You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Beach’ tag.

So this past week I was in Vegas. It was 85 every day. At home in New York? An icy 62. If you are like me and you prefer your balmy 80-plus-degree climate to your rainy, chilly and somehow STILL humid weather, I suggest you check out this deal.

Harbor Beach Marriot Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale is offering a Name Your Rate Sundays package. Huh? Guests who stay three nights, including Sunday, can name their own price for Sunday night with no minimum rate!

With the money saved feel free to treat yourself to a dinner at one of the hotel’s restaurants, go parasailing, indulge in some spa pampering, or what have you. Seriously. There is NO minimum amount for your Sunday stay.

This package is available through December 22 with rates starting at $229 per night.

Note: For reservations click here and use promotional code DOD.

Advertisements

This is a tale of midget Jamaican pirates, luxury suites and jerk pork, or as I like to call it: Meagan Does Jamaica.

This past weekend was a milestone for trippin: a travelogue. We hit our 20th country…and it was awesome. First and foremost, I stayed at Half Moon, a luxury resort right on the water in Montego Bay. (I was in Jamaica for a travel conference and was put up there by our hosts. I don’t typically put myself up at five-star resorts.)  My room, a whopping three times the size of my Queens apartment, overlooked the bay and the fridge was stocked with Red Stripes. I love you, Jamaica.

Without a doubt the most popular destination in the Caribbean for tourists, Jamaica has been thoroughly ransacked by the tourism industry. International hotel chains flank the beaches, souvenir shops are bursting at the seams with Bob Marley paraphernalia and Jamaican flags with the silhouette of a pot leaf pressed proudly in the middle, and abject poverty sits right alongside the all-you-can-eat lobster and all-you-can-drink daiquiri resorts.

But through it all, Jamaica manages to retain a very real part of its heritage, most notably in its food. One of the most famous jerk restaurants in Jamaica is Scotchies, a roadside jerk pit between the Sangster International Airport and the stretch of beach hotels. Once a pit stop for the traveling Jamaican, Scotchies has very much become a tourist attraction – but its food has not suffered. I opted for the half-pound jerk pork with sides of sweet potato, breadfruit and festival (a cruller-type bread). Note: If you haven’t had anything “jerk” style…well…you best get on that now. Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica. Meats are dry-rubbed or wet marinated with a sizzling mixture of pimento and Scotch bonnet peppers along with some other spices. You can look it up. Anyway, it makes food succulent, spicy and now my mouth is watering.

And now for the part I’m sure you have all been waiting for. When someone mentions midget Jamaican pirates, they had better deliver. Our last night in Jamaica our group of journalists was sent to check out Jamaica’s newest tourist attraction: Captain Hook Pirate Show and Dinner Cruise. Picture this: About 20 actors dressed up as pirates hijack you on a dinner cruise and put on some sort of ridiculous buccaneer routine complete with dancing, audience participation and dinner. Yes, don’t worry – the price of your ticket ($95) includes unlimited alcohol. We were taken out of the new cruise port in Falmouth around the bay while pirates danced to Michael Jackson, real canons were fired and a midget pirate swung from ropes and leapt onto the laps of women. Ahh slapstick comedy and midget humor.

Look – I’m not recommending this to anyone who wants to see Jamaica. And truth be told, you have to look hard to find the real Jamaica because it has been manhandled by the tourism industry so much that it’s pretty much beyond recognition. But this is the Jamaica of today and it is absolutely a great escape for someone looking to lay on a beach and eat some good food. And if you want to see some pirates dance around for you and embarrass the audience, I’ll tell you that I actually ended up dancing with a couple swash bucklers, laughing and having a pretty good time. But you did not hear that from me.

A lot of my single friends say I’m crazy for being in a relationship. You’re 22, they say. You should be out doing the “single & mingle” scene. You’re only seeing one guy? Life is too short!

Ok, so maybe they have some points. But, then again, none of them have ever dated a travel writer – and one who just so happens to whisk me off to exotic locations whenever he can. We just got back from a three day tryst to the British Virgin Islands, where we stayed at Scrub Island Resort, a brand new luxury property on a private island. The bill was comped, the booze was flowing and the sun was oh-so-hot. Relationships don’t look so bad now, do they?

This is a shot of our one-bedroom suite. The resort wasn’t completely finished when we were there (the fella was sent on assignment for the pre-opening to review the property) but all of the guest rooms were complete. Ours was equipped with a full kitchen, living room, two flatscreen televisions and two bathrooms.

 

 

 

Me posing Sports Illustrated-style outside The Baths, huge rock formations that are a major draw of the British Virgin Islands. I’m no 10 out of 10 but come on…now that’s a picture. Well done, boyfriend. Well done.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Spelunking through The Baths, snorkeling in the crystal clear Caribbean water (swimming so close to neon-colored fish that they practically copped a feel), dining on fresh mahi mahi, seared tuna, conch fritters and endless glasses of wine and spending each day cruising tiny islands on a private boat (with bottomless glasses of rum punch) were certainly highlights. But the part of the trip I’ll always remember didn’t happen at the resort. Hell, it happened at a seedy boat-house bar where everyone went barefoot and pictures of topless girls and bare man-ass plastered the walls: Willy T’s.

 

As part of the “true” British Virgin Island experience, we were taken to this popular Caribbean hotspot, where nudity (and I’m certain STDs) are as common as the Caribbean mosquitos. Here we downed the traditional BVI drink, a “painkiller,” composed of coconut milk, pineapple juice, orange juice and a lethal serving of rum. After several of these and a trip down the slopes with the shot ski (a contraption designed for four people to take a shot at once) I was ready to get a little crazy. Relax, there was no nudity. I still want to make Mom proud.

 

 

But I did get inspired to jump off the roof of the boat. Now, I’m no dare devil. I snuck out of the house when I was 16 once…and I walked to the end of the block, got scared and walked back. So this was a big deal for me. And I have to tell you, the rush for the four seconds that I was airborne was totally worth it. I felt invigorated. The fella and I decided to jump at the same time, “you jump, I jump, Jack”-style. We wasted no minutes. One, two, three….jump. That’s the memory I’ll take home with me.

So for all of you who have written off relationships, here is my word of advice: don’t rule them out completely. Just pick a travel writer. Oh…and make sure to fly separately. That way you can feel free to chat up the adorable surfer on his way home from Costa Rica at the Orlando Airport bar…not that I did that or anything.