I think I’ve died and gone to vacation heaven.  My vacation just begun and I already don’t want to go home!


Swim-up bars might be the best. invention. ever.


A few people have asked, and yes – we’re staying in an all-inclusive (adults-only) resort.  If you ask me, the only way to go to save lots of money in the end.  But, since neither of us eat meat, the Husband and I were a little nervous that there wouldn’t be a lot to eat.  We’ve checked out three restaurants so far, and while our options certainly aren’t limitless, it’s more than acceptable to me!


We hit up the buffet for breakfast:


I had a vegetarian omelet, fruit, and a crepe with syrup.


IMG_4180 IMG_4182

Lots of sitting in the sun, snorkeling, and drinking sloshy mixed drinks ensued.


And for lunch, we hit up another on-resort restaurant for some poolside eats.


I got a tomato and cheese salad and the vegetable sandwich.



The sandwich was actually pretty ‘meh’ but I made up for it in frozen beverages.


Oh – and…  I actually made it to the gym this morning, which I consider a near-miracle. 


I ran 2.0 miles (I think – everything was in kilometers and in Spanish) on the treadmill.  Very slowly so my knee didn’t ache!   


This was my view from the dreadmill… not so dreadful at all.


And… since I’m sure some people are wondering – YES! I’m wearing sunscreen and constantly reapplying.  As a Miami native, I grew up thinking you had to be tan to be attractive, but I’m trying to embrace my paleness a little more in the name of remaining skin-cancer-free and wrinkleless-ish.  I’m sure I’ll get color regardless just being here.  No need to get as dark as possible.


A reader named Leslie sent me this awesome video about skin cancer, which I highly recommend you watch and maybe pass on!

On that note, the afternoon rain has rolled in, and I’m going to go take a nap in a hammock. 



  • Freya May 14, 2011, 2:43 pm

    You acually do look like you’re in paradise. SO jealous! Have a great time, you deserve it!

    • Baking 'n' Books May 14, 2011, 4:51 pm

      The first word I thought of as well – Paradise!

  • Shannon May 14, 2011, 2:43 pm

    Looks like you are having an amazing time! I am dying to go to a resort with a swim up bar!

  • Kelly May 14, 2011, 2:44 pm

    Who’s the blond in the photo?

    Enjoy yourself and have a sloshy drink for me! 🙂

  • Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty May 14, 2011, 2:44 pm

    Looks like a gorgeous place!! I hope you let us know where it was after you get back!!

    Enjoy your hammock adventures!

  • monicanelsonfitness May 14, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Yes the best invention yet! Pool Bars. In moderation of course, as we do not want to end up being like the Movie WALL-E! Haha!

    Have a great time and glad you body feels good. The food looks great too. 🙂

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) May 14, 2011, 2:47 pm

    “As a Miami native, I grew up thinking you had to be tan to be attractive, but I’m trying to embrace my paleness a little more in the name of remaining skin-cancer-free and wrinkleless-ish.” – As a SoCal native I think there are the same kinds of ideas of beauty here… I’ve been trying to embrace my paleness as well! …and it’s not so bad 😉

  • Kris May 14, 2011, 2:49 pm

    Yay for vacation w/ friends, all inclusive resorts, frosty drinks, hammocks and sunscreen!! Is it harder for Kristien to find foods to eat (he’s vegan isn’t he)? Enjoy your break!

  • Crystal (Sandy Eggo Runner) May 14, 2011, 2:52 pm

    I loved the video- thanks for sharing! My fiance actually has two moles on his back that we were JUST talking about last night- maybe this video will push him to get them checked out!

  • Marge May 14, 2011, 2:54 pm

    Caitlin, it is pretty evident that you are a hard worker. Good to see you on vacation with a good friends. Enjoy!

  • Lisa Fine May 14, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Having dated an Australian for many years, I’ve learned how important it is to constantly reapply sunscreen [the rate of Australians who get skin cancer is astronomical].

    While I used to get a nice tan each summer, I’ve been quite pale since I met Steve. But I know it’s for the best, and all we’re still beautiful pale.

  • Becca@ Start Over From Scratch May 14, 2011, 3:05 pm

    Looks like you’re having a blast! Its been rainy and stormy here in Charlotte so you def chose a great time to leave! Enjoy it all, you work so hard, you deserve it!

  • Erin @ The Grass Skirt May 14, 2011, 3:06 pm

    It looks like so much fun! Breakfast buffets are my favorite thing in the world, so I a drooling over my keyboard right now. I totally agree on the tanning issue. I embrace my pasty white skin! It works for Nicole Kidman. 🙂

  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) May 14, 2011, 3:09 pm

    In case you care about your mileage: 1.6km=1 mile. The swim-up bar sounds great. I want the swim-up dessert bar myself. Chocolate mousse. And cake. And truffles. Yes. Oh, and if this could be installed where I swim my workouts, that would be extra good. Sounds like a wonderful vacation.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com May 14, 2011, 3:13 pm

    So glad you brought up the issue about skin cancer. Life is more important than anything else. Be it a tan 😉 Have fun vacationing!

  • lisa May 14, 2011, 3:15 pm

    drinking slushy drinks, during the day, in a tropical locale is my idea of vacation heaven too! Enjoy the rest of your vacation!

  • Abby May 14, 2011, 3:16 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing the video! 🙂 Such an important message to get out there. Hope you continue to have an amazing vacation!

  • Hayley @ Oat Couture May 14, 2011, 3:23 pm

    When it rains in DR it really rains, right?! I remember running for cover whilst clutching at my tropical drink trying to dodge tennis ball sized rain drops! No exaggeration here whatsoever! 😉 And i’m with you on embracing paleness, I’ve always been a bit of a sun worshipper until I moved to Cyprus. I am now more than a little nervous about skin cancer and also about ending up like Magda from ‘Theres something about Mary’! Eek! Pass the factor 50! Haha! Have a great holiday! 🙂

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife May 14, 2011, 3:28 pm

    mmm I LOVE all-inclusive resorts. BEST way to go in my opinion!!

    Have a great nap 🙂

  • Katherine May 14, 2011, 3:32 pm

    My husband and I leave next Saturday for the Dominican Republic! We’re staying at Excellence Punta Cana, an all inclusive. Seeing your pictures makes me even more excited… we really need a vacation!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine May 14, 2011, 3:33 pm

    When on vacation, the quality of the mixed drinks is always more important than the quality of food…at least in my opinion 🙂 At least the fresh fruit is probably awesome!

  • Chloe@321delish.com May 14, 2011, 3:39 pm

    that looks like a little umbrella in your drink kind of place 🙂 Looks pretty amazing!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) May 14, 2011, 3:46 pm

    Ah! I’m so jealous!!! 😉 This makes me miss Costa Rica so much!

  • Ali @ Around the VeggieTable May 14, 2011, 3:49 pm

    Sounds like you’re having a blasty 🙂 Enjoy yourself! Thank you so much for sharing that video…I posted it to my facebook and encouraged others to share it as well. Very moving.

  • Gina @ RunningtotheKitchen May 14, 2011, 4:03 pm

    I was just in Mexico at an all inclusive and took a nap every day in the hammock by the ocean 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Molly @ RDexposed May 14, 2011, 4:08 pm

    Swim up bar and sun? Did you say you were in heaven?

  • Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out May 14, 2011, 4:09 pm

    Sloshy drinks and naps in hammocks???! My idea of paradise!

  • K May 14, 2011, 4:11 pm

    Oh Caitlin, I love you for wearing sunscreen and thinking about skin cancer risk – for real! I get so tired of girls thinking dark tans = attractive and totally ignoring the fact that skin cancer is a very real risk. My brother had melanoma IN HIGH SCHOOL and I lost an uncle to the cancer. It’s nasty. Girls (and guys!), wear sunscreen and realize that pale (or paler than you think) can be beautiful!

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas May 14, 2011, 4:13 pm

    Go girl for the sun screen. I used to hate how pale my skin was. I felt like I legit blended in withwhite walls. Now … I just let it be. I’d rather be pale.. then wrinkled by 30.. and dealing with an uphill battle with skin cancer!

  • Erbe @ ChefBlogDigest May 14, 2011, 4:31 pm

    It looks like you are taking good care of your time but where is your companion 🙂 Anyways, your escapades are good and well shared.

  • Jayhawk Jen May 14, 2011, 4:37 pm

    So glad you are having an awesome vacation! My daughter leaves for her honeymoon in the DR in ONE WEEK! I hope her resort is nice too. Did you take enough sunscreen and bug spray? – gotta ask the mom questions 😉

  • Lindsay Loves Veggies May 14, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Oh my gosh! Everything looks so divine!! 🙂 I totally feel you on giving up the tanning obsession. I am a pasty pasty strawberry blonde, and I used to use the tanning beds religiously, but I finally decided to give it up for the sake of my skin (and my bank account). Having a mom and a grandmother who have both dealt with skin cancer kind of puts the dangers of tanning into perspective.

  • Khushboo May 14, 2011, 4:37 pm

    Hammock naps are the best! Happy snoozing 🙂

  • Holly @ The Runny Egg May 14, 2011, 4:48 pm

    I would love to go to an all inclusive resort at some point – it looks like such an amazing place!

  • Mackenzie @ Eat. Exercise. Evolve May 14, 2011, 4:56 pm

    That video gave me chills!

  • Emma (Namaste Everyday) May 14, 2011, 4:57 pm

    YAY for sunscreen! It makes me cringe to think of people trying to tan themselves… it’s as bad as smoking, really!

  • Cara May 14, 2011, 5:02 pm

    Wow that looks awesome! Enjoy it while it lasts, you deserve it! 🙂

  • Heather May 14, 2011, 5:11 pm

    looks awesome! This is why I love cruises. We aren’t big drinkers, so the all you can eat food is good enough for us!

  • Emma @ Getting There & Going Places May 14, 2011, 5:17 pm

    Looks like you’re having a great time! 😀

  • Heidi - apples under my bed May 14, 2011, 5:34 pm

    ahhhh sounds amazing. ive never been to a poolside bar, but it looks just awesome 🙂 have fun!
    Heidi xi

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) May 14, 2011, 5:38 pm

    A nap in a hammock sounds glorious!

  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 14, 2011, 5:57 pm

    I would love to have that view on a treadmill! My view today was the backs of sweaty people, haha 🙂

  • Christine May 14, 2011, 6:08 pm

    The only time I work out first thing in the morning is on vacation- then everything I eat and drink seems justified!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey May 14, 2011, 6:12 pm

    All inclusive is the way to go – we always do it! We’re going to the DR in July – I can’t wait!

  • Lauren @ Sweet and Twisted May 14, 2011, 6:17 pm

    That sandwich does look pretty meh but I’d eat that sandwich if I had half the view you have! 🙂 I’m curious to see how inclusive+vegetarian works out in the end because I’m hoping to book an overdue honeymoon soon!

  • Jen May 14, 2011, 6:22 pm

    Oh man, that video had me in tears the first time I saw it (hubby had melanoma 2 summers ago – thank god they got it all & it didn’t spread). Yay for SPF! Have a fantastic trip…we’re hoping to go to Punta Cana in September so your pics are just revving me up for vacation time! Enjoy!

  • Veronica (Hating ED) May 14, 2011, 6:26 pm

    trying not to be jealous, trying not to be jealous… 🙂

  • The Teenage Taste May 14, 2011, 6:31 pm

    The Dominican Republic looks like Paradise…I’m totally jealous! 🙂

  • Regina May 14, 2011, 6:51 pm

    If you don’t mind sharing, what’s the name of the resort you’re at?

    • CaitlinHTP May 15, 2011, 4:41 pm

      Sure! Catalonia Royal Bavarro

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 14, 2011, 6:59 pm

    That place looks amazing! I’m so glad you’re having a good time – you deserve this! 🙂

  • Ashley @ the fit academic May 14, 2011, 7:17 pm

    my husband (then boyfriend) and my first ever vacation together was to the Dominican Republic at an all-inclusive resort. It was my first time as a drinking-age adult to stay all inclusive and it was PHENOMENAL!!!! TONS of extra liquid-based calories were consumed, but it was SOOOOOO worth it! Have a blast!

  • Nicole May 14, 2011, 7:51 pm

    Rockin the bikini….you look great. 🙂

  • Nikki (BareFootPrint) May 14, 2011, 8:07 pm

    I love beach vacations! Thanks for sharing that video!

  • Meaghan (My Spoonful Of Inspiration) May 14, 2011, 8:19 pm

    Looks like an awesome, well-deserved vacation! I appreciate the pre-cautions you take with the sun (us fair-skinned people need to stick together). 🙂

    Have a great time!

  • Jillian May 14, 2011, 8:19 pm

    Glad you are wearing sunscreen! I was diagnosed with skin cancer six months ago at 24. Scariest thing I have ever gone through. I only used a tanning bed once and wore sunscreen most of the time and I still had skin cancer. Being tan is not worth hearing the doctor say you have melanoma!

  • Lauren May 14, 2011, 8:39 pm

    Looks like a blast, I’m so jealous! I’ve actually never been to an all-inclusive resort before but I can imagine that it would really be a good value if you do it the right way. Have fun!

  • Tessa @ Amazing Asset May 14, 2011, 8:47 pm

    Ahh what an amazing place to be! I am supaaa jealous, the next four days here are supposed to be rainy 🙁
    Also, thank you for including that video. I am still battling the thoughts that tan=better looking, but it’s really not true and tanning is simply terrible for you. I wrote a post on this a few weeks ago, on my obsession to be outside whenever the sun is out and get my tan on! I always use sunscreen but I still just love laying out…this must stop, skin cancer is very real and very scary

  • Heather May 14, 2011, 8:52 pm

    I posted this video on my facebook wall. My friends know how I feel about the need to wear sunscreen and I actually lecture them if they get burnt. My mom passed away from skin cancer when she was just 35 and I was 11 so I definitely know the impact of this disease. It is definitely one of those “it will never happen to me” thoughts for young people. I appreciate you sharing this with your readers. Hope you have a fabulous vacation! 🙂

  • Tori (Fresh Fruition) May 14, 2011, 9:09 pm

    That tomato / cheese salad looks scrumptious! Looks like you’re having lots of fun 🙂

  • Christine May 14, 2011, 9:11 pm

    That place looks incredible – it reminds me of my vacation in Brazil last summer (my husband’s from Brazil). I’m so jealous! Hope you have a great time!

  • erin May 14, 2011, 9:44 pm

    My mum was first diagnosed with skin cancer about seven years ago. It was on her shoulder, and very close to the bone. She had to have a section of skin removed around her shoulder about 2 inches in diameter. She had part of her life insurance paid out as the level of the cancer was so serious.

    Two years ago she was diagnosed with lung cancer – it had spread from her skin, and it took about two years of awful coughing before doctors diagnosed it. She was lucky; she had most of her right lung removed and has a scar that stretches from her breastbone in the front to the middle of her back, but she is alive.

    She also lives with the knowledge that they will probably find more, and it will probably kill her sooner or later.

    I’ve got a younger sister and we have both spent a lot of time in the sun in our lives. My sister is covered in freckles and moles; I am not. That doesn’t mean I’m immune, but it perhaps makes me a little complacent. I try never to go out in the sun without sunscreen or being covered up, but sometimes I slip up because I’m only human. It’s pretty terrifying what the sun can do, though, and it makes me furious that something as innocent as lying in the sun or swimming at the beach can eventually kill you. THere’s not much point in being angry, though.

    THanks for sharing this video Caitlin. It really hit home with me, and I’m much older than 16.

    • CaitlinHTP May 15, 2011, 4:40 pm

      I am so sorry about your mom… <3 lots of love!

  • Lauren May 15, 2011, 12:03 am

    Thank you so much Caitlin for posting this video. I watched it twice the cried. I have two close friends whose mothers have skin cancer and have had several spots removed. One of these friends still goes to the tanning bed repeatedly, because I think that she doesn’t want to think about what that tanning bed did to her mom. How that tanning bed almost took her life. She talks about how she will eventually get skin cancer in such a flippant way. I am posting this to my facebook, ASAP. The sun kills. And friends and family are worth the sunscreen. We are all worth the sunscreen and a saved life. If anyone is reading this and tans regularily or just doesn’t use sunscreen in general, please do. I am 17. I have lost loved ones to the battle of skin cancer. Please, please don’t be the next to lose. Because you just might.

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table May 15, 2011, 1:05 am

    Swim up bars should be at every pool. And frozen drinks. Enjoy!!! 🙂

  • Karien May 15, 2011, 1:08 am

    Your holiday looks amazing!! (And so does that breakfast buffet…) Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!!

  • Carrie May 15, 2011, 3:19 am

    I want to be there too! Enjoy it for everyone!!!

  • Jeanelle @ Glocal Girl May 15, 2011, 3:38 am

    Good for you that you still manage to find veggie options and time for workouts on your vacation.. hopefully I find the same time when I go back to the States for a visit in 2 weeks! All of our American temptation foods…

  • Tina (MightyMite Runner) May 15, 2011, 3:39 am

    Love the video, as a child and teenager my mom was always so proactive about putting sunscreen on us (That California sunshine was EVIL!). But in 9th grade i had a mole removed from my back and was diagnosed with Stage II Malignant Melanoma. I am OVERLY cautious now (and also severely vitamin D deficient) but telling others about the damage they can avoid is one of my missions.

  • Marina May 15, 2011, 3:54 am

    This looks really heavenly. I’m glad you’re enjoying your vacation, you’ve deserved it!

  • Hallie May 15, 2011, 5:42 am

    Thank you so much for posting that video and addressing the whole sunscreen thing. I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma at 19, and I had to go through surgery + chemo. Fortunately, I’m now almost a year cancer-free, but believe me, it was not a fun summer.

    I’m from Minnesota, land of the naturally lily-fair, and almost every I know has known someone who’s had a cancerous or precancerous mole removed, but those are usually just in-and-out procedures at the office, so many people don’t understand that melanoma gets very serious very fast. 2 millimeters of spreading meant the difference between a quick surgery and months of daily immunotherapy.

    Melanoma is very curable if it’s caught early, but prevention is much easier than ANY sort of treatment. (Though even people who don’t get sun exposure can have melanoma. I’ve never gone to a tanning bed, rarely go in the sun (and always with sunscreen!) and have almost never been sunburned, and yet look at where I ended up.)

    Anyway, thank you for mentioning this. You’re a huge influence on a number of people, myself included, and knowing that you care about something like this really makes my day. Thank you.

  • Christine @ Burning It Off May 15, 2011, 7:40 am

    I think that’s the same resort I stayed at when I went to Dominican… it looks very similar anyway. Have an amazing trip!

  • Running Mama May 15, 2011, 9:01 am

    Yay for awesome vacations! I love swim up bars too, we are 3 hours from some great resorts in Mexico and I LOVE eating poolside and relaxing in the sun. I too started wearing sunscrean daily…at 34 you finally get it. Then again, I still should do better. I LOVE laying out.


  • Anne May 15, 2011, 10:38 am

    Hope you’re having an awesome time, and I can’t wait to hear more about your all-inclusive and being vegetarian. DH and I are both veg, and we’ve been talking about an AI… so, yeah!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss May 15, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Beautiful! Lucky you. Looks like you’re having an absolute blast! I’d like to visit a swim up bar..never have before and it definitely looks like something that’d be fun. And holy breakfast buffet!!!

  • Sable@SquatLikeALady May 15, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I am soooo jealous! Looks like you’re having so much fun!

    I LOVE swim up bars. They are def the best invention ever and once I hit the lottery I am TOTALLY having one installed. Cabana boy and all. 😉

  • Allison May 15, 2011, 2:33 pm

    Thanks for posting that video. It really hits home for me. I was diagnosed with melanoma at 19 years old. There are so many things I would tell my 16 year old self. I do my best to spread the message and I thank you for doing so as well! I’m learning to love myself and embrace my whiteness. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP May 15, 2011, 4:33 pm

      I am so sorry about your diagnosis – I think your whiteness is awesome 🙂

  • Paige @Running Around Normal May 15, 2011, 2:36 pm

    Yep..I was definitely at that same resort in March. haha! Enjoy – it’s heaven resort 🙂

    Wahh I miss that swim up bar!! PS – the restaurants at this resort are way better than the neighboring resort!

    • Paige @Running Around Normal May 15, 2011, 2:37 pm

      and yes – the treadmills are a little rackety – but they work! 😛

      • CaitlinHTP May 15, 2011, 4:37 pm

        Yea – the restaurants next door are a little scary LOL

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul May 15, 2011, 3:23 pm

    oh how fun! And ditto about the tanning! I’m pale too haha. Skin cancer is definitely not a joke!

  • Caitlin @ The Caitie Experiment May 15, 2011, 3:47 pm

    Count me to the list of “thank yous” for both the video and sharing with your readers about your sun protection plan in DR! I used to be teased mercilessly for being pale (and that’s growing up in New England!), and was actually called “Whitey” and “Casper” in junior high. My friends’ obsessions with tanning started with prom and, unfortunately, have never ended. I went a few times I’m college before spring break in Jamaica, but I wish even now that I hadn’t! I wore spf 50 all week and got teased, but it was worth it when one of my Sun-goddess friends fried so badly that her eyes swelled shut.

    Now, I work in cancer research, and having taken more than one call from a parent, aunt, uncle or patient hoping beyond hope for a last-ditch “miracle cure” for the metastatic melanoma eating away at a 30 year old, I let people tease me and my paleness all they want… because no one looks healthy in a hospital johnny!

    So jealous of your trip, I hope you’re having a blast!

  • Suboxone Doctors May 15, 2011, 3:50 pm

    I love all you can eat and drink because I will sit there all day and eat and drink until my belly hurts

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) May 15, 2011, 6:06 pm

    Oh girl – you are making me CRAVE a tropical vacation!!!!

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me May 15, 2011, 6:10 pm

    Glad you’re having a great time! It looks fantastic!

  • Emily May 15, 2011, 8:40 pm

    I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma at age 23. Luckily it hadn’t spread and I just have a 3″ scar on my leg. I go every 6-9 months for a full body check. Get your moles checked! It’s so easy and you can catch early. My kids have never had a burn and I hope to keep it that way.

  • Katherine May 15, 2011, 9:34 pm

    So pretty. That is all.

  • Shannon May May 15, 2011, 9:53 pm

    agree with the sunscreen!

    i regret every day laying out in the sun on the beach and on my driveway back in FL. the freckles, mole removals and skin cancer scares are NOT worth it. Jergens Self Tanner FTW!

    enjoy your trip chica!

  • jassy May 16, 2011, 9:57 am

    looking at your cold drink makes me so thirsty because it’s so humid here 🙂 enjoy your vacation! if you’re dreading the threadmill, why not swim instead? 🙂

  • Amber K May 19, 2011, 10:00 am

    Looks like an absolute blast! I recently got back from my own vacation and now I have so much to catch up on. 🙂

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