Sunday, September 25, 2016

DR 2016: Isla Saona & Sanchez

DR 2016


DR 2016

Day 5: Isla Saona 

It was a Monday and we were all excited to start the day. For years we've been trying to take the tour to Isla Saona. I've only seen pictures and paintings of it but I've heard that it is beautiful there so when I was organizing our to do list for this trip I made sure to include this adventure. We were planning on taking the tour directly from the resort but when you know people that know people and you pay a fraction of what it normally is, well you just go with it hahaha. My stepdad knows a lot of people in his town so he was always finding good deals for whatever we wanted to do. Best part was that it was the exact same tour as everyone else took so it wasn't like we got the bad end of the stick. 


DR 2016

DR 2016

We rode a small motor boat to the catamaran that was farther out in the sea. From there the ride was 2 hours, we started the voyage around 10am and made it to the island right at 12pm. But those two hours flew by. The captain and his crew made it so much fun by playing music, giving drinks, shots, and dancing with the tourists. We were the firsts ones on the catamaran so it gave us some time to bond with the captain and his crew. I told him from the get go that I've never done this before nor was ever at sea for so long and that I was super nervous and worried I would get motion sickness but he told me "I got you! After we get moving you won't even give it a second thought" and what do you know, it was just like that. Of course that I had a couple of drinks so that may have had an effect on me. Either way I was not complaining or worried. Matter of fact as soon as we took off and they played the music I grabbed my man and started dancing. Boy was that fun! To dance a merengue with my life partner sang by Juan Luis Guerra (an old time favorite singer of mine) in the middle of the Caribbean Sea = bucket list check off! Two hours later and we were there. We reached the shore and headed straight for the very corner of the beach sitting area to be isolated from everyone else. We just wanted each other's company. We got in the water, ate some food, drank some more, and took lots of pictures! Everything was great but I was a bit disappointed on the water. It was very rocky and full of seaweed so we didn't enjoy our time there much aside from simply enjoying nature and it's natural beauty untouched by mankind. 


DR 2016

After several hours we got back on a motor boat and made a quick stop a the natural pool. Now this was the highlight of the day. Guys, words can't never truly explain how beautiful and amazing this experience was. We jumped from the boat and the water was waist deep and clear as drinking water. There were tons of starfish just hanging around keeping us company. Hundreds of people scattered around having an amazing time. Couples celebrating love, kids living a dream, family enjoying the beauty that my beautiful island has to offer, friends living it up, and me feeling thankful and blessed for this marvelous opportunity and most importantly being with the people that I love most in this world. Everything was priceless! 


DR 2016

About an hour later we were ready to take off and go back to La Romana but our boat battery died. Yup you heard right. We were stuck at sea for what felt an eternity. I was freaking out because I feared the worse but deep down I just knew that my life would not end like this (maybe I was being a bit dramatic). Thankfully the captain and his assistant were able to get the motors going and brought us back in to shore safe and sound. Unfortunately, that was enough for me not wanting to ever get on a motor boat again, the ocean is too much water for little ol' me. I would love to do this adventure again but I'm going to need a few years to get over it. 

That night we drove to the capital, Santo Domingo, and stayed the night over my aunts house which is located right above my grandmas house. May her soul Rest In Peace. It was so bittersweet being there and not seeing her :( but I loved bonding with my aunt and cousins. 


DR 2016

Day 6: Sanchez

This day consisted of a lot of driving. We were on the road for a good five hours or so trying to make it to Samana with a quick stop in Sanchez to visit family. 

I have wonderful memories of this little town. I spent a nice chunk of time there when my dad passed away in 1998. I was young and my aunt wanted me to not fall into a depression so she took me with her for a while along with another cousin. There was a river behind her house and we would swim in it all day long. I don't remember much of my stay there except knowing that that time in my life was a happy one. I felt angry at the world and loved all at the same time. 

DR 2016

While there my aunt greeted us with an amazing meal, which I did not take pictures of, and some lovely conversations. My uncle is into rooster fighting so he had tons of roosters in cages and a ton more chicken and hens just running around. Literally. They even had chickens up on trees. My boys got a kick out of that and AJ kept chasing the hens because he wanted to "pat it" Jajaja.  We ended up staying with them till about 7pm and then we decided to hit the road because we weren't sure where we were going or where the hotel was exactly. Originally we went traveling there with no idea of which hotel we would stay at but we figured if we got there early we can "shop around". Lucky for us my uncle has a taxi business where he picks up tourist at the airport and drops them off a different resorts so he hooked us up and we ended up booking right there from his house. 

The drive to Samana from Sanchez was a beautiful one and also a scary one. Sanchez is like a town on a mountain so getting to Samana, although it was only 30 minutes away it took forever because there were way too many dangerous curves and we had to drive carefully and slow. But the view! Omg the view was breathtaking! Oceanview all the way there on the left and country view on the right. We really enjoyed our time here, learn about why on the next post! ;) 

DR 2016


p.s.
This was the song that hubby and I danced on the catamaran. Very fitting if you ask me :)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

DR 2016: Arrival & Dreams Resort Stay

DR2016

It has been exactly a month since our vacation to the Dominican Republic and although I really wanted to write detailed posts on this amazing trip (because it was without doubt the best vacation we have taken thus far!) I can't and won't set myself up to fail. Nursing school has officially consumed my life and I don't know if I could ever catch up. I'm not even exaggerating. I honestly feel like I need to start over with blogging and the projects that I started early this year because well, I just don't have the time to write, let alone sit and think about the past several months. So before this too becomes a distant memory I decided to just write a semi long post (let's see how long it actually gets) and create a slide show with our hundreds of pictures to include in the end. 

So here we go! 

DR2016

We traveled via Jet Blue airlines and JFK Airport on August 10th. It was our first time traveling through JFK and that airline and we have no complains. We were actually surprise with our experience because it turned out to be nothing from what we expected. Overall we ended up with such a positive experience that we might just start using Jet Blue for future travels. 

Our flight did leave later than scheduled and instead of landing at 3am we landed at 5am. This was mostly due to a passenger that got super drunk before boarding and ended up vomiting all over the plane as we were getting ready to take off. Like we were literally next on line on the runway and they turned the plane around. It was bad. But it was an overnight flight so it really didn't bothered us. 

Once we landed in Santo Domingo, my mother and her husband were waiting for us at the airport and we packed the car and headed straight to La Romana were we would spend most of our vacation time at. This is also were the resort is located. We finished a few errands before we headed over to the resort so by the time we got there it was 11am. Exactly 12 hours since we left our home. Isn't it amazing how much can change in a short amount of hours :). Our phone was dead most of those 12 hours so not many pictures were taken and for some reason I didn't think about using my Nikon. Poor camera has been neglected for far too long. 

DR2016

DR2016

DR2016

We stayed at Dreams Resort La Romana, the same resort that we got married at 5 years earlier except on a different location. Our reservations was for 3 nights and 4 days. The main reason for this trip was because I was matron of honor at my cousin's wedding and we embraced the opportunity to make it a family vacation that lasted 12 days! I feel very lucky and blessed that we were able to stay that long. 

Our time at the resort was awesome. The grounds were beautiful, the people were short of amazing and super friendly, the food and drinks were always on point (like my hubby would say), and everything else was just perfect. The first day we did some pool lounging and later that night we had a welcome gathering for the wedding guests. The second day was another pool and beach day with a wedding rehearsal for the bridal party right after dinner and a few hours at the club in the resort. 

DR2016

DR2016

Day three was THE day. My cousins and her beloved husband were married! Like I mentioned before I was her MOH as well as her photographer. Tough role I know. It was hectic but I am so glad that I was able to capture some amazing pictures for her. Now, I am not a photographer nor plan on changing careers but I would like to have that skill in my bag of many trades. I would love to be able to capture amazing photographs of my little ones and of our many vacations to come but for right now my focus is learning how to save/help a life not end one hahaha. The wedding was perfect. A few set backs but you have those in any wedding no matter the location. I was a bit bummed that we had to move the reception indoors instead of having it on the beach due to rain but everything turned out to be perfect at the end. 

DR2016

On day four the hubby and I decided to spend some quality time together and headed early morning for a couple massage oceanfront. It was the one of the greatest experience ever. Talk about peaceful!!! I honestly have no words on how amazing this was as well as the entire stay at the resort. Not to mention that the kids had a blast and that's more than we could have asked for. We checked out of the resort around 5pm that Sunday and drove over to the hotel that we were be staying for the night. 

That night my stepfather took us out to a club. I wasn't really in the mood to go, I was tired, it was late, and we had an early start the next day, plus my hair was wildin' out but I ended up going anyways. He meant well and just wanted us to have a good time and I couldn't say no to him so we went. It was a good time and the best part was that we got to go to a chimi spot. A chimi is a pork sandwhich called èl chimichurri, check out Aunt's Clara recipe if you are interested in trying it out. It's not the traditional chimi but you'll have to take a trip to DR for the real thing ;). They make it in the states too in places like NYC and even in the town we live but there's nothing like the real thing straight from the island. It was quite the experience and quite the start of our road trip around the Dominican Republic. 

I guess this is going to turn out to be quite a few posts after all. Check back tomorrow for more fun in the Dominican Republic. :) 

DR2016


DR2016

Weekly pictures of my boys 32/52 (late)

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The 30s are here!!!



On sept 1st my hubby turned 30 years old. I don't even know if I will be able to put into words how that makes me feel. I guess I should start by saying that the feelings are all over the place. For starters, OMG the thirties are here! He's no longer a 20something which actually sounds really sexy! hahaha 

I am so proud of all the things that he has accomplished this last decade. He is so strong-willed, such a go-getter, and so sure of what he wants out of life. He has grown so much over the last 11 years and I feel honored to have shared those years with him. He has always been mature and I thank God I didn't have to deal with problems do to immaturity. Seeing him enter this phase in life makes me so happy because I know that he is destined for great things! He has so many plans for this coming decade and I'm glad to be able to join him on his journey. I'm getting ahead of myself here but I can imagine him at 40s and I can only see success in every aspect of his life. 

Knowing that the 30s are here is like a little reminder of the great things that are to come in our lives. I know that I myself am looking forward to turning 30 in 6 short months. Maybe because of the saying that says "when you turn thirty, that's when you really begin to live life". You are more in tune with yourself and with what you want, your priorities changes, your focus is more serious, life has a new meaning (sort of), you tend to appreciate more what you've been blessed with instead of taking it for granted, and most importantly you see things differently. Can you note the exciting in my words? Well if you can't just know that I'm really excited! The 20s were rough. Good but rough and I just want to be over it and look towards the future. Our future! 

My love, I hope you had a great birthday and an awesome birthday weekend. You are everything a girl could ever dream of. I feel beyond blessed to be able to have you in my life and honored to have all that we have together. Our kids, our home, our dog, and every little materialistic thing we own. Having you as a best friend has been both challenging and fun but I wouldn't change it for nothing in this world. I love you bunches and I look forward on being by your side this next 10 years, and 60 more. May the good Lord bless you today and everyday for the rest of your life! xoxo