2019 Year in Review
Well if you've been absent from my blog then you aren't the only one as I've been dwelling on things and also planning on all the things.
So let's see 2019
- Fitness wasn't where it was pre-ablation, but definitely feeling better
- Became a Team Awesome and Team Nuun Ambassador for 2019
- I did some sporadic running and some HIIT workouts in the first three months, but really had to slow it down which is really hard.
- Had a bit of a scare with Dr. Google after my 1st Holter post ablation turned out to be nothing, but a warning to slow the Frig down.
- Ran my first 5K race at Hypothermic Half
- Ran a MEC 10K Spring race to see if I could handle the distance 4 months post ablation.
- Then did back to back races which I haven't done since the Voyageur Challenge in 2018. Fort Town Night Run then the Manotick Miler
- Was given some new numbers from my latest ECG to be able to run my 10K at race weekend.
- Ottawa Race Weekend and ran for Team Heart of the Heart Institute, Cardiac Athletes, Team Awesome and Xtra Mile Crew it was another back to back run and was slowly feeling like myself again.
- Suffered a traumatic ankle sprain at the 1st trail race of the season and had my first DNF and then several DNS races.
- Volunteered a lot. (What else is new?)
- Met up with my cankle buddy along this journey who ironically I came across during our time at Xtra Mile Crew
- 12 weeks of rehab and a lot of time to heal and reflect. Also to figure out what and how to cope. It was not easy.
- Gave up bibs on Farm Run and Army, but volunteered instead at both.
- A lot more family time, but a lot of time binging shows while being laid up.
- Came back to running at the 2K Furry Fun Run and then the big test of doing a half marathon at 9 run run and I finished in a decent time given that I had next to no training.
- Then we pulled the trigger and decided to book a destination vacation over the Christmas holidays.
- Also I invested in an actual road bike and hoping to switch up my game in terms of finding fitness.
- Oh and the biggest news was being selected from the lottery of the Chicago Marathon. First time entry and I was selected!
2019 Christmas Vacation
So there was talk about a Christmas vacation to try and rid ourselves of the race to try and escape the stress that is called Christmas holidays.
It was definitely a different experience, but I'm going to share what I wrote to my travel agent who found this amazing resort. It was 4/5 stars for sure.
Here is my synopsis:
Resort was absolutely amazing. We definitely would go again. In general the food hygiene and cleanliness was top notch. The entertainment was quite good. Pools were amazing. Beach was pretty small in front of the resort compared to the Bavaro which was right beside it.
The room was kept clean and we did get a room on the ground floor and it was a handicapped room which had a shower chair if needed as well, but the only issue was that because three of us were not used to a lower shower head we used the wand and we ended up with water everywhere. It was still manageable and appreciated that we got that room.
Of course we tipped well, but not sure if that really matters so much. Also the snack bar by the beach was amazing that was our go to for almost everything. We almost enjoyed that more than the main buffet because we could take stuff back to the room or to the pool if we wanted to.
After the first couple of days it was a bit of a blur, but the first couple of days stuck to my mind.
I don't know if we'll ever travel so late as when we left Ottawa our flight was delayed due to a missing flight crew (stewardess) coming in from another flight that was delayed. We did arrive safely at the Punta Cana Airport, but since it was so late we followed the crowd, but we didn't realize we got sucked into a sales pitch from the local dealers as they tried to sell on excursions. It was so late that we were getting annoyed and finally this guy let us go. (Something to be aware of as you exit to get to the shuttles as I'm sure not everyone is familiar with this "diversion")
When we finally got to the gate area one lady told us we were the last to get on the shuttle so we hurried along as fast as we could, but there were no "seats" on the bus, but somehow magically some seats appeared (this bus somehow had fold down seats as part of the aisle). We had to visit 4-5 resorts before we got to ours (last one of course). By the time we arrived it was close to 10:30p so the main buffet was closed.
We finally got to our room, but it was quite the hike to building 4 for Kiera so we took it slow. Lia and I ended up going ahead to drop off our suitcases and then went back to get Kiera and Mei-Ling. By the time we got there ML was too tired to get anything, but she was quite "hangry" so we left her in the room to chill.
We ended up finding an all night eatery called Overtime which wasn't the greatest, but at that hour it was our only option.
So for future travellers to this resort going so late be prepared for very simple food like personal pizza, nacho chips w/cheese and salsa, wings and burgers and fries. and I think fish tacos. It was relatively quick and hit the spot when travelling all day/night
One thing the hotel didn't relay to us is we didn't realize the shuttle was running all night (until 2a) so we would have taken it Day 1 if we knew. But once we figured it out it was fine. As well it was really only a few minutes walk to the main buffet.
Day 2, I got up early to meet with the Air Canada rep for 9a and that was fine and we got some great tips about that, but in future I think I need to book excursions before hand if we wanted to as we didn't realize the hard sell it was at the resort and of course at the airport.
We did find the a la carte restaurants very confusing. We were told we had to reserve in the Main buffet (El Carey), but of course the way the resort is situated you had two ways of getting in. We entered the side of the buffet closest access to our building (La Tortuga), but buildings on the other side had access to the same central buffet. I didn't really understand the difference, but we found it was nicer on the Tortuga side which may be for the privilege members.
Also we finally got "caught" in the hard sell for the Welcome package so when we arrived late we didn't have any sort of "Welcome" but the package really was a time share push. Which took up a lot of our time. Luckily the girls found Mike's coffee bar adequate to get drinks and pastries for breakfast as we missed out on Day 3 for breakfast after getting a full night's rest. We finally were released and were able to get something at the snack bar, but nothing substantial.
We spent 90% of the time by the pool and of course we had one pretty much outside the room which was very convenient.
Weather was amazing and the staff was always friendly.
Christmas Eve we had to make a reservation as the buffet wasn't "open" but it was a very special themed day with three seating's and access to a lot of extra local fair which was a huge seafood bar of oyster, lobster/crab, fish, etc.
They still had the usual buffet fair, but the staff were extremely joyful and cheery on Christmas Eve. It was a nice touch with them clapping and cheering.
Christmas Day we had Japanese. Of all the a la carte's this was the only one taking reservations. The other restaurants. Steakhouse, Route 66, Maserati (Italian), Margarita (Mexican), Blue Moon (French Formal) were all on a first come first serve basis so if you weren't in line right at 6p you weren't going to get in. As well, they rotated closures between the a la carte resto's and you never knew until the morning of.
The lobby and entertainment around the main area was amazing and very interactive. Lia and I took in the Michael Jackson live theatre performance and had a great time. The actors did a great tribute to his songs.
We took in some group fun at the bowling alley/Pool but we didn't realize we needed socks one night and ended up doing pool/snooker on Christmas Eve, but went back after Japanese and did bowling. All good fun for family entertainment.
Overall, we were all impressed with the resort. Many enjoyable moments. We found our building convenient to be centrally located and access to items very easy. I believe we all felt that now that we've tried it that we would do this again, but maybe in a few years.
2020 I'm ready for you!!
|Walkway to the Resort|
|Christmas in DR|
|Ocean Blue and Sand|
|Along the Beach|
|Mom and Daughters|
|Yup we did this|
|Barefoot Beach Running|
|Christmas Eve and the special buffet|
|Dessert was in the lobby instead of the buffet on Christmas Eve|
|Our only a la carte|