When we were in Negril, on the western coast of Jamaica, for a few days after New Year’s, we stopped by Margaritaville in Montego Bay on the drive home. It’s about a 4.5-hour trip from Negril to where we live, so it was good to take a break for lunch.
I quite enjoyed my first trip to Margaritaville, in Negril last year on Seven Mile Beach. The Montego Bay franchise is even better–its water park is in deeper water, making for a more adult playground, and it sits in what locals call the “Hip Strip.” From the restaurant, you can see the planes coming into Sangster International Airport, full of expectant tourists waiting to start their island escape.
When we arrived, we were both tired, undercaffeinated, dehydrated, and waning from the heat of the sun and the cumulative effects of travel. We dithered about while chugging water, finally placed our order, then set our sights on the ocean and decided to hop in.
That did the trick. Our spirits were lifted as we monkeyed around the various floating playgrounds. There’s was a see saw, a trampoline, rock climbing walls, and, of course, a water slide. I made my way fairly quickly up a rock wall, making me feel like I was a contestant on “Ninja Warrior.” Triumphant, I paused for a few breaths at the top. I didn’t stay put for long. I got into position at the head of the slide, pinched my nose, held my sunglasses in place, and happily slid down, making a big splash. It’s amazing how a little water, sun, and fun can make your mood do a 180.
When the waiter signaled from the balcony that our food was ready, we climbed out of the ocean and sat down to eat. I had a big plate of chicken and french fries in front of me. Nothing fancy, but it sure was good.
Illustration by Aileen Torres-Bennett