August 1, 2012
August 11, 2012

Our recent family vacation, at Beaches Boscobel, near Ocho Rios, Jamaica was wonderful.  A perfect retreat from Charlottesville during the dog days of summer.

Honestly, it was hard to do anything but lounge, but by day 2 we were fully in the groove and took advantage of one of the resort’s free snorkeling trips.  Even my 4 year old was brave enough to jump in and when my husband spotted a puffer fish we all got to see it. A dive, several mornings later, included sightings of a lionfish, shark, purple coral and a dolphin- another under water success and a bit more than I expected of the Jamaican diving scene. Even outings on the sea kayaks, Hobie Cat and Aqua Trike were a blast.

As for bobsledding, it was either watch ‘Cool Runnings’ or try it ourselves. And in the spirit of the Jamaican Olympic bobsleigh team, which gained international fame in the 1988 Winter Olympics, my 7 year old and I went off to Mystic Mountain to have some fun. We screamed our way through the rainforest on both a  bobsled and a zip-line (with 5 platforms). Even the views from the chair lift ride, which brings you to the top of the mountain, were spectacular.

I could wax on about the pluses (there were many) and minuses (only a few) of the resort, but I’m not going to get into too many details here. Keywords include: kid friendly (waterslides, self serve ice cream, and nightly entertainment- need I say more?); a small, contained beach which is well-kept and has plenty of lounge chairs and shade; average food (not on par with our experience at Beaches Turks & Caicos); and, a cheerful, happy staff. Please feel free to contact me for more details and I will be glad to share. I also visited Sandals Grande Ocho Rios and Royal Plantation, and can report that both are very special properties, particularly Royal Plantation, where every room has butler service and a view of the ocean.