Couples Jamaica - August 1982

Right after 4th of July 1982, I got a phone call from my travel agent. She said she had just returned from Jamaica over the weekend and was booking us for the resort she visited. I had never been and only knew that crappy pot came from there. Nonetheless, we packed and flew to Jamaica on a charter a month later.

The ride from the tiny airport in Montego Bay to Couples Jamaica (now Tower Isle) was a grueling 3-1/2 hour expedition in old school busses without air conditioning. Many on our bus, like myself, were questioning our sanity especially when the road dipped into the Caribbean Sea. There was a large cooler with soda cans floating in what might have been ice earlier in the day.

Moments away from melting, we came out of the jungle, and there was the entire Couples staff, waiting with cold, wet towels and flutes of champagne. They could hear us cheering back at the airport.

Shortly after unpacking, we assembled at the main dining room. They seated us as we were queued - you six, sit here, next eight sit here - and so on until every chair was filled. There were some greetings from the manager and his staff and then dinner was served - my first jerk chicken with rice & peas, cole slaw, and bammy. If this was heaven, all I was missing were my wings. I don't remember the brand, but there was a bottle of pepper sauce on the table. I emptied it before the meal was over.

The week went by too quickly and I knew we would return by the second or third day. We spent every day we could on the nude island. Hell, I was only 29 back then and the ganja was significantly better than what we bought back home. There was a day of white-water rafting with even better smoke and of course, the mandatory trip up Dunn's River Falls. But the one amazing day I spent in Boston Bay, the home of Jamaican jerk, hooked me forever. Six boxes of wood-carvings accompanied us home along with some memories that are still vivid in my mind today.

I did return - six or seven more times between 1982 and 1998 - but sadly those photos are long gone.