My view every morning as I ate breakfast & read books:
We rented a private villa - it was like a grown-up luxurious tree-house. My feet were the only body part I put in the pool, but I did use the lounge chairs and hot tub plenty! The villa was atop a little hill with views of a golf course, the ocean (from a distance), and a great view of the western sky:
The flora was also absolutely gorgeous (it provided inspiration to our yard makeover last year). I so wish I could keep orchids alive like this:
One of the neat things about returning to the same destination was reflecting back on the last year and all that's changed. A few bullet points (because I'm an engineer and nerdy like that!):
- Jobs: In the last year, I moved to a different role in a different part of our business. It's a global position, involves lots of travel, interaction with "big wigs", and a steep learning curve. But you could say it's a step up the ladder. The hubby also switched jobs - moving from big law firm life to in-house with a major corporation. For those of you not familiar with the legal profession, his move was a huge improvement in work-life balance. While last year on vacay he stressed out because he dropped his blackberry in the pool and was out of touch with the firm for 2 days, this year his new boss told him to stop emailing and enjoy his vacation.
- Espanol: Last year we quickly discovered that many people in the DR spoke Spanish only - communicating became interesting. My Spanish vocab is extremely limited (I took German classes in high school) and hubby was really rusty on his. But this year he prepared with Rosetta Stone and we got around much easier. Gotta admit, watching him speak Spanish was pretty hot :)
- Photography: Last year while on vacay, I had a Nikon D60 with the kit lenses and spent time reading my first photography books (Scott Kelby if you're curious!). Since then, I upgraded to a D90 camera body, sold the kit lenses in favor of my nifty 50mm, 18-200 all-in-one lens, and the newest edition, a fisheye. Warning: supreme nerd alert! I actually spent some of this vacay reading my camera manual. I'm a geek, I know. Of course I'm by no means an expert photographer, but I can definitely see improvement :)
- Golf: Last year we'd just barely started playing golf again (after about a 5-year hiatus). Since then we joined a golf club in H-town, played regularly, and the improvement became evident as we played the same DR courses.
Overall, a wonderful, stress-free vacation! I like this picture, because it sums up the carefree time we had. The hubs reading while floating in the pool, and me playing with my camera (and no, I'm not stepping on his head!)