“So that our guests may fully disconnect and enjoy the beautiful nature there is no wi-fi and television in the guest rooms,” says our host moments after greeting us at the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge. I hear gasps from my children and sense some discontent from my husband. We will soon find that being surrounded by over a hundred thousand acres of untouched wilderness is more than enough for our senses. By the end of our stay Lucas will tell me that he enjoyed not having wi-fi. Without the distraction of video games he was able to get lost in the wonder of this place.
Our day started at 5:30 am EST. The kids woke easily as excitement set in. Twelve hours and two time zones later our driver pulls over on Hummingbird Highway and asks us if we know why our resort is called Sleeping Giant? He points to the mountain range ahead and challenges us to see something. After some assistance we make out the profile of a sleeping giant in the mountain range. We turn onto a dirt road. After climbing the bumpy hill our driver stops and tells us we have arrived. I look out the van window and see the beautiful flora and fauna but not much of anything else. The kids find the pathway first and we are greeted by a warm voice telling us we are in the right place. Before us is an unassuming Hacienda style open-air building. Gareth learns our names and gives high-fives while Swift begins making our rum punches. Over the next four days Gareth will serve us many meals; Oliver will become his “main man”, he will make the table for two in the romantic alcove become a table for five because Oliver, and I, want it, and on our last day the kids will give Gareth homemade cards as we say our goodbyes. Our host gives us a tour and points out the view of the sleeping giant, I can see it more clearly now. The kids still struggle to see it but our host reassures us that the view from our room is even better.
We make our way up the steep, newly constructed walkway to our room. We stop halfway to catch our breath. It will surprise me in the days going forward how easily and swiftly we make this steep climb and how none of my children ever complain. We are rewarded with this view and now we can all see the sleeping giant.