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05/19/2008 08:19 PM
The night before, we are having a great time on the patio, and then we go to the disco, then my brother needs to go back to his room... so Andrew, Shawn, me and my brother head back to his room (long walk), then I realize it is 11:30pm, and I only have 30 minutes left to see Shanna (traditionally not allowed to see each other after 12 midnight), we all boot back to the disco, I find Shanna, and continue dancing.... over her shoulder, all I see is her uncle Brian pointing to his watch... ok I got the point... lol. so after a couple of dances, it was 3 minutes to midnight, and my brother and I head back to his room for our night before the wedding best man and brother night...
We are trying to keep this traditional and not see each other the day of the wedding, but we are in a resort, so this is a bit tricky. Andrew was like our liaison for the day, making sure we were not going to run into each other, and run messages back and forth. So, my brother and dad spend the day together heading down between the 2 resorts, checking out venders.... etc. Just hanging out.... 2 hours before the wedding, we have a couple beers having the nest man / father of the groom, hang out chat.... my brother head back to his room, we great ready, I give him the rings, and we are off to the ceremony.... and early too...
I get my instructions from the Minister and Dionne (wedding coordinator), getting my picture taken every 2 seconds... I see Shawn (pictures) and Andrew (video) running everywhere trying to get everything... I stand on top of the hill with Deb (Shanna's mom), holding her hand.... getting pictures and videos taken of us... I am nervous, and she keeps squeezing my hand saying, "Ok Jeff, we can do this...", ok my mother in law is not helping my nervousness.. I was calm, but now she is freaking me out... lol The music starts, and we walk calmly, yet nervously down the aisle. For what seemed to be a mile, we reach the Minister, and the ceremony begins.... Breanne walks down to us and then at the top of the hill, I see Shanna and her father, in the most beautiful dress, smiling away. she makes her way down to us with her father so happy and graceful.
The Minister continues on with the ceremony, and we had to repeat after this very Jamaican accented Minister.,, Shanna did alot better then I did, but I had to go first... :) Just as we are being pronounced husband and wife, the sun shines on Shanna, we are holding each others hands, with the Ministers hands over us.... we knew this was a sign, someone who has left us, was definitely giving us a sign of approval, or showing there presence...
After a million pictures all over the resort, we head to the dinner at St Andrew's at Riu. It was an amazing dinner, but so hard to relax, I knew we all had speeches, and cake cutting. Instead of tapping glasses for husband and bride kisses. there were cards all over the table with songs to sing, questions about us, and Jamaica, and some tongue twisters... and we will never forget Bob Charon and "The pleasant plucker"... hahaha. The speeches were very touching, and funny, it meant alot to us to have these close family members say very nice and touching things about us.... The dinner is over, we are all done our speeches, Uncles Brian is done his M/Cing for the dinner, time to party.
We head to the 70's stripe club... just joking, but the bar was perfect for a 70's stripe club, just minus the naked girls... the walls were carpeted and striped with mirrors, the rest of the bar is black with neon lights... After practicing our dance to Hard to Concentrate for a couple months, we actually did pretty good in front of everyone... my dad was impressed with my spin with Shanna, and said that was his move... well a couple hours later, I saw him blowing me out of the water on the dance floor with the spins... not bad for 67 years old..... and we cannot forget grandma, doing the 50's swing stuff, I couldn't keep up... Ray and Cathy givin'r. The father and the bride dance was very special and touching with Kenny Rogers.
Ohhhhyyyeaaaaahhhh, time for the garter belt... so I am up there quite awhile, I am sure people are thinking I am having some fun up there, and Shanna is tapping me, but really, she had soooo many layers of her dress, I was having issues finding the garter to begin with, finally I get it out and throw it to Shawn! He was quite proud to catch it as you can see from the pictures. Breanne gets the bouquet toss... WHHHHOOOAAAAAOOOO
Trip to Jamaica
02/19/2008 12:03 PM
Due to all the snow storms, and lack of planes, we were supposed to fly out Sunday afternoon, however we didn't take off until Monday at 9:30am. It was disappointing, but we got to see the Jamaican countryside in the daylight, instead of in the middle of the night, which was cool. RIU Negril resort was awesome and we had an amazing time. About 30 of us went down including my family from Florida. Besides relaxing on the beach, we did some excursions... The sunset cruise was very cool. We got picked up by a party boat around 1:30pm, and while the captain was being a tour guide, we headed out to a reef to do some snorkeling. We didn't see much, some small colourful "aquarium" type fish and some pretty coral. Shanna saw a stingray, but by the time I swam over, he was gone. We then got back on the boat to go check more of Negril from the water and saw some amazing pirate caves! These were caves the pirates would hide in and they could either go out to the water, or climb up to the land. After watching cliff divers, we all jump off the boat and swim through one of the caves and took pictures while we were inside it (we had an underwater camera). The current was really strong, but we all survived. Back on the boat, we headed to another cave, where the captain drove the boat inside of it so we could all check it out. After the pirate caves, we were off to Ricks Cafe. This is such a cool bar.. the view of the ocean, the music, the atmosphere... After spending a few hours at Ricks Cafe, we got back on the boat to watch the sunset and head back to the Resort, having Rum Runners the whole way. Actually, we took this trip twice, Shanna wasn’t feeling well on our first trip, so the next week we went again with her sister and Andrew. We had such a blast, we actually stayed at Rick's and took a cab back to the resort later in the evening.
Another excursion was parasailing... The first time, just my dad and Shanna went up. They loved it, but Shanna was a little freaked out, and I heard my dad had to sing to her to calm her. haha... My dad was so proud going parasailing at 67 years old. Then the following week, Shanna convinced me to try it (I am scared of heights, so I wasn't easy to convince). Shanna's mom, and grandma went up first, at 80 years old, grandma was up there like a pro, waving to everyone, laughing, etc, but Shanna's mom was quite the opposite, hanging on for dear life, swearing... it took a day for the soreness to wear off from holding on so tight... Then Breanne (Shanna's sister) and Andrew went up... They both loved it soo much, and Bre re-assured me it wasn't that scary... When the boat dipped Bre and Andrew in the water, Andrew kicked his feet which got them both so soaked. Shanna and I went up last... I had a camera with me to take pictures way up there. I actually really enjoyed it, surprisingly being held by a rope and parachute 300 feet in the air! The view was amazing, and it was a lot of fun (except when they went fast and made you go really, really high, that freaked me out a bit)...
And another trip we took was to Margaritaville, where this party bus picks you up and brings you there free of charge (plus tip of course)... It was an old bus, all decorated, blasting Bob Marley, honking at everyone, and grinding gears... it was too cool. After being there 1 minute, we were already given a shot from a water gun and met the parrot mascot. After finding a table and starting our first drinks, Andrew got me up there for a beer drinking contest, which we both lost. We let Canadians down on that one! If you saw our competition, you may understand why. lol
Andrew really wanted to try jet skiing, so he got us a deal for Shanna, Bre, Andrew and I for a 40 minute run. I have never driven one of those things before, and OMG, they things fly! It was so much fun, until it was time to go back to shore. I was coming in too fast, and didn't know I had to kill the engine to slowdown faster, and I beached it. A brand new high end jet ski, and I park it right on the beach. The owner was not too impressed, but there was no damage, phew... it was not in my budget to be buying a $15,000 jet ski.
Between the 2 resorts, there is about a half a mile of beach where all these local venders are located.. You can buy shirts, towels, jewelry, lots of wood carvings, and "anything" else you need! All the vendors were quite attracted to me, calling my Jesus and Rastaman, etc. We bought a lot from this cool Jamaican RJ, and some from this other Jamaican Wayne.
Heading home, our plane was delayed yet again... We should of been picked up by the bus at 6pm, but it was delayed until 9pm.. We got to the airport around 11pm, checked in, then found out our plane was delayed even more. We didn't actually take off until around 4:30am. We ending up trying to sleep in the airport, which didn't work very well... It was a long trip home. After arriving in Ottawa and going to the park and fly, the car was frozen stuck, and the parking bus shuttle driver helped us free the car.
Overall, it was an amazing trip. I was getting home sick near the end, but it was so worth going. We will definitely be heading back to Jamaica again!
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