Jamaica March 2009: 2 – Getting into the Negril vibe

We pulled into Seastar Inn and I was greeted by the lovely Miss Linda, who informed me that Negril OneStop, who I’d booked through, had booked me for the next day. Note to self: just book direct.

Luckily it was no biggie, I was put in a different room and could have moved to the one I booked the next day but never bothered, the one I got was more private anyway. For you Seastar fans, it was #12.

My room had a comfy queen size bed, TV, bathroom with tub and shower, AC, ceiling fan, verandah with hammock and table and chairs and a view of the neighborhood around Seastar. It was perfect for me and under $50 a night as a single…leaving plenty of $ for meals, drinks and scooter rental, which is also offered at Seastar. The bar is lovely and there is a great pool with swim up bar, more hammocks, loungers, a game room with pool table, a full restaurant and lovely gardens.

A friend of mine in the band, John, was also staying there and had arrived a day or two before so I wandered down to find him. I didn’t, immediately, so I walked down to Catcha to visit with Snake and some other friends who had arrived the day or two before.
Snake on a Porch (see a theme here?)

Red stripe and Catcha’s lush greenery

I stayed at Catcha 3 years ago, last time hookah was in Negril. I loved it, and I still do. The gardens have grown up and in and are more lush than ever. Ivan’s Bar and Restaurant appears to be a lovely addition – everyone still has a fridge and plenty of private space but if you feel social or not like leaving the property, there it is. There are even more loungers and chairs and comfy spots around, and some sun decks have been added since I was there last.

I headed down to the water, because I am just not in Jamaica until I jump into the sea. I have to do it before it gets too late. As I walk down I see not only my friends that are staying there, but a group of beach-staying friends who I didn’t think I’d see until the show tonight. Lots of hugs and greetings make me feel missed, and that’s funny because I’d seen all these folks a week or so before and will a week or so after the trip, and all summer and fall and in fact probably don’t go a month without hanging out with them…but it’s still great to see everyone 🙂

I have a wonderful swim…refreshingly cool for a minute, calm and salty and just gorgeous. Some friends are cliff jumping, some are lounging, we catch up on the couple of days of this trip I’ve missed (I arrived on a Tuesday, most people came Sunday).

I am so glad to be in Jamaica 🙂

I wanted to get down to Travellers to see some of the alternative spring break food-drumming-consciousness activities going on with Soul Rebellion, but it is clear that we won’t make it by 4 when it ends.

So I go with the flow (always good to get that lesson early in the trip) and we hang out swimming and whatnot all afternoon. We do have a show to go to tonight….time to get it together for sunset and dinner and all that so we can get to the beach for the first show….it’s going to be a long night because after hookah is done, Rootz Underground is at the Jungle.

But one thing. Snake and I were to meet up with another friend, Occhy, at the airport in Charlotte but he never arrived. We called his cell and got no answer, and decided he must have been on a later flight. I was a little worried because he didn’t know where he was staying, who was picking us up, how to get to Negril…he’d never been to Jamaica before. So we continued to try to reach him.

As we’re hanging out guess who shows up? He got a taxi at the airport, went to Risky Business (where hookah is playing that night), found their sound guy and got directed up to Catcha where he was staying. Don’t know why I worried 🙂

All together now, we walk up to Seastar where we meet John and eat dinner there. I had crab fritters as an appetizer and thank goodness I didn’t order more because they are a meal in themselves. Delicious.

It’s nearly showtime…

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