Tag Archives: jamaica

First visit to the Caribbean: Ocho Rios, Jamaica

This post is a blast-from-the-past. I started this blog after I retired in 2009 but we vacationed as a family since the boys were in diapers and experienced some amazing trips. So I figured I would go back and pull pictures from some of those old trips and post them on our blog.

Slide back the calendar back to 1989, I was working for Ross Perot at Perot Systems and Lynn was working at ABC News. We were referred to as Yuppies (Young Urban Professionals) and were making our first real money. We were living outside of Washington D.C. and did not have kids for another 4 years.

After working crazy hours at Perot, Lynn and I needed to get away. Neither of us had traveled much before and decided to take a trip to the Ocho Rios, Jamaica. We found an all-inclusive resort called Sandals and were bitten by the travel bug for the first time.  Here’s what Sandals looked like in 1989:

sandals-resort-1989

I found a picture of it today, the building itself has not changed much but they’ve greatly improved the pools, water sports area, and interior.

sandals-resort-2016

One of the first things we did once we arrived was to find the swim-up pool.

Sandles Ocho Rios

As you can see above, the swim-up bar was inviting but it looks very dated now. At the time, it blew us away. I found a picture of the pool today, quite a difference:

sandals-ocho-rios-today

We had an ocean-front villa. At the time, they were building Jetties so that they could have a calm area for water sports, like sailing and windsurfing.

ocean-front-sandals-jamaica

jetties-ocho-rios-jamaica-sandals

Fast forward to today — they have an incredible swim area. You can see where they eventually put docks on top of those jetties.

jetties-2016

This was the first time I’de ever windsurfed and it’s not as easy as it seems. I stayed in the water more than on top of the board. We also kayaked and enjoyed all the water sports they had to offer.

windsurfing

One of our favorite excursions was a sunset sail on the boat you can see in the picture above. Lynn and I got our first taste of Red Stripe beer, Rum Punch, and Reggae — it was awesome.

sailing-jamaica

We also visited Dunn’s River Falls. The Spaniards called the area “Las Chorreras”, the waterfalls or springs and it is truly one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Check out the video camera the guy was holding, this thing was huge!

dunns-river-falls-1989

If you’re curious, here is what Dunn’s River Falls looks like today.

dunns-river-falls-2016

I’ll leave you with a final picture of me playing volleyball, I did a lot of that on this vacation. For each activity you participated in, you received points. At the end of your stay, you could cash in the points for a leather necklace with sandals as the pendant. Last year I actually found a couple of those necklaces from this trip!

Check out all the Europeans with the speedos — I was not going there!

volleyball

I hope you enjoyed this blast-from-the-past. In the coming months I plan to document some of our earlier travels to give our kids a better glimpse of where we’ve traveled to.

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