Shelley and I have been friends since high school. She's been around since Jae was tiny. She's seen me through some pretty happy times but also some very dark ones. She holds a very special place in my heart. And even though adulting gets in the way a lot in the stage of life I'm in, the moments we do get to spend together are never dull. So when she asked me to tag along on the trip she worked very hard to earn in her company, I couldn't say no for many reasons. I mean, c'mon. It was -11 degrees here. There's not much that you would need to do to convince me to go to a tropical locale for 78 degrees and sunshine. ;) But more than that, I was excited for some uninterrupted time to focus on a very important friendship that often gets pushed to the side while I try to be a mom and a wife and a teacher.
Our trip started off with a very snowy drive to Sioux Falls to spend the night in a hotel so we could be up at 2:30 in the morning to get ready to head to the airport. We stopped to grab supper at Applebee's and then a plethora of snacks at Hy-vee before we turned in for the night, crossing our fingers that our flight would not be delayed the next morning due to weather. Thankfully it was not, and we were off for a few days of sunshine, laughter, and relaxation.
We stayed at the Majestic Elegance in Punta Cana. It was a great resort with lots of entertainment to keep us busy for our stay. We spent lots of time in the sunshine by the ocean and the pool playing volleyball, engaging in activities put on by the resort staff, trying different restaurants, and just enjoying each other's company.One of the best parts was getting to know all of Shelley's people. I love meeting new people. I loved learning a little bit about their stories. They were all truly great people, and I wish I had more time to get to know them more.
I'll let the pictures do the talking, though, as they are typically better story tellers than myself.
|I've never won anything in my life. 50 bucks richer after this night. :)|
|Japanese steak house on one of the last nights!|
|The drink of choice in the Dominican. For the record. Ew.|
|One of my favorite past times of the weekend.|
|They may have to rebrand with the new spelling. :)|
Thanks Shelley for letting me be your plus one. My absolute favorite part of this entire trip was getting to see you through the eyes of others. I always knew that you put everyone else above yourself, but to see that the people in this company truly love and respect you and talk so highly of you was such an awesome experience. One that I'm honored to have witnessed. You are one of a kind. You have a heart of gold, and I'm truly blessed to be your friend. Thanks Rifly!