Montego Bay and Kingston, 1983

It was decided that it would be more economical for us to drive from Borden to Miami and catch a flight there, since 5 tickets from Toronto to Montego Bay were a bit beyond our means at that point. I was still in that obligatory young female stage of being horse mad, and was quite excited to see the fields of Kentucky for the first time. They didn't really look all that blue to me, but I did love the tunnels and the hills that we navigated on our way south.

We stayed in a hotel over night in Miami, getting there a bit early for our flight. This is the first flight that I remember taking, mostly because the turbulence was quite impressive. The fact that that plane was almost on it's side as it circled in to land scared me a bit, but not as much as feeling my stomach drop as we hit a patch of thinner air and dipped.

We stayed at Worthy Park, near Kingston for the first little while. I fed a bull some grasses through the fence and remember the feel of it's tongue rasping my skin as it grabbed them. My uncle would pluck oranges from the trees and section them for us with his sharp knife, or snick off bits of sugar cane and give them to us to chew on.

We drove through Fern Gulley to get to the north shore of the island, and my brother was sick most of the way. We stopped frequently to air out the car, but I managed to retain fond memories of the twisty green covered road despite that.

I was first introduced to the concept of a patois while walking on the beach with Dad and not understanding what the nice man meant when he asked if we wanted any ganga. I had my first lessons in haggling too, bargaining for the best price on some shells that I wanted to buy for myself. We brought back lots of shells on that trip.

We attended my cousin Cathy's wedding, staying with her mother, my aunt Olga, in Montego Bay. My brother mistook the champagne for ginger ale and drank far too much of it. I think this was the first time that I met my cousin Neil, one of Gwen's sons, and was hugely impressed with how tall he was. We're a short family, at least the women are, the men seem to grow a bit larger, but he was the tallest of them all.

I don't recall much of the drive home, I think we took the same route home, but I need to talk to Dad about it. I do recall that either during the drive there or back, he burned his left arm badly since he was wearing short sleeved tops and kept resting his elbow on the open window sill. He wrapped a towel around it to keep the sun from aggravating it so much after that. It's a lesson that took, whenever I drive long distances in in the sun now, I reapply sun screen on a regular basis.

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