A Week of Gratitude, In Pictures

Well, I was right. It was almost too easy to find things to be grateful for last week while I was away in Puerto Rico. I could go on and on about how lovely it was to escape the polar vortex—even if just for a week, but since every entry in last week’s gratitude journal was accompanied by a visual, I thought I’d share my gratitude in photo form. So…

Last week, I was grateful for…

#1: A view like this, only steps away from our hotel room:


#2: Being able to spend Valentine’s Day sunbathing and tropical cocktail drinking on the beach with this guy:


#3: Simply put, to be by the sea:


#4: Having a view like this from dinner in the middle of winter:


#5: The chance to experience a beautiful rain shower in a tropical rainforest:


#6: This being the first thing I saw when walking out the door one morning:


#6: This being the first thing I saw when walking out the door one morning:


#7: Checking surfing off my bucket list—and I might add that I was actually kind of good at it…for a newbie:


If you can’t tell, I had an awesome week. When Dan and I were at the airpot, dreading getting on a flight leading to much colder temperatures, instead of complaining about how bummed we were that vacation was over, we decided to shift gears and focus on what we were grateful to come home to instead. Reentry into your regular day-to-day life is never easy after a week off, but gratitude helped to remind us that there’s always plenty to look forward to.

And now I’m back, with a week left of my gratitude challenge. February, you short little month you…

This Is Going To Be A Good Week For Gratitude

There’s lots to be grateful for this week:

  • Monday: Pen pals. Remember those? My old lulu pal Carly and I decided to become pen pals when she moved down to North Carolina for school and I moved out here to Ann Arbor and it’s been really fun. As convenient as text messages and emails are, nothing beats opening your mailbox to find a handwritten letter from a friend.
  • Tuesday: After spending $239 out of pocket (gulp) on Fanne’s insulin, I tried to shift my perspective to gratitude, so I focused on being grateful that insulin exists in the first place and that it keeps my little furbaby happy and healthy. Then I also decided (read: forced myself) to feel grateful that I earned 239 miles on my Delta Skymiles Amex card because of the aforementioned insulin purchase. It was kind of a stretch, but I tried really hard to believe it…
  • Wednesday: That this is my weather forecast for the next few days. Did I mention that I’m going to Puerto Rico? Sayonara winter! Dan’s cousin is getting married and decided to do it destination style and I couldn’t be happier to head down to Rio Grande for a week—especially because of the miserable weather that we’ve been experiencing here in the midwest this winter. I’m also incredibly grateful that a coworker offered to kitty-sit while we’re away so I won’t have to board Fanne and worry about her being locked in a cage all week. Sighs of relief all around…


I’ve decided to leave my computer at home for the week but expect some sunshine inspired gratitude via Instagram and Twitter while I’m away. I do have a WordPress app on my phone too so maybe I can sneak a post in while I’m sunbathing—maybe.


Memory #14: Our Viequation

A few winters back, Dan and I found ourselves (finally) coming down from a pretty intense stretch of time. We had been burning the candle at both ends for a while…running ourselves a little too ragged…and every ounce of everything in us was pleading to slow down and take a break, aka, a vacation.

After a bit of deliberation, Budget-Travel scouring, and friend-polling, we decided on our spot: Vieques, a little island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico.

We stayed at a rustic-style B&B called Hector’s By The Sea (which I’d highly recommend) in our own private “casita” that featured stunning views of the of the ocean to one side, and wild horses grazing by mango trees on the other. In other words: it was perfect.

Because Hector’s was bare bones in a lot of ways, there wasn’t any on-site dining—but lucky for us, there was a larger scale inn next door that had a restaurant and bar that were open to the public (win!). During our stay, we made sure to take full advantage of both, ordering chocolate chip pancakes almost every morning for breakfast, and heading over for a late-night cocktail at the bar almost every night.

On one particularly beautiful evening, we mozied over to the bar only to find that for whatever reason, we had to whole place to ourselves. As if that wasn’t amazing enough, the drink special of the night just-so-happened to be pain killers (my favorite drink of all time, if you remember), and they were exclusively playing Frank Sinatra all night long. Oh hello, all of my favorite things ever.

We spent the entirety of that night enjoying each other’s company under the oceanfront cabana, sipping on the serendipitous drink of the night, and being serenaded by the sound of the ocean mixed with ol’ blue eyes. Sigh…

Vieques + a slow night at the beachside bar + pain killers + lounge music + my favorite person in the world = #dreamlife


Hector’s By The Sea


Sunsets were ok...


DSC_0154Best. Bar. Ever.


D&D getting their share of Vitamin D


This trip also happened to be a favorite memory of Dan’s. Here’s his account of that magical night:

In the distance, we could hear the sound of bongo drums. And wait, was that a mirimba? It was close by, but we couldn’t see where it was coming from. We decided to walk towards it, and as we came to a clearing behind a row of tropical shrubs on the other side of our private casita in vieques, the music got louder. It was coming from the outdoor bar of a neighboring bed and breakfast, situated about 100 yards from the ocean, and they were winding things down for the night. We walked up to the bar counter under the gazebo and, being the only ones there, made fast friends with the bartender.

We leafed through the drink menu, all delicious tropical frozen drinks (my favorite variety, for those who know me well enough) and decided tonight would be frozen painkillers, one of Danne’s favorites, and one that I had never tried before. Our bartender dipped behind the counter, and a few minutes later, the whir of the blender quiet, our drinks arrived with the perfect sprinkle of nutmeg topping off the whipped cream. We clinked our glasses, listened to the bongo drums, and drank to the start of an amazing vacation, the sound of the ocean right behind us.