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#02 - Punta Cana & Lessons with my Family - 4/12/24

Picture taken at the Hyatt Ziva, Punta Cana on 4/09/12

Entry written on my flights back to LA from Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic, April 12th, 2024.


Part 1 - Punta Cana

We had an incredible trip to Punta Cana for a string of private events with BackBeat Entertainment!

I am very grateful to get to travel & perform with dear friends that are like family. These performance trips where I get to see my friends are a hidden blessing that came along with my move to the West Coast, a chance to reconnect with those that I love every few weeks! (Almost like there aren't 2,500 miles separating us.) 😂

We stayed at the Hyatt Ziva for 4 days, April 9th-12th 2024, a beautiful all inclusive resort with really good food and lots of "vacationey" things to do. One of the included activities was sailing your own 4 pax Hobie Sailboats, (my friend & awesome saxophonist Nathan taught me how to operate one, what a blast!) I also got to swim in the ocean and enjoy the beauty of the Dominican Republic's pristine Caribbean beachscapes.

I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to come back to primarily Latin countries and cultures. It's a breath of fresh air. Dominicans have a flavor unlike any other; bright, vibrant, strong, joyful, honest & selfless, my kind of people :)

One of the lessons I experienced while in Punta Cana was a reminder to not take these moments for granted:

I spent my final time at the hotel this morning sitting in a patch of shade at the beach. I had about an hour to take in the breeze and enjoy. It went quick! My time dwindling came with a bittersweet realization, "I don't know if or when I'll see Punta Cana again!" along with thoughts of "If this was my last time here, did I make the best of it?"

Sometimes, in the rush of the day to day, or in the recesses of a preoccupied mind, I can find myself  "un-present", not enjoying such beautiful things or people; moments that are right in front of me. Today it felt as if the true depth and beauty of this little slice of paradise eluded me until it suddenly became apparent during my final moments with it.

These thoughts are little flavors that help to remind me to continue being present, grateful, and connected, wherever I am. And if ever I find myself not being any of those, then I pray for a gentle reminder that those states of being are but a moment of realization and a decision away from getting back in touch with present moment.

Hobie with Lindsey, Rob & our fearless skipper & friend, Nathan! 4/11/12


Pt. 2 - Orlando Lessons

Speaking of the above reminded me of one more beautiful gift I had on this trip, which came in the process of sharing a special lunch with my family.

I was slotted to play back to back on a Sunday before heading to the DR. My mother & grandparents came to my first performance (my grandparents coming out is a rare occasion, but I know they made the effort since I was in town.) 

After the show, there was talk of going to lunch, but I wouldn't be able to join because of my next show... unless I could find a fellow musician who'd be willing to sub in for me on super short notice. (Less than an hour from the show!)

Fortunately, one of my friends was available, and I was able to join mis abuelos & my mama for lunch at our favorite spot, El Potro :)

Speaking of not taking things for granted (in this case, people I love dearly), I'm learning to make time for the people I love, even if it requires some creative deviation from my original plans. My grandparents are now in their late 80's, and as much as I would like to think I'll have them forever, I know that just isn't the case. They've been an irreplaceable part of my life. Without them, I definitely wouldn't be who I am, or where I am today. That day, it was highly unlikely that I would find a sub on such short notice. My grandparents presence inspired me to give it a shot. You never know what's possible until you go for it!

All in all, I am very grateful for this 16 day multi-national foray which consisted of 4 shows in the Floridian Panhandle with my fam band, Natural Instinct, a beautiful solo wedding reception performance (congratulations to the Cohen's!), that lovely Sunday with my family, and 3 performances in Punta Cana!

I've got a few more destinations coming up in the next few months, some beautiful places to look forward to. I can't wait to share the adventures and the lessons with you!

Thank you for reading, my fam. Here's a loving reminder to enjoy wherever you are & whoever you're with, especially if it's with yourself. :)

I'll see you soon :)


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