Island in the Sun + Giveaway Winner!

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Greetings from one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, Negril, Jamaica!

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Where the sky is blue, the water is even bluer, and the mojitos pour free. ;)

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Ben and I have only been here for a full day and a half (at the time of this typing!) but have already fallen into somewhat of an island routine. :)

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We lazily sleep in, then check out the scene at the pool.

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Pass through the lobby to smell the fresh flowers.

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(I wish I knew what kind of flowers these are! They’re so beautiful and exotic!)

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Then head out for a long walk on the beach. 8)

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Our hotel sits at the end of a long cove so we walk about 10 feet into the crystal clear water which is warmer than BATH WATER, and head all the way towards the other end of the cove before turning around and coming back.

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The marine life we’ve come across on our walks is a hoot. I bought an underwater camera so I’ll share the pics when I get them developed.

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We see all kinds of fish though – short and fat, long and skinny, plus starfish, and even sea urchins!

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Once we make it back from our walk, it’s usually time for cocktail hour(s)!!! Ben and I are staying at an all inclusive resort, which means all our meals, and drinks are included in the price of the hotel.

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This comes in handy for Ben’s fondness for red stripe, and my obsession with mojitos. ;) Actually, it seems I ran the resort out of fresh mint on the first day, so I had to sample a few margaritas on the second day. Whoops!

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The food here is fresh, and plentiful. We’ve eaten everything from seafood, to the BEST jerk chicken,

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braised oxtail (which I actually loved!)

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and tons of exotic and unknown fruits. I still haven’t figured out what this avocado/oyster looking fruit is…

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but jack fruit is my new favorite thing on earth!

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Apparently it’s as big as a watermelon, and covered with these hedge hog looking spikes on the outside.

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The inside is pitted with almond-looking pits that you pop out, then eat the flesh that peels back in layers like an artichoke. It’s WILD, and tastes like a mix between a banana, coconut, and pineapple. Mmmm, so yummy. :)

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Well, back to the sun and fun I go! We’ve got an island excursion planned for tomorrow, and today we’re heading towards the famous 7 mile beach to watch and, fingers crossed, participate in some cliff jumping! Whee!

Hope you’re having a great week! :)

Giveaway winner

The winner of the Keurig Platinum Brewing System and box of Coconut Mocha K Cups is:

JennP: One of the most beautiful places I’ve been is Anguilla, but I’d sell my left arm to see Tahiti one day!

Congrats! Email your full shipping address to IowaGirlEats@gmail.com, and we’ll get your stuff right out to you!

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Comments

  1. Samantha 04.12.2012

    Looks amazing! I always see jackfruit in the Asian markets and never know what to do with it – or how I’d get it into my cart, onto my kitchen counter, and divvied up. The ones I’ve seen must be 30 pounds, but the taste sounds almost worth all the hard work!

  2. Emily 04.12.2012

    I had jackfruit tacos once at a vegan restaurant–they chopped up the jackfruit and seasoned it like taco meat! They were awesome. :)

  3. You lucky lady, what stunning views…and amazing tropical food! I think I may need to make a mini tropical vacay happen a little later this year!

  4. Jennie M. 04.12.2012

    Which resort are you at? My hubby’s deployed and we’re planning a Negril vacation this Christmas when he gets back. Haven’t decided on a resort yet – let me know!

  5. Erika 04.12.2012

    This is making me miss St. Lucia a lot! We went there for our honeymoon last year, would love to go to Negril one day though!

  6. Natalie Tate 04.12.2012

    Unlimited mojitos? ON MY WAY!

  7. Colleen 04.12.2012

    The unknown fruit looks like a cherimoya to me. They’re pretty common at farmers markets in LA.

    • Mari 04.12.2012

      I was going to comment this as well. I live in California and recently bought/tried one at our local farmers market!

  8. Gorgeous pics, Kristin! Glad you’re having a blast!! :D

  9. Kristin from MN 04.12.2012

    Wow! Gorgeous pictures! What resort are you at? I need to make a note to stay there if I ever make it to Jamaica! The beach and water look perfect!

  10. Molly 04.12.2012

    Aww Jamaica looks beautiful!

  11. What beautiful pictures! I’m so glad y’all are having fun!

  12. beautiful photos. Have fun!!

  13. Dee 04.12.2012

    I think the flower is a Alpinia Purporata pretty beautiful. The fruit is either Cherimoya or Sour Sop they both look similar.

  14. Trisha 04.12.2012

    Gorgeous photos! Tough Jamaica has never really been on my travel wish list, these photos could really convince a girl to add it. Enjoy your excursions!

  15. Victoria Brown 04.12.2012

    There is a Thai Restaurant on the South Side (of DSM) that makes theeeee BEST Jack Fruit Smoothies. You can buy it canned in the ethnic food isle at Hy-Vee and at all of the Asian stores in town.

  16. LOVE that Ben is rocking the Celtics jersey! Goo BOSTON!

  17. Fran Flan 04.12.2012

    Hi – Those flowers….Ginger…gorgeous!

  18. Bobbi 04.12.2012

    That green fruit with the white flesh is chirimoya or dutch apple. I had it when I was in Peru!

  19. Jess 04.12.2012

    Are you at a RIU resort? They are the best! We only stay at those resorts when we have gone to Jamaica (Ocho rios) and Mexico (Riviera Maya). I thought I saw the RIU emblem on the plates! Do you mind sharing which one you are at? Could you do a review of the resort when you get back? We are going back to the caribbean next spring for our 7 year anniversary, and would love to hear about Negril and this resort.

  20. Arma 04.12.2012

    I had vegan jack fruit barbecue at my wedding and it was amazing! It ended up being a delicious and convincing alternative to pulled pork. Everyone loved it!

  21. Michelle 04.12.2012

    Awwww, those pictures bring back great memories! We honeymooned in Negril, what a beautiful, relaxing place.

  22. Lani 04.12.2012

    The flowers you’re looking at are called ginger. I work at a floral wholesaler here in Des Moines and we have imported these flowers in before. They’re available as a cut flower – good to keep in mind if you ever have a tropical party!

  23. Amy 04.12.2012

    Just seeing the blue water is a treat……………! So glad you two are having fun!

  24. Stephanie 04.12.2012

    I stayed at that same resort a couple of years ago. I remember that tree in one of your first pictures. I love it there! I plan on making a trip back there in the future.

  25. Sarah 04.12.2012

    Which resort are you at? Have been looking for all-inclusives in Jamacia!

  26. i’m glad they actually serve jamaican meat pies in jamaica!!

    we tried making some at home (but a failed jamaican meat pie turned into a DELICIOUS empanada!) and it’s very tough for me to walk past a pizzeria and NOT get a meat pie (not sure why they sell them at pizzeria’s around here.. jersey city/NYC) … i just love them.

    have fun!

  27. SO JEALOUS! Jamaica is amazing and your resort looks beautiful. I love all-inclusive! And jerk chicken, yum!

  28. Liz 04.12.2012

    That’s so funny, I’ve never actually seen what a jack fruit looks like before. We have a vegetarian food truck in my city that makes jack fruit tacos. They shred up the jack fruit and coat it in spices, and NO JOKE it tastes like straight up shredded meat, it is cuh-razy good! I always thought that maybe jack fruit didn’t have a fruity taste and that was why they could get it to taste like meat, but now I know! :) Loving your vacay pics, have fun!!!

  29. JennP 04.12.2012

    WOOHOO! I won the Keurig! Thanks Iowa Girl :-)

  30. Urban Wife 04.12.2012

    By the way, that hot pink flower is ginger which we also have here in Florida. And the fruit looks like naseberry but I’m not 100% sure. Enjoy your vacay!

  31. That sky looks so beautiful, it doesn’t even seem real. Definitely Heaven on Earth.

  32. I think those are called red ginger flowers?

    Sounds like you’re having a great time…and lots of mojitos ;)

    Can’t wait to see the underwater pics. Sounds unreal.

  33. brandee 04.12.2012

    All the ginger is beautiful! Here in Hawaii it grows everywhere…I love it!

  34. Looks AMAZING!! Hope you have a wonderful trip! I can’t wait to try jackfruit now :)

  35. ashley 04.12.2012

    we were married in ocho rios last september and we loved it in jamaica. i hope you are heading to ricks cafe to do the cliff diving. it is amazing. have a great time!

  36. Jules 04.12.2012

    That fruit you were asking about is a cherimoya! They are so delicious and in my local supermarkets here in Phoenix. Be careful to eat around the seeds though since they’re toxic.

  37. erica 04.12.2012

    love your earrings!

    your photos are always so crisp and vibrant! looks like you’re having a lot of fun! i need to go somewhere where the mojitos flow free!

  38. Thea 04.12.2012

    Kristin,

    I found your blog via Pinterest… ( gotta love it)! I love your pictures and the food looks so beautiful its almost hard to imagine eating it…ok not really. LOL

    I am making your Buffalo chicken wraps tonight for dinner. My house smells amazing!!

    Thanks for sharing your adventure in Jamaica. I will be there in July. Can’t wait!!!

  39. Lib 04.12.2012

    I vote for red ginger. Lived in HI for 3 years and they were plentiful, beautiful and had a great fragrance! Looks like you and Ben are in Paradise! Enjoy!

  40. Mrs. W 04.12.2012

    Beautiful! I’m drooling at my desk!!

  41. Dream Mom 04.12.2012

    Wow, looks great! That water looks amazing. Sounds like you are having a great time. Ben looks so much healthier now than he did a few months ago. Can’t wait to see the underwater pics.

  42. Betsy Wiley 04.12.2012

    My boyfriend and I are headed to Negril in September. I just got an all-inclusive quote for the RIU. Please let us know specifically which resort you are with. Have a good time.

  43. Nicole N 04.12.2012

    Jamaica looks gorgeous and the food looks delicious! fresh jackfruit is one my favorite fruits :)

  44. Martha E 04.12.2012

    Was just in Negril myself a month ago and loved it! Its so beautiful! If you can, record the sound of the waves on the shore at night or even during the day. I did on my iPod … So magical now to listen to the serenity of it. Enjoy! And thank you for the pics!

  45. Karla 04.12.2012

    This looks so fantastic! Thanks for taking us on a virtual vacation, Kristin, and have a blast with the cliff jumping! :)

  46. Stephanie 04.12.2012

    Looks like you’re having a wonderful time, Kristin and Ben! Hope you keep having a good vacation :)

  47. What gorgeous photos! Okay I need to save up money so I can make a trip out there. It’s either that or winning the lottery. Then I’ll just buy a beachfront house there :)

  48. Careen 04.12.2012

    We stayed at there for our 10th anniversary… 10 years ago, feels like yesterday! Your pictures brought it back! Ask the bartender for a hummingbird, you’ll love it!

  49. Tiphaney 04.13.2012

    I also found your site on pinterest and I am so happy I did. I have used a number of your recipes and actually look forward to your e-mail every night to see what you have to say! Thanks for taking the time out during your vacation to still post!

  50. Laurie 04.13.2012

    The mystery fruit is a durian!

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