i'm getting this out of the way, even though i can't post the pix from snorkeling (marc packed the camera with the card from that) and don't know how to post a video. (more about that in a bit.) regardless, i'm taking a painting/cleaning/packing break to get these pix up and de-gloomify this gray, rainy day.
remember last year ... we went to puerto rico because marc was invited to red hat's president's club? it's an honor for the top 1% of sales/engineering/support/etc within the company. last year there were about 120 people; this year the number was around 160 who made the trip to the dominican republic. the company is growing and doing very well, and it was a huge honor to marc that of that number, he was only one of just a handful who were invited for a second year.
the full album is here, so this is just a brief recap of our quickie getaway ... that came in the midst of so much going on at home to get ready for our house to go on the market and start the build that marc and i, on day one, sat in the pool lamenting that it was hard to really relax and enjoy where we were because of so much on our plates and in our brains. it was a running theme all weekend ... we were too preoccupied and distracted to really relax and have fun.
but we tried.
we flew through atlanta to punta cana and had an easy-peasy trip. unlike many of the other travelers who connected through atlanta earlier in the day; they got delayed by two hours and actually arrived later than we did.
on the trip down, we seemed to follow a line that went through the bahamas and turks & caicos, because there were amazing little islands below us for the last hour or more.
once we landed, we knew we were in a laid-back part of the world. we deplaned onto the tarmac, stood in line with the rest of the passengers, wandered into an open air terminal under a grass roof, no one seemed to be in any hurry ... we waited in one line to pay our fee to enter the country, then waited in the next line to give our fee receipt to another person who promptly threw the receipt away and waved us through to the next person, who stamped our passports and sent us on to baggage claim. there, we saw that getting all the bags off the plane and into the terminal was the work of one guy in a luggagemobile, who made three trips back and forth to finally get all the bags into the claim area.
but, it was breezy and warm and tropical and different. so it was okay.
then we hopped in a van that drove us 20 minutes to bavaro to the paradisus palma real resort. walking in reminded us so much of puerto rico ... lovely hotel at first, then BAM ... view from the lobby:
and i proceeded to not touch my camera for the next two days.
however, i took a couple with my phone on night one, of the entertainment putting on a fire-dancing show.
day two ... more pool time and a snorkeling trip to the marinarium. it was okay, as far as snorkeling goes. not as good as puerto rico, and we had to stay with a guide the whole time, but the boat ride was a blast ... we were with marc's sales partner and his wife, his boss and his wife, another sales guy and his wife, among others ... and lots of coco loco to be drunk ... which made for a totally a fun group.
and when we unpack those cameras, i'll share those pix, too.
sadly, on the return trip that afternoon, all the red hatters on the boat who are from the home office in raleigh started getting texts from home about the tornadoes that had just gone through the city. the mood became a bit tense, but luckily it appeared all were safe and spared.
that night was a "white" dinner on the beach ... everyone was to wear white clothes, tables and a band stage and dance floor were set up on the beach, a pre-dinner reception area and buffets and banners were arranged ... and literally ON THE WALK to dinner, marc got a migraine. so we turned around and headed back to the room, where marc tried to fight the migraine for 45 minutes. we emerged to run to the beach for a quick bite to eat, and literally 30 minutes later we were back in the room. he was out for the night, and i sat up and read.
the next day was just a quiet, lay around, do nothing day.
marc and i had trouble with that. we both kinda felt like we were ready to just go home and get on with everything we needed to get on with. hopefully, when we do this trip again next year (thinking positively can't hurt, right?), we'll have nothing weighing on us and can just sit back and enjoy every moment. we both earned this trip - marc, for how hard he works, and me, for how much i deal with in his absences - and it's a shame to not fully soak it in.
(and yes, the kids have earned a trip, too, for as much as they put up with daddy being gone and missing things, mommy being stressed and unable to be in two places at the same time, and all the strain of a single-parent home half the year. we're hoping to reward them with an actual spring break somewhere that isn't a) a grandparent's house or b) in front of the wii next year. they've put up with a lot, too, poor buggers.)
after a day in the pool, i was burned enough to know my time in the sun was over. we stayed in the room until it was time to walk to the final dinner. a speech from the president, a slide show of the trip, and great conversation with friends, then marc and i headed to the dark, deserted beach to enjoy a final night of toes in the sand, listening to the surf.
the next day we wandered the resort a bit more ...