Trish and I had a wonderful time in Jamaica, it was very relaxing and a
lot of fun! We did all sorts of activities from scuba diving,
snorkeling, and sailing to just sitting on a lounger reading a book.
We even managed to get in some tennis. Trish was especially proud that
she got me to just relax for hours on end, something I rarely do. I'm
a bit of a busy body, especially when traveling.
The trip wasn't
without a few hurdles but even I was in "no problem" mode and we just
rolled with it. A flat tire on our bus barely slowed us down on our
trip to the resort. I managed to get my hands dirty to help get us on
the road again.
The resort was amazing! A very nice renovation
took place over the last year at Couples Tower Isle (Ocho Rios), and it
maintained it's old world charm while bringing some very nice, new
accommodations. I really enjoyed the relatively small size of the
resort, it allowed the staff to become familiar with us an even learn
our names and our favorite drinks! I have to say, my favorite part of
the resort is a toss up between the amazing food and the private
island, with the service being a close third. They really do treat you
like kings and queens.
I have a flash gallery above for your viewing pleasure, but if you want a more detailed view of our trip, check out my GALLERY.
Now on to my new toy... Since Verizon joined forces with my cell
carrier, Alltel, I was a little unsure whether or not I would stay with
them or move to ATT so that I could buy an iPhone.... the downside to
moving is that I am under contract until August 2010... so it would be
a long wait or a painfully expensive transition. The other option was
to pray and hope that ATT doesn't renew their iPhone exclusivity deal
with Apple, although from what I've read, it sounds like they are
already talking about the renewal. I don't think ATT can afford to not
do it, regardless of what Apple wants, that said... I'm pretty much not
going to get a iPhone, at least not in the near future. The problem is
that I'm really starved for a smartphone right now.. it's been a year
and a half without one and I really want one and until recently, there
really weren't any iPhone alternatives that wow'ed me.
Along comes the Android operating system from Google and a few new
devices. The initial android phones weren't all that special but with
all the hype around the Motorola Droid, I decided to take a good look
at the android options with Verizon. A co-worker bought a moto droid a
few days after it released and I was able to have a first hand look at
it and some of the apps that came out for it. My initial thoughts
about the moto droid were that it was a bit heavy and clunky feeling
but the apps and apps to come would be very nice since Google is the
force behind the product, it's not going away. A far less marketed
phone was the Droid Eris from HTC. It released the same time as the
Motorola Droid and really has a lot to offer the Droid user community.
The hardware is a bit slimmer and a lot lighter. It doesn't have a
slide out physical keyboard but really that isn't a downfall since the
on-screen keyboard is amazing! I think the keyboard on the moto droid
is one of it's biggest downfalls! It makes it thicker and very heavy
in comparison. The only negative so far on the Eris is that it
released on Android 1.5 instead of 2.0 that the moto droid released
with although they promise that it will be upgradable in the near
future once they work out some bugs with the HTC Sense User Interface.
Sense UI, is a really good selling point of the Eris, I really like
it! It has a lot of options and a lot of screen real estate to work
with! Another selling point is that it's only $99 with contract
renewal after a $100 rebate. $100 less than the moto droid... Thank
you very much! Also, since Verizon and Alltel joined forces, it seems
that Verizon is happy to offer some incentives to get you on a Verizon
phone plan rather than having to keep the Alltel offerings around... so
they happened to send out a letter offering early renewal of contracts
with the discounted phone options.
So I received my HTC Droid Eris on Friday and I really really like it!
The on-screen keyboard is great! I was worried about that but after
spending a few minutes at the Verizon store messing around with an
Eris, I was happy that I could type very quickly on it. The reseller
store that I had planned to make my purchase in was a bit wish washy
about honoring the letter saying I could upgrade, so I ended up doing
it over the phone with Verizon directly and it was a great experience,
by far, the best customer service I've ever received from a cell phone
provider. So far the Droid Eris is a 10/10. The user interface is
great, the apps are great with more being released daily, I was able to
use active sync to connect to my personal exchange server for email,
plus gmail, and the browser is amazing... it even has the
"pinch/unpinch" zoom/unzoom functions. And it has a trackball/pearl
type thing for those who don't want to always touch the screen... a
nice addition for sure! I won't say iPhone killer, but really the Eris
has a lot to offer and can really play with the big boys! Now they
just need to hammer out the "RSA" and encryption issues for Exchange
Activesync for corporate use. It works fine with SSL and Activesync
but if you require on-device encryption, I don't think it will work for
you just yet.
I'm sure I'll post back more feedback regarding the Droid Eris later... Is it time to go back to Jamaica yet?