A Beach Sunrise

Last Christmas we began our day a little differently to the usual. Instead of waking up, grabbing a cup of tea and gathering around the Christmas tree to open presents, we woke up early to watch the sun rise on the beach.

The morning was cloudy (it would actually rain quite a bit later that day) so the glory of the sunrise was hidden. However, the light shining from behind the clouds created a moody atmosphere.

Even though the sun was hidden, we did see the glorious colour of light erupting from behind the clouds.

When I looked in the other direction to where the sun was rising, I noticed the pink light colouring the clouds a little as well as the few visitors who had joined my family to watch the beginning of a new day.

Looking back towards the sun, the sea and the clouds seemed even more atmospheric as the sunlight hid behind the clouds.

As the sun began to rise in the sky, I realised that even though the view wasn’t what I had hoped for I was glad I had come out to the beach with my family to experience and celebrate an event that I don’t often see.

Seeing the sun rise on Christmas Day was the perfect way to think about what the day truly means. I enjoyed the change from our usual routine – a routine which we will return to on the next Christmas Day.

Where last did you watch the sun rise?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge.)

A Birthday Delight

I was born a couple of days after Christmas and for my last birthday, my family and I were on vacation in the Dominican Republic. I had never spent a birthday on the beach and that is exactly what I wished to do. After doing some aqua Zumba in the pool and eating lunch at the beach restaurant, we headed off to the beach to spend the afternoon enjoying the views and swimming in the ocean.

I even managed to do a little reading while my husband went to confirm our flight and do our online check-in.

After spending a wonderful afternoon together on the beach, my family and I headed back to our hotel rooms to get ready for our dinner reservations. I had chosen to eat at the Italian a la carte restaurant – a far cry from the buffet that we normally dined at on my birthday. When we arrived at our room, my husband and I were surprised to see the banner placed on our door.

We were especially delighted with what we saw on the bed:

I had to call my daughters to come over quickly and see what had been done.

While leaving, my youngest happened to glance in the bathroom and called us over.

The bathroom looked so pretty and I could not contain my delight at seeing the drawn bath – I really felt spoilt!

Of course I had to take a bath – and switch on the jacuzzi jets! I still managed to be ready on time for our booking at the restaurant – though only just! On arriving at the restaurant, I was in for another surprise:

On the beautifully decorated table, I saw a birthday card written to me from the concierge and the people who had organised all of these wonderful surprises.

The day could not get any better! As you can imagine, I was grinning from happiness. After a wonderful meal, I was gifted with the last surprise of the evening: the waiters sang happy birthday to me and presented my with a delicious cake that had been made especially for me.

My 2019 birthday is not one that I will forget quickly. It has certainly been the best birthday I have ever experienced.

What has been your most memorable birthday celebration?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge.)

A Walk on the Beach

The best thing about our holiday to the Dominican Republic was walking on the beach. On our first day, we could not resist the call of the sand and water.

The stretch of beach seemed never ending and our walk was unhindered by barriers.

I loved feeling the sunlight on my skin (we had left behind cold, grey days) as well as hearing the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. The breeze did not worry me, nor the many ocean bathers.

I drank in the sight of the palm trees waving in the wind and breathed in the salt air.

We walked by many hotel loungers facing the sea. Many were empty as around 5pm many beach-goers pack up and get ready for the dinner hour. We did not turn back from our walk, though, as we had decided to eat later and wanted to make the most of our time near the water.

I was curious about the trees that were still alive but do not have much contact with the soil. Had they been transported there to add to the atmosphere of the surroundings?

As the sun sank towards the horizon and the light faded, we turned back the way we had come. The shadows were lengthening and we knew that our walk along the edge of the sea would soon be over.

In the fading light, the landscape appeared more moody. That did not deter me, however, from enjoying my surroundings.

Each day that we were in Punta Cana, we walked along this stretch of beach. I loved the feel of the salt water washing up on my legs, and the sensation of the rough sand on the bottom of my feet. I enjoy walking along the beach and look forward to the next time I visit.

Do you enjoy walking on the beach?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2020

(This post is linked to Jo’s Monday Walk challenge as well as Becky’s Square Challenge.)

Beach Lines and Cocktails

My favourite part of my week spent in the Dominican Republic was definitely the beach. We walked on the beach daily, swam in the sea, and had something to drink at the beach bar.

Often we would walk on the beach in the late afternoon. One evening we had early dinner reservations, so we had our walk a little earlier. It was for this reason that we discovered a bar on the beach which served drinks.

We first ask for a glass of cold water with a hint of line. Once we had swallowed the refreshing glass of water, we turned to the cocktail menu.

My husband and I are not big drinkers and we do not know too much about cocktails. We wanted something different from the usual pina colada and the water suggested a mudslide. I did not know what to expect with such a name, but I was pleasantly surprised.

We enjoyed our early evening cocktail on the beach before we left to get ready for dinner. We ordered the cocktail again but our first was definitely well-made and beautifully presented.

Do you enjoy trying out new cocktails?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge for which we will be posting square photos featuring lines during the month of October)

Not yet a week!

It has not been a week yet and I am already missing our vacation spot in the Dominican Republic. As I step out into the bracing wind each morning this week, I feel chilled and think longingly of the heat that I experienced outdoors while on holiday. My thoughts also turn to the barefoot walks we took along the beach in the late afternoons.

The roar of the sea as the waves crash upon the shore are certainly a more pleasant sound than the constant hum of cars and people in the city. And the salt air is definitely a more pleasant smell than that of carbon monoxide!

My memory of the week-long beach walks will sustain me until I am able to visit an island once again. The pristine sand and the clear blue skies are a sweet memory that I can turn to as the city I live in turns towards winter.

Do you enjoy walking on the beach?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post is linked to Becky’s Square Challenge for which we will be posting square photos featuring lines during the month of October)

A Rocky Bay

When visiting Mauritius, we spent a few nights in Roches Noires, on the north-east side of the island. We could not do any swimming from the beach in front of us, but the view was stunning.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Looking out from a bay at Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Looking out onto the bay, I enjoyed the view of the black rocks jutting out of the water – a far cry from the sandy beaches that are normally advertised for this island.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A rocky bay. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Those rocks had many hidey-holes in which my children found shells and saw some wriggling sea life.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Fishing boats. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The fishing boats were anchored, ready for use by the early morning fishermen.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
Tethered fishing boats in Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

The grey clouds were reflected in the water: water which felt cold as we dipped our toes in.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A rocky beach at Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Not much sand could be found on the beach in front of the bungalow we were staying in. To swim, we would have to take a quick walk to the public beach.

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013
A view of Roches Noires. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

A little further along we found a small stretch of beach on which to sit and enjoy the view. I found the time we had there calming and rejuvenating. Another special moment in a holiday crammed with special moments.

Have you visited a rocky bay? Where was it?

(This post was inspired by Jake’s prompt: Bay. Head on over to his site to see links to more interpretations)

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2013

Peaceful Sunset

It is not every day that I notice the setting of the sun. When the day is ending, I am filling my moments with tasks: helping my children with homework, doing household chores, following the weekly routine that never wavers from day to day. Time passes and, before I know it, night time is peering in through my windows.

When on holiday, however, you take the time to slow down and to notice the natural changes that occur everyday. You notice the twilight and, if you are inclined to, you settle down and watch the sun set in the sky. On our last holiday to Mauritius, we took the time to sit down on the beach and watch the setting sun change the colours in the sky.

Sunset on a Mauritian Beach. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012
Sunset on a Mauritian Beach. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

It was a moment of peaceful tranquillity  The surroundings were quiet except for the sound of the water coming up on the beach. The salted air wrapped itself around me and I breathed in deeply. The peace buried itself into my soul and I felt myself sinking into the harmony of nature. The colours, the gentle noise of nature, the scents, all conspired to bring to me a sense of peace. It is this peace that we often crave when the busy lives we lead becomes unbearable. And it is this sense of peace that sustains me until I am able to experience another.

Where was the last place that you experienced a sense of peace?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

(This post was inspired by Jake and his stunning graphics. The prompt for this week’s challenge is: peaceful.)

Weekly Photo Challenge:Free Spirit

When I look at the majority of children and animals such as dogs, I see that they are free-spirited: their enjoyment of life has not yet been disciplined out of them. We were visiting the beaches on the Toronto Island and many people were out enjoying the sand, sun and water. The dog in the photo was no exception: he spent much time frolicking in the water, enjoying the refreshing coolness as well as the freedom of movement.

Frolicking dog on the beach. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2012

What does the phrase “free-spirit” make you think of?

Join us each week for the Photo Challenge posted at The Daily Post at WordPress.com. This week’s prompt is: Free Spirit)