Last week Hubby and I went on a little week-long vacation to paradise. (And it’s not a vacation to the beach unless I take a toe picture)
Away from a week of rain and unseasonably cold weather in Mars to a week of sunshine and warmth and sand and sea at a lovely resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. (And yep – this is what my hair looked like the entire week- curly and blowing in the sea breeze … I gave up trying to do anything with it after about two days.)
Riu Palace Bavaro was a lovely treat. (The pool basically flowed toward the beach and into the ocean like magical liquid.)
The colors of turquoise and teal and blue and green against the white sand might be the most beautiful I have ever seen. (I can’t wait to find time to try to paint them!)
We found the most perfect spot on the beach that was on a bit of a perch under a few palm trees where the breeze made even 84 degrees feel cool and comfy. (And our little flamingo clips from our daughter-in-law before we left held our towels on the chaise lounges and made it easy for us to find our “saved” seats.)
My view looking UP…
It was fun to come back to the room each day to see what the staff had created out of bath towels (and fresh flowers ever day!)
And the food was so magnificent! (some healthy…)
(and some just delicious!)
If we walked far enough down the beach, we found some fun little shops (that seemed to just continue right into the ocean.)
We ventured away from the resort for a couple of excursions.
We loved the Outback Safari Adventure with Angel as our funny, informative, and engaging tour guide and Leo as our amazing driver who took us through tiny villages (this was an elementary school)
and up into the hills of the “real” Dominican Republic to experience the culture.
We toured a home. (the natives love colorful homes)
The main part of the house had a living room (shown below), two bedrooms – one for the parents and the other for the five children, and a storage room. (bathrooms are outside of the house)
Of course I was interested in the kitchen. (It was a separate building in this home)
This family grew coffee and cacao and made their own coffee and cocoa butter (which I bought some of). This is how chocolate begins…
We also got to see a gentleman who hand rolled cigars as his profession for the past 30+ years (bought some of these for my boss).
We saw beautiful flora (bird of paradise plant below)
and fauna (I think this Peacock is the REAL bird of paradise!)
and experienced some of the natives and other creatures… (Hubby is a brave one – eh?! Brave or CRAZY…. or possibly full of rum! wink!)
As if the snakes weren’t enough…. Yes – that is a TARANTULA on this man’s FACE!
We ended this tour with a visit to a beach that was NOT occupied by resorts and where the natives hung out. (It reminded us a bit of Hawaii)
Another excursion took us out on a party catamaran boat which began with snorkeling in a small spot off shore with sting rays and nurse sharks! (this time I was even brave!)
and ended with (more) rum and music and laughing (and extremely bad hair – thank goodness for this hat!).
There are more stories… but some things that happen in Punta Cana – need to stay in Punta Cana! (or only be told in person… 🙂 )
It was an amazing week and wonderful vacation, but there really is no place like home. (even though we left at noon in 84 degrees F sunshine and arrived late afternoon to 44 degrees F and SNOW showers in Mars!)
It was especially wonderful to come home to celebrate a belated Mother’s Day with Jake and Nick and Colleen who made a lovely Sunday brunch for us, brought plants and flowers (in real life AND in a surprise Debi Riley painting!)
What a difference a day makes (or seven!)
Cheers & Hugs,