I have been very blessed in the past 10ish years to be able to go on several amazing vacations. I limit the timing to the past 10ish years because my family never went on vacations…ever. My first real vacation was a trip to Orange Beach that my friend April took me on back in like 2000 or 2001. That was my first real vacation, as well as my first time to ever see the ocean. I fell in love immediately. Since that trip, I have been on probably 10 other beach trips, all of which I loved tremendously.
What made this vacation better than any others? Why do I deem this vacation the BEST VACATION EVER? It’s hard to explain. Everytime I think about this trip or am asked about this trip, I just smile….and am in awe at the experience I was so blessed to have. I know that sounds totally cheesy and over-the-top, but it’s honestly how I feel. Let me detail out a few of the factors that played into creating this amazing trip:
First off…and key to my enjoyment…was getting to watch Widespread Panic perform on the beach. John Bell’s voice…my feet in the sand…the full moon casting beams across the waves…the ocean breeze cooling me off from dancing too much…the people around me all singing and smiling and grooving….I can’t explain it. My heart literally skips a beat when I think about certain moments throughout the four nights of shows. I have seen soooo many shows over the years, and the second night of WSP in Punta Cana was definitely the best show I have ever seen. That’s saying a lot. Here’s a taste of what I saw:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glN91f8DftI (probably one of my favorite parts of the second night)
Did I mention that these four WSP shows were my DH’s FIRST WSP shows? Yes. It was awesome getting to be beside him while he experienced this for the first time. DH doesn’t dance much (or really ever, unless he’s completely wasted), but boy o boy did he bust a move while we were in the dominican! He really let loose and just enjoyed it…I loved it. And he did too.
Ok, the 2nd main factor that played into this being the best vacation ever was definitely the people. You see, for the entire week we were completely surrounded by pretty much no one besides Widespread Panic fans! Around 3,200 of them, in fact. It’s funny how different bands have different kinds of fans. Phish Phans…Dead Heads…Panic Fans….WSP fans are definitely my favorite. They treat everyone like family, if you can imagine that. So take WSP fans…and take them to paradise…and have four nights of their favorite band….and you get Panic en la Playa. Can you imagine a happier group of people? I cannot. There were no strangers…there was no complaining…there was no fighting or drama or obnoxious drunkards (oh wait..I may have been one of those)…..everyone was just happy to be alive and enjoy the experience. I had never been in any environment like this before.
Another main factor- the resort. OMG, this place was amazing. I’ve done all-inclusive resorts a few times, but never have I ever been to one where the rooms are unbelievable AND the staff is helpful and happy AND there are tons of delicious restaurant options AND you can get good booze AND you can be as loud as you want without any complaints AND you can have cases of beer/wine/champagne delivered daily AND you can choose between like 10 different pools, including a lazy river and multiple infinity pools AND I could go on and on. I loved the resort…no complaints at all. It is actually the first all-inclusive resort that I would return to without complaint. Seriously.
And finally…the last main factor…was the group of people I went with. I got to know each of them a little bit better, and I enjoyed that a lot. I feel like I can get a pretty good read on people and if they have a good heart/good intentions/etc….and these were good people. Plus, they saw me when I was effectively gone from my mind and they still hung out with me. Love.
It was, in fact, the best trip ever. Here are a few pics: