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Friday, July 14, 2017

July 3-10, 2017 Collin and Megan's Visit

We had a fantastic week with Collin and Megan. They arrived on Monday, July 3rd after a very long overnight flight. We were sad to see them go, but we are so thankful we had this time with them. Buddy figured out we drove 1,063 miles during the week on an island that is only 146 miles long and 52 miles wide at its thickest point; so needless to say, they saw it ALL.

Maybe you saw this in the last post. I had planned routes that would allow them to experience the ups and downs (literally), and the narrowness and windiness of some of the Jamaican roads, but we often also used the tollways so as not to "shake" them up too badly. They seemed to fair the crazy roads and drivers very well. 

Our first activity was to take them rafting on the Rio Grande River up on the north coast by Port Antonio. We heard, "Yep, we're definitely in a tropical jungle," several times along the 7 mile stretch of river. We stopped at Melinda's for a lunch of crayfish for Buddy and jerk chicken for Collin; Megan and I opted for the snacks we had brought along. 

Buddy had crayfish - zoom in to see how big they were! Collin enjoyed Jamaican jerk chicken.

We drove back to Kingston along the east coast which isn't the prettiest part of the island, but the road follows the ocean around and has some beautiful scenery here and there. 

Wednesday, we stayed in Kingston to allow us a little time for some office work, to swim in the apartment complex's pool, and to do some souvenir shopping. We had planned to drive up to the north coast to go to Glistening Waters in Falmouth, but we couldn't make it out of Kingston on time because of backed up traffic due to an accident. So we ordered Chinese and came on back home to enjoy a passionate round of team dominoes. We couldn't let a visit go by without at least one game. I can't recall which team won, but does it really matter? Actually, YES, in our family it usually does. 

Thursday, we left early to go to Black River Safari over on the southwest side of the coast. We stopped in May Pen to meet with a sister missionary who is from Collin's stake to give her some things from her family. We arrived at Black River just in time to catch a boat which was ready to head out. Buddy and I were a little disappointed with our guide because he really didn't tell us much as we went along, and he didn't seem to seek out the crocodiles. We only saw four, but we all still enjoyed the boat ride. The first time we went, our guide was funny and very informative; he share all kinds of trivia about the crocodiles, the birds, and the river foliage. 

If you look really closely, there is a crocodile in the water behind Collin and Megan. 

Instead of driving back to Kingston the way we came over the bumpy, windy roads, we decided to go up and around the west end and north coast back to the tollway. We were coming through the Falmouth area right about 6 PM, so it was perfect timing to go to Glistening Waters since we didn't get to go the night before. We had a nice dinner and then went out on the boat so Collin and Megan could see the Luminous Lagoon. 

For those who may have missed an earlier post about this place - this is one of four places in the world with this strange phenomenon. The conditions are just right for the microscopic organisms to thrive. These organisms emit a phosphorescent light when the water is disturbed. Collin got in the water to swim around, but our cameras couldn't get a picture of him. We're so glad we got to share this most likely once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Friday, we packed and took the nice, smooth tollway to the north coast, first stopping in Ocho Rios. We met up with an elder from Collin's stake to give him some things from his family too. We went to a huge craft market for some souvenir shopping. We then drove through Montego Bay and then down the west coast to Negril. We arrived at Coco La Palm and enjoyed a lovely dinner out at the beach restaurant. Collin loved Jamaican jerk chicken!


Saturday was a fantastic beach day. The sun was hot, and the water was gorgeous. 

Collin and Megan had a blast parasailing.

Sunday morning, Coco La Palm 

Sunday, we drove to Montego Bay to attend the branch. It was Branch Conference, so the Pearsons and Browns were also there. A couple from the states was also visiting. An interesting thing about them, she is an artist, and many of her paintings have been used in Church publications. 
Pioneer Mother
from page 36 of Daughters in My Kingdom

Since it was Branch Conference, the third hour was a combined meeting of all the adults (well, except Primary teachers and leaders who stayed with the children). Collin played the piano, Buddy led the music, and I gave the opening prayer. It was like old times. President Pearson led a great discussion entitled, Wake UP! Specifically, the group discussed the need for teaching and understanding true doctrine which will result in receiving help from on high for all struggles, e.g., member missionary work, Home and Visiting Teaching, callings, examples, etc.  Every single, worthy need can be answered by the gospel.  We left the meeting individually pondering how important it is to actively continue learning the gospel principles forever. 

We drove back to Negril to spend a quiet afternoon enjoying one another's company. There was quite a thunderstorm with lots of rain, so it was a good day to be inside. 

Our great week had to come to an end

Monday, we went back to Montego Bay to take Collin and Megan to the airport. Too soon, but we had had a wonderful week making lasting memories. 

I forgot to include this video when I originally published the blog post. 
Wanted to remember this.

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