Camera Roll Highlights

Camera Roll Highlights - My version of an excursion

Bennett and I had a plan to go to Punta Cana and just lay by the pool. But when we got to the DR I really felt the need to learn about where we were at. It felt odd just flying in, going to the resort, and never leaving and seeing what was around us. We booked a cultural excursion trip for one of the days that we were there and it was awesome. It was a day long trip, led by a guide that showed us what life was like in the DR. We toured various landscapes including a bat cave and tours of a coffee and sugarcane plantations. We also went to a cigar factory where a man named Leo showed us how to roll cigars. His grandma taught him how to do it when he was seven years old. We ended the day riding horses. Below are a few photos of our day and a short video of what the streets looked like as we were riding to our destinations. 

A few interesting facts we learned: 

  • People that live in the DR love bright colors. As a Christmas tradition, they paint their house a different  color each year. There were houses that were even rainbow striped! 
  • About every other building had a sign with the word Banca on it. These were not banks but places to buy lottery tickets- they love the lottery.
  • The public university is about $100-$120 per semester. Yup. 
  • The tour gave a lot of natural medical remedies that the people use. Everyone raved about a natural drink called Mama Juana that is made by soaking rum, red wine, and honey with tree bark and herbs. It is said to be a flu remedy, aid in digestion and circulation, be blood cleanser, and kidney and liver tonic. We tried it hoping it would cure us of everything but couldn't get past the taste which is similar to cough medicine. 

Camera Roll Highlights - Punta Cana Nirvana

Bennett and I booked a trip to Punta Cana for Spring Break this year. I had a week off work so Bennett took off the same week when he started working so we could plan a getaway. When deciding what to do we settled on going somewhere to sit by a pool and do nothing. We did do a little exploration of the city (which I will blog about separately) but overall I think we met our goal of doing nothing and attempting to just relax. 

Punta Cana is a city in the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republics shares an island with Haiti and is near Cuba. Going there we had a direct flight from Chicago that was a little over 4 hours, it is easy to get to. 

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We stayed at the Dreams resort which was all-inclusive. There were a ton of restaurants on site and fun shows every night. Plus pink flamingos and peacocks lived there and just walked around which was impressive. There was a long pool that led to the beach. In the pool there were these yellow mats that we would just lay on and float around in. It was glorious. here are some camera roll highlights. 

Camera Roll Highlights - Taxation Without Representation

I just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. for the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) convention. I never miss an opportunity to network and I certainly never miss a trip to D.C. so of course I had great time. One of my soul sisters, Anne, lives in D.C. and just moved into a new apartment days before I arrived. I was honored to be her first house guest.

Highlights of the trip included:

  • Brunch. Everyday. - Anne informed me of the blog Bitches who Brunch that highlights various brunch places in D.C. Needless to say I took advantage of the brunch scene daily,
  • Monuments at Night - I went on a tour of the monuments at night with my friends Catelyn and David (Dave grew up in D.C. but had never been on an official tour so we made it happen.) I have seen many of them before but they are so much more powerful at night.  It was also my first time seeing the Martin Luther King Jr. one which was incredible.
  • Gallerying. -I love art and D.C. has amazing art museums, many that are free. My favorite exhibit that I saw was at the Hirshhorn by Barbra Kruger. There was a whole room that was just filled with words and quotes. Here is a link to the exhibition.
  • Walking.- I am a city girl at heart so I love trips where I can walk or take public transportation everywhere. I love moving and people watching. I feel like I accomplished something before I even get to work or where I was going.
  • 60 Degrees. -Shopping in Georgetown in 60 degree weather. Yup, it was 60 degrees this past weekend. It was also one of those shopping adventures when I found everything I was looking for which made the weather  seem even better.
  • Being Social. - Most of the trip involved hanging out with friends and making new ones. I have close friends in D.C. and it was great to spend time with them and meet their friends. I also look forward to NASP every year to meet up with school psychs I know from around the country and networking to meet new people. I feel like I laughed the whole trip.
  • Carry-On - For the first time in recent history I packed all of my items in one carry-on suitcase there, did a little shopping, and still fit in everything in a carry-on for the way home.

D.C. is very inspirational to me. There is a so much history and passion truly fills the air. I got teary eyed at the airport having to leave Anne and the city but the trip left me feeling motivated to conquer my own passion when I returned.

Here are some highlights from my camera roll.