Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vacation Dreams

I’m feeling very excited about the prospect of going on vacation and it seems vquite promising that it's going to atually happen. A vacay is MUCH needed in my world and this is almost as exciting as Christmas for me!
I’ve spent the past days thoroughly researching where and when to go somewhere (as I’m wont to do), and anyone that has painstakingly perused Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz and the sacred TripAdvisor, know how that can consume hours and hours of time. Fortuinately, we’re really come into summer at the office, so I can afford some non-work activities.
While not officially booked yet, I just got the approval to take the first week in August off and my husband has graciously agreed to accompany me to a beach resort.  This is a big deal. While he loves the water and swimming (or smimming, as I like to say), he really doesn’t like the beach (the sand, predominantly) and is very active, so lounging in the sun for hours on end is not his idea of ideal. While I think he’ll really enjoy it, I also think he knows how much I need this with all that’s gone on over the past year – good things, mind you, just a lot (which can be taxing).
As with most hard-working NY folk like myself, a vacation is much needed from this fast-paced, frenzied life and I welcome the opportunity to relax, be waited on and just spend some quality time, outside of the city, with Rob. He and I have never been on what I would call a “real vacation” together and have only traveled a few times (it’s been me tagging along for his business trips or our short and crazy time in Vegas for the wedding). Last time I was on a vacation-vacation was 15 months ago with my mom to the wonderful Royal in Mexico and I still keep those memories close for when I need a little desk-time escape.
We’re planning to visit Jamaica and are hoping to stay at Couples Hotel, Tower Isle. From the photos, it looks absolutely stunning and according to the site it was a playground to Hollywood celebrities in the 1950s.” Now, it’s open to we non-celebs and is located on 19 acres of beautiful beachfront property. Couples Tower Isle “engages you with the promise of elaborate active days or hours of uninterrupted privacy. Perched on the lush terrain of Ocho Rios, Jamaica—the resort seduces with breathtaking sea views, a wide sandy beach and century-old palm trees. Discover the joys of snorkeling among the reefs, windsurfing on the waves, or sailing into the sunset on a catamaran, rum punch in hand. Enjoy a refreshing dip in one of the three swimming pools, or a leisurely soak in the Jacuzzis scattered about the resort. Take in a game of tennis, a round of golf or while away the afternoon on a lounge chair by the sea.”
That sounds like the perfect vacation to me, and between their attractive site, the inclusions (hiking, horseback riding, sunset sails, etc) and the reviews, I was quickly sold. A big fan of spas, both at home and while traveling, I was also pleased to know that theirs was recognized as "Best in the Caribbean" by Travel+Leisure.  Another selling point was the opportunity to indulge in “au naturel” sunbathing on the private island, Tower Isle, and while I’ve never done it before, I’m not opposed and think it sounds liberating and fun.
The reviews are glowing and people say that the food, service and grounds are stellar (and it was nice to read that they just did a $30 million upgrade a few years back). In fact, I read a TripAdvisor review from a couple who had visited 12 times. That certainly says something about a resort.
The place boasts 6 restaurants that all sound lovely and it seems as if there are many opportunities for alfresco dining, which is nice anytime, but especially while on the beach. I’m already reading up on everything, trying to figure out where to eat, what to do, etc. and always like to be prepared for vacations (or anything for that matter). Perhaps I’ll even take their hat-weaving or wood-carving course, which I spotted on the well proportioned schedule of activities.  
More than anything, I just want to get away from the same old, explore a new place, meet new people and learn new things – all while spending quality time with Rob (all of that just sounds like the best thing ever).
I hope to book this tonight and am just waiting for Rob to get clearance from work, as well. I can’t even express how grateful I would be to have a vacation and get teary just thinking about it. All I could hope for is nice weather and a magical time with my love.
Stay tuned and I hope to have a good update in the near future!

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