I spent months dreaming up ways to surprise Karl on his thirtieth birthday. While his actual birthday was a huge trolley-pub-crawl-party success, we managed to sneak in this getaway to the Rockhouse Hotel in Negril, Jamaica just a couple weeks later. (I gave him a message in a bottle with his birthday breakfast, only including the hotel’s website. The look on his face was priceless. Mission accomplished!) What a spectacular little spot. The Rockhouse is situated at the westernmost point of Jamaica for an ultimate sunset vantage point. While we had plenty of opportunity to relax, rum punches in hand, we really enjoyed the snorkeling and the thrill of cliff jumping into the Caribbean. In case you were wondering, cliff jumping is also an easy way to make friends. Everyone needs the moral support!

Take note engaged couples: The Rockhouse definitely gets the honeymoon seal of approval. And check out the hotel’s eco philosophy and commitment to the community. We heart boutique hotels! A few more highlights: morning seaside yoga, a completely blissful spa experience, delicious local flavors of jerk seasoning and plantains, hanging out in our villa, live music at Pushcart, and of course running around with the cameras. (We brought four types. Most of what you see below was taken with a Nikon D3.) Thank you to everyone who helped me make Karl’s birthday so memorable, including our family, friends, and the lovely staff at the Rockhouse. We both feel so lucky and so blessed.

As an interesting side-note: I first read about Rockhouse in Budget Travel, which I receive as a subscription for some unknown reason. Thank you mystery gift subscriber, whoever you are!

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