When I tell you that we explored our options - I mean it. We literally looked into everything. It took us forever to decide. Finally, in March, (we weren't cutting it close or anything) we went and talked to our travel agent and finally made a plan: Jamaica!!! Neither one of us had ever been to Jamaica, and we have never stayed in an all-inclusive before, so this was perfect to try something new! We ended up booking 4 days and 3 nights at the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton Resort. We were flying out of Orlando, so we added a day in Orlando to both the front and back of the trip, so we ended up being gone for 6 days.
So excited to be hitting the road! En route from Valdosta to Orlando.
When we got to Orlando, we checked into our hotel and then headed to dinner. At our hotel, we opted for the "stay and play" option. That meant that we could pay a little extra to leave our car at the hotel while we were gone. Since we needed a night before and after our trip, we just stayed at the same place for both of those nights. For the first night, we got a suite (with what we needed for the stay and play, it didn't end up being any more expensive). It was a pretty nice room!
After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to Skype with the kids and get some rest. Our flight the next morning was leaving at 7:45, so we had to be at the airport pretty early in the morning.
Silly pictures for the kids. ;)
5:00 am shuttle to the airport!
Our first flight was a short one from Orlando to Ft. Lauderdale. Then we had a 5 hour layover in Ft. Lauderdale. Matt and I do not fly very often (the last time I flew was two years ago on my girl's trip to California), and I was suuuuper nervous. I am not a calm flyer!
Our friends Kayla and Andrew were flying out the same day (from a different airport) to the Dominican Republic. We had been talking with them for weeks about my huge anxiety about flying. We sent them this picture right before we boarded our first plane.
We flew Spirit Airlines for this trip. We had done some research before leaving and saw a lot of complaints about the size of the seats. We opted to upgrade our seats before we left, and we purchased the "big front seats" (basically their version of first class), and let me tell you, it was WORTH THE MONEY. We were very comfortable for all of our flights. Here's how much legroom that I had. Not bad!
Ready to go!
Our flight from Ft. Lauderdale to Jamaica didn't leave until a little after one, so we had to eat lunch in the airport. We took a picture and a little video to send to the kids because we were having FaceTime issues.
Sorry, Nathan's, this was pretty much the worst hotdog of my life.
When we landed in Jamaica, we got through customs and then had to take a 45 minute bus ride to our resort. By this time, I was exhausted. I think I dozed off a little bit on the way to the resort.
When we got to the resort, check-in took for.ev.er. It was really the only complaint that we had the whole time. But after a full day of traveling, my patience was just over with. From the time that we checked in to the time that we got to our room was over an hour. We were so so so happy with our room. Again, we had a suite, and it was beautiful. We also ended up with a corner room. That meant that we had two balconies. One looked out over the cliffs to the ocean, and the other looked out to a pool. Here is the view when you first walk into the room.
View out to the ocean
Hallway leading to the bathroom and bedroom.
Shower on the right, toilet on the left.
We didn't end up taking any more pictures this night. We were in a hurry for food. Jamaica is an hour behind us and I hadn't had anything to eat since my partial disgusting hotdog at the airport. By the time we made it to dinner, I was feeling horrible. Most of the resort (except for our room) didn't have air conditioning, so I had to adjust to being a little warmer (it really wasn't bad at all). But that combined with being super tired and lack of food just made for a bad combination. I felt like I was about to pass out, so I spent the entire dinner just slumped over the table and trying to eat some bread and drink some juice to try and get my blood sugar up. It was not fun! We ended up calling it a night early so that we could be rested and ready for a relaxing day the next day!