Sunday, June 30, 2013

Majestic Colonial Resort in Dominian Republic

Greetings everyone.  Please excuse my tardiness in not posting this past week.  I was away on vacation with my family in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

 The whole family came along and we left on two different red eye flights out of Los Angeles.  We flew all night Thursday and arrived in Punta Cana on Friday afternoon.  The Punta Cana airport is really an amazing structure with thatched roofs.  The picture above shows a small portion of the airport with a coconut tree.  They have flights arriving from all over - not only from the US but from Germany, Russia, etc.

We stayed at the Majestic Colonial Resort which is an all inclusive resort so everything is provided.  My little grandson was so excited for this vacation....

His Mom has been taking him to the beach since he was 5 days old so he is quite familiar with the ocean!!  Here he is with his Uncle Dooloo.

We had heard that the waters and beaches of the Dominican Republic were beautiful and they were quite right.  The sand was amazing and the water was so warm - like getting into a hot tub.

Our room was right across the walkway from the ocean and the wedding gazebo.  There was up to six weddings a day at the oceanside gazebo.

There were seven restaurants on the property.  This one was overlooking the beach.  During the day they served breakfast and lunch and at night they put on white tablecloths with candles and served dinner.

 In the evenings everyone liked to meet in this grand foyer bar where there was live music and entertainment.

Here are some more pictures of the complex.  It was HUGE but properly planned so that you could get around quite easy.  (The pool pictured above is for adults only but the main pool was very large).

My guys having dinner at the French restaurant

Here's some pictures of the guys enjoying the surroundings.

 At the end of the wing where our room was located, I discovered this beautiful little church they had built on the grounds.  It looks old but is really new.

My husband and I celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary at the resort and my daughter, Heidi, celebrated her 34th birthday at the resort.

Here's a  picture of Heidi and Tony at Heidi's birthday dinner on the beach.

We arrived at the resort on a Friday and our last day there, Thursday, we all went to the beach and/or pool as normal.  Dark clouds started to form overhead and we could hear thunder.  It started to rain and then it started to downpour.  With the wind and the rain, we all ventured back inside for the remainder of the day.

Here's a picture from our lanai - the rain kept coming down for rest of the day and I felt so bad for those brides who had planned to get married in the wedding gazebo. 

I can't forget to mention my "dear" son-in-law, Tony.  He is such a joy to the family (and I am sincere when I say this)!  He was our guide while in the Dominican Republic since he is fluent in Spanish.  It was fun to hear him speak in Spanish because at home he only speaks English to us!!

My Review of Punta Cana:
All in all, I was really impressed with the Dominican Republic.  The country is building it's infrastructure and they are very accommodating to the tourist industry.  Prices for taxis are fixed.  The people are polite and kind.

The Majestic Colonial Resort is the most beautiful all inclusive resorts I have been to.  Previoiusly, I went to two different ones in Mexico, one in Costa Rica and one in Aruba.  Aruba had been my favorite but the Majestic Colonial property is extremely large and the grounds are like a garden.  I would definitely recommend going to the Dominican Republic.

That's about it for my travel pictures.  I hope to share with you some crafty photos next week.  I received my yarn order from and it's beautiful!  Please stop by Handmade Harbour and check out all the great ideas from other bloggers.

I wish each of you a wonderful, fun filled week!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Childhood Memories Part 1

Hello, hello, hello!  That's what my little grandson says to me who is near and dear to my heart.  Looking through my previous posts, I've blogged  about patterns and recipes but today I thought I would share some wonderful memories I have of growing up.

I was born and  raised in Ellensburg, Washington which is right in the center of the state of Washington.  My grandparents immigrated there from Denmark in the early 1900's.  It was an idyllic little town, kind of like Bedford Falls in the classic movie It's A Wonderful Life.  Our family moved to Idaho when I was around 5 years ago but we moved back to Ellensburg when I was 12 years old.

Downtown Ellensburg had lots of old, historic buildings.  Back in 1965 Nicholson's Drug was still in business.  I remember going there with my Mom and it had a beautiful, old wood  soda fountain counter and glass paneled cabinets.  I think old Mr. Nicholson was still filling prescriptions. Back in those days, there was no Walmart, Target, CVS, etc....

(this picture I believe is the Davidson Building, down the street from Nicholson's Drug)

(this is a picture of the college's first original building)

My parents bought a home right near the college (it's a university now) and across the street lived Mrs. Taylor.  She was the widow of Dr. Taylor and lived in a beautiful, three story Georgian brick home.  There was a story that the third floor of her house was a ballroom. Well, one day my friend, Nancy, who lived down the block, said we should go and tour Mrs. Taylor's house.  I thought that was a great idea.  So, we crossed the street and rang her doorbell.   I remember entering the home with a large foyer and winding staircase.  I had recently seen Gone With the Wind and all those scenes were fresh in my mind.

Mrs. Taylor told us of course we could tour her home.  The room to the left of the foyer was a large dining room with a long table and lots and lots of chairs.  There was a formal living room, library, and kitchen also on the first floor.  We ventured upstairs and she had a marble faced fireplace in her bedroom.  It was stunning.  We made it up to the third floor and guess what we found?  It was an unfinished ballroom.  We went back downstairs and chatted with her a bit and the curtains started to move.  It scared us since it was such a big, dark, kind of scary house we thought it was a haunted house.   I know now that it was only the wind.  She had a small collection of nick nacks on each table.  I know now that she collected antique snuff bottles.  But, when you are 12 years old you don't know about those things.

I was suppose to attend Hebeler Elementary School which was just at the end of my block.  It's pictured above.  There was some glitch and I was going to have to attend a school the other side of town.  But, luckily, they found a place for me at Hebeler. Hebeler was named after Amanda Hebeler who was a pioneer in childhood education.  It was a beautiful building compared to my school in Idaho.

The first day I walked into the school, I was shocked.  They had a fountain in the entry way and two winding staircases, one on each side.  (the picture above shows this but I don't remember the blue color).  I had gone to old schools in Idaho that were nothing like this.  Hebeler had a beautiful library, with old wooden bookcases and a wonderful librarian by the name of Mrs. Marx who was a French Canadian.  It was so different from the schools in Idaho.  Our schools there didn't have a library - just a shelf in each classroom with some books.    Hebeler's library was beautiful and filled with beautiful things.

Long story short, these impressions of Mrs. Taylor's house, the school and the setting set the course for what I admire in life.  I love antiques, historical buildings, anything that is old.  And I totally love the history attached to such things.

While doing a little research to write this blog, I found out that Dr. Taylor was a Canadian and one of the most highly regarded surgeons in the Pacific Northwest.  He was the founder of Taylor Richardson Clinic.  Mrs. Taylor went to college at a posh private school in New York before she married Mr. Taylor. 

Now, fast forward to 2000.  We were living on the west side of the state and new neighbors moved in next door to us.  It turned out our new neighbor was from Ellensburg and I knew their family.  His brother had bought Mrs. Taylors home after her death.  It's such a small world.

My daughter is always giving me a hard time with my style and decorating.  I know my "style" is based on being 12 years old and seeing Mrs. Taylor's house along with a sprinkling of Gone With The Wind.  Here's an example of my electic taste.......

The chairs are from Egypt.  My husband's cousin sent them to us back in the 80's.  They are  a fake take off of  French furniture.  I absolutely love this style and Egyptians love to reproduce this type of furniture!  The vase is a Chinese dragon vase that I found and bought from a private party last year.  It weighs so much that it took three people to unload it from the car (my husband was not happy).

In my mind, these items would have looked lovely in Mrs. Taylor's home!  I forgot to add, the same afternoon that we visited with Mrs. Taylor, we went down the block and visited with Mrs. Cone.  She was a widow of a well known lawyer and  lived on the corner in a bungalow style home.  I remember seeing a large desk that her son had bought in Paris and lots of tapestries on the wall.  I went home and told my Mother that I had seen lots of "old fabric" on the walls!!  Ah, the joy of being a young 12 year old.

So, that's a little sampling of my childhood.  It was great growing up in a small town.  I look back now and it doesn't seem that far away but if I count the years, it's ages ago.

I told you last week that I would post a picture of the entrelac scarf that I finished this week.  I was going to do a tutorial on entrelac and I may do that at another time.  It's really a fun and easy pattern to do.  This scarf was made from a wonderful, color changing yarn called Mochi Plus.

Here's the finished scarf (sorry for the quality of the photo)

I hope you have enjoyed a little glimpse into my world. Don't forget to stop by Handmade Monday and see all the lovely projects other crafters have been working on.  Until next time, have a wonderful week.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Tea at The Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel

On Saturday my lovely daughter, Heidi, took me to afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton.  It was my Mother's Day gift and we had a wonderful time there.

The tea began with a glass of bubbly - a wonderful champagne from Sonoma Valley (I don't think it's suppose to be called champagne unless it is from France?)  The tea is set up in the Raya dining room which is right next to the windows with a wonderful view of the ocean.

Our weather this past week has been a bit humid which is unusual for us here and being next to the window and drinking our hot tea got us a little warm.....

 Our hostess gave us our choice of teas and we chose Earl Gray.  It was proper loose tea and after brewing, it was a deep golden color and quite warm.  I do not enjoy lukewarm warm.  That's why I was so impressed with this tea service.  You can see the teapot sitting on a warming candle.

 This is the picture of the array of tea goodies that were offered to us.  There was a tray of savory treats for both of us along with a tray of sweets for both of us.  Heidi was so nice in that she  called and requested ahead of time a special dairy free menu for me.  The French  meringues were to die for!  They were dusted with gold (you can see one in front on the plate on the left) and I believe they were either blackberry of blueberry since they were violet in color.

Here's a sample of the savories that I enjoyed!


As you know, I enjoy visiting old, historic places and although the Ritz-Carlton is not old, it still has a stately ambiance.  Here's a photo of the stairwell - I loved the chandelier!  And, the flower arrangements were exquisite:

This is a floor vase with a bouquet of lilac colored roses.  It stood approximately 5' tall!  And, here is the arrangement when you enter the hotel:

It was such a lovely way to spend an afternoon with my daughter.  I know now why my husband and I moved down here three years be with our family and make these special memories.

I wish each of you a wonderful week.  Next week I hope to share my entrelac scarf that is almost done.  If you haven't knitted an entrelac scarf, it's so much fun.  I will share my pattern with you next time.  Don't forget to stop by Handmade Monday and see what everyone has been up to.

See you next time!