Continuing the adventures from last year's family vacation. Catch up here, here, and here.
We arrived in Jamaica, and it was foggy as heck. Much like my mind was that day. I was excited to finally be in Jamaica, but I was very nervous, as it was the day we were going white water rafting! Out of 24 family members, 13 of us ventured out for white water rafting, something I had never done before. There was also another family of four that joined us for the excursion, whom I felt sorry for because we're a pretty rowdy group! And I should also note that I'm not the most graceful person in the world. In fact, if someone is going to end up being hurt in some way, shape, or form, it's most likely going to be me. It's just how it goes! But Jamaica was pretty and exactly like I had imagined from pictures and movies.
We got off the ship and waited for a bus to take us to our rafting spot. Let me just say that the people in Jamaica are SO NICE! The lady in charge of all the buses was super sweet and kept asking us all kinds of questions and answering ours in return. And then there was our bus driver. I don't recall his name, but he was spectacular! He was funny and knew a lot about the area, so we got a pretty good history lesson on the drive to our location. And along the way, he stopped for beer. For us! He came out with a crate full of Red Stripe beer for all to enjoy. I didn't partake, seeing as I'm not a big beer drinker, but there were some pretty happy tourists, let me tell ya!
Not a sad face in the bunch! And the smiles never left our faces. We arrived at our destination and got suited up with life jackets, helmets, and oars. We were then split up into the different rafts and introduced to our instructors. These guys were hilarious. The entire time we were rafting down the river, they were trying to catch up to each other and splash the other rafts. It made for a pretty entertaining ride, especially when someone fell overboard! And no, that someone was not me! Thank goodness. It was our guide. He tried to pull a 360 for our raft, hit a rock, and fell out. We were a bit concerned while he was in the water, but he got back in in no time at all and laughed about it the rest of the way down stream.
I learned a few things white water rafting that day. 1). It's fun! It was good upper body exercise and was tons of fun being on the water. 2). I can't rope swing. Never, ever in a million years will I ever try to do it again. Just, no. Along the course of the river, there's a spot all the guides pulled their rafts over to and you could rope swing into the water if you wanted. Well, several of us jumped at the chance and went for it! And several of us learned we should never do it again. I'm pretty sure I bellyflopped and hurt for a few days afterwards, but it was still fun. Just, never again. White water rafting? Yes. Rope swings? No. Lesson learned.
Once we reached the end of the ride, a little boat came and tied all of our rafts together to take us to shore. The river emptied into the ocean, which was pretty awesome! They had a little gift shop set up on the beach and we definitely hit it up. Then we all relaxed a bit - some enjoyed a few beers, some of us swam along the beach, and some rinsed off and waited for the bus after shopping around.
The entire excursion was perfection and I'm so glad I decided on it. I was a little leery about white water rafting from the moment my parents mentioned wanting to do it and asked if I wanted to do it with them. In the end, I'm very thankful for getting to experience it with my family and have the time of my life. It was really fun, and it's definitely something I'll never forget.
Jamaica was fun. Exhausting, but fun. I was definitely ready for a shower and bed that night out of all of them. Excursions were done with. No more stopping in ports. We were officially headed back to the U.S. and my first cruise was coming to a close with memories to last me a lifetime!