Relaxation at the Riu Ocho Rios

There are two types of travel. One where you visit someplace new and see as many sites as possible. Or the alternative, to simply return to a familiar locale knowing you don’t have to do any sightseeing because you’ve done it all before. This was the case last week when I returned to Jamaica for the 8th time. We even returned to an all-inclusive resort we stayed at once before, the Riu Ocho Rios on a long stretch of beach 90 minutes from the Montego Bay airport. Having already walked up Dunns River Falls twice, tubed down the White River, visited the boyhood home of Bob Marley, and horsebacked ride along the surf, I felt no need to do anything except find a good beach chair and read two thick books, Barbara Kingsolver’s epic “Poisonwood Bible” and Donna Tartt’s overwrought but intoxicating latest, “The Goldfinch.” Besides getting up to walk the beach, swim in the warm shallow ocean with my family, go kayaking, order another “Dirty Banana,” and grab my daily plate of spicy jerk chicken at the jerk hut, my only outing was to visit a recommended boutique hotel down the road. We had a glorious room overlooking the expanse of ocean and beach, watching large cruise ships come and go. I was happy to stay put and do relatively nothing but spend time with my family and read. That’s what I call a vacation.