Sandier by the Dozen

I've been away from the office and therefore quiet for a bit...because my family came to visit! Including me, a dozen of us spent a week at a resort in Punta Cana, coincidentally right next to the one I'm headed to a month from tomorrow for LAC's annual missionary conference. 

The beach, pool, and luxurious amenities were everything you're probably envisioning. I taught my 6 yr. old nephew how much fun jumping in the waves can be, read one entire book and parts of two others, and had a freshly made Nutella crepe for breakfast most mornings. With 12 people, there was generally always someone to save you a lounge chair or make dinner reservations with, but the property was also spacious enough that I could have a mimosa in a floatie or walk the beach alone if I wanted. Given a full week with no scheduled obligations of any kind, I justified one off-resort excursion (scroll for photos) and one beachside adventure activity (parasailing - no photos, since after much internal debate I didn't even wear my prescription sunglasses for fear of losing them). I tried not to spend too many brain cells analyzing the resort as a potential future conference location even though such thinking comes naturally, but I was less tied to my phone than when I'm not on vacation. Nonetheless, it was never far for capturing God's beautiful creation and family memories. 

L to R: sister Kara, sister-in-law Chelsey, nephew Reed, brother Kyle, me, dad, mom, Uncle Rick (mom's brother), cousin Sidney, Aunt Nancy, cousin Jay. Not pictured: Jay's girlfriend (and our photographer!) Betsy.

My family flew from St. Louis to Punta Cana (PUJ), some of them on Southwest Airlines. SOUTHWEST flies to Puta Cana, people! Driving to meet them meant about a 5-hour road trip. 

My first glimpse of the resort property leaving the lobby. 

The open air whirlpool tubs in the rooms might have been more visually appealing than practical...

Mom & I living our best lives. 

Much to my nephew's delight, there was a Pok├ęStop at the resort. I realize the trip would have had a much different tenor had it been adults only, but I'm grateful my brother and sister-in-law decided in the end to let him experience where his aunt lives.

Aunt Erin & the little dude. 

I thought this walkway I frequented, built around a palm tree, was so cool!

It only rained once while we were there, early one morning. I was up reading and doing a crossword on our balcony and am consequently the only one in the family who saw the rainbow. 

My cousin turned 26 while we were there. My aunt and I had to ask Guest Services 3x but they finally put a banner on her door, and after a little Spanish-speaking bird clued them in, an ensemble of servers sang to her at dinner. 

The view from what quickly became my favorite nook of the sinuous pool that ran the entire length of the resort and could only be crossed by footbridge in some spots, if you didn't want to get wet.  

My aunt & uncle, cousins, sister, Betsy, and I spent our Wednesday afternoon on a catamaran. We did an impromptu photo shoot while we waited - in the shade - for our turn to board.

We snorkeled, docked in a cove with shallow-ish (NOT waist-deep as advertised...) water, and danced our way back to port (or in my case, watched others dance) on what turned into a party boat. 

I think I'm the wrong generation for pickleball, but clearly I have the technique down pat. 

Wish my Bible study ladies could have read Chapter 8 of Demystifying the Proverbs 31 Woman by the pool with me!

Thursday evening, we did a not impromptu photo shoot. 

Cousins with a few add-ons. 

Then we ate teppenyaki :)

I split up the drive home by visiting a friend and attending Sunday morning worship at Iglesia Luterana Amigos de Cristo in Santo Domingo. Arriving mid-afternoon, I said a prayer of thanks that I didn't get a flat tire. My tires were in serious need of replacing, so I took care of that almost right away, on Tuesday. Or tried to. I'm hoping it's all resolved by tomorrow as expected so I can share my experience - because it was an experience. 

Until next time, blessings in Christ!


Carol said…
This looks and sounds amazing, Erin. We’ll have to talk about meeting in Punta Cana for a few days, and then I could follow you or tag along for a few beautiful days catching up and meeting folks in DR!

Your blog has me motivated! See you soon on this end. Stay safe and God bless! Hi to all the Mackenzie’s!

Carol said…
Your words and pictures make Punta Cana sound like a great meeting spot. Could spend a couple days there and then tag along with you to DR and come face to face with your friends and missionary life!

See you soon on this side, and we can reflect on possibilities!

Stay safe and God bless! And hi to all the Mackenzie clan for me!!