Thanks to Travel Writer, Michael Franco, of About.com Guide.
Our signature recipe here at Neita's Nest, Kingston's #1 Bed and Breakfast was worth a shout out, and we are screaming with delight. Read here about our sweet and savoury offering which we named, Good Morning Honey!
Thanks to Travel Writer, Michael Franco, of About.com Guide.
Men in Uniform, who play good music too.
The Massed Band of the Jamaica Defence Force, comprised of the Jamaica Military Band and the Jamaica Regiment Band, under the leadership of bandmaster Actg. Director of Music, Warrant Officer Class 1 Albert Shaun Hird, steps out in full regale this Sunday, April 21 for their monthly performance on the lawns of The Royal Hope Botanical Gardens, at the Shell Bandstand. Enter Hope Gardens from Hart Boulevard in Hope Gardens. Ample parking.
This is what you call a pleasant Sunday afternoon, and great family entertainment. Bring the grandparents, the teenagers and the little ones. Spread your blanket on the lawns or take a folding chair. Perhaps an umbrella, your camera, bottle of wine, and your good spirits.
The band master has asked me to tell you all that they are coming with "a nice collection of music to make everyone happy", and that they begin with military precision at 1600 hours!
Spread the joy.
We have always wanted to give names to our guest rooms; names of birds, naturally, & Jamaican Birds, of course. Birds that make their homes in the woodlands here.
By a process of elimination we ruled out John Crow, Eagle, Hopping Dick, Pigeon, Parakeet and Bald Pate, and for obvious reasons.
February is Reggae Month in Jamaica and there are a whole host of activities taking place in Kingston that you won't want to miss!
Check out the Calendar of Events for Reggae Month then
CONTACT US for your bed and breakfast stay at Neita's Nest.
Just book your airline ticket, your bed and your breakfast, and get out in the city and enjoy the vibe. Kingston is waiting on you!
February is Reggae Month in Jamaica, and the Jamaica Music Museum kicks off with "Groundation", a series of weekly events, beginning Sunday the 3rd at the historic Institute of Jamaica and home of the Jamaica Music Museum.
For the first expose, a panel of musicologists, sociologists and Rastafarians delves into
'Rastafari, Music and Philosophy' followed by a performance by The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari.
What better venue for these events than the Institute of Jamaica. It was established in 1879 during the governorship of Sir Anthony Musgrave, for the encouragement of Literature, Science and Art.
If you are staying at Neita's Nest, you are welcome to come with us.
Neita's Nest hosted our first honeymooners in early January. Special memories were created when the Euphoria Spa Team turned our Tree House into Cupid's Couple Zone for Sri Lankan Australian couple Roger & Neythra.
The couple had celebrated their Buddhist Wedding in med-December, and Kingston, Jamaica was just one of their several stops in their tour of the Western Hemisphere. Roger had been online booking their month-long honeymoon from as far back as April last year, and we were pleased to have been selected for their second week in Jamaica.
When they were not out touring the city, they shared photos of their beautiful wedding and we learned of the Poruwa, the platform which was thoughtfully built and decorated by their uncle, and on which the ceremony took place. We also enjoyed exchanges on Buddhism and Christianity. We also exchanged gifts; ours was a Jamaican Christmas Tree ornament crafted right here in our neighbourhood by Yvette Fontaine and available at Craft Cottage, and theirs, a beautifully hand-painted miniature boomerang, a typical Australian memento.
We wish for Roger and Neythra, a long and happy life together, and may their honeymoon never end.
Hosting our 150th guest for 2012, Susan and her husband Simon, was quite an amazing achievement for us here at Neita's Nest, and certainly worthy of celebration!
The game plan was this: We would pay tribute to every 50th guest who stayed at our Bed & Breakfast in 2012, the year of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica's Independence.
And what better way to recognise Susan and Simon than with the gift of a copy of the biography of one of the architects of our independence - the second prime minister of Jamaica, Sir Donald Sangster, which was written by Hartley Neita, his former press secretary, edited by yours truly right here at Neita's Nest, and published by Lena Rose of Minna Press!
Based on our booking schedule, we expected our 150th guest to arrive on Christmas Day. That would have been lovely too. However, a surprise referral from repeat guest, Lena Rose herself, brought Susan and Simon in on the eve of Christmas, and they clinched the gift.
The book should be an enjoyable read for Susan and Simon, especially for Susan who has been coming to Jamaica from her childhood days. She will certainly identify with some the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of Jamaica weaved into this landmark volume which received the "Proudly Celebrating Jamaica 50" insignia from the Government of Jamaica.
Congratulations again Susan and Simon! Enjoy the read, and thank you for being our special guests. We certainly enjoyed your company.
Trip Advisor has ranked Neita's Nest the #1 B&B in Kingston, Jamaica.
It has been 3 experiential years here at Neita's Nest. With a whole lot of bravada and confidence that we have something special to offer you, we initially opened two bedrooms in our home, set out two Adirondak chairs in the garden, designed some flyers and created a Trip Advisor page. That was our initial invitation to the world to say that we are open and waiting to receive you all.
You came, you saw, you stayed, you liked, you shared your feedback on Trip Advisor, and now, Neita's Nest is rated the #1 bed and breakfast service in all of Kingston, the capital city of Jamaica. In addition, we are #9 of all 153 bed and breakfast services across Jamaica! Howzat!
We have worked hard to please you, and in turn you have pleased us with your feedback. There is no better reward than the knowing that we have met your expectations. Thank you all.
There is no telling where you will end up when you spend a day with Michelle Neita, host of Neita's Nest Bed and Breakfast.
Published Author, Reverend Easton Lee traveled with me to the Institute of Jamaica in downtown Kingston last Tuesday for the launch of Ananse Sound Splash 2012 - a five-day international storytelling conference and festival held in Kingston, Ocho Rios and St. Ann's Bay. I only recently found out from Amina Blackwood-Meeks, producer of the conference, that November is International Storytelling Month.
Dr. the Honourable Barbara Gloudon, accomplished journalist and playwright, under whose patronage the conference was held, shared the opening moments with Zodwa Radebe of South Africa, presenting papers on Ananse and Cultural Decolonization. Other international participants included Momsa Mdlaslose, also from South Africa, Jan Blake from London in the UK, Jeeva Raghunath from Chennai, India, Sheila Payne from Curacao, Eintu Springer from Trinidad and Tobago, Baba The Storyteller from Los Angeles in the US, and Michael Kerins of Glasgow, Scotland. All were among those whom we had the wonderful opportunity of hosting here at Neita's Nest.
A couple eye-openers for me as I chatted with my guests and gleaned insights into storytelling as a professional: albeit a natural but dying cultural tradition in Jamaica, storytelling is a learned art and an occupation for many around the world. Hail to the Bard of olde!
But, these bards were pretty young! I remember as a child, looking forward to the visits from Didi, my grandmother's friend, who would tell us Anansi stories and put us to bed for Mama. I guess the trick was that, with the four little children sound asleep, the two women had time to "la-la" late into the evenings. Whatever their reason, we are blest with the knowing of being raised by the village, and with storytelling being one of our comforting memories.
Then, there is my Dad, Hartley Neita, himself a published author, among his many other accomplishments. When my first son was born, Daddy used to visit, daily; each time with a story of his travels around the world, or of stories his father told him, or of historic highlights of Jamaica, of which he knew so many. One day, I said to him that I recognised that he was trying to continue a tradition of oral history, sharing stories that he wanted me to pass on to my offspring. However, there were so many stories, rich ones, that I was sure that I would not be able to do his wish justice. I asked him to write them down.
How was I to know, until he told me years later, that this was how he came to be writing again as a columnist for the Daily Gleaner. For 15 years after, he contributed "This day in our Past", and weekly articles of historical anecdotes of Jamaican life. I received countless, daily messages for Daddy, thanking him for sharing his stories. So now, I realize that my father was a storyteller!
Another member of our family, my mother's father, Dada, was a storyteller too. Dada would take us for long drives, and he had a story for every corner, every estate, every building. It was he who told me that the Moneague lakes rise every 25 years and do not die down until it takes someone with it. Dada shared, and we listened. Now I tell his stories to my children or to anyone who will listen. Does that mean that I am becoming a storyteller? Yikes!!
That brings me to my second eye-opener. I though storytellers were old people!
By the way, Easton and I ended up at the UWI Museum housed in the new Vice Chancellery on the Mona Campus where we visited with curator, Suzanne Francis-Brown, and spent hours sharing stories.
Did I say that storytelling was a dying cultural art form in Jamaica?
Recent bed and breakfasts guests, resolute that their plans to visit Jamaica would not be put out by the foreboding news of another visitor, Hurricane Sandy, embraced the excitement.
Read Tanya Marie Williams' post in which she shares some of her earliest experiences during her first visit to Jamaica: the different names used for the same fruit in Jamaica and in her homeland, Trinidad and Tobago, her first meal at historic Port Royal, and a weather condition mostly unknown to inhabitants of that Caribbean twin-island state. Here is how she summed up this latter experience, "It is not always sunny in Jamaica...but it is always beautiful". Thanks for that positive spin, Tanya.
So, what are the sights and sounds of a hurricane like here at Neita's Nest, you might ask. We have been through a couple, so here is what it is like. Rain water pelting the windows, anxious to find the smallest space through which to enter; strong winds howling through the trees; the snapping of branches and the crashing sounds as they fall to the ground; poinciana seed pods snatched for untimely dispersal and flung on the roof, rolling and rattling to the edge mimicking the sounds of a godzilla on the roof; the gushing sound of water rushing tumultuously everywhere - off the roof, down the hillsides behind the house, bubbling down the patio steps, on to the driveway and down the road. Inside, the rooms are darkened by the lack of power, turned off at source for safety. We stay far from the glass windows for fear of missiles being blown in. From a safe distance you can look through and see sheets of rain, as if torn from their drying line, being blown from north to south in uniform parade. Once we have prepared as best as we can for the hurricane, we wait prayerfully for it to pass.
Thankfully, we weathered the hurricane well at Neita's Nest. And yes, we are all saddened by the loss of our beautiful Queen Flower Tree which had her crowning glory earlier this year. Happily, we have saved pieces of her trunk for garden seating. Our thoughts are now focused on creating a new landscape feature in that location to welcome our family, friends and you, our bed and breakfast guests. Any ideas?