Two plus two plus two equals one

No, Woody’s math is not that rusty. Two weddings in two weeks in two different countries equals one great time.

My youngest brother decided to get married the first Sunday in August in Seattle, Washington. My wife’s niece decided to get married the second Saturday in August in Kingston, Jamaica. My wife and I were determined to be at both weddings.

Craig and Monica Wood.

Of course, the shirt had to be present:

Kevin and Monica on the dock and Illahee (overlooking Puget Sound)

 

Craig posed briefly with his two brothers

William, Craig (youngest), Kevin (oldest but still best looking)

Craig then consented to pose with his two sisters, Tamara (right, eldest of the Wood clan) and Rebecca.

In line for succession to the Wood throne, the siblings range from Tamara, Kevin, Rebecca, William, then Craig. Fortunately, the Wood throne does not exist (jokes about outhouses and splinters aside), so the likelihood of fratricide is low. However, getting the five Wood siblings together in one place IS a rare occasion. Being a history buff, Craig and Monica held the wedding and reception at a historic torpedo warehouse on the sound. The site was built around 1900 as part of the coastal defenses of the United States.

Althea leaves the casemate to head to the wedding. 

The extended wood clan. Starting from the left. Althea, (Kevin’s spouse) Scott (Tami’s spouse), Tami Wood, Rebecca Janowski (Wood), Mike (Rebecca’s Fiancee), Mele (Bill’s daughter) and Bill Wood. Missing are Craig and Monica Wood.

Of course, while in Seattle, we had to visit the space needle.

Once Althea discovered there was a restaurant at the top of the needle, we had to make reservations. The restaurant rotates giving a 360 degree view while the patrons dine. The food was excellent.

While waiting for the meal, however, we spent the time visiting the various museums at the base of the needle. We watched a movie about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

The science museum was very well done. It had interactive exhibits that made science come alive. To the right is a treadmill that is used to raise water and empty it into an overshot wheel. While Althea’s enthusiasm waxed and waned, since Kevin thinks demonstrating scientific principles interactively, fascinating, Kevin was enthralled by the museum. Althea’s enthusiasm may have been tempered by the fact she chose her footgear for style rather than comfort.

 

From Seattle, Kevin had to make a brief stop in Tallahassee while Althea travelled straight to Jamaica.

Kevin joined Althea on Thursday, flying into Kingston. However, it took almost as long to process through customs as the flight itself (long lines.) While the currency is the Jamaican dollar, most vendors will accept US dollars. The exchange rate while Althea and I were there was about $80 Jamaican to $1 US. We stated out in Kingston the capitol. While there, Althea and Kevin visited the Bob Marley museum, Port Royale and various relatives of Althea. We visited Emancipation Park. The statue for the park is… er… interesting. As this IS a family publication we cannot show a picture of the statue. Suffice to say, it is a statue of a male and female dressed in the costume native to the Garden of Eden (pre fruit salad.)

Orvin and Nicki (Nicki is Althea’s niece).

 

While there, we visited Port Royale. For you history buffs, Port Royale is NOT the place to put a naval base. The original fort erected in 1655 was named Fort Cromwell. Later the fort was renamed Fort Charles. In June 1692, the fort and surrounding town were destroyed in a massive earthquake. Since then, a fire in 1703, 16 hurricanes and more earthquakes repeatedly devastated the port. The earthquake in 1907 was so severe, the ground seemed to liquefy and several buildings sank.

Horatio Nelson and the shirt were here! (But, not at the same time.)

The Giddy House. Partially sank during the 1907 earthquake. Called the Giddy house because of the giddy feeling of being unbalanced when entering the building.

After a few days in Kingston, we drove to Montego Bay, or as the natives call it, Mo Bay.  Near Ocho Rios, we were able to visit Mystic Mountain and view the forest from above and via zip lines through the forest.

Althea and Dwain (Althea’s nephew and our driver) nervously wait to hook up to the zip line

Althea disappears into the jungle.

 

The Princess (one of Althea’s sisters) husband is a raft captain. Of course we had to experience the trip downriver.

 

Althea tries to give directions to the raft captain.

Tarzan helps Althea prepare for the trip. The actual ride is quite smooth. The few ‘rapids’ are shallow enough to walk through.

 

The trip down the river (it was formerly an aqueduct built by the Spanish in the 1700’s) was relaxing. The water is cool and while I contented myself with soaking my feet, some tourists swim alongside the raft. Apparently items for tourists grow wild in the forest in Jamaica. (OK, they do not, but there are several stalls along the river to buy items, beer and other refreshments.)

Runaway Bay, located between Mo Bay and Ocho Rios has a number of caves. When the British first took over, the Spanish holdouts sought refuge in the caves at Runaway Bay. Later, slaves escaping their masters sought refuge in the caves. Below is Green Grotto Cave. For a while in the 1950’s and 1960’s there was a nightclub in the cave. Patrons would even swim in the lake in the cave. However, caves include bats, but not indoor plumbing. Eventually people realized swimming in water with the nitrates was not a good idea. The nightclub is now closed, but the bat population of the caves is still relatively low. That did not preclude the few bats in the cave from flying by to scare tourists. I did not notice any jerseys or caps, so they were not baseball or cricket bats.

While I will never speak fluent Jamaican (a patois of mostly English words) a brief primer of some important words and dishes:

 

Unfortunately, like the photo below of the sun setting to the west of Jamaica, the trip like the day eventually had to end.

 

 

This story and more photos can be viewed at http://www.koalacomputers.com

 

 

 

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