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If you were to think about large-scale efforts – mapping the human genome, searching for monster prime numbers, developing the TESLA, you would be wise to add planning a family Caribbean vacation to your list.

There’s the organizing, packing, passport-checking, last-minute snack shopping, the rounding up of coloring books, crayons, headphones, medication, sunscreen and whatever sand-caked plastic shovels that can be found from the last vacation.

Rodney imposed house rules against me asking him to exfoliate my back and apply sunless tanner the night before a trip, so now I leave that job to the professionals. Which of course never gets done. Time, who? what?

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This year I got my act together and scheduled an appointment that I promised I wouldn’t break. I stuck to my guns, shed my clothes in front of a woman whose name sounded like Mary but wasn’t, and stepped into the booth. After a few passes of her spray gun, she declared that I looked “owa-some” and I skipped back home, a burnished shade of bronze.

My kids weren’t impressed. Over the sobs of one child, another demanded to know what happened to my “other skin”. The third was found later, hiding in a closet. This pre-tan effort, I imagine, won’t happen again.

It was the least I could do to get ready for what promised to be the trip of a lifetime.

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When traveling with kids, Rodney and I have always leaned towards big hotels with big pools, big restaurants, and a bigger set of amenities. The kind of place where a kid can race around and find plenty of entertainment.

This year though, we booked our trip through Inspirato. After looking through their list of properties, we found a house that seemed like it would be a great fit for our family: our own pool, an empty beach, ocean-facing bedrooms, and the icing on our Tortuga rum cake….a well-stocked kitchen.

I’m not sure how many times the word “idyllic” was dropped into the conversation during our stay, but I’m pretty certain that were in three-digit territory.

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Let the record state that if you’re planning to attend a store opening, and are planning to take pictures that you’re then planning to share with the company, don’t arrive after you’ve been drinking.

It’s at times like these when I’m relieved that I’m not a surgeon. Or part of Barrack Obama’s security detail. Even a dressmaker, all of those pointy needles and other stabby things.

It wasn’t always the case. I used to have a job where drinking wasn’t part of the job. It was much easier to demarcate that line in the sand – these are the times when drinking is acceptable – these are the times when drinking is not.

But then you start to work in environments where drinking is the norm. And in some cases, where NOT having a beverage in your hand is completely unacceptable. Like that event a few weeks ago for Edible Manhattan where against my will, I was forced to drink moonshine and talk about local spirits all night.

For legal reasons, let’s strike that last sentence. It was willful, all of it, I apologize. Sometimes I can’t even admit these things to myself.

The day of the Edible event was a long one. It started out with working lunch where I was taking food photos for a restaurant. You can’t very well take photos of lunch without a cocktail in the mix. And sometimes that first cocktail needs another one on the table for balance.

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Hey hey, it’s Earth Day!

And I couldn’t choose a better day to share some images of one of the most beautiful places on Earth – the Dominican Republic.

We were eager to head down to the Dominican this year – the first time we’ve taken the kids to a Club Med. Some of my fondest memories from my youth are from our vacations to Club Med. I used to love all of the activities – archery, sailing, circus trapeze, and of course, the shows.

While Rodney and I relaxed with some beach reads and Pina Coladas, we passed the activities baton to the kids who were more than happy to play in the pool and check out all of the fun sports on offer at the Mini Club.

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And what a place to spend a birthday:

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