We're back (kicking and screaming) from Punta Cana!
Hubby and I had never stayed at an all-inclusive resort before and it was such a bizarre experience. Normally we holiday by traipsing through Europe in the rain, trying to take in every last castle and museum. This was different because we never left the resort - and our wallets never left the safe. It was weird to walk up to the bar or coffee shop and not pay. But wow, was it nice!
We had such a fun time vacationing in the sun with our friends! We unplugged, we read. We drank too much, ate too much. We fell asleep on the beach and developed bizarre sun burns. It was incredibly relaxing - especially because we stayed at Breathless, an adults-only resort. We toured the neighboring family-friendly resort and it was such a different energy. The only bummer was that the weather was unseasonably chilly and we had a few windy and rainy a couple of days - the beach was even closed for a bit. But we still had fun just hanging out (remember, the drinks are free!), plus we found the tennis court, which helped warm us up. Even when it was too cold to swim, we strolled the beach and just enjoyed our toes in the sand.
I was deeply committed to fully relaxing on this trip. I didn't bring my laptop, I barely looked at my phone, and I let my brain slip into neutral. I also wanted to put down the camera. I wanted to live in the moment, instead of frantically trying to capture it on camera. So much of blogging is about always getting things in pictures and it really changes my experience of thing. There were a lot of people doing incredibly in depth, sexy "photo shoots" in the waves - for social media, I'm betting. One woman was completely taken out by a wave while she posed for the 100th angle, with her poor Instagram husband snapping away. Meanwhile, I was down the beach like...
In hindsight, I wish I had more photos of the four of us - especially because I seemed to be wearing the exact same dress in the few photos we did take (despite dropping a ton of money on six new bathing suits and summer dresses!) But in the moment, it felt so freeing to leave my camera and cell phone in the room safe. On a particularly cold and windy day, Hubby and I did stroll around the resort and I snapped a few photos to remember how beautiful it was.
We were upgraded for free to a swim up room, which was AMAZING! There was a squiggly shaped pool right outside our rooms and because the pool was hardly ever used, it felt like like a private pool just for us. We were across from the "party pool" so we could hear the music and feel the vibes, without having to fight for a sought after deck chair. I loved this little luxury so much.
The party pool was just incredible - there was a swim up bar, too. The whole resort had lots of places to swim and sunbathe. The grounds were impeccably maintained, too - such beautiful plants!
The resort rooms were gorgeous, with a little open air courtyard to greet us. I never snapped a photo of the inside of our room because we made a mess of it in seconds, madly flinging on our swim suits for a (prohibited) evening swim our first night. After that we put up a travel clothesline so we could wash and dry stuff, and from then on it was gotch-city in our room. But there are some great photos on the website - the rooms really are that pretty in real life.
Sick of this dress yet? I swear, I also bought this white eyelet one, this pretty green ikat one, this strapless maxi, this watercolor inspired one... There was even a pair of turquoise wedge sandals I have no proof existed.
To be honest, we only gussied up for dinner because during the day we tried to squeeze in as much time in the water as possible! The resort was right on the ocean so it was a two second stroll through the resort pools, bars, and restaurants to reach the beach. We've heard other resorts are larger and some even require a bus to reach the water. This was so close we could hear the waves from our room. We spent a LOT of time on the beach - you know me and being by the water! There were a few "red flag" days, which meant swimming was prohibited due to waves, but we recklessly jumped in anyway and logged long hours in the ocean.
The ocean was GORGEOUS! Crystal clear and surprisingly warm (as long as the weather cooperated)! Our friends did some snorkeling close to the coral reefs but I was too scared of cutting myself on the coral.
I'm a little bummed we didn't have the nicest weather - resort staff kept apologizing for the bizarre cold front. After spending weeks carefully buying a summer wardrobe, I spent a couple of nights wrapped up in Hubby's hoodie or under a blanket. Although we had a few perfect days, I definitely could have been warmer, but that's just the story of my life. Some day someone will surely engrave that on my tombstone: "Daughter, wife, feminist. She led a full life, but she could have been warmer".
Luckily the restaurants and bars were so chic (and the food was delicious), so we didn't mind lingering over breakfast or lunch while we watched for better weather. One section of the main restaurant had a wood, green and teal theme - with cactus sculptures that I need to make right now! - that quickly became my favorite (I already shared a peek on Instagram because I was so smitten):
I left feeling inspired and I am definitely going to be adding some more beachy accents to the lakehouse, that's for sure - something to tide me over until we can go somewhere warm again! Any suggestions for where we can escape winter next year?
I swear, I really brought other clothes.