided Jamaican-style. The rest of us looked in various shops and were happy to find the Jamaican people polite and gentle; not nearly as aggressive as the vendors in Cozumel. I looked for a chocolate shop and asked everyone I could, but was told there is no chocolate shop in Falmouth. I checked out a store named Sugar, and when I asked about chocolates, they pointed to a shelf of Baby Ruth, Snickers, and other American candy bars. I didn’t buy.
Casey, my son, had waited all week for some authentic Jamaican jerk chicken. He found an open-air restaurant, sandwiched between two different Jamaican bands playing happy music. We thought it was delightful. There was a nice breeze blowing through the restaurant, and a parade of tourists riding Segways down the street. It seemed the perfect place, so we all ordered jerk chicken plates and it was amazing! Much more flavorful than any other I’ve had. Of course, most of us bought bottles of jerk chicken seasoning.
After lunch, grandson Kyle took me to see a man under a tent with lots of colorful, carved wooden items. Kyle had already bought a shark and told me the man makes pretty good deals. I negotiated for a large (2′ x 2′) hand-carved wooden angel fish. Then I bought a Jamaican Christmas ornament next door. Shopping – finally done!
Kyle and I were hot and thirsty so went into an open-air bar and ordered bottles of water. After we left, a man came running after us with my big fish. I had left it sitting on a bar stool. Then the bartender came running; I also forgot to sign our tab. I decided it was time to get out of the sun. We sat on a bench in the shade to wait for the others. Kyle told me he loves his bamboo (fabric) shorts that he got in Cozumel, and he wants some more. But, he does not want to have to do that dance again that he did to get a discount. Ha! I love that boy!
Days 6 & 7 – Back on the ship, we had two days at sea before reaching our disembarkment port in Galveston. Everyone made the most of it; Miss Hannah climbed a rock wall, Kyle won 2nd place in a ping-pong tournament; Yvette went surfing on deck; Casey spent time in the casino, Kelly danced in the disco lounge and took a Zumba class; I took a class in how to fold towels to make those animals they leave on your bed. Brian was a real soldier. He went along and watched it all with his injured foot propped up on his one-knee scooter. We all watched movies at night on the Lido deck; also watched the belly flop and sexiest man alive contests. Everyone was happy and no one complained. Can you even imagine how much I love my family? Way, way more than chocolate, beaches, gypsies, or pirates.
Day 8 – It had been a fabulous week, but it was good to put my feet down on Texas soil again. Next stop – Russell Stover Chocolates in Corsicana on our way home to Dallas.