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.)

Shell Lines

While at the resort in the Dominica Republic, we had the opportunity to eat at a number of restaurants. While waiting for our ride back to our room after eating dinner, I could not help think of Becky’s challenge as I looked at the curtain of shells behind the bench.

I loved the shell curtain and looked a little closer at the objects. I could not help but wonder where these shells had been found as I had seen none on the beach during our walks.

Maybe we should have tried walking early in the morning but, after our late nights, I found it a little difficult to get up at 5am.

As we had not seen any shells in the wild, I was pleased to have at least seen these.

Have you seen a curtain of shells?

© 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)

Lobby Lines

When we arrived at the lobby of the hotel for our trip to the Dominican Republic, I could not help admiring the centre piece.

I loved the sculpture and I admired it each time we passed by. I lenjoy seeing sculptures giving character to the surroundings – especially those of a tradition gone by.

Do you admire sculptures in your environment?

© 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)

Buffet Lines

At the resort we booked into when we visited the Dominican Republic, we had the opportunity to eat at a varied number of buffet selections. The first buffet we visited was the one nearest to our room. The selection was good and we enjoyed our meals there. I loved the slatted walls and the holiday feel about the space.

After a couple of days, we discovered a larger buffet. A was a bit of a walk from our room but one that was manageable. When we first entered the room, I loved the clean lines of the place and it was definitely our most favourite place to eat. (This was the place that had the amazing dessert selection).

We had access to a third buffet restaurant which we tried out and, unfortunately, I did not take a picture of the environment. The place was buzzing but we did prefer going to the ones nearer to our room.

Do you enjoy eating at buffet restaurants?

© 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)

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)

Room for a Week

For our vacation in the Dominican Republic, my husband booked a room at the Bahai Principe Aquamarine hotel. This all inclusive hotel offers adult only accommodation s well as access to many activities within the resort. My husband and I had never stayed over at a 5 star hotel and we were curious to see the accommodations.

As soon as we stepped into the room, we liked what we saw. The bed was huge and I liked the canopy that had been created over it. On the opposite side of the room was a place to sit (where I would spend some time reading) as well as a table (which my husband would use to place his laptop).

On the dresser, a tray for coffee and tea had been placed. We did not use this tray at all as we preferred to go to the lobby to have our tea while enjoying the atmosphere.

The bathroom was also stunning and included a jacuzzi – which we did not have time to use. We did enjoy the spaciousness of the space – and I liked that there were two separate basins. 😀

We enjoyed our stay in the room. And the best part? I did not have to clean it or make up the bed!

Would you enjoy living in this room for a week?

© 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)

Tempting Desserts

The temptation at an all inclusive resort is definitely the food – and certainly the desserts! I found it hard to resist the tempting displays.

And once I had tried the chocolatey goodness, I could not resist picking up a few at my next meal.

I enjoyed the small bites of chocolate and cream. They were definitely my weakness!

My lack of resistance led to me gaining one and half kilograms on my vacation. Now I will be hard at work trying to lose it!

Are you able to resist the dessert at an all inclusive resort?

© 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)