Unpacking Kingston, Jamaica – February 2017
Editor’s note: It happened a bit later in the year than usual, but my first Caribbean adventure of 2017 is now in the books! The destination: Kingston, Jamaica’s fabled capital city. The trip brought back some great childhood memories, while also igniting in me a desire to return more often. Here’s why…
Stuffed! I ALWAYS gain weight when I visit Jamaica, and this short weekend jaunt was no exception. From rekindling my long-standing love affair with Jamaican patties and delving into the cult of Jamaican KFC, to enjoying my first taste of Sweetwood jerk chicken, and satisfying my sweet tooth with some Devon House ice cream, I essentially ate my way across Kingston.
My trip stretched over a weekend, the perfect time to avoid the crowds and traffic that made most of my previous trips to the capital more harried in recent years. Everywhere I went, the vibe was as relaxed and laid-back as I’d always encountered in Jamaica’s resort areas like MoBay and Negril. This was especially true at my hotel, The Courtleigh, an intimate, charming, and affordable property with exceptional service and an unbeatable location just across from Emancipation Park in New Kingston.
Well, it rained most of the weekend, though as we’ve shown before, foul weather never slows us down. In fact, I found the grey skies added an element of drama to my visits to historic sites like Devon House and Port Royal, the drizzle and clouds lending an air of old-time grainy cinema or photos that further brought the past to life.
I was around 11 years-old when I made my first trip to Kingston to compete in a swim meet. Certain elements of the trip have remained fresh in my memory all my life, though I never had the chance to retrace those old steps until now. The experience opened my eyes, not only to my own long-ago connections to Kingston, but also to just how close some of those old steps came to Bob Marley.
I’ll have A LOT to say about all of this, as well as the many fetes and special events that already have me planning a return visit to Kingston, in the days and weeks to come…