back from jamaica
last week my wife and I took the kids to jamaica
our trip was not entirely a jamaican experience
sure we slept under the jamaican sky
sure we swam in the jamaican ocean
sure we played on the jamaican sand
we stayed at an all inclusive resort which limited our true jamaican experience

the list of advantages of the all inclusive experience for the family is endless
it is easy
it is safe
it is effortless
not free.... but effortless
it is all laid out

with children.... with two small children
it is much easier and much safer to exist in the all inclusive compound
much easier to manage with the activities in front of you and the food already prepared
sure lisa and I craved the flavor of the adventure traveler's experience
but we did not desire the discomforts of adventure travel with children
the kids want fun in the sun... not a sociology lesson

there was little need to make change
there was no real need to learn the currency
we never had to pull out a map
we never had to learn the language or at least the venacular
we just had to look at the bulletin board and learn the routine of the Beaches resort

there was snorkling
there was scuba
we did not scuba... but we did snorkel each and every day
Dean was too young for the snorkel adventure which made me sad
Dean was also too short for the water slide... but... they let him slide... literally
Grant and Dean loved the lazy river
the pool and the water park got more attention then the sand and the beach
the kayak and the water bike were short trips off shore
the sailing trip on the mini-catamaran was a pleasure
although neither boy wanted to be on the sailboat being splashed by the salty waves
yet they went along just the same
there were other activities that we did not even touch upon

other than the endless water activites....
there is a Kid's Camp.... which neither child desired
yet they attended just the same
the kids attended the multi activity day camp while we snorkeled or hung on the beach
Dean loving the camp experience with other kids yet not wanting to go back
Grant hating it... dreading even the thought of it... waking each morning asking in a two year old way... "today a school day?"
without the Kid's Camp.... this vacation would have been far less of a vacation

we all had a blast
swimming, splashing, and snorkeling in jamaica sure beats shoveling snow in Washington DC any day or any week!
oh... lisa also spent a well deserved morning at the spa

we were hesitant about the "all inclusive"
in the end...
the amenities of the all inclusive resort out weigh the "cool factor" of adventure travel when traveling with young kids
food poisoning and a room without air conditioning with a 2 year old and a four year old would have been a miserable experience
in contrast to a day spent wandering a massive beach compound
with boats, beaches, water parks, snokeling, boat rides... and food and drinks always within reach
in addition to the food, drink, and water activities
there were two X-Box room with over a dozen game stations in each room
there was evening entertainment for young and old, Zoe from Seasame Street was HOT!
there were discos and bars which I did not attend
there was more than enough to keep everyone occupied

all things made available in a jamaican minute!
was just what we were looking for

we all had a blast!

lisa and I got off "the compound" a few times
each trip off the BEACHES resort was short and concise
for the three times we left the resort two times we went without children
dinner at Sweet and Spice
shopping at the crafts market in Hanover
and a jaunt with the kids to Rick's Cafe for the tourist experience of the cliff jumpers

there was something nice about leaving the Lonely Planet at the book store
as valuable as the Lonely Planet may be
the Lonely Planet is what makes everything great accessible... therefore virtually common
in the book The Beach.... the map is a metaphor for the Lonely Planet

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