There are several things I’m hoping you’ll forgive about this post. The first is the use of the term, babymoon. I think this term, which signifies the last vacation before a baby (or babies in our case) arrives, is charming but I know a lot of people find obnoxious. To my credit, I rarely use other terms that fall into the eye-roll inducing category; I’ve never in my life said totes, b-t-dubs or referred to my husband as my hubby. Ever. Therefore, I’m giving myself a pass on the whole babymoon thing.
Secondly, I’d like you to give me a little leeway over the fact that I’m going to have several posts about our quick trip to an all-inclusive resort on a travel blog that is supposed to be about experiencing different cultures and sharing tips and tricks of travel… not just sitting on a well-groomed beach with a (virgin) piña colada.
This trip was an experiment and I’m happy to report it was an experiment with very conclusive results that are worth sharing. I originally tried to fit my whole take on this into one big post but I changed my mind because it was just getting way too long and scattered. Instead, I’m breaking it into two. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s (way more opinionated than usual) post where I really break it down (and even talk some major crap).
Here’s what brought the whole trip to fruition: expectant mothers of twins get really, really big. I’m no pregnancy expert, but common sense tells me that the bigger the bump gets, the more uncomfortable life gets. The week before last when I got to thinking about my impending growth-to-the-size-of-a-planet status and I realized the time to take a babymoon was sooner rather than later. I had the thought, created a budget, searched for deals and booked a trip – all in one afternoon.
Despite the quick turnover from idea to reality, this trip did have a few more logistical considerations than most of our other trips. First of all, I’m already pretty uncomfortable and any trips that required a lot of walking or other activity were immediately ruled out. Secondly, real shoes and clothes are starting to become a pain so I wanted a trip that called for flip flops and flowy dresses. Budget was also a concern because, frankly, the scary fact that very soon our family will be doubling in size is not lost on us. Twice as many mouths to feed, twice as many people to clothe, twice as many plane tickets to buy… all very scary stuff.
After a bit of searching, Jamaica won out due to overall cost and flight times. I’m not going to lie, Jamaica scared me from the get go. To me, in addition to wonderful things like jerk chicken and reggae music, the most accessible parts of Jamaica also scream cruise ship destination complete with overpriced trinkets, annoying Americans and a watered-down version of their true culture – all of which are things I normally like to avoid.
Still, the price, the ease of booking and the flights were calling my name – as was the idea of sitting by a pool with a glass of lemonade and a slice of pineapple and not doing anything for a few days. So off to Jamaica we jetted.
For anyone who has ever wondered if they were missing out by not going the all-inclusive route, I can now assure you that you are not. Did we have a good vacation? Yes. Do we feel like we actually saw Jamaica? No. It wasn’t a huge surprise but it was interesting to see that it didn’t seem to really bother anyone else.
I’ll get into more detail tomorrow about how I don’t really think many people at the resort, pregnant or otherwise, truly experienced Jamaica but we did have one brush with a young Greek couple who probably did – and I’m not going to lie, I was a little jealous.
Their book had the instantly recognizable pages of a Lonely Planet guide book and since they were sitting near us by the pool we unabashedly eavesdropped as they chatted up a staff member about local bus schedules while they explained they were only staying two nights at the resort before moving on to yet-to-be-determined guesthouses or hostels. As much as I was enjoying, especially in my current state, sitting and doing nothing, I was a bit envious of their impending adventure to the lesser-explored bits of the country, far from the maddening hoards of tourists.
Still, my envy was short-lived and as I eyed her svelte figure which suggested, unlike mine, that she was capable of climbing a flight of stairs without getting winded or putting her shoes on without fear of toppling over, I settled back into my lounge chair content with the fact that this trip was something different for us. It was something different than their trip and something different than our usual trips.
I think you’d be hard-pressed to find any couple on a babymoon that didn’t have a few twinges of nostalgia for the past that will never be again or the future that just isn’t quite here yet. After all, we’re in a bit of limbo here. The cribs may be built but there aren’t any smiling (or crying) babies to fill them yet.
Overall, as a babymoon, the trip was a success. We swam in the Caribbean, we relaxed by the pool and contemplated the whole being a parent thing while reconnecting as a couple. Since we only plan on having the twins, this was probably our first and our last babymoon – which is fine with me. As much as sitting and doing nothing was nice, I think there are nicer ways to go about seeing the world. Even when I guiltily admitted to doing essentially the same thing in the Philippines, it somehow seems worlds apart. This felt too contrived and cheesy and when these babies get here I’m excited to show them the more authentic parts of the world – perhaps even the more authentic parts of Jamaica – of which I’m sure there are plenty.
You are growing beautifully, Julie, and I am so glad you guys got to have a babymoon, even if it wasn’t quite *it* for you. Praying health, safety, and peace over all four of you as you get ready for your birth-day. 😀