Saturday, July 13, 2013

Where In The World Are Kate & Ed?...

Here is your first glimpse of Hope...
...exactly 16 weeks today.

Where was this photo taken?  Why the big sunglasses and big floppy hat?  Because this morning at 4am we left our home... and an army of people including Granny, Aunt Bean, the triplets and Miss Sara to care for and entertain and make sure Brian has the time of his life... 

and Ed and I hopped a flight to...


Paradise.

You're not going to believe this story.

Back in April, just two days after Gavin died, I received an email.  I was receiving hundreds (some days over a thousand) emails at the time so it really was a miracle that I read this one at all.  It was from a woman named Jill who wrote to tell me that she and her husband, Adam, had been reading my blog together and were very moved by our journey... up to and including Gavin's organ donation after his death and my birthday project.  They wrote that they really wanted to do something to put a smile back on our faces - and their suggestion was astounding.

As it turns out, Adam is the CEO of Sandals and Beaches Resorts.  (As a matter of fact, he is one of the youngest CEOs in the world!  More on that later)  He and Jill have two young boys and are due with their third child this September.  They wanted to offer us a vacation at any of their resorts whenever we were ready.  We could bring Brian and go to Beaches (which is a family friendly resort) - or we could go to Sandals (a couples only resort) and enjoy a "babymoon."

I was so busy at the time that I read the email and let it go for quite a while.  In the meantime, Jill and I became friendly on Facebook and bonded over our pregnancies.  And I melted as she posted her family photos (they live right on the beach!) of sunset swims with their children.  This month, after a lot of thinking and making sure we could swing it and making sure Brian would be set up with lots of attention at home - we decided to go for it.  We knew it would be our last trip "alone" for quite a while - once Hope comes, we're not going anywhere!

So here we are.
And this all happened because of Gavin's journey, so it's fitting that we are in paradise.  This little boy has moved and inspired so many people to do so many nice things - not just for us, but for others... for strangers... for hospitals and for charities.  It is also perfect timing.  I have felt myself slipping downward a bit - and the breaking point for me was scattering Gavin's ashes.  I wasn't expecting it to be as difficult as it was.  And trust me, I expected it to be hard!  So, I'm grateful for this time alone with Ed... and five days to do a lot of nothing.  

Jill and Adam Stewart pulled out all of the stops for us.  We were NOT expecting that at all!!  I will be blogging about our entire trip, because that's what I do.  But they have asked for NOTHING in return for their generosity and hospitality.  This was completely from their (gigantic) hearts.

But really - they are spoiling us.

We were picked up from the airport in a private car... with appetizers and cold drinks (non-alcoholic!) waiting in the back seat.  We were driven an hour away to Negril to the Sandals resort.  When we got to the check-in, we were introduced to our private butler.  Yes, you read that correctly... our private butler.  She escorted us to our room and gave us a little tour of the property along the way.

And then we got to our room.  Now, I had looked on the website a few days ago and remarked to Ed that every single room they offer is gorgeous and luxurious.  I mean this place is really beautiful.  But when Tavia, our butler, opened the door to our room?  I think one of us nearly fainted - and I'll let you guess who that was.  We are in a penthouse suite... with a butler.  (Sorry - I can't help mentioning that over and over.)  She even showed us our cell phone that we should use to call her if we should need anything at all.  (Can you imagine??  What an amenity to offer at a hotel!!  Like a private concierge that can help you with reservations, expediting room service (which is 24 hours - holla!)... I can't think of anything else and the truth is we'll probably not ask for anything - but how cool is that, anyway??)

Check out this room that is our temporary home...
Our deck...
...which overlooks the private pool and the beach.
We strolled around this afternoon and we saw butterflies EVERYWHERE.  Need I say more about that?  And gorgeous island flowers - the property is so beautifully landscaped.
At this resort, everything is included.  Ed doesn't have to tote his wallet around as no one even accepts tips!  And it's not your typical "all inclusive" where they only offer buffet meals.  They have several different sit down restaurants to choose from.  Tonight we're going to Sundowners for Caribbean fare.  What a beautiful setting right on the beach, eh?
Adam Stewart is quite a guy.  At 31, he is one of the youngest CEOs in the world.  And he's also very philanthropic.  He started the Sandals Foundation, which aims to help the Caribbean community that surrounds their resorts.  100% of the donations goes directly to help fund many of their projects - like helping pregnant teens, sponsoring youth programs, cleaning up beaches... they have committed money to train medical professionals to help children with pediatric cancers and blood disorders in the Caribbean and over a million dollars to help with restoration after the damage from Hurricane Sandy.  You can read more about the foundation that Ed and I are more than happy to contribute to in memory of Gavin HERE.

And if you want to get to know Adam Stewart a little bit (or just listen to his very cool accent) - check out this great interview below.  He really seems like a great guy.

Ed and I are off to dinner now... and perhaps a walk on the beach after that.  The beauty of this resort?  We can do a LOT of activities (they really have something for everyone here!) or we can do a LOT of nothing.  Either way, I'll be writing, as usual... with a very grateful heart.  Thank you, once again, to the Stewart family for what is already an incredible - once in a lifetime - experience.

Here's one more belly shot.  Because everyone needs a glimpse of Hope in paradise...



26 comments:

  1. What a lovely little bump!! Have a wonderful break together :) x

    ReplyDelete
  2. There are no words...other than have a fabulous time! It truly makes you so proud of mankind! Enjoy, relax, reflect and share these wonderful moments together to remember why you fell in love in the first place!

    ReplyDelete
  3. WOW! I am so thrilled for you two! Enjoy this great gift!

    ReplyDelete
  4. So amazing!!! You deserve this joyous opportunity to reconnect with Ed and celebrate the enormous love in your life. You are so gorgeous, inside and out Kate, that paradise is only fitting for you.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Also, hope looks FABULOUS in paradise :-)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have goosebumps!! Enjoy your vacay! Adorable baby bump, BTW!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so happy for you two. Good people with amazing hearts do exist! If I could do the same for you, I would in a heartbeat! Good brought these amazing people in your lives for a reason. There's nothing better than paying it forward! Enjoy paradise! God Bless!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Kate and Ed, I am smiling from ear to ear for you! How wonderful, kindness does come full circle :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is beautiful. You are wonderful people who continue to reach out and help others. So glad you are being treated so well. No one deserves it more.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Wow I have nothing but tears after reading your blog. First the butterflies, Gavin. I know this trip came at a time that you needed it so badly. I lost a son 7 years ago and the pain is still horrific. To know that there are people like this willing to reach out just makes me feel so good. I am so happy that you got some time away and the first picture of Hope..beautiful! Enjoy your vacation and each other.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Yay for you and Ed and Hope! You deserve paradise. And every time I read your blog I remember how good and kind and wonderful people can be. Thank you for that reminder! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So thrilled for you--enjoy every minute!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm so happy for you two. I'm sure the breathing space is critical right now- how lovely that it gets to happen in such a luxurious setting! Enjoy! (As if I need to say that... :) )

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow! That's so exciting! Your room is gorgeous. Thank you to the Stewart Family for your generosity shown this family as well as the people of the Caribbean. Kate & Ed, I hope you have an amazing time on your vacation and find yourselves refreshed at the end of it. I hope Brian has a lot of fun at home too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What a blessing to you both! The kindness shown towards your family is so touching. I'm smiling for you both and so happy that you have this time together. Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is absolutly cracking. Hope you both and bump hope have a wonderfull time.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Enjoy you 'babymoon' Kate and Ed!! Let the sun and sea ​​breeze invigorate your souls.
    Your family is on my prayers, hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Love the bump! Love the term "babymoon". You guys need this and Brian will be having the time of his life with all the attention he could want. We have been reading in our supper devotions about taking a Sabbath and how needed that can be. This is your Sabbath to recharge,enjoy each other and enjoy the R & R!

    ReplyDelete
  19. How wonderful to see that last picture of Hope and your smile. I'm so excited for your family that you get to enjoy this trip together. How fun to be able to give something like that to someone! It must be just as thrilling to give that gift as it is to receive it! Have a great time!

    ReplyDelete
  20. SO, SO, SO happy for you and Ed! You are such a source of strength, love and compassion for so many of us that I am extrememly thrilled someone was able to bless you in return! Enjoy!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yay! I was at Sandals Negril last year and LOVED it! My favourite activity - Any boat trip with Big Papa (make sure to connect with him!)
    Have a wonderful, relaxing trip!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I hope the two of you have a wonderful time. What a lovely gift!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Sandals Negril is our favorite Sandals resort! I think we've made 11 trips to a Sandals resorts; and 5 of them were Negril. Great choice. Have a wonderful stay in Paradise. =)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm so sorry for your loss. I cant imagine having to bury your child. You are so brave to blog about it all. I would love to meet the Stewarts! All I know about them has impressed me. I was lucky enough to get to visit Jamaica recently as a travel agent and toured all the resorts there and they are all lovely. I was blown away by the luxury and service offered there and learned about the Stewarts involvement in giving back to their community! I came back a different person....humbled by the poverty I saw on the island and the Happy faces I saw everywhere. I'm saying a prayer for your family tonight and and Bless the Sterarts for such a lovely gift!

    ReplyDelete
  25. What wonderful people sounds like a great place to be. Enjoy :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Blessings. What a fabulous experience for you and Ed! Our world is really the stuff legends are made of!

    And those shots of Hope are simply glorious!

    Hugs!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Header design by Susie Q. Designs