My Husband and I Lived Like We Were on "The Bachelor" and the Fantasy Suite Got… Weird
One of my greatest accomplishments in an otherwise unexceptional life is finding a husband who enjoys watchingThe Bachelor. Or, should I say, who understands the importance of drinking wine on Monday nights. So when the opportunity presented itself* to re-create the final week of our fave reality show at the locations where it was filmed in Jamaica, there was no stopping us.
Armed with my two finest tankinis, we headed to the tropics for a weekend filled with "fantasy dates," insider Bachelor dirt, and a crippling case of chub rub.
Our journey (in joke!) began at Sandals Ochi Beach, which I recognized from all of those shots of Ben Higgins pondering into the branded shoreline. Of course, I immediately started fan-girling.
First up: Mortify my husband (also called Ben) by making him take a photo somewhere the other Ben stood.
As you can see, he was thrilled.
Next, we were whisked to our room by a white-gloved butler who was miraculously not sweating through his brocade vest. He handed over a phone with only his number programmed into it and instructed us to call him with any of our needs. We never spoke to him again.
After taking an ugly us-ie (not pictured) by our private pool that Chris Harrison may or may not have bobbed in during his stay, we explored the well-manicuredgrounds swim-up bar. We marveled at all the great minds (Caila, JoJo, Lauren B.) who had been on those very stools before us and wondered how the gals managed to live at an all-inclusive for a week, without access to anyone but their designated handler, and not gain 37 pounds of free Dirty Bananas. It's a frozen drink, BTW, and an excellent one at that.
Our first full day in Jamaica, mon, was staged as a properBachelordate, which of course means that it started with a ubiquitous helicopter ride, because as everyone knows, a tiny aircraft is the perfect place to find love.
The pilot for Sandals' private 'copter—who was a bit of a studly muffin in his own right (sorry, Ben)—dropped us off at River Bumpkin Farm, an old sugar cane plantation where Higgins was filmed contemplating which girl he should spend eternity with.
Next, we hitched a skyride to Dunn's River Falls, where Ben and JoJo shared some of their last kisses.
Kudos to Chris H. and team for making this look like a remote locale, but really it's more like a water park (the coolest one ever, mind you) where tourists abound, Snapchatting themselves belly-flopping off the rope swing. I watched passively from a rock below and realized reason #149 why I could never hack it onThe Bachelor: When you're petrified of death by zip line, it's really hard to maintain the illusion that you're the "up for anything" kinda girl. That, and I look like a drowned duck with my hair wet.
Once finished with all the water elements, it was time to head back to land to see what type of towel friend our butler left us:
Ed note: Onlyoneof these animals was imported from New York. I don't have, like, a problem or anything.
At dinner that night, I resisted the temptation to order a third portion of mac and cheese (gah, the food wassogood, though) because I knew the time would soon come for our Fantasy Suite, and I didn't want dairy bloat to hold me back from being a good sport.
With a letter signed by "Chris Harrison," we hopped a golf cart over to Sandals Royal Plantation, a hyper-luxe part of the resort, so we could spend the night in the room where Caila and Ben shared their super-sexy private times.
There, we downed some champers (which seems to always be but an arm's length away at Sandals), brushed off concerns that it was bad marriage juju to stay in a dumped girl's bed, and spent no less than 12 minutes taking the below picture:
Because Ben and I share a 300-square-foot studio in NYC, I was way more interested in soaking up the suite's massive, well-appointed living room and rival patios than the bubble bath. But when you've been married for nearly three years and together for 10, there's a certain pressure that comes along with staying in the single nicest room you've ever set foot in. Especially given my newfound habit of eating cookie-flavored protein bars in bed while pretending they're dessert, which, as seductive as it sounds, isn't excellent foreplay.
As you can see from the faux sulking, Ben got v. method during this process.
Though I initially worried that my strong yearning to eat jerk chicken on every surface of the suite (thank you, 24-hour room service!) meant we were in a rut, my spectacular husband understood. Together we binged on plantain chips until the soft sea sounds lulled us to sleep on the balcony banquette. Now that's the real fantasy.
To the Sandals team: No furniture was harmed while being rearranged for the sake of this photo.
The next day, it was time to find out which suitor Ben Higgins chose, so in the most meta move, we charted course for the Rio Chico private villa where Ben lived during his Jamaica stay (that is, when he wasn't shaking up with his ladies) to watch the finale.
Though the 12-acre property (that can be all yours for a cool ,000 a week) has six bedrooms and countless pools to muse in, poor, lonely Ben lived there all by himself.
This place was absolutely breathtaking. All Bachelor Nation nerds like to joke that the guys and dolls on the show aren't falling in love with each other, per se, they're just lusting over the nifty places they get to travel. And after staying at the various Sandals properties, and mocking up a (gender-reversed) proposal of my own at the very spot Lauren said "yes" about 30 times before the producers got a good take, I get it.
Jamaica really is the perfect place to give someone your final rose.
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