stranded in paradise.

 A while back my friend Meggan suggested that I start titling my travel blog posts ‘stranded in insert current travel location here‘.  Some of you may not get the joke if you don’t realize that our last name is Strand.  Get it?  Strand-ed?

Well, little did I know that a title of that sort would be especially apropos for our latest trip.

But let’s start at the beginning of the story, shall we?

Last week Mr. Q and I were practicing ‘safe social media’.  In other words, we went out of town but decided maybe it was smarter to not announce that to the entire world via things like my blog, Instagram and Facebook.  I hope you guys will allow me a little subterfuge in this regard.

Anyway, we went to Punta Cana!

We really needed a relaxing vacation that didn’t involve expending a lot of energy.  We’d debated just doing a stay-cation, but the reality is that I can’t just unwind at home.   I’m always looking at all of the stuff that needs to be done and then I feel guilty not tackling it.  I really have a hard time not picking up a paint brush when I have a few extra hours at home.

So we decided to book a week at the beach.  I’d been told that Punta Cana has some of the most beautiful beaches, so we found a reasonably priced resort and booked a week long getaway.

The most energetic thing we did all week was get up just after sunrise each morning for a walk on the beach.

It was perfectly gorgeous.

Next we went to the coffee shop at our resort, conveniently named “Mike’s Coffee Shop” (Mr. Q’s name is Mike, in case you didn’t know) where we had pastries and fabulous coffee.

We managed all of this before 8 a.m. and practically had the entire place to ourselves at that hour.  Our only daily companion for coffee was this guy …

He’d just stand there about 5′ away mostly motionless.  I’m sure he was hoping for some scraps to be thrown his way.

I joked with Mr. Q that we were doing ‘rope drop’ at our resort.  Any other Disney park fans out there?  If so, you know all about rope drop.  It’s getting to the park before it opens so that you’re there as soon as the rope drops to let people in.  It’s one of the best ways to get on a few rides before the lines get too long and the crowds become unmanageable.

Well, FYI, it works at resorts on the beach too.

After breakfast we’d head for the beach where my view mostly looked like this …

and occasionally like this …

LOL, that’s looking straight up at the palapa  that we sat under to protect our fair Minnesota skin from the blazing Dominican sunshine.  We went through 4 cans of spray on sunscreen!

We’d periodically get up and go for a swim to cool off, or head to the bar for another drink, but mostly we just enjoyed some serious R&R.

The resort we stayed at, Ocean Blue & Sand, was pretty.  The grounds were immaculately maintained.  Our room was spacious and clean.  But the main thing that stood out for me was the staff.  Everyone we dealt with was so friendly and welcoming.  Despite the fact that Mr. Q and I couldn’t really understand any of their Spanish beyond a few basic words and phrases, their smiling faces spoke volumes.

I have to be honest though, aside from those pastries at the coffee shop, the food was not great (it was all-inclusive) and for that reason we probably would not return to this particular resort.  By the end of the trip our motto was ‘stick with the chicken’ because it was the only thing that was any good.

We’d certainly return to Punta Cana itself though!

I have to admit, seven days of relaxing was more than enough for both of us.  By the last day we were ready to come home and get back into our normal routines.  I was especially looking forward to getting some furniture painted over the remainder of the holiday weekend.  But remember when I said ‘stranded in paradise’ was a good title for this blog post?

Well … yep, we got stranded.

Our return flight was supposed to leave at 5 pm on Saturday.  We got to the airport by about 3 pm and made our way to our gate.

By the way, the airport in Punta Cana is really lovely.

That was a lucky thing since we ended up spending a fair amount of time there.

First we heard that our flight was delayed until 6:30 pm.  Then we heard 8 pm.  And then, it was rescheduled to 9 am on Sunday!  I had visions of trying to sleep on uncomfortable airport benches.

But it was a Sun Country flight, and I have to say they did an amazing job of taking care of us.  They loaded everyone onto a bus and put us all up at an all-inclusive resort for the night free of charge.  The resort they just happened to choose?  Ocean Blue & Sand!  Ha, seriously, what are the chances?  This was not a package vacation, we had booked our resort and flights separately and no one else on the plane had stayed at Ocean Blue so it was purely a coincidence.  Off we went back to our resort for one more night!

Even though we were really looking forward to getting home, we can’t really complain about being stranded in paradise for one extra night.

In the morning Sun Country bused us all back to the airport and our flight actually took off a few minutes early.  I guess when all of your passengers are arriving together it’s easy to make sure everyone is on board and ready to go on time!

So we returned home yesterday afternoon.  I’m all rejuvenated and read to get to work on some more furniture projects.

Oh, but wait, I almost forgot.  All of that extra time in the airport gave me a chance to stick with my travel giveaway tradition.  For those who aren’t familiar, after each of my last several trips I’ve brought back some foreign decorating magazines to giveaway.  This time I only found one, and comically enough it is seriously outdated which I didn’t notice until after I bought it.  And of course, it’s in Spanish.

I’m going to throw in a few Prima Marketing products as well.  I just happen to have a few extras.

Today’s prize includes:  the Micasa magazine, a Ruby Rose transfer, a stencil brush (which also works great as a wax brush), 3 jars of chalk paste and 3 decor waxes.

The basic rules:  to be eligible to win today’s prize leave a comment of any kind on this blog post.  Your comment must be left on the blog, not on Facebook or Instagram.  You are not required to follow my blog, although it would be awesome if you did!

Normally I make a point of answering every comment left on my blog.  If someone takes the time to leave a comment, I like to acknowledge that.  I usually only get 10 to 20 comments so it’s easy to fulfill that promise.  But I suspect I’ll get a few more comments on this post so I’m going to warn you up front that I may not be able to answer each one, so I hope you guys will cut me some slack on that this week.

I will randomly draw the name of a winner for today’s prize from all of the comments left on this post by Friday, May 31, 2019 at the stroke of midnight (U.S. Central time).

The fine print: no purchase necessary, you must be 18 years of age or older to win, void where prohibited by law, the number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning, approximate retail value of prize is $110, if the prize is not claimed by Sunday, June 2, another name will be drawn at random to win, blah, blah, blah.

Good luck!


92 thoughts on “stranded in paradise.

  1. So glad to read that post. Have been wanting to go to Punta Cana and will keep in mind the info about that particular resort! Love all the furniture posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks beautiful! We have done all-inclusive in Cancun and Jamaica. I loved it but wasnt a huge fan of the food either. We will have to try Punta Canta next time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eeesh, hopefully the clever title wasn’t self-fulfilling prophecy 😉. Not a bad place to be stranded for sure, but I know the feeling when you’re just ready to get home! Glad you got some rest and sun ☀️ Most certainly don’t get much of either at home lately!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always wondered about Punta Canta and now know to stay away from that resort. I NEED fabulous food when on vacation! I just love your blog because of the wonderful inspiration it gives me. I love your talent.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You just solved my vacay dilemma with your recommendation of Sun Country Airlines and Ocean Blue & Sand Resort. I’m booking now. Can’t wait and thanks so much. It all looks lovely and I can’t wait to enjoy it all.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I always love reading and viewing the photos of your travels. What a beautiful place Punta Canta is! I love all your furniture make overs. And thank you so much for not having all the pop up ads!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Always love reading all about your adventures, whether they be travel related, or furniture fix-ups! Sorry you got stranded, but sounds like they took pretty good care of you in spite of the delay. Thanks for the chance to win this lovely package of goodies!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. One of the things I love most about your blog is your creative titles. Of course ‘Strand-ed’ is most apropos! My family and I have been considering Punta Cana as an option for our family vacation this year. Thank you for the beautiful pictures and helpful information. Every time I read your blog I am inspired!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I especially love vacation blog posts about places I will likely never get to and Punta Cana is certainly one of them. Beautiful pics! So glad you had a great time. May you always get ‘Stranded’ when visiting such lovely places. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Grateful that you returned safely to our rainy Memorial Day holiday. Your narration and photos about Punta Cana took me there for a few minutes. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Always puts a smile on my face to follow you and Mike on one of your adventures. This one looked great…so glad you got some downtime before the big changes to come at your day job. Getting stranded is just what was needed…one more day in paradise!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hubby and I have been stranded a few times. Last year, we went island hopping in French Polynesia for 2 weeks. The day before our return flight, we find out our flight has been canceled. Yes, we are in paradise, but after 2 weeks, we need to get home to family, dogs, and job. Fortunately, the airline kept us in our hotel with meals compted, so how can we complain!?!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Glad to hear you were able to escape to paradise after your winter in Minnesota. Glad you had a nice time despite the food issue and being delayed. i can’t wait to see the results of your creative juices flowing again. So nice of you to share some of your favorite things.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Glad you had a chance to unwind. Like you, I have a hard time not working on a project or pulling out a paint brush when it’s time to just “relax”. Looking forward to your next painted piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I recently began reading your blog as I enjoy painting furniture and have completed 2 pieces. I love seeing old things restored. Your blogs have been great resources for information and ideas. It is also nice to read about some of your adventures. Punts Cana sounds like a place I would want to visit!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Many of us don’t think to take a trip like that this time of year – what a great way to unwind is right! Sometimes we just need to get away to somewhere – and why not there!
    Glad to hear SunCountry took good care of you. Beautiful pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Love your post today. So jealous – we’re currently in the midst of a thunderstorm in NW IL. The beach and sunshine look awesome! 🏝

    I was once stranded in St. Maarten for a few days long ago when Eastern Airlines was going under. Like you, no complaints about a few extra days in paradise. 😁

    Welcome home and love your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve heard of a few nightmare flight stories lately but at least yours was not as horrid. Sometimes we just have to make the best of situations and It’s seems you. Glad you had
    a relaxing getaway.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Loved taking a virtual vacation while our skies are still gray!! And I LOVE your furniture. Your posts always make me smile. Thank you!!


  20. Linda,
    Very smart not telling everyone you were going to be away. I love your posts of your adventures! My husband can’t travel much due to a bad heart, even though he is only 60, so I love seeing what all you both get to do! Thank you for such a great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Thanks for sharing your beautiful photos. Your views were gorgeous.! I appreciate you sharing your adventures so I can file it away for someday. Glad you’re back safely!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Well Miss Quandie……..the intro to this post about practicing “safe social media” really hits a chord with me!!! I’ve been known to ruminate on/bemoan the fact that it would be almost impossible in this day and age to simply “disappear” if one wanted to……say, if you wanted to hide in a cottage in the woods of Finland or become that mysterious person who appears in a small town…..not that I want to (at least not right now, lol)…….but it’s started to bother me that it would be so hard to do!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I have been to Punta Cana during one of our Caribbean cruises. I love the Dominican Republic. I am so glad that you and your husband got to go away to relax and unwind. It’s good for the soul ❤️ Thank you for thinking about all of us and putting together a give away. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I always enjoy hearing of your vacations and also try not to mention on social media that we have gone away until after we come back. Love all of your painting projects and would love to win the prize.

    Liked by 1 person

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