Jamaica March 2009: 8 – Last Hookah Show

It’s Friday March 27th and today is the last Hookah show. I finally made it to the included breakfast at Seastar today which ends at 10, as I recall.

There is a basic buffet of coffee, toast and jelly, and a menu with eggs and such that can be ordered (presumably so the eggs don’t sit there all morning – very wise). Most items on the menu are included with your room rate, a few “premium” items – bacon, ackee, etc may be ordered for an additional fee. I enjoyed it.

I was to return my scooter today but opt not to, I’ve really been enjoying using it during the day to go to Out of Town Pastry (delicious bakery-shop out past the lighthouse a ways) and just to get around town and take little rides here and there. So I rent it for another day and head down to Catcha to see what everyone’s up to.

I want to swim but today the sea is rough so I decide to ride down to the beach. Occhy wants to join me but he returned his scooter the day before. I offer to get an additional helmet and take him down with me on mine. Well we get the helmet but Occhy is one of those dudes who won’t ride “in back”, shall we say, so I let him drive and hop on the back myself. I won’t ride behind many people but I trust Occhy , he’s not only logged thousands of miles on bikes at home, he’s careful here.

It’s actually kind of nice to be able to look around as we zip down the road, when I am driving my concentration is on traffic and potholes and such…this ride I can actually look around at what we are passing, and it’s cool.

We opt to stop at Beach House Villas again and have a lovely swim – the water is much calmer down there today.

A surprise: my old buddy Jay from Canada has arrived for a long weekend! Jay seems to pop up when I least expect him…a few years back, when hookah was recording a live album in Atlanta, he appeared with a trunk full of potted flowers for all the fans. No tickets to the show/recording, but we worked that out. He’s a Jamaicaphile like me and I can’t remember him being at any hookah shows in Jamaica before. I’m really glad to see him, he’s a sweetie and a lot of fun.

Occhy and Jay on da beach

He’s rented a car….funny thing. For years when you rent a car in Jamaica you get a white Toyota Corolla. You just do…and you blend in because everyone else drives one too. Jay was a little miffed to get a dark blue Toyota Yaris this time. but that’s the car these days, from rental places…I’ve seen 3 this trip friends have rented. Some things DO change…

After awhile we wander up to Catcha and on to Seastar. As the sea is rough we arrange to meet folks at Seastar to enjoy the pool and grab dinner. As I recall Steve, Allie, Bev, Susie and G came up to meet us there because tonight hookah is playing on the cliffs at Negril Escape and the show starts early – like 7PM.

We all enjoy our dinners and rather suddenly it’s time to go and we have a band member with us who needs to get to the show ASAP. Enter Francine, the lovely, talented and super-cool owner of Seastar Inn.

Here we are at dinner.


Francine, Cassie and Dave at 3 Dives


She’s going to the show herself (I don’t think she missed any of the 3 shows, actually) and she’s got a pickup truck and is ready to use it 🙂 We all pile into the back of her truck….people, Steve’s guitar, all of it and head down to the show. Unfortunately Linda from Seastar can’t make the show tonight because of work…we miss her because she’s been a great dancing buddy for the last two shows…but we’ll see her at Seastar tomorrow night.

Luckily nothing starts on time this trip so Steve is not late and we all have time to relax and get the lay of the land before the show. One large group staying on the beach chartered a glass bottom boat to take them up – what a cool idea 🙂

Still married, still silly 🙂

The bartenders here are great and I am relieved to see the stupid buy-a-token-for-drinks thing is not happening here.

The show gets going and it’s great, of course. The sound is still top notch. There are more locals here than at any of the other shows, I guess word has gotten out. A few are musicians and this will turn out to be a good thing…

…because at set break, I am told that Dave (the keyboardist/guitarist and one of the two songwriters) is sick. As in deathly ill, must lie down, no way can play right now, sick.

A room is found for him to lay down and we cross our fingers that he’ll be able to play the second set after the break is over.

About a half hour later, it is decided that the show must go on and since we seem to have all these local musicians in the house they are invited up to join in for a few!

hookah’s sound guy Dan is an awesome guitarist too so he and John switch places for a tune…here’s Dan on the right

And John on the board

It was HUGE fun…but after a bit Dave is able to come back and take his place at the keyboard.

The final hookah show of the trip ends on a high note and we all head back to Catcha to finish our evening. Occhy has to leave tomorrow, he is the first one to go.

At the show I run into Eddie, Lydie’s brother and an old friend. He comes up to Catcha to hang a bit with us but after a little while we realize we are starving so we head down to MiYard for a late night snack. I have tuna and festival and though I love MiYard, we don’t stay long because i have a fairly early morning ahead…

Many of us have to be down at Kuyaba on the beach by 11AM to head out for a trip I’ve been planning for a couple of months…for the first time this trip we are leaving Westmoreland!

Continue reading this series:

Thoughts? Questions? I'd love to hear them!