My husband and I firmly believe in the importance of very intentional kid-free time. You know…with drinks and hand holding and no one asking for Goldfish crackers or extra Playstation time. Staying married is important. Staying in love so we can stay married is important. Not to be dramatic or anything, but being in love is *kinda* crucial to the well-being of our entire family.
So, we go on dates. One date every week. Sometimes we see a movie and sometimes we have a long, leisurely dinner and sometimes we have a picnic in the park and watch the sunset. Our dates aren’t always super exciting and often relatively inexpensive, but they give us something to look forward to that doesn’t revolve around our children. Yay for kid-free fun! With wine!
For the last few years, we’ve also tried to take a trip without the kids for our anniversary. Our anniversary is in May, so we generally wait until early June when school is out to head somewhere just the two of us. Since family vacation and LOTS of family together time is just around the corner, the timing is honestly perfect — we get to spend a few days sleeping in, eating meals without cutting anyone elses food, and just relaxing together. It’s a great way to decompress and get ready for the summer months ahead.
This year, I really wanted to spend some time at an adults-only all-inclusive resort. Jess and I have been on road trips, stayed in cabins, and cruised together, but have never vacationed as a couple in all-inclusive luxury. About a year and a half ago I had the pleasure of working with Sandals resorts on a culinary conference in Ocho Rios, Jamaica and have always wanted to go back (Jamaica is beautiful and the people are unforgettable — honestly life-changing), so I decided to reach out and see if they had availability and interest in letting me cover another resort. I was SO pleased to hear that they did! And they were!
One thing I have learned (and it’s a tough lesson for those of us with fear of rejection and insecurity like me) — JUST ASK! Take the risk! Jump out on a limb! The opportunity of your life might just hinge on asking for it. Take it someone who has learned the hard way.
So last month, Jess and I hopped on a plane and headed to Montego Bay, Jamaica for three glorious days and nights. And for Pete’s sake, it was amazing.
Montego Bay is much smaller than Ochi, the Sandals resort I had previously stayed at. While smaller, Montego Bay is the flagship resort of the brand and is incredibly easy to navigate and the perfect place for a simple, relaxing vacation with a loved one or friends. We had a standard one-bedroom unit which might sound nondescript and dull, but is actually quite the opposite. Even the standard units come with a deep outdoor tranquility soaking tub (there’s a privacy curtain) and lush greenery — it’s like paradise!. A mini fridge stocked with water, a variety of juices and sodas (and a a mini bar is with a variety of liquors and wines) is checked and restocked by housekeeping every day. And because Sandals is all-inclusive, you don’t pay eleventy million dollars for a can of soda. It’s included!!
From sushi to Italian to fried rice, burgers, and French crepes, there are endless amounts of delicious food to enjoy. The nicer restaurants do require a reservation (and some of them have a dress code) but are still included in your rate. It’s so odd to eat whatever you want and walk out without paying (or tipping — Sandals has a strict no-tip policy). But I’m not complaining — all-inclusive is so simple and stress-free.
There’s plenty of entertainment (Montego Bay even offers the option to take a shuttle to two other resorts to enjoy their amenities), but Jess and I mostly took it easy — sleeping in, sitting at the pool bar, napping on the beach, and eating a ton. It was a short, but super refreshing trip. I love kids SO MUCH, but sometimes it’s nice to spend a few days with adults only. We spent many evenings chatting with staff or visiting other couples (many newlyweds) that we met. We were that old couple dishing out marriage advice like we actually knew what we are talking about (don’t tell, but we actually met when he asked for my phone number in a bar and he didn’t leave from our first date the next day until 5 am). Ha!
I can’t recommend Jamaica highly enough for a vacation, particularly a couples vacation. The water is almost too gorgeous to be real (gently lapping on shore, no waves, clear turquoise but dark blue further back) and the people are the kindest and most wonderful ever. And if you’re going the all-inclusive route, it doesn’t get better than Sandals. The attention to detail is beyond anything you’ll ever experience.
See this guy? Kenroy and I became fast friends. I’d often sit and chat with him as he closed his bar for the evening. I enjoyed hearing about his life in Jamaica and his dreams of moving to America. We exchanged numbers and I hear from him every week! Idk, I’m probably a weirdo but I consider any vacation where I leave without a new friend to be a semi-failure.
Thanks SO much to Sandals for hosting us for a few days at their flagship resort. We came home ready to see our kids but truly missing the gorgeous Jamaican beach and staff that was so incredibly kind and attentive.
If you have any questions regarding visiting Jamaica or Sandals resorts, let me know. I’m always happy to help or share any information I have.
Thanks so much for sharing this opportunity with me! As always, I’m so grateful for what I do and for all of you who have helped to make my dreams come true. I love you all more than I could ever say.
Have a happy day and thanks so much for reading!