Truly, I am in love with Jamaica. When I think things can’t possibly get better it does. When I think that I have already seen most of what I had in mind, there’s more. I have never heard about Strawberry Hill until today. It’s located in the parish of St. Andrew up the mountain in an area called Irish Town. Apparently the hotel & restaurant are owned by Christopher Blackwell, the recording studio owner where Bob Marley produced his albums. Before I tell you about beautiful strawberry hills let me talk about the Zoo.
Hope gardens was not really on my list of things to see, but I had a chance to see the Zoo and the small botanical garden. The zoo is not as luxurious as other international zoos but there were birds there that I admired. The macaws, the yellow-chest parrots, and the peacocks were a few of the memorable species. There were tons of parrots but one in particular said, “hello” to me- it was as clear as a person talking. And I happily had a conversation with him. Being around nature today was totally relaxing. It was labour day here and while some people were outside working away, and others like my family spent the day at home. As for me, I used it as a day to see other attractions in Jamaica.
The best part of the day was driving up the mountain (seems like all the good places are either up a mountain or down a mountain). How can I describe this adventure.. it was perfect, idyllic, surreal….it must have been a dream.
It’s only in a dream where things are exactly to your expectations. All around I am at the same height as the tips of other mountains I see in the outskirts. The clouds just hovering above us. The restaurant is in the shape of a country house…or mansion. Tables were located along the balcony while others are in a more enclosed area. There are different ways to walk outside and no matter which direction, the view is perfect. The general manager walks inside to greet us and had a small conversation with us and really made a connection. The servers all wore their smiles very well, which made for excellent service. A dream, I think. When it got dark the moon and the stars came out to look on us and being that close to the sky it almost seem I could reach them. Dinner arrived and we ate. The music created for a romantic atmosphere with the lights dimmed to perfection. When we finished all our courses, we walked towards the railing of the balcony near us and looked into yonder where all the city lights could be seen from a birds eye view. My thoughts were too many to nail one down. I just wanted to be. If I could just stay in that exact location til morning, it would have been fine with me. All I would need is a sweater, because at that altitude we were at, there was a drop in temperature.
I wish I could find the perfect words to fully describe this day and this night. It was by far the best day I have had in Jamaica, in terms of the cool climate, the height in which we were at, the view, the food, the company, and the service. I guess in a way it did not feel like Jamaica from that high. Or the experience really opened my eyes to experience Jamaica in a way that many locals have not even experienced it. When I walked over to another side of the restaurant to get a different view of the city below I was just enamoured by the moment. It had to be a dream. God is truly an artist. The way He has designed his creation is a marvel.
Jamaica has personality, it’s very appealing to look at and to experience, it’s a world in another world. It’s romantic to be around… I can choose between a day at the beach or a day in solitude on the mountain top. Jamaica is welcoming and warm (or in fact very hot). At the airport, I love that the large hummingbird that sits in a garden outside reads, “Welcome home”. The truth is, I feel at home here, so much that I’m wondering how can I stay here.