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Relaxation: Simple Day Outings

Living life to the fullest is part of everyone's philosophy. Taking the time to actually do it, is another story. With work, and the hustle and bustle of general living, we often forget and wait until that big break in order to take the relevant actions. One simple action step that we can take is the micro-win. Before that week long trip to Hawaii, it might be beneficial to take that two hour trip to the spa, or a spend an afternoon at your local park, in order to get into the habit of periodically relaxing. We are not machines, and periodically need to purge, rest and relax.

One of the local parks and attractions in Kingston, Jamaica is Devon House. A regular Sunday tradition in my household when we were much younger, Devon House is the ideal escape in the middle of the busy Business district in New Kingston. Just entering this serene space, enables one to simply take time off and embrace the joy of treating yourself after working hard. Yours truly, is all about the escape. As a National treasure, there are several activities on the one site. I'll start from the budget friendly side, and transition to the higher end and more sophisticated aspects of the location. They cater to EVERYONE. This all about the no excuses life, no matter what your budget. We are all fabulous.

The first thing to do when you enter Devon House, is to simply release all worries. After you park, the entry way is as outlined in the image to the left. Designed for relaxation, the ambience at the site is one of serenity. As a expansive property, one has the option to either go to the restaurants which are on the right hand side of the walkway, once you enter the courtyard, or to the shops which are on the left side of the courtyard. As a start...just imagine that we're turning left.

Ok, now we're inside! Since we've decided to turn left...we are greeted by the shops. As mentioned, we're starting at the lower end of our budget, and living luxuriously for less. The most free thing one can do at Devon House, is simply relax in the courtyard. If you feel like having your lunch there instead of inside the lunch room at work, simply take it there, and enjoy it. As you can see, the courtyard is spotted with a gazebo and benches. There is actually another space similar to this if we were to duplicate the image to the left. There is plenty of space of space for relaxation. Admission to the site is free, unless they are having special events there, and site is booked out. So that covers the free aspect of life. Let's now spend...US$2.50 or Jamaican $300-400.

Straight ahead in the image, where the door is, is the world renowned Devon House I Scream. This ice cream is one of the best that I've tasted. Devon House uses locally sourced natural ingredients in order to create their ice creams. The traditional flavors such as vanilla, chocolate, strawberry are always in stock. For those who like more daring...Rum and Raisin, Coffee (my favorite), coconut, pistachio and a myriad of other flavors exist. For $2.50, one can purchase a waffle cone, and get a single scoop of ice cream. Their scoops are quite generous, and average about twice the size of the scoops at other local sites.

Devon House's ice cream is the perfect treat on a random Sunday afternoon, when you are in the mood for rest and relaxation, or even on a Friday evening when you want something different. On a Sunday when you typically have more time, and you've had dinner, instead of simply sitting at home and having Haagen Daas on your patio, a great option is to carry your family to a location like Devon House, in order to have that unique outdoor experience.

If you want additional experiences, for the sophisticated ones among us. The ideal plan is to go to one of the two restaurants that are on the site. The first restaurant is The Grogge Shoppe. It is in a nook on the right hand side of the courtyard. With a sophisticated feel, it's affordable gourmet dining at its best. What I love from them is their steak steeped in beer. They use a local blend, and add a mixture of spices and herbs, which makes the steak absolutely divine. Additionally, the restaurant makes their own drinks, so if you love dacquiris, you can always get them in local flavors like pineapple and coconut. The restaurant has their own courtyard similar to the one above, but it is exclusively for guests.

Once you've finished eating, and eating ice may be too full for dessert. The site has one of the best bakeries in Jamaica. When I was younger, even if we only went in for ice cream, we'd carry home some pastries from the bakery, for eating later on in the week. As a baker myself, it's always nice to have items on hand so that you can snack on after a hard day at work.

As summer is approaching, it is always nice to have simple escapes that you can indulge in. Check your local listings, as you embark on your quest to enjoy life. Every area has's just up to you to ensure that enjoy what is nearby.

Thank you for reading!!


**Dr T**

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