Winter escape: reminiscing about our favorite tropical vacations

We’re back from our annual NYE trip to the Washington Coast! I’ll share some photos with you later this week. Per usual, we had a fantastic time with fantastic people. It was sunny, but very cold which seems very contradictory when one is at the beach. Sand and warm weather go together IMO. So in honor of the true sun and sand combo, I’ve dug into the archives to find my five favorite tropical vacations. Enjoy with a side of margarita ๐Ÿ™‚

PicMonkey CollageCabo San Lucas, March 2010
Granted, this trip was with the family but hey, it was a relaxing getaway anyways! I think I ate guacamole and chips for lunch nearly every day and poolside lounging was the no. 1 priority. My parents even sat through a boring timeshare meeting so we could get this awesome zip lining trip. This is one of the most fun activities I’ve ever done!

PicMonkey Collage2Panama, Fall of 2010
2010 was a big year of travel for us! We got invited to a close friend’s wedding in Panama and made a week-long trip out of it. Guests came in from all over the world and it was a big party moving from hostel to hostel until we arrived at the Al Natural Resort for the wedding. I will never forget staying in these rustic, wall-less cabins overlooking the ocean. Oh, and that beautiful beach wedding!

PicMonkey Collage3Tulum, May 2012
What can I say? I love me some Mexico! I found Tulum on a travel blog and those white, sandy beaches had me sold. We stayed in this funky little hotel right on the beach and spent our days swimming in cenotes and discovering the local ruins. I’d 100% go back to Tulum in a heartbeat! I even talked my parents into vacationing there this coming spring.

PicMonkey Collage4Austin, October 2012
I guess Austin isn’t exactly tropical, but it’s a warm destination compared to Seattle! We made a trip down south to visit our dear friends and take in Austin City Limits, our first major music festival. The beers flowed, BBQ consumed and the warm weather beat out those fall blues. What a cool, hip city to explore.

PicMonkey Collage5Jamaica, November 2014
Oh Jamaica and your all-inclusive resorts! Honeymooning there was the ultimate treat for us and the perfect unwinding destination after a stressful wedding. We even extended our stay to come home post-Thanksgiving. It was just that good. Quiet beaches, friendly people and bottomless drinks…pure heaven!

OK, I’m dying to hear about your favorite tropical vacation! Give me some ideas so I can start planning our next one ๐Ÿ™‚


honeymoon highlights 2

So Mo Bay wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. It was really close to the airport, which is good when you are having to leave town, but bad when you are sitting on the beach trying to relax. After coming off of five days of quiet relaxation, this was a bit of a shock to the system. But then they showed us to our upgraded room and I was a little more OK with things ๐Ÿ™‚ Give me 600 thread sheet counts and a luxury bathroom and this gal will be alright!

Highlights from Montego Bay:

  • Beautiful, deluxe room with gorge bathroom and uber comfy four post bed
  • Private island with cabanas that you can rent
  • Renting said cabana for the day and enjoying private butler service!
  • Lively grounds with exceptional people watching
  • Tubing down the Martha Brae River

Overall, our trip to Jamaica was a wonderful, relaxing ten days. It was the perfect end cap to our wedding celebration. Many thanks to those of you who contributed to our vacation with excursions, meals in town, spa treatments and other romantic touches. It was a trip of a lifetime that won’t be forgotten!

Sandals Resort Montego Bay Jamaica - cultivatedrambler.com
A room with a view!


Sandals Resort Montego Bay Jamaica Private Island - culitvatedrambler.com
The private island.



Maj activities.


Sandals Resort Montego Bay Jamaica Private Cabana - cultivatedrambler.com


Private cabana day!


Martha Brae River Tour Jamaica - cultivatedrambler.com
Our tubing guide, Dancer.


Touring the sugar plantation.


All day, every day.

honeymoon highlights 1

I’m going to try and not bore you with a thousand pics of us drinking on the beach (though we did a lot of that!) We spent 10 glorious days in Jamaica honeymooning right after our wedding. We decided to go the all inclusive route to give ourselves a mental break from having to make even more decisions. A wedding was bad enough!

We created a honeymoon registry (which I highly recommend) so we were able to get out of the resort a lot of check out the local scene. I was afraid to stay at one resort for the entire time, I mean, what if the food was horrible or the beach was crappy!? We’d be stuck! So we split up our time between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. I must say, I preferred Ocho Rios over Mo Bay. It had a more laid back vibe and was close to a lot of outdoor activities that we wanted to do.

Other highlights from Ocho Rios:

  • Adults only resort with beautiful, tropical grounds
  • 24 hour room service!
  • Juice bar with fresh smoothies and healthy sandwich wraps
  • Close to a ton of outdoor activities
  • Spa overlooking the ocean
  • A popcorn machine ON THE BEACH = my idea of heaven ๐Ÿ™‚
  • ย Friendly staff!
Couples Resort San Souci Jamaica - cultivatedrambler.com
The beach!
Couples Resort San Souci Jamaica spa - cultivatedrambler.com
Post massage relaxation.
Getting ready for some water sports!
Glass bottom boat tour.


Couples Resort San Souci pool and bar - cultivatedrambler.com
The pool!


Romantic, private dinner on the beach.
Surf ‘n turf baby!


Water bikes!
Cooking classes!
More flora.
Our last day there ๐Ÿ™
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