Last May, my boyfriend and I went on our first vacation together. Now, this wasn’t the only milestone on the trip. This happened to be:
- My first time on a place.
- My first time outside of the tri-state area.
- My first time out of the country.
- My first real vacation (that didn’t include getting smashed around in tumultuous Jersey-shore/cold Atlantic surf.)
- My first time seeing clear, ocean water.
I was out of my mind excited. All the way up until I saw how tiny the plane was that I was getting onto and for a fleeting moment I reconsidered the trip. After that, I only thought I was going to die once on the plane but I’m here now, so. All’s well.
It was just great experience after great experience. Paradisus Palma Real was a beautiful hotel. I would later tell him that it was like a castle and I felt like a princess.
High vaulted ceilings, polished oak and marble, tall roman columns, giant tropical plants. I loved the fact that you were always connected to the outside; you never were sealed into the hotel unless you were locked in your room. Everything was open air and breezy and just plain beautiful.
The view from the room was great and I didn’t mind that you couldn’t see the ocean. The vegetation itself was so alive and vibrant, it was nice to be in an environment where it was allowed to flourish and grow.
Our first excursion was a dune buggy tour and I got to swim in what I had been waiting for for so long; crystal clear, warm, salty Caribbean Sea. No one and no buildings for as far as you could see. I couldn’t stop smiling. D showed me how to scrub your body with the pure white sand. It was better than anything you could buy in a jar for $68.
I happen to be a fan of pirates and when I found out one of the places we traveled to was Tortuga, I have to admit…I got a little giddy. We traveled to Tortuga on a segway tour. Should I ever hit it big, I will do all my local traveling via Segway. What fun.
Let’s not forget the entire point of vacation; relaxation. We drank Pina Coladas from the minute we woke up through dinner, into gambling, and sometimes when we ordered room service after dark. Buzzing, lounging on the beach in the warm sun; it’s the closest to heaven I’ve ever been.
This was our little hut. Early on we befriended the bartender at the swim up bar. Louise. He was a local and traveled from inland every week to work at the resort. He stayed in the hot, cramped employees quarters and then went home on the weekends to his family. But man, did he have a blast working there. The thing about all inclusive resorts is that even though the drinks are free, you should still tip. Right off the bat I noticed not many people were, so D was set apart early on when he would pay almost full price in tips for each drink.
That earned us a reserved spot right in front of the pool in this incredibly comfortable hut. I would swim, drink, lay down, read, nap, repeat. For 7 days. Like I said…heaven.By far my favorite moment was when we took a pit stop while Dune Buggying. We left our helmets and bandanas behind and I took my camera because I knew this would be something I needed to take pictures of. We traveled by foot for a few minutes; I made sure I was in front while so I got to see the whole jungle in front of me unobstructed. I wanted so bad to veer off the path and explore, but I would probably be eaten or fall to my death. Or get lost. I tend to do that.
A HUGE rock appeared and we had to squeeze through a tight space to get through, and once we did, it took my breath away.
I thought that the Caribbean water was clear. This was like bottled water. It was crisp, and cool and it even smelt clean. It was colder than the ocean, so people were very hesitant. D and I dove right in. It was deep, so deep you could drop a rock and watch it sink lower and lower and lower till it disappeared into the blue. I can swim, but I get a little nervous swimming in bottomless water, so I kicked off of the rocks on the sides of the cave and mermaid swam around.
It was so clear I could open my eyes underwater and see without them stinging. I can still smell how clean the water smelt.
Our last day there I spent some time taking pictures of these gorgeous creatures I had never had the pleasure to see up close. After, we walked around one last time, said goodbye and see you again, and left for New York.
While up above the clouds, we held hands silently and dreamt about our perfect vacation together. It’s almost nine months in the past and we still talk about it. Pretty soon, we will be planning our next adventure.
All photos taken by me, all rights reserved. Katie Eve Photography – 2013