When I was growing up, vacations looked like a packed Aerostar van, my brother in the backseat with Joy Electric blasting through his headphones, begging me not to bother him, me in the middle making up songs about all the signs we passed on the highway, and trying not to die of boredom before we got to grandpa’s house. Living so far from any family meant that any chance we got, that’s where we were. Of course, we’d always work in trips to Silver Dollar City when visiting Granny, or we’d end up at the beach when it was grandpa’s turn, but I don’t remember a single vacation as a child that was just the four of us, on a mission to have a good time.
Over the last few years, I’ve realized that since we live close to my family now, vacations now sit in the back seat where my brother was. Stephen and I have been married nearly seven years, and this trip was the first time since our honeymoon that we’ve gone somewhere (for longer than a weekend) just to have a good time. My overanalyzing brain spent hours researching destinations, then resorts, then talking myself out of booking anything because something about the house always needs fixed. So one Saturday morning in January, Stephen was looking at resorts and I pretty much said “I don’t care what it is, just book it!” I needed a vacation and I needed one badly.
So late February, we made the trip and WHY DID ANYONE LET ME WAIT SO LONG?
Stephen and I are generally cold weather loving, mountain dwelling, fires in the cabin loving vacationers, so this experience was different for us on so many levels. We’d never been to an all-inclusive before. (loved it.) In our 11 years as a couple, we’d never been to a beach together. (loved it.) And we’d never left the country together. (11/10 would do again.) Our whole trip felt like a dream. We’d start our day with breakfast by the ocean, spend the morning in a cabana, lunch by the pool, 4-5 hours of pool time (which is about half of what my heart desires, but compromise), and then we’d get ready for dinner. Zero emails. Zero worries.
One of my biggest struggles when it comes to travel is whether or not to take my camera. I want to have all the memories, but I tend to obsess over photos sometimes, and fun trips can start to feel like work for me reeaaaaal fast. So a couple weeks before this trip, I decided to splurge on a nice *digital point and shoot camera – the best of both worlds. It takes gorgeous photos, without me having to think like a photographer. All of the photos (and the video) you’ll see here were taken by that point and shoot. I also brought along a couple disposable underwater cameras, and they were so much fun. I planned on sharing more of those photos but the disc Walgreen’s gave me with my photos was unfortunately not of our vacation photos but of Grandma Linda’s first Christmas with her new grandbaby.
If you look closely, you’ll see a couple grainy photos that I scanned for you, and scroll all the way to the bottom to see the video I made of our trip.
TLDR: Had fun. Would do again. Enjoy.
*I should note that when I travel, I am a shameless tourist. I don’t care what I look like, or how bad my spanish is – I’m having a good time.