My husband requested that we celebrate his birthday with a family vacation this year. His birthday is January 15th, so it usually falls near the MLK holiday. This lends pretty well to quick getaways.
There is a resort that was recommended to me through a mother’s group recently, and it has been on my mind since hearing it several months back. The resort is called Franklyn D Resorts and it is located in Runaway Bay, Jamaica. We booked it about a week out and I was weary when they told me that I had to pay the full stay up front without any cancellation (no cancellation is generally no good for a nonrev traveller). I booked it anyway and there ended up being somewhat of a comedy of errors in getting there and back. But we all made it, both ways.
Back to the resort. It was better than I could have imagined. Is it new? Modern? Luxurious? No. What it is, is homey, cozy, welcoming, and perfectly comfortable. It’s not huge, but it’s also not cramped.
We had a two bedroom suite which gave us an enormous amount of space to spread out. All the rooms have a beautiful balcony to enjoy ocean noises and gorgeous sunsets.
There were three restaurants, all of which are open air, and also one grill near the pool that served food in between the main three meals. There’s one bar, but there was never a long wait. The food was delicious. Nothing super fancy, but everything traditionally Jamaican. Jerk Chicken, Patties, Broiled Oxtail, fried plantains, fresh caught fish, OMG! The restaurants weren’t huge, but they were attended very well. There was a hostess to greet us at each, even the poolside grill, there was a person to get us drinks from the bar, and there were waiters and bussers to keep everything moving.
The beach was beautiful. A bit small, but sunny, calm, and clear. They had towels and chairs that we could use as well as snorkeling gear (I passed because EW fish!) and some nonmotorized water activities.
But the best, most spectacular part of this tiny little slice of Jamaican heaven? The Vacation Nanny. Um yes, that is a real thing! A VACATION NANNY! A person who let’s you (the parent) enjoy the vacation. It’s amazing. Every resort everywhere should do this! No they shouldn’t. Because I love FDR and I want to go there every year.
Our vacation nanny was Shavalenne, which I am sure I have mangled both in spelling and pronunciation. But she was great, superb, the best thing ever. Ike just loved her, he lit up when she arrived in the morning. She let him pretty much lead, and she followed and did whatever tickled his fancy. But she was also firm and made sure that he didn’t get himself hurt; no eating peoples shoes, or launching himself into the pool, etc.
I’m not sure if we can give this credit to Shavalenne, but since we got to Jamaica Ike’s been a champion eater. He’s a big eater, generally, sometimes, like when he feels like it, no more than once or twice a week. But we’ve been home for a week now and he’s eating me out of house and home! Whenever he felt like it, he and the nanny would belly up to the grill and get a bite to eat. This was in addition to the breakfast, lunch, and dinner that we at with Ike. I probably just jinxed the whole thing and Ike will refuse to even sit in his highchair tomorrow.
We went, we ate, we lounged on the beach, we enjoyed each other’s company. We did Jamaica and we loved it. I cannot wait to go back. FDR is going to become a regular destination for us.