I confess: I can’t stop looking at these pictures. A little over a week ago we were on the powdery, sandy beaches of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. It was a much needed vacation that included lots of rest and relaxation, drinks in the pool, sun and sand, and BlackJack in the casino.
The Dominican Republic is where my family comes from. It’s a small nation that, although rich in natural beauty, most of its people live in extreme poverty…to extremes that most Americans cannot comprehend. I learned so much on this trip, thanks to a tour guide’s lesson on economics and culture, and I’ve acquired renewed admiration for my extended family and the struggles they overcame. We still like to go back and enjoy the beauty of the island, and where my family comes from, but I personally prefer the sand and turf over the mountainous countryside.
If this dress looks familiar, you may have seen it in my recent instagrams. I got it from Lulus.com and I am so in love with it that I ordered a second one in the coral shade. Lulus’ sizing can run on the smaller side, so I ordered this off-the-shoulder bodycon dress in the large size. I’m so glad I did because it hugs me in all the right places! I’ve learned to make sure I have a measuring tape when ordering clothes online to avoid disappointments.
I’ve struggled with my body image for as long as I can remember, wishing some parts of me were smaller than others and vice versa. Am I completely happy with my body? No, but this is the body I was given and I must make peace with it. Not only for myself but, I’ve realized, if I constantly give off a negative vibe about my body, what would I be teaching a future daughter?
Not only have I become more accepting of this with age, but I’m also learning what types of clothes are more flattering than others. Currently, I am not putting in the effort to get in shape so I can’t really a miracle, am I right? But I have every intention of getting back into shape after this, not so much for appearances, but for overall health and strength.
My cousins always pack white clothing for portraits on the beach, and given that we have not had professional photos taken since our wedding seven years ago, I thought this was the perfect opportunity. I’m so happy we did as our photographer, Wendy, was amazing to work with. Neither Brian or I are adept at taking good pictures, so we were relieved she “posed” us. I am super awkward at posing. I break every posing “rule” in the book without even trying. I’m convinced fashion and style bloggers are not humans.
When I bought my Canon I was super excited to bring it with me everywhere. I even packed my 50mm lens with me. Imagine my disappointment when the camera refused to turn on. I did everything I could to turn it on to no avail. I only got a few pictures with my iPhone where I didn’t risk getting it wet (or confiscated at the casino). So what’s a girl to do? Hire a professional photographer, of course.
We stayed at the Barceló Punta Cana all-inclusive resort. If you’ve never stayed at an all-inclusive resort, the Dominican Republic is where you should go. Sometimes you sacrifice luxury in the rooms with all-inclusive deals, but, do you really go to paradise for the hotel room? Nope. Gimme all the mojitos and day-long buffets, please and thank you.
We decided to venture out to Saona Island, a protected natural reserve off the northeast coast, in a guided expedition. It was an all-day event that started at 7am and ended at 6pm. From the resort, we took a bus to board a beautiful catamaran. I didn’t get a picture of this as we had to board a smaller boat to the catamaran, but it was gorgeous.
The crew treated us to snacks and drinks on the 90-minute trip. In the middle of the ride to the island, we stopped on a sandbar where we swam in 4ft of sea water and got to play with starfish. Once on Saona Island, we were treated to a feast that included several courses, wine and beer, and grilled lobster. Then we had another 90 minutes to enjoy the private beach. I highly recommend the trip!
We had so much fun on this trip and I was sad to see it end.
Where have you traveled to lately?