Heyyyyyooo. How’s it going? How’s your week been? Summer is about to be gone, which is so sad. But you know what isn’t? College football starting back this weekend (I mean, a couple games, but still).
It was so nice to get away and go to Jamaica last week with Daniel. I’ve been meaning to do a post on it because I’ve been getting all the questions – basically, since we got there!
It came at a really great time. I didn’t feel so great Saturday, but I woke up Sunday (at 4 am) READY TO GO. We flew out of Atlanta (we always try to travel as inexpensive as we can) and y’all, everything was perfect. Not one thing went wrong. Perfect check in. Perfect trip through TSA. I got an amazing burrito while we waited to board (and FYI, that pic Daniel posted was NOT me eating two burritos. It was one, and we split it. Although, I am not above having my own burrito, or two for that matter. #GirlsWhoEat). Flight was great. The Jamaican airport people said that the line to get through customs was the smallest they’ve seen in awhile. The company who shuttled us from the airport (Reggae Tours) was ready to go when we were. Basically, we didn’t have to wait for anything. Shoutout to our travel agent, Mitch, from Trip Guy for always setting everything up. I mean, I guess that’s what travel agents do, but he always gets us great deals and takes care of everything for us. We’ve sent other people to him too, so if you want his info, let me know, and I’ll get it to you.
I discovered “Big Little Lies” on the airplane (the HBO show based on the book). I fell in love with it from the beginning. Pretty cool too because the book is by the same author who wrote the book I brought to read on vacay (What Alice Forgot).
OK! The fun part! We stayed at the Excellence Resort – Oyster Bay. It was a 35 min drive from the airport. We enjoyed the drive. It was cool to see 35 min worth of Jamaican sites (Montego Bay style, so not the MOST authentic, but still).
Ok, before we jump into the details… I think it’s really important to get away and get out of town with your husband/wife. It doesn’t have to look like 5 nights in Jamaica. It could be a road trip, or a weekend exploring a new city. And I’m sure if you have kids, it’s even more important. I am realllllll thankful Daniel likes to get out of town with me every now and then.
Ok, back to the details.
If you’ve ever been to an Excellence Resort, you know you are getting the HOOK UP. You get champagne firs thing, and you’re told “WELCOME HOME” as soon as you get out of the car. We got a quick golf cart tour of the property as we drove to the Club Lounge. We’ve never done the Club before because, let’s be real…we’re just happy to be in any room there. But we took advantage of it this time. We got some chicken wings and plantains and a rum punch (prob the hotel’s favorite) found a spot on the beach and relaxed. It was a little cloudy, but we didn’t care at all.
Our room was BEAUTIFUL (as expected). We had our own little private pool and deck, which came with a (small) view of the ocean. There is a Jacuzzi hot tub in every room too, and a stocked mini bar, and unlimited mnms. Also, I appreciate how the Excellence keeps the rooms stocked with bottled water. And then, there is water everywhere! Necessary.
The restaurants were all great. There is a nice buffet for breakfast that we did most days. Breakfast buffet. That’s my jam. We went to the club restaurant called Magna for breakfast one morning. It was good, and I loved the view, but we like to eat a little of everything, so you better believe we hit up that buffet most days.
I literally only ate patties for lunch. Jamaica is known for their patties. I went to Jamaica with a friend and her family in high school, and we stayed in a little cute beach shack in Negril (public beach) so I would buy and eat authentic patties every day from a lady on the beach. These weren’t as authentic, but they were good. A patty is definitely something I wouldn’t eat a whole lot of at home. It is literally a hot pocket with chicken or beef. But in Jamaica, I ate all the patties. There are so many lunch options (restaurants, room service, and/or the food they have out at the bar daily) but I just wanted patties. Daniel usually had jerk chicken wings.
The dinner restaurants are similar to other Excellence resorts. There isn’t a Mexican or an Indian restaurant though. Sad. I wish they made up for this by having an authentic Jamaican restaurant. But it’s all good. The service was great, and the food felt so fancy because it was always presented so nicely. It was really good too. We had everything from sushi to steak to chicken and shrimp, to lamb, and I am probably forgetting a lot. Oh, there is a Hibachi area in Spice (Japanese and sushi restaurant) but you have to make reservations. We did one night, and it was the best hibachi experience of our lives. We instantly became friends with the couples there (one from Louisiana, one from Texas, and one from Georgia). It was a guy’s 60th bday, so the waitress kept brining us sake. The club restaurant (magna) was so amazing. It alone makes it worth doing the club.
Let’s see…. Ok, if you look at Trip Advisor, there can be some slightly negative reviews. I would say that while we didn’t have someone waiting on us at the beach/pool area 24/7, we still feel like the service was great. And honestly, we prefer getting up and getting our own drinks anyway. The bars are all so close by, so we hit them all up throughout the day.
In the afternoons, we would go to the Club pool. It is a beautiful infinity pool. The service was always really good there.
The entertainment was great (but noting any more special than other all inclusive resorts). I’m glad we saw that Pop show though. One night there was a Bob Marley tribute band, and… phenomenal. Loved it so much. That was probably my favorite night.
We loved every single person we met that works here. They were all hilarious. Helpful, but still not super serious. We like that. I wrote a review on Trip Advisor here (my first one actually) where I mentioned names of some of the staff.
We did the hydro spa thing. Ok, truthfully, I would rather it just be a sauna, steam room, and a cool water bucket drop thing (hot and cold) than all the fancy stuff they do. I would have liked to have gone multiple times during our stay, but only used the sauna and steam room and cold water thing). If you can do that first thing in the morning, it makes you feel like a brand new person.
Ok, I am probably forgetting some details, so if you have any questions, ask me.
WORKOUTS: All workouts done in 40 ish min or less. Nothing was done at crazy high intensity or anything, but somehow my heart rate was sky hiiiigghhh. In the past, I would spend a little longer in the hotel gym, but it seems like every year, I spend less and less time there. I am thankful for that..ya know? Daniel also went every day. He had to make sure he kept those thunderbro arms. He would leave a little before me, pick up some coffee on the way back, and have it ready for me when I got back to the room. He’s the best.
Sunday: traveled and then no time for working out because too much champagne and patties.
Monday: Truform/Assault runner style treadmill warmup
4 Rounds (70% effort because you know…)
-400 meter run on truform/assault runner style treadmill that felt way tougher than the last assault runner I ran on
-20 weighted box step ups (15 Kilo KB – 35 ish lb) – alternate legs
-20 1 arm thrusters (switch every 10 reps)
-20 1 arm hang snatch (switch every 10 reps)
-20 ring rows (made them not very challenging)
-3 rounds of 30 russian twists with 20 lb medball
Tuesday: Run 2 miles (mostly on beach, but not fast at all, and wave to everyone you see)
**One of the grounds workers actually watched me do this entire workout. I would stop every now and then to talk to him and/or wipe my burning eyes (eyelash probs)
Truform/Assault runner style treadmill warmup
Back Squats from rack (increase weight each set)
10 KB Swings in between each set (American, with 15 Kilo KB – 35 ish lb)
**Ok, I can convert kilos to lbs, but for real, when you just keep adding weight, it can be so tricky. When I competed in Iceland, Taylor and Colin made me a cheat sheet, which was helpful. I def should have brought it here. I had my running shoes on, and by the time I got to 5 reps, I was already at 80% of my 1RM, which wouldn’t be bad at all if I were warmed up and not 4 days in on vacation. Anyway, after that, I quit adding weight, and it was still tough, even at 1 rep.
Row 50 cal
100 Box Step Ups – 20 inch box(alternating – no weight)
Row 50 cal
800 meter tru form/assault runner style run. On this one, you could bump the resistance up, so I did that, but then I walked some on it, so that prob defeated the purpose.
100 DB hang clusters (hang squat cleans) for time (2 dumbbells – weight for the dumbbells is still undetermined, but I think if you convert, it was 27 lb/each?)
EMOM (including 0:00) stop and do 5 burpees
Then: For time: 50 hollow rocks
Then (a few hours later): pool aerobics and pool stretching. It was delightful.
Friday: We left this day around noon. I realized how nice it was to be in the pool and stretch in the pool, so before breakfast, I stretched a little in our little private pool and then did some yoga in our little terrace thing.