Saturday, July 30, 2016

Playa Dorado in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Our vacation at the Blue Bay Villas in Puerta Plata, Dominican Republic was more wonderful than I could have imagined.  An all-inclusive, adults only resort, it was sparkling clean and had fresh, delicious food that was different at every meal.  Fish, tropical fruits and juices, hand made desserts -- it was spectacular.  We spent day after day on the beach, which always felt about 10 degrees cooler than the hotel just feet away.  It was "off" season, in the 90's every day, so the beach was completely uncrowded and we had it to ourselves a lot of the time. The skies were blue and we had a few sprinkles on random afternoons that lasted a few minutes, and then one spectacular rain storm that had us all running into the bar!  My favorite days began with waking up, putting on our swimsuits and going to the ocean.  Then sipping coffee under a cabana, and going back to the room a couple of hours later, showering, then going to breakfast.  Then it was usually back to the beach for most of the day with lunch in between.  A siesta, a trip to the swim up bar until it closed at 6:30, then dinner and then back to the beach. We did some sea kayaking, snorkeling, lots of walking up and down the coast on the beach, jumping in the water whenever we needed to cool off; a couples massage at the spa, and we explored the village, too -- although there wasn't that much to see in the tiny town.  We were there for 8 soul-nourishing days.

I highly recommend visiting this paradise on earth!  What a great way to celebrate our anniversary.  We both want to go back!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

...And They Lived Happily Ever After.

Dennis and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on June 21 of this year.  We were in paradise on that day...
more on that later!  For now, I want to tell you what we did 25 years ago after our wedding:  we made a Time Capsule!  And, when we arrived home from our anniversary trip last month, we opened it!
The only thing that I remembered for sure that was in the time capsule was the TIME magazine from the week we were married in 1991.  But, upon opening the container I saw that we'd also saved the San Francisco Chronicle -- our local newspaper -- from our wedding day.

It was so interesting to read it; back then, it seems, we were mostly concerned about the environment.  Our main news stories weren't about terrorism, but about technology and all the scientific advances that were becoming a part of daily life.
Other things I re-discovered were: the receipt from our wedding cake, a wine label from our pre-wedding trip to the wine country with my soon-to-be-in-laws, a banner that decorated a part of our reception, a "Just Married" windsock that traveled from Nevada to California as a decoration on the rented Cadillac we drove to our wedding, two of the place cards from our reception, and a few leftover wedding favors!
That's right: 25 year old sugared almonds!
A honeycombed paper centerpiece, our wedding guest book, some portraits...
and -- this is precious to me -- the excess satin that was cut from my wedding gown when it was altered!  I didn't remember this at all, but can't wait to think up a use for it!  Also, all the candid photos that family and friends sent me from the wedding!  I hadn't seen these photos in 25 years!
Plus these photos from my wedding shower, showing me with Margaret, my dear friend who I recently lost.
These are all of the leftover wedding invitations and announcements -- engagement and wedding -- as well as the map I created to get people to the reception.  But most wonderful of all: the response cards from everyone who was in attendance.  To see the handwritten notes from people who are no longer with us was a joy.
I designed all the invitations myself, and did everything else related to the wedding as well.  I remember I enjoyed every moment of the planning!  Of course, if I had it all to do over again, the style and decor would be so different, but I have no regrets!
And more ephemera -- which will be put to good use someday when I create a scrapbook of it all!  I was especially happy to see the handwritten note from a hotel employee with advice on the best place to go for dinner as newlyweds - Captain Jon's.
But my favorite thing of all was re-reading all of the wedding cards we'd received!  So many well-wishes for a long life together, a happy marriage, and wonderful things to come.  I was struck over and over again how those wishes really had come true for us.  And I think that would make everyone who sent those cards happy if they knew.  I was surprised that even Dennis sat and read each and every one of the cards, too!  It was a real walk down memory lane for both of us.
Next, besides showing and telling you all about our anniversary trip to the Caribbean, in upcoming blog posts I get to introduce you to my new love!  I know I've been away for a while, but I hope to make up for it.  Thank you for visiting!