Recently, Jeff and I were able to spend one whole, lovely week in the Dominican Republic. Many of our recent vacations have been full to the brim with activities and sightseeing.They have been so jam-packed that we often feel like we are in need of a vacation when we get home. Does that make sense? This time we deliberately decided to s-l-o-w down. This is not easy for yours truly. I literally have to tell myself that this is actually "the Plan"--to not have a plan. There were a few occasions when I had to force myself to sit, pick up a book, and admit to myself (and to Jeff) that doing absolutely nothing is exactly what we needed to be doing right then. You know what? It really was too! I had been going non-stop for months and this one little week was so refreshing. It really was exactly what we needed at this time in our lives.
I usually don't post pictures of our rooms but I can't help making an exception in this case. For some crazy, unexplained reason we were upgraded to an "elite suite." This room was Incredible! We had a huge bedroom with loft ceilings, private balcony, flatscreen, couch, dual shower with separate deep jacuzzi tub. Then we had a full living room/dining room, flatscreen/dvd, balcony, and separate bathroom. Typically we aren't actually in our hotel that much and so we would not have appreciated it as much but this time, we opted to stay on property the whole time and really just relax so this room was the perfect surprise for us.
Another bonus that comes with being upgraded to the Elite Suite was the Super Deluxe golf cart that we were able to drive. We called it "the Limo." We stayed at the Casa De Campo Resort which is a huge resort with thousands of acres devoted to different aspects of the resort. Each guest is given a golf cart to drive all over the resort with. Most of these only go up to about 14 mph--our bad boy would kick it all the way up to 28 mph. Yeah baby!
There is a rather large river that runs into the ocean just at the edge of the resort. Some enterprising soul built a very quaint, faux, roman village up on top of the escarpment overlooking that river. It was complete with amphitheater, church, fountains and everything. I was so beautiful and fun. We went up one night for dinner. We deliberately timed it just so that we could be there at sunset. It was well worth it. The views were pretty spectacular. We ate outside on the terrace overlooking the river and listened to the musicians as they serenaded us with Italian songs. (sigh)
Just outside the amphitheater at Altos De Chavon
Have you ever actually played tennis with a real ball-boy? No, your kids do not count.
We played tennis a couple different times. We started out just playing the two of us and then after a while the ball boy came and asked if we wanted him to help. At $5 per hour and the aforementioned humidity, it was the best use of $5 we spent all week. Besides, he was the cutest little guy and had the biggest and most wonderful smile ever. His name was Edmundo. Did I mention how adorable he was? He didn't even complain once when one of us would send the ball sailing over the fence into the jungle and he would have to huff it on over there after it.
We decided not to play any of the golf courses. Since we don't actually play all that much it would have been a total waste. However, we did take "the limo" for a fun little drive all over the course, checking out some of the holes and oogling all of the gorgeous houses all over. This particular course is called the "Teeth of the Dog" and I am assured that yes, in fact, this Dog definitely had a bite to it. As these pictures can partially attest to. At one point we watched a poor caddy actually wade into the ocean up to his knees in order to get one shanked ball. I hope his tip was good.
|The Beach at night|
I think this picture turned out fun. There you go--we may not be the cutest couple in the bunch but we are best friends! I love him and he loves me. Besides--at least we make the cutest kids!
We took this picture up at Altos De Chavon overlooking the 18th hole of the Dye Fore Golf course. Instead of running along the ocean, this one runs along the top of the river escarpment. It is just breathtaking. We were mesmerized just sitting and taking it all in. It is so hard to not ponder things in a setting like this. Actually we did a lot of pondering on this trip. It just seemed to be very conducive to figuring out where we are going as a family (spiritually) and re-prioritizing our family comings and goings. Not to mention being able to discuss each of the kids and how they are progressing in the different aspects of their lives.
I just thought this was a cool picture--almost like capturing God inside the burning bush. The river was just down below, out of frame.
One of my favorite mornings was the day I got up early to go for a run and was able to catch the early morning sunrise as it played across the empty golf course and shoreline. It was so beautiful. Why is it that I find it so much more enjoyable to run when I'm on vacation?