This year I celebrated a milestone birthday! I think it’s still sinking in! God is good! I vowed to myself that I would spend some time commemorating the occasion somewhere I’ve never been before with people who I can’t imagine my life without. Since I knew it needed to be a short vacation, I hopped on a plane and eventually set foot on the sandy shores of the Dominican Republic! Everyone we met at our resort was kind and personable. I think our resort agent (pictured below) was secretly hoping that Niecy would make the D.R. her new home, lol. We sunbathed (with sunblock of course…this post just reminded me to replenish the SPF 100), went horseback riding through slightly rugged terrain, and went swimming in the ‘Hoyo Azul’ at Scape Park at Cap Cana (gorgeous, but freezing!). While I must admit that I wasn’t particularly impressed with the food after several days, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to venture into a land full of unknowns for me and spend countless moments reflecting on the ups and downs of the last three decades with two of my favorite people. Each time I travel internationally, I fall more in love with the vastness of the world and the myriad of cultures that constitute humanity. Thankfully, as winter draws near, I’ll have plenty of beach photos with my girls to laugh and reminisce about. I think we even managed to perfect a few must do beach poses!
I am fortunate to have the opportunity to spend some of my weekends scouting venues and attractions in my local area. Over the summer, I had a chance to tour Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna, VA. This site has always been on my list of places to visit simply due to my affinity for flowers and landscapes, but my interest was further heightened after receiving my first DSLR camera a while back. And due to my work in event planning, I also know that it’s a popular venue for weddings and other events, so I basically needed to get there! I can confidently say this was a well spent afternoon marveling at nature, learning about the architecture for some of the exhibits, sharpening my photography skills, and simply taking some time to slow down and reflect. I even caught a glimpse of a photography session with an Indian couple that must have been for their engagement or wedding. They looked amazing! Don’t ever think you have to go far to find beauty. It’s literally all around you! Here are some of the photos I snapped.