Saturday, August 7, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 4, 2010

It was just lunch but it was amazing. We went out to celebrate being a family and had a great visit.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Coming home is always with mixed emotions. You want your life back, but hate to leave the sun and surf that is so mesmerizing. Plus going back to reality means dinner, dishes, dirty laundry ... You get it. But today was a good travel day with no hiccups. Don't get me wrong, it's never easy to get up at 3am, fly from Dominican Republic to Miami, fly from Miami to Dallas, fly from Dallas to Salt Lake and haul butt to doggy day care before they close. It was a long day. But we came home to the loving arms of our kids and doggy and have just enough time to day Good Night. We're beat! But feel blessed to have had an amazing opportunity to see more of this wonderful world.

Monday, February 8, 2010

MIscellanous pics

So this looks straight off of a postcard but it was the view from Catalina Island, off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean ocean. This is where we did our scuba dive.On the way back to the resort we drove through several little towns. It's humbling to see the poverty of these people. It's way worse than anything I'd ever seen. This was a family in front of a very nice home for the area . . . sad to see babies living like they do down there.
In the airport you see these fans and you want to say "man, that's a big ass fan". Then you look closer at the fan and see the label in the middle . . .
Ha ha ha ha!!!

Day 5

Ugh. Double ugh. Today didn't go exactly as I planned. I'm disappointed in myself after our fabulous day of scuba diving Catalina island.
Years ago Judy invited me to get scuba certified and I wanted nothing to do with it. I was petrified. Being under water was not for me - there's just too many things to be frightened of. But two years ago I bit the bullet and went through the training with Todd, Bushmans and Paynes. I was surprisingly good at diving and sailed through the class with no issues. I could do it!! It was fun! And breathing under water was a piece of cake.
I was so excited to go on this dive. I was still nervous though; nervous that I would get seasick on the boat out to our dive, or that the salt water would bug my eyes and nose ... but the biggest fear of all was the critters under the water. (which is totally ridiculous because thats what diving is all about!) As cool as it is to see an eel, heaven forbid it comes close! I was nervous but not so scared I considered not diving. This was an incredible adventure and I had my big girl panties on. There was a lady on the boat who had a totally scared look going and I calmed her fears and told her I was a beginner too and everything was going to be fine. We would LOVE diving! My tank set up was first so I excitedly suited up ... did my alligator jump off the catamaran and waited for my adventure to begin. Mask on ... regulator in mouth ... head under ... here we go.
Almost as soon as my head went under water it hit me. Panic. Panic like I've never felt before. Petrified didn't even come close to describing this feeling. I couldn't do it. I couldn't get control of myself and I felt like I couldn't breathe. Our dive master immediately caught on to my situation and tried to calm my nerves. He was trying to convince me to stay in the water and I wanted out!! The lady who I was consoling on the trip out was now the one doing the rational talking and trying to help me. I was going to suffocate and I was having a total panic attack. After a promise from the divemaster that he would stay with me and let me up the minute I wanted to go, I went down. I was breathing so fast and so heavy that I just knew I would run out of air in 5 minutes. My buddy didn't leave my side, in fact he held my hand the entire time and controlled my bouyancy for me - probably because I wouldn't have gone down any other way. We went further and further and the longer we were under the worse my situation got. After about 20 minutes I'd had enough. I signaled to the poor little Mexican divemaster that I was going up with or without him. He stayed with me and made me stop once before reaching the top. You have to come up slowly or you can die so he made sure I was okay. I wanted to die - of disappointment. I coulnt believe it.
When I surfaced I was way far from the catamaran. I had to swim over and was already exhausted from the struggling in my first few moments and fighting with myself the entire time during the dive. I was so tired and had such a hard time, but I made it and decided at that moment that I'm not a diver.
After the dive and speaking with the other divers (who had much more experience than us) they pointed out a few things to me that were going on that I didn't realize were contributing to my state of panic. I won't go into all the scenarios that led me to this horrifying emotional state, but let's just say the dive shop we went with was not the most professionally run outfit and they didn't do a very good job. I had no idea! It was our first dive. I guess it could have gone better - but I'm still deciding if I want to try again. Stay tuned.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 4

Today I wanted a repeat of yesterday. It doesn't get any better than lounging around the pool or beach with a good book, plenty of fun drinks and fruit to die for. We did it again only today we walked down the beach to the local shops and did some souvenir shopping. This is usually one of my favorite parts of a vacation . . . seeing new things I've never seen before and bargaining with the locals to see what kind of a price I can get. This place is a bit different though ... in a scary way. Both Todd and I were looking over our shoulder the entire time because the people were a bit spooky. Very high pressure and uncomfortable situations. They'd all but drag you intot their shop and get a bit mad when you wouldn't buy from them. We soon found it to be overwhelming and didn't stick around. Interesting stuff . . . and of course I found some things I couldn't live without. :)
I'm looking forward to tomorrow . . . we're going on an open water scuba dive. We're going to a place called Catalina Island and it's on the other side of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean. I'm excited to go as this will be my first official open water scuba dive since Todd and I certified. I'm happy to be leaving the resort as well. The service here is interesting because there is such a huge language barrier. Everywhere we've traveled we've found plenty of people that can speak English but here they have so many people from so many different places that they've never tried to learn another language to be able to speak to the tourists. So you ask a question and they smile and say something in Spanish and you don't get what you asked for. It's become kind of funny and we're having a good time with it. Interesting food, interesting people . . . interesting place.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 3

Well the goal was to get as much beach, pool and sun as possible and I think I broke a record today for how long I've gotten Todd to "lounge" around and do nothing. His biological clock doesn't seem to know we're on vacation so he still gets up at the crack of dawn . . . so we're up by 7am every morning. This time it wasn't so bad - we got breakfast out of the way and were down by the pool area before anyone else so we got a prime spot right by the pool bar! It's so hot outside that we took a lot of dips in the pool to cool off and ventured over to the buffet for fresh fruit. What a wonderful day.
The afternoon found us in a private little grass hut along the beach. The sand is white and free of clutter and the view is absolutely breathtaking. A walk along the beach was a favorite for both Todd and I due to the people watching. My grandpa used to say 'it takes all kinds of people and there ain't nobody missin' and he was sure right. I think it's because of the location of this place that there are so many different types of cultures here. But I've never been in a place where there were more Europeans. And boy are the free spirited and interesting. Until today I had never seen men wear capris, women walking up and down the beach topless or a MAN with his belly button pierced. Ew ... that one was tough to see really.
Anyway, after all day in the sun we met up with friends and went to a Tepanyaki style and had killer sushi and an awesome meal. By the time dinner was over it was 8pm and we were bushed from being in the sun all day. Off to bed early . . . and it was kind of funny to think that it was only 6pm back home.

So this was terribly interesting . . . we were headed back to our room from the pool and we hear this strange noise . . . . llike a massive lawn mower getting closer and closer to us. We turned around to see two guys carrying what can best be described as a blower and it was shooting out massive smoke throughout the resort. There's a terrible mosquito problem in this area and the resort fumigates big time to keep the mosquitoes down. Before long the entire place is full of smoke . . . and everyone is just walking, sitting on lawn chairs and it over takes the entire place. The only place to escape is in your room. Good thing we ran.