The Capitol

I’m down in Houston for the next few days for work — well golf tomorrow but with a client so I’ll still consider that ‘work’ — so a quick post today. While in the Dominican Republic we took a four hour bus ride (not the smartest thing) to the capital city (Santo Domingo) where we stopped briefly at the Capitol building. The building was guarded by heavily armed guards who wouldn’t let us get through the gated entrance. They did let me stick my camera through the fence though and take a couple of pictures.

Photo of the Day – The Capitol Building

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This is how the weather in the Dominican is most of the year – look how perfect that is! I mean the sky was amazing. Barely any clouds in the sky and just blue as can be. We had weather like this in 13 out of the 14 days we were there. Hopefully, during our Hawaii trip next year we will have similar luck.

Breaking Day in Punta Cana

We spent our second anniversary in the Dominican Republic – the beaches were pristine and the weather was fantastic. There was only one day where the weather was so bad that we had to stay inside most the day (we played Mexican Monopoly and drank lots!). Otherwise we were on the beach either trying to get some sun, snorkeling, kayaking or swimming (and drinking here as well). The resort (Majestic Colonial Punta Cana) was all-inclusive and we spent the majority of our time isolated from the surrounding area. It is a beautiful resort and I highly recommend it to anyone looking to visit the Dominican. Say hi to Denny on the Beach for me…he was the man. Very strong drinks!

Photo of the Day – Punta Cana Day Break

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Most of the mornings in the Dominican I would wake up early and head to the beach. A few mornings I jogged along the beach but mainly I was there to take pictures and to secure our chairs for the day – it was mass chaos if you didn’t get down there before breakfast. My favorite time of day was the sunrise. I loved the sunrise in Punta Cana.

We were luckily blessed with some nice sunrises. I liked how the sun reflected off the surf and how the wave was breaking over the beach.

Halfway through our trip to Italy :(. I’m not looking forward to being back home.

What a day! And what you won’t see

Well I’m hoping the pictures do it justice but Banff is freaking amazing. Finally got some great, albeit it cold weather, and I was out most of the day so now as I settle into my hotel I’m pretty beat and ready for bed. I really hope the pictures do it justice because the beauty of the park is beyond words.

What you won’t see in the pictures though is the blunders that was my day – first I dipped my entire foot into icy blue water in Johnson Canyon which led to a very painful and frigid cold 2.0 mile hike back to the car. Then this evening while catching the sunset and walking up and down the snow covered bed of a river (no snowshoes) I noticed a cloud coming into a nice position but I wasn’t where I needed to be to capture it. I took off on a dead sprint to come to bend in the river – only the snow had different ideas and every five steps I broke through the snow face planted which led me to eventually bear crawl for a good minute until I finally reached the destination. It was a very Sly Stallone moment from Cliffhanger except of course he never falls. I can only imagine what an onlooker would have thought since I was running like a bear was chasing me but all I wanted to do was take a picture of a pretty pink cloud – yeah maybe not very Sly Stallone like.

Photo of the Day – Castles Made of Sand

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Well I could certainly use the beach right now. Sorry for the repost but apparently there is a governor on this hotel’s wifi and I can’t upload anything. I hate when hotel’s do this by the way. They say ‘free wifi’ in the advertisement but it’s one hotspot for 45 rooms….um yeah that isn’t going to cut it. Anyways….at least this still works (maybe let’s see if it actually publishes).

Welcome to Paradise

The ocean has a very distinct sound. Early in the morning or late in the evening that sound can be heard loud and clear. However, during the day that sound is often drowned out by the noise from other beach goers. I enjoy going to the beach but quite frankly can do without the crowds. The beaches of Punta Cana – about as close to paradise as I’ve ever – get SWARMED by 9 AM. However, at 6 AM during the sunrise there isn’t a better spot I can imagine in the world. As I laid there on my beach chair, feeling completely relaxed, I found it hard to imagine why you wouldn’t want to spend the best years of your life in a place like the Dominican Republic.

Photo of the Day – Pure Perfection


A few days later we ventured off the pristine, manicured beach and ventured into the country side and it became clear that the paradise was surface level only. For the most part the DR struggles in poverty and outside of the beach front resorts the rest of the country and locals experience a really difficult day-to-day life.

Fall

Fall is one of my favorite seasons – the leaves change and the temperature drops but not to the point where we are wearing winter coats or anything like that. I’m not sure I’d like to live in a place where the weather is pretty much always the same. Don’t get me wrong I love visiting but to have it be 80 degrees all year round with no seasons where you experience changing leaves, a chill in the air or snow occasionally (I’m not a fan of winter but an occasional snow is nice).

Photo of the day – Paradise Lost


Another morning in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I was down early scouring the beach for chairs. If you weren’t down there before 8 AM ‘marking’ your chair with a magazine, a beach bag or towel there was no shot you’d have a chair when you actually came down to the beach after you ate breakfast. I get up early anyways but I found the practice of ‘saving’ chairs to be very unappealing. Still because everyone else was doing it and there were a couple of days we came down to the beach and weren’t able to find chairs I started doing it every morning.

Amazon just got a whole lot better

The announcement made earlier should be the final nail in the coffin for Netflix – I recently cancelled my subscription because I found with HBO to Go and other streaming apps I just wasn’t using it enough to justify even the $10/month bill. I’m sure alot of subscribers will think the same way now that they can get EPIX movies (Avengers, The Hunger Games) via their Amazon Prime membership. I’m not a Prime member yet but I shop on Amazon enough that it may make sense – especially if you now can stream a ton of programming within that same $79/year membership to go along with ‘borrowing’ books digitally from their library and free shipping. While I haven’t made the decision to go Prime yet I heard they are also launching another deal next week which some think will be more streaming capabilities.

Amazon Partners with EPIX

Photo of the Day – Dominican Idols


From our resort in Punta Cana – A friend will be going down there in a few weeks so I was giving her some tips earlier today and it made me think to revisit some of my pictures from that trip. While this isn’t a typical beach scene I found the little idols/statues spread throughout the resort to be pretty cool looking. Those that lined the walking paths also sometimes doubled as ashtrays for the smokers on the resort so I don’t think they held any sort of historical spiritual meaning but rather the owners of the resort just felt the same as me and that they looked interesting.

We Know Why you Fly

Well mostly I fly for business, but occasionally it’s for pleasure. Luckily as you probably can tell I often take a day or two on the side of some business trips to roam around and explore other cities. I truly enjoy meeting other people and experiencing life in all its glory!

In the next six weeks I’ll be on the road about once a week – Minneapolis, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit, Denver/Estes Park, Houston and finally Phoenix/Grand Canyon. Should be a lot of long days but the rewards for me are tremendous. Even though it will be jam packed I’m looking forward to the journey – just hoping American Airlines is good to me.

Photo of the Day – Punta Cana Airport


We spent about 12 hours at the lovely Punta Cana airport – not by choice mind you but rather because of mechanical failures on the plane. I took this photo right as we arrived at the airport – if you ever have to spend extended time at this location I’d advise you to bring some food or plan to starve. Hamburgers/fast food pizza/etc… was more expensive than the beer! $20 for a Wendy’s combo meal and a cheeseburger for my wife and I to split.

Spearfishing in the DR

We met this guy as he came in from spearing a bunch of fish that I presume he was going to sell or fry up for dinner. His English wasn’t very good and my Spanish isn’t good at all so we weren’t able to communicate beyond the most basic conversation. However, he saw my camera and wanted me to take his picture with his hard days work. In the background off of his right shoulder is a ship wreck just off the coast of the beach. It is an old Russian Oil tanker (named the Astron) that ran aground in Punta Cana during a storm in the 1970s. The ship broke in two and some oil (I presume) got into the ocean. You certainly can’t tell now though 30+ years later. They have scuba expeditions there when the weather cooperates, unfortunately my wife and I don’t scuba so we didn’t get much closer than the shore.

Photo of the Day – Finding Nemo

Mermaid Night Club

We were walking the beach at sunset and all of a sudden it looked like there was a giant floodlight coming from underwater. It looked to me like one of those floodlights used for promoting a hot nightclub that was just opening or something. It quickly disappeared so someone must have told the bouncer they were going to attract a crowd they weren’t expecting if they kept the light on too long.

Photo of the Day

Where it’s always summer

When does summer ‘officially’ kickoff to you? For me I always equate summer with the end of the ‘school year’ and even though I haven’t been in high school for 14 years to me the summer still starts at the beginning of June – I still vividly remember the joy that occurred as I walked out of that school building for the last time of the year. It was great to know you had 2 – 3 months of just relaxing. Why didn’t I listen when my parents said that I should enjoy every minute of it? I don’t usually admit this but they were right.

In Punta Cana it’s always summer – the drinks are always brought to your beach lounger and the sun is always (well 13 out 14 days we were there) shining. I admit I got a little stir crazy just sitting on the beach but I should have listened to my wife this time who said just enjoy it because she was right…It ended too fast and reality hits you right back in the face.

Photo of the Day


A wonderful sunrise in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic – it doesn’t get much better than that.