A little Anniversary get away…

We’ve been a little mia lately, sorry about that. We are alive and well, not need to worry! We headed off to the Domincan Republic-vowing not to work or even hardly open the computer! Maybe you noticed, maybe not! Anyway…

I used to be more of a stickler for things like celebrating special events on the actual day they occurred.  But over the years I have come to terms with the reality that it can’t always happen. Life happens. People have busy schedules, others have strict working environments, and I have come to see that it’s simply important that the person, event, or date gets celebrated-regardless of the execution of timing-within reason of course!

Brandon and I had a week get away planned during our actual anniversary, the 24th, but some things came up where we pretty much had to be in Haiti during that time for work. And thus, it was ‘celebrate early, or not at all’ and of course I chose early! We looked at some exotic Caribean destinations, but kept coming back to the Dominican Republic. Mainly, it is close, cheap to get to, and, well, they have a huge downtown, Santo Domingo, and all I could think about was shopping!!! I just wanted to do ‘normal’ things that I, we, have been missing so much. Things like going to the movies, going grocery shopping like normal people, going to the mall to buy anything or everything, getting ice cream, eating fast food. And so we picked the Domincan, going to the amazing beaches near Punta Cana-tossed in with a day in Santo Domingo on the way there an back to satisfy my cravings for normalcy.

It was delightful. It took about seven hours to get to Santo Domingo where we stayed one night downtown. I don’t know what I loved more-the warm shower (I realized why I was dawdling.. we have not had a warm shower for five months!!!), the amazing fast internet, the Baskin Robbins within walking distance, or the grocery store just down the street. I was in heaven. The next day we loaded up on another bus and made our way to the gorgeous coast. We happened to get a killer deal-who cares if it’s off season and the very beginning of hurricane season?- at what I would argue was one of the nicest hotels in the whole crazy mecca of tourism there. We were about 10 miles from all the other resorts, and the hotel we stayed was off by itself with a gorgeous tropical setting. Our room was only about 100ft from the beach with a full ocean view. None of the usual  ‘We have an ocean view if I stand on the balcony and lean on one foot with half my body falling over the railing’ nonsense. I’m talking full ocean baby! And they decorated our room with flowers and towels molded into creature-like on cruise ships. So fun!

The amazing view from our room
Our room with the fun anniversary swans!!

Our vacations are usually more active, we like to get out, explore, and do things. But since this hotel was out on its own, with taxis being grossly overpriced, and us needing to just chill out, we decided staying put was just what we needed. Each day the only decisions that had to be made were which of the amazing, all right on the ocean, restaurants we wanted to eat at, or which deserted beach on their six miles of endless white sand and crystal clear water, we wanted to settle into.

The restaurant right on the water, and they had amazing food too!
Pesto pasta never tasted so good.
In front of the hotel
I of course got ice cream every chance I could-even though it was a small fortune I looked the other way and ordered two scoops!
Right outside the spa and another yummy restaurant
Just about sums up our week.
A fancy restaurant in the harbor over the water..so beautiful and romantic!
Yummy fresh tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella !
The breakfast area. I normally don't like buffets, but this was AMAZING. It had everything you could want for breakfast-I think we gained 5lbs from that alone.

The hotel also had this amazing aquestiran farm thing. It was a small trail that went back into a forest and had these bright aqua lagoons. We hiked in and through them and even went swimming in the crystal clear water. It was so strange and yet wonderful! Oh, and you golfers, especially you brother Ben, would have been so jealous-they have three different courses right on the water!

Isn't that water magical?
My hunky husband being the fish that he really is.
How cute is he?
Any golfer would love this-althought the course did look hard!

Okay, so we had to get out at least one day. We rented a car and drove around until we didn’t want to drive anymore and turned back. The country side was very pretty. Some areas were very similar to Haiti, and others so different you would never guess they shared the same island. There is much more industry and infrastructure there, which is seen is many ways. They do have many large cities that look just like LA-with a mix of very nice swanky areas and still have a few ghettos. Each little town in the country was different from Haiti in that many had municipal electricity, mostly paved roads, actual shops and restaurants, and were very tidy and clean.

Very lush and green.
The cute colorful houses were everywhereSo cute huh?
Similar to Haiti in that you never know what you'll see hanging off the side of a moto...yes, that is a turtle!!
All that driving lead us to a gorgeous deserted palm fringed beach
A perfect week away for our anniversary!!

8 thoughts on “A little Anniversary get away…

  1. Wow!!!, think of all the folks who spend bo-co bucks on a Cruise, and you guys just had to walk across the Parsley River and boom, you were in a totally different world. No apology needed for the break, if anyone has any questions about your need to get away, invite them over for a few days of Reality Therapy, and they will be glad to get back to the good ole USA. While you are doing God’s work, remember, even Jesus slipped away to the mountains for some time alone. What a wonderful way to spend your 8th Anniversary. God’s blessings on you both, as you “labor int he fields”, truly the harvest is pleantiful, but the workers are few. Our love and prayers, Grandma and Grandpa Shuck

  2. Jessy and Bran — Congrats on your 8 wonderful years together…seems like just yesterday you had that magical wedding!! I am so happy for the two of you…you are certainly grabbing your adventures and holding on tight!!! As usual….I enjoy reading of your life….write a book already eh?

    Try to come home in August…we (my family) all might be going there for a visit!!!

    1. What a treat that was to have you and your whole family there too! Your girls were so so cute in those dressing walking down the isle!

      Wait a minute.. what?? You might be coming for a visit??!!

      And if I wrote a book, I think you and my mom would be the only ones to read it! 🙂

  3. Congrats on eight years! I was remembering your beautiful wedding at my dear friend Martas garden. She went to be with the Lord several months ago and I bet the gardens are stunning in Heaven! I love you Jessica, see yu on the mainland sometime soon I hope.
    Hugs, Aunt Kathy

    1. I know.. wasn’t it just magical! I can’t tell you how many people write to me asking if I can give the number to that place-they are crushed to find out we only got to marry there cause of you and your sweet friendship with her. I did hear she passed away-random story for you-our good friends (the couple who is actually doing the next kitchen for OTB in TJ) were actually living in a guest house down the street from there. I told them how we got married there, and one day while they were walking by the son saw them, our friends told them that we got married there, and he let them in to wonder around! They raved about how nice he was and how beautiful the place was. What a sweet, sweet family.

  4. Happy Anniversary to you both! Looks like such a wonderful, relaxing and enjoyable time. I am so glad you set aside the time to do that- anniverary’s are definitely worth celebrating!

  5. Happy 8th Anniversary you guys! So glad you got to celebrate alone in such a beautiful place. I agree with MollyDolly…write a book about your adventures!

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