Sunday, November 13, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Stepfather

Losing my dad at an early age was the hardest experience of my life until very resent. I always felt that I was cheated out of having a dad growing up. It has been hard. And some days I still don't believe that he's actually gone. Even though it has been almost twenty years since his passing.

However, ten years ago God sent to our lives an amazing God fearing-man that today I am honored to call my stepfather. He always has the right words for me and is always available for anything and everything. He cares for all my loved ones and most importantly he cares and loves my mom to the moon and back.

Ramon, you are an amazing person. You have been a blessing in our lives and I am honored to be called your daughter. You have done so much for us and have proven to be an amazing friend and father figured to me. Thank you for being who you are. Thank you for sticking around all these years. Thank you for your words. You are a rock star!

Friday, November 11, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Early work days

It's been a little over six months that I switched from full time 12s to part time 8s and let me tell you that I freaking love it! I don't know how I will go back to working 12 hours a day when school is over since it's already hard enough now when I pick up an extra 4 hours after my eight hour shift. I came home and my feet are hurting so much. Not to mention that I get home super tired and with no energy whatsoever. The only thing on my mind when I get home is showering and sleep. I could care less about eating, I just want to relax.

Well why am I thankful for early workdays ? Because I get to enjoy doing things with my little family. Whether is out visiting family or friends, parks, after school activities, dining, or my favorite date night. I don't get home exhausted and we get spend time with the kids before going out to spend time for our selves.

Today we ended up going out to dinner and it was fun. I'm dining out doesn't always happen where it just us. Either my FIL or BIL or my mom is with us so it's never really just us but today it was and I liked it. It was without a doubt sort of, um strange, being labeled as a "young mom of three kids". Not that there is something wrong with it but I never really pay much attention to the stares because we're in large groups but today I did notice and it felt awkward.

The nest part of this dining experience was when my little guy, Adrian, stood up on his seat and let's "guys I have an idea. Let's cheer!" He has us all out our drinks mid air in the middle and say cheers. Then my oldest said "cheers to having the best family in the world". It was the cutest toast ever and it almost made me shed a tear because my kids face were priceless. They were so happy! And their happiness made me happy :) and I owe all that to been able to get out of work by 330. That still leaves me all evening and night to either do school work myself, cook, clean, and spend quality time with hubby or the family.

It seriously is the best!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Music

This is not the first time I talk about this topic here so I won't say much. Only that I love music so much!!!!

Could you imaging living in a world of silence? No instruments? No rhymes? No melody? No birds chirping? No music? I can't even imagine it.

Thank the heavens for music , life without music just wouldn't be the same. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: My Pastors

What a beautiful day.

Today I decided to go back to my church's  bible study class. After the message I received during clinical on Monday I realized that my priorities had changed a bit since the beginning of the year. It's true that once you start to pull away from an activity it gets harder to go back to it and that's what started happening to me. Working weekends prevented me from attending the Sunday service and Wednesdays were so hectic that little by little I stopped going altogether. But yesterday, yesterday I put my foot down and made it happened, I got in my car and drove away without thinking twice and boy was it worth it.

I felt so welcomed. It felt so good being there. It's one of those places where I have no doubt that I truly belong. I was obedient, followed my heart's desire and  realized that I've been crazy for staying away from a place that brings me so much peace and happiness.

Seeing my pastor's wife was like seeing a long lost sister. She's always reaching out and praying for me even when I don't respond back. Her hug and words felt sincere and full of love. And she even surprised me by grabbing my hands before leaving and praying over me. Guys you don't even understand. There's so much power in prayer and her prayer over me was everything that I needed without her even knowing it. I don't understand how some people don't believe that there's a God when everything in my life has proven just the opposite. He is real and he loves me, and you, and you.


I have so much joy in my heart I can't even sit still. Thank you Jesus for putting so many wonderful people in my life. Thank you for loving me even when I don't deserve it. Thank you for Pastor Irma, may you continue to use her to do your will and may you always bless her and her family. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: nursing school

Today I'm thankful for nursing school. Yes, you read that right. Nursing school  has been a blessing. I say that because since starting in May I have learned so much and have been exposed to so many things. Things that I had never thought would really happen. Example, observing an incisional hysterectomy with the removal of a massive fibroid. You should had seen that beast!

Not only have I seen fascinating things but I've gotten the opportunity to care for pretty awesome patients. I never thought these words would come out of my mouth but boy do I love my  gerontological population even when they are bat crazy confused or have c. diff.

Nursing school has allowed me to get more in touch with my inner self.  My feelings, my thoughts, my integrity, you name it. It has been an amazing experience which has only confirmed me that this is definitely my passion. I look forward to being done with school and seeing where my fate will take me :) 

Monday, November 7, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Grace

That moment when you feel down and defeated. When you know you are so blessed yet you can't get out from your funk. You start to see the worse out of every situation and can't even make sense of everyday things.

Then you wake up one morning feeling hopeful. You start your day with a positive view on life and decide that today WILL be different. You will have faith and you will think positive. Then you turn around and everything starts go go wrong. You spill your coffee creamer and now you have a mess to clean up, you notice the time only to see that it's a lot later than you thought it was, you walk out the door only to find that it is cold and you're not even wearing your coat because you know, not enough time for that. Your windshield is frosted and you did not warm up your car like you have been doing. You are rushing  to clinical but there's not point in rushing because you are late already. As you speed walk through the hospital hallway toward the elevator you get stopped by a classmate who's lost and running late herself for her OR experience so you can't just leave her hanging. Yup definitely late for clinical. It just can't get any worse can it?

Oh yes it can.

You are giving meds today with your instructor and as things seem to be slowing down you make stupid mistakes like scanning the meds before the patient which gets pointed out by your instructor by the way.  A couple other mistakes later and your instructor points out that "you're not really paying attention to what you're doing", OMG I want to die! What is happening with me? Not here too, please not here too. This is a safe zone. I guess not today it's not.

I'm definitely dreaming. This is really not happening. I just want to go home and hide in my bed under lots of blankets and start over tomorrow.

Then the greatest of things happen. You begin conversation with a nurse only to realize 2 minutes later that you're not really having a conversation with her. God is using her to give you a message. He wants you to know that you are not forgotten. He sees you, hears you, and gets you but you need to be patient but It will be always on his time not yours.

Several minutes later you feel confident and
Say "I believe that. I receive that". The nurse gives you confused look and you say "I really needed this. Thank you". And she says "oh yea? Well, it was no coincidence".

My heart sank. Once again the Grace of God has reached me. Things started to look up from there as I meditated on the words that came out of her mouth. There'll never be enough words to express my Thankfulness for his Grace :)

Sunday, November 6, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Sunlight

I am infatuated with the sun. Whether is the early morning sunrise or the evening sun setting I feel that it is the most beautiful thing ever.

Call me weird but whenever I come  across such beautiful light I think of God and his grace shining up upon me and the world. Yesterday as we drove to meet FIL for dinner the sun was stunning. I didn't know what to do with myself. It is such an unexplainable feeling, to me the sun setting is one of the greatest feeling ever as it relaxes me and it reminds me of all the little things I can be thankful for.

In the mornings as the sun is rising it puts me in a good mood. It wakes me up for sure. Lately with it being so dark in the mornings it made me feel blah. But this morning everything changed. It felt so good seeing light again after some dark mornings. Though with the time changing all is well with life :)

That being said today I am thankful for the beautiful sunlight that makes my day everyday without doubt. There's simply no way of ignoring it, is that beautiful. Is it just me?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: My father-in-law

I am so thankful to have been blessed with a father-in-law like mine. He is so awesome! And although very firm and strong willed, and makes me feel intimidated by him, I get the feeling that he cares about me.

He tries to give me advice like that if a father. He's very religious so he also gives me words of wisdom and encourages me to stay strong in my faith and don't give up on things. Spending time with him makes me feel like there's a small part of my dad in him. He can be funny and he loves his grandsons so much. He spoils them rotten with everything.

I really lucked out with a father-in-law like him and I will be forever thankful to have been a part of his family. I honestly feel honored to carry his last name and I will carry it with pride and make sure my children know how important he has been in my life :)

Friday, November 4, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Natural Hair

Ok so this one is a little random.

A couple years ago I ventured on the transitioning hair journey. I pretty much chopped of all my hair, stop applying heat, and looked like crap 75% of the time because I couldn't figure out how to manage all this thick hair Hahaha. It's ridiculously funny now that I think about it but a real story nonetheless.

It all started back in 2012 unintentionally and by 2014 I started in the official transitioning journey. I would still apply heat once in a while but not nearly as often as I had previously done. This year, 2016, it was all thrown out the window. I thought, screw this. I'm a grown a$$ women, I don't have time to be looking like crap so I started to blow dry my hair again a lot more frequently. I've been faithful to trimming my hair every 3-4 months to promote growth and maintain health but I sucked at keeping up with treatments and deep conditioning. For some reason I still felt unsecured when my hair was wet because to me it was too short and it looked plain weird. Some days it would look really nice while others it was like I didn't look in the mirror before leaving my house. 

Recently though I've been embracing my natural hair by doing wash n' go styles. I want to say that the only reason why I haven't been consistent with allowing my curl pattern to develop nicer is because I didn't have a good regimen to follow. Actually, I'm still learning and trying to figure it out. But it has gotten a lot better. So today I sucked it up, did a half assed wash n' go style, and left to work. All day I would sneak to the bathroom to make sure my hair wasn't acting up and it wasn't. It actually looked pretty awesome. I was happy :)

Once I got home I showered n rewashed my hair with conditioner just to redo the style in more detail and OMG reality check, my hair has come a long way. The curls pop out so much more. I definitely have 2 curl patterns and there's a lot more room for improvement but I love it!!! 4 hours later it's still somewhat wet so is not as puffy as I would like but I hope for tomorrow it'll look a lot better. After that small reality check I thought "I am so glad I started this journey to find my natural hair texture". And so something very insignificant that I take for granted with each passing day makes the thankful list.

I am so thankful for my natural hair! Guys, I have the best of both worlds. I can style my hair wet to have some pretty awesome curls or I can straighten it and look totally different. Is like having multiple personalities ;) just kidding. But each look does make me feel very different and unique about myself. It's pretty awesome :)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: An old friend

Today I met up with an old friend. We've been friends since elementary school. We parted ways for some years while in high school but we reconnected again and we've tried keeping in touch ever since.  We try to meet up at least every six months and of course we keep up to date with social media and messaging/phone calls.

Lately I've been going through some stuff. I told her today "they tell you that nursing school will be hard but they never say it can drive you crazy". And that's how I feel, like I'm going crazy! My brain is on information overload. So much so that I seriously needed to vent and talk it out. Problem was I didn't know who to turn to. So when she messaged me about getting together I thought "um…". And sure thing our meeting was a blessing in disguise.

You see I have trust issues. I don't tell everyone my problems or worries and that's not good because it starts to drive me crazy. I was even a bit scared to talk to her but it felt so natural I couldn't help it. What made it even a greater experience that her word meant everything. Her advice and opinions were sincere. She truly listened and instead of judging me she laughed with me. We laughed together at my craziness and it felt so good. Laughter really does the soul good. So on this 3rd day of Thanksgiving  my thankfulness goes this this amazing woman who I cherish very much.

Thank you old friend. We have come a long way and I look forward to the years ahead. We really are going to grow old and be bestows in our 80s ;) 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: My Boys

This was a no brainer jajaja. I am so thankful my my handsome boys and yesterday morning was such a beautiful reminder. I woke up and looked over to my right simply to see my boys cuddled up in bed with me. All I wanted to do was jump out of bed and take a morning picture with them sleeping but my tiredness got the best of me. I wasn't sure of the time and that moment was such a sweet one that I didn't want to ruin it by knowing it would soon be over so I kissed them and back to sleep I went.

My kids are my world. Without even realizing it they motivate me to be the best that I can be in all areas of my life. I want to give them everything that I possibly can but more importantly I want them to be God-fearing, humble, caring, loving, trustworthy, and have the confidence they need to survive in this cruel world.  There are no words that can ever describe my love for them. They are both so different yet so alike in so many ways. They seriously make my life complete. Is funny how now that they are here I could never picture  a life without them. 

I love you so much Steven and Adrian

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

30 Days of Thanksgiving: Faith

I've been very busy lately juggling and trying to balance my many roles without going cray cray. Most often in life we are so busy that we forget to stop a minute and see the beauty within,we forget to appreciate the little things, and we take for granted the every day mundane stuff. Obviously I have failed miserably at documenting 2016 and it's happenings like I truly wanted to but as a reward I am challenging myself to post everyday for the month of November. I'm not doing it to attract viewers or increase my followers. I'm doing it for myself. As a reminder of the things I am thankful and appreciative for in life. These posts may or may not include a picture and will definitely be relatively short since the goal here is to be thankful. Not to mention that this season of life has been chaotic. However, I WILL find the time each day to stop and be thankful. 

On my first day of Thanksgiving I want to be thankful for My Faith. 

To me, faith is believing in the unseen. Meaning a higher power. I believe that nothing in my life has been a coincidence but instead part of God's plan for me. So lately, whenever I'm experiencing trials and tribulations instead of wondering "why? Why me!?" Like I used to I now say "I trust you, and I have faith that this too is part of your plans for my life". I like to think that my trials will only make me better and teach me important life lessons. My trials are shaping me into the woman I am meant to be. Even if I don't always understand the reasons behind them. 

Years ago I would not have looked at my misfortunes as a positive thing. But thanks to Faith I have reached inner peace and for that I am very Thankful! 

Happy 1st of November :) 

Monday, October 31, 2016

DR 2016: Playa Juan Dolio & Family Gathering

DR 2016

So finally, the last post on this amazing vacation!!!! 

Day 10: Playa Juan Dolio/Drive to Santo Domingo

We woke up semi early, around 7ish and just sort of relaxed and took our time getting ready. My mom, aunt, and I walked over to the salon to straighten our hair before we started the drive back to the capital. You wouldn't believe how cheap it is to straighten your hair in DR, $5. Like five American dollars is what they charge. Crazy right!? Our plan for today was to stop over at a popular beach before we entered the capital. Juan Dolio beach is said to be a beautiful beach with not so many people in its premises. Is more touristic so you'll find less natives too. I wanted to go and see for myself if it was truly a beauty like I've heard. 

DR 2016

DR 2016

We started the drive sometime after 2pm and arrived at about 3:30pm. The area seemed like it has been taken over by hotels, resorts, and restaurants. We couldn't find the actual entrance to the beach so we went in through a restaurant. Issue here was that you had to "rent" their cabanas and table areas. It wasn't an actual fee but you had to order drinks and food from them to sit there. It was a really nice set up though. And there weren't tons of vendors trying to get you to buy things so that was a positive for sure. We had like 3 vendors come up to us but they're weren't persistent once we declined their services unlike other beaches. 

We were there a total of 2 hours. Maybe 3. The boys got in the water with daddy and my uncle and his grandkids but none of us girls got in. For starter it was later in the day so it wasn't as sunny and we had just gotten our hair done so I was not planning on it getting  it ruin by kids splashing. A few pictures later and we drove back to my aunts and uncle's house for dinner. We ended up staying there pretty late, like 1am kind of late. It was a good time I have to admit. We've never really done that with them before so I truly enjoyed it. 

DR 2016

On the other side however, we had plans to go out with my dad's youngest sister and her husband that night and that didn't happen due to miscommunication. I was upset about that because I don't get to see them often or do things with them so I was really looking forward getting together like adults. Like actual adults. I mean, she's my aunt. My cool aunt Jajaja so I've never hung out with her at bars and clubs and dinners/gatherings you know. She's like 12 years older than me and I have a special love for her so not being able to have 1:1 time with her broke my heart. I know we sort of took this vacation to just travel around the island more than anything and we didn't get to spend time with family like we would normally do but if there is anything I'd do over it would be dedicating more than 2 days for family time. 

Day 12:  Cemetery visit & family time

Sunday was a family gathering at grandmas house. It was sad because she's no longer with us but I loved seen my cousins, aunts, and uncles all together. I just wanted them to know that I love them so much and that I would always keep in touch with them even though my dad and grandma are no longer with us (they kept the connection going strong). 

DR 2016
My mom, her husband, Steven, and I left later that morning to the cemetery to visit my dad's and grandparents grave. They all share the same gravesite. We make sure to visit them on every trip, except the last one. We never made it and that left me devastated so I made sure that there were no hiccups this time around. Once there it was all very emotional for me. It was reality  starring at my face. He's gone. She's gone. And nothing I would ever do can bring them back. I will never see them again as long as I live. That's a sad reality. And it breaks my heart every single time because I miss my dad so much and I feel cheated from having him be a part of my life. As well as realizing that I will never ever speak with my grandmother again. I always told her I wanted to bring her to spend a summer with us and that day was just a confirmation that it will never happen. :(
We lasted about an hour just paying our respect and in my case, crying. A LOT! 

DR 2016

Back at the house when we arrived my aunts were cutting the vegetables and seasoning the meats for a huge pot of soup. We call it Sanchoco. My one aunt also saved us Avena for breakfast so we enjoyed that as we waited for dinner. All while waiting we just mingled, drank Predidentes (the national beer in DR), and catched up. It was seriously a great time well spent. 

One of my cousins has a bakery and I had asked her to bake my hubby a birthday cake for that day. It was a week earlier  than the actual birthday but I felt it was a nice way to end the vacation and involve my family. I didn't say anything to anyone so that they didn't feel obligated to buy a gift or give him anything so it was sort of a surprise to everyone until the cake came. Hubby loved it and and AJ swore it was his birthday too. Good times! 

DR 2016

DR 2016

I wanted to point out that this awesome man in the picture above is my great uncle. I remember him from way back then when I was just about AJ's age and he would come over every Sunday to visit his brother. My grandfather passed away in 1996 and he has kept his Sunday visits. My grandmother passed away in 2014 and again he continues to visit his nieces and nephews, even at his age. He has to be in his late 80s. He travels by public transportation each time and it just so happens that he has visited every time I've been in DR which makes it so special for me to have my kids spend time with him. I don't know what it is about his visits but boy is he an inspiration :)

DR 2016

A couple hours later we said our goodbyes and packed our bags in the trunk to head over another aunts house who lived closer to the airport. Our flight was at 5:30am the next morning so by 3 the latest we had to be on the road (airport was only 30mins away). 

Like I said before, this vacation topped them all! It will be a hard one to up do. For now though I will cherish the memories, work hard on passing nursing 3, enjoy the holiday season, and look forward to our couples getaway/hubby's 30th birthday trip to Mexico in just a short 6 weeks! Yikes, kinda scary to think it's in less than 2 months away with so much needing to happing before hand. Like passing nursing 3. OMG I'm freaking out already. Med/Surg is definitely the hardest course I've ever taken while in college.

DR 2016

Until next time DR!

Friday, September 30, 2016

DR 2016: Puerto Plata & Los 27 Charcos

DR 2016

Day 8: Drive to Puerto Plata

Somehow every day in this trip we managed to be up by 6am. Is no lie when they say that those that take vacation always need an extended amount of days off to relax after the vacation. Sort of like a vacation from the vacation. This day we had plans to drive to Puerto Plata. Another of my must do things. Honestly, I don't know why I wanted to go there but whenever I google "places to visit in DR" Puerto Plata was on the list so I added it to ours. 

That morning we walked over to the hidden gem on the beach for breakfast. We had talked to the owner after dinner the night before and she had agreed to meet us and cook for us. We showed up at 8am sharp and there she was waiting for us. As soon as we sat down she put coffee to brew and about 30 minutes later breakfast was done. This lady can throw it down in the kitchen. Everything was so good. I don't even have words to describe how her meals were. Just definitely worth it. 

DR 2016

After breakfast we went back to the room to finish packing and check out. We had a long way to go and we didn't want to get on the road too late. I want to say that we got on the road at about 11am and we had estimated to reach our destination by 2:30pm possibly 3. Well friends, let's just say it took a lot longer. We ended up getting there at almost 6pm. Longest trip ever! Good thing we were comfortable in the rental car. Somehow we took a wrong turn and ended up on the "old road" that took us through the cities instead of the new and improve road that traveled along the coast with a beautiful view. For my 30 before 30 list, which I have yet to post here, I wrote down that I wanted to go on a road trip and let's me just say that that goal has been check off because that's exactly what we did while on this trip. We road trip from the southeast to  northeast to the very top of the north and back down south. Quite the adventure I tell you. No internet connection to use google maps so we had to use a map and the old fashion way of ask for directions hahaha. That lead us to take a "shortcut" through the mountains and we ended up on the new road that we were suppose to be on. It was a scary ride but we made it thank the heavens. 

DR 2016

DR 2016

Once in puerta Plata we had to look for a hotel. A nice policeman ended up taking us to a hotel near by and I was not impressed at all. I mean it did serve its purpose but after being in a resort then a beautiful hotel in Samana I felt like we downgraded. But I guess that happens when you road trip without booking in advance. The kids ended up in the pool for a bit then we took showers and ended up in an oceanfront food place. It was alright. I was honestly disappointed and when I was looking up things to do in the area there was absolutely nothing to do. Bummer. We ended up walking the malecón and el Moro but it was not big deal. Nice but not worth the over 5 hour drive. The plan was to stay there for two nights and that was crossed off immediately. We had agreed to wake up early the next day and head to Santiago to visit an uncle which was only 2 hours away and on the way to the capital which is where we were headed to anyways. But then we remembered that we wanted to do the 27 Charcos which are waterfalls that you jump from into the water. And so that's what we did. 

DR 2016

We got up really early in the morning checked out of the hotel. Since this place was on the road we would be taking to get back home we just decided to pack our belongings and say our good byes to Puerto Plata. We ended up getting there by 9ish am and by 10 we had started the adventure. 

This adventure consisted of a 45-60 minutes hike to reach the top of the mountain where the first waterfall was at. They have 3 different options. You can jump from waterfall 1-7, 1-14, or all 27. Since we were already there and it was only like $7 for the entire 27 falls we went with it. We also got the photo package which included a staff member to come along to take pictures and videos for us. Now this was a bit pricey, $50. And after getting home and having the videos not able to play on my Mac and some pictures being of very low quality I would recomen not to even bother getting that. If you're planning to do this adventure just be sure to take a water camera and a wristlet for it do that you don't lose it while you are jumping. 

DR 2016

DR 2016

DR 2016

DR 2016

Since AJ and my aunt couldn't do the falls my stepdad decided to stay with them. My mom came with us and omg she was so much fun. She had to stop like every 10 minutes while we were hiking. I'm not going to lie, it was an intense hike. Take plenty of water. She kept saying "I can't do this. This is too much. I'm going to have a heart attack". Then we made it to the falls and she was about to go back because she didn't want to jump. The pictures does them no justice as you can't even tell how high they really are but they are high. Even I had second thoughts a few times for some of them. I felt my heart reach my knees every time I jump so I could only imagine what my mom was felling. However it was all so much fun. This is also something that I would like to do again on future trips. 

DR 2016

DR 2016

The entire adventure took about 3.5 hours. Then we shower (they had showers and everything. Double win!) while we waited for our pictures. Then the rest of the day consisted of lire driving. We got on the road at about 2pm and we made it to La Romana at about 8pm. So much driving! We stopped for some food on the side of the road and that kept us good till we reach our destination which is back to where we had started on day 1. Plan was to go over to the capital and hang out with family but somewhere along the road those plans changed and we kept driving another 1.5hrs. 

DR 2016

We ended up at the beach for dinner, another hidden gem but this one is well known. The lady was closing when we got there but she stayed later to feed us (she's also a friend of my mom and stepdad so she probably felt obligated). That night we drive to my stepdads house and plan was to shower and head out to dancing but I was so beat that I showered and went starlight for bed. Hubby did end up going out with my mom and her husband to his brothers house and I honestly don't even know what time they got back. All I know is that I needed to catch up on sleep and my body was feening for rest so I gave in. 

A lot of driving was done the last few days but it was all worth it. I'm so thankful I was able to write about this trip because this is one trip I don't ever want to forget. ;) 

DR 2016

DR 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

DR 2016: Salto el Limón

DR 2016

Day 7: Salto el Limón

The night of our arrival at Samana I did some deep research on how to go about getting to this waterfall and found an awesome blog that talked about their experience during this adventure. I screenshot the main points and was ready to go! 

DR 2016

That morning, after some coffee,  we got in the car and drove about 20 minutes into Samana to reach our destination. We made a quick stop to buy breakfast empanadas and drinks then we continued on to the waterfall. Once there we found a parking area with people who try to sweeten a deal for you. They rent you a parking space for the car, horses which each comes with a guide, and a very appetizing meal for after the tour. We went with the parking and horses but declined the food because we wanted to eat closer to the beach. 

DR 2016

DR 2016

DR 2016

They helped us on the horse and started the tour around 10am. No one in our group had ridden a horse before but it seemed that that didn't bothered us. We got riding like nothing and all I could think about was "what on earth am I doing?" And that was nothing, I had yet to realize what I had gotten myself into. For 45 minutes we traveled through a mountain with very steep high and low pathways. I can still remember going down the first pathway. It was rocky on the sides with the middle being full of wet slippery dirt. I worried that my horse would lose its balance and that I would fall face first on a giant rock. Then it was over and I was happy. We crossed a river and it was beautiful! The cold clear water with a steady flow, my family each on a horse, the weather wasn't too hot (specially because it was still early in the morning), and everything around us was greenery and so calm and quiet. It was all so peaceful! There were several times that I would panic because we were too close to the edge with a huge dip that if one was to fall there was no coming back from it. I mean it guys, it was scary! Soon we reached a beautiful area that overlooked the mountains and even ocean. It was all breathtaking. Not in a million years did I imagined I would found myself "hiking" a mountain in a horse but boy was I glad it was not just a dream. We took some pictures and continued moving. Again I remember another steep hill. At this point all I could think about was having to come back on this same trail in order to make it back to the car. I won't even be surprised if my tour guide was getting a little annoyed with my freaking out every 5 minutes. 

DR 2016

DR 2016

DR 2016

We came to a stop at about 10:50 where we parked our horses and took a quick rest before finishing the trail by going down some steps. If I remember correctly there was a little over 200 steps. That was not even near as bad as going down the steps of El Yunque in Puerto Rico. And it only took about 15 minutes each way without stopping. 

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Gosh it was beautiful when we finally reached our destination. The water had this beautiful clear green color and the waterfall itself was so high and breathtaking. It was everything I had envisioned and saw online. The water was super cold and everyone was enjoying themselves to the max. Especially the kids. This will be an unforgettable experience for them I am sure. AJ still talks about the horse ride till this day. Just a couple days ago during dinner he said "Come on Marcos, Lets go. Vamonos" which was what the tour guide would say to the horse that he was on with his daddy. 
If it was up to AJ he would have brought the horse home lol. 

Can I just add that the tour guides were amazing! They helped out so much and helped with AJ (putting him on his children as we went back up the steps) as well as carrying my huge beach bag that had our towels and other belongings. The one even stayed behind in the rest are with my aunt that decided not to go down to the waterfall because she was afraid she wasn't going to make it. She said that she was thankful for making it that far and that we should go on down without worries. I was a bit hesitant to leave her but there were other people there and she had drinks and snacks. Then her tour guide told us not to worry about her that his job was to keep her safe and that he was going to stay with her if she didn't want to go downbeat how nice was that. It definitely took me off guard. 

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We stood in there about an hour just talking, swimming, and enjoying everything around us. It wasn't extremely pack, it was just perfect. We even saw some people climb a certain height and jump off. I was able to catch this really awesome one from high up but never saved it to my phone after posting it to snapchat so now it is gone :( other people jump from a lower distance but I didn't have my camera with me. We left everything out if the waster with the tour guides. They said their job was to keep us safe, hold our belongings, take pictures of us, and make sure we had a great time. Now wasn't that nice! They sure work hard for their money and earned every bit of it. We weren't require to pay/tip them because they came with the horse fee (total of $12 American money) but they do depend on the tips as their pay so hubby tipped them $20 each. I read that some gave less and some gave more. Since Junny laid for 5 of us we did that much but would have probably done more if it was only 2 of us. So keep that in mind if you ever go on this adventure. 

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We made it back to our car around 1:15pm and carried on to the beach for dinner. We ended up finding this adorable little spot right on the beach whose food was out of this world. So delicious! So full of flavor and super cheap. For 7 of us we ended up paying less than $75 and everything was seafood. From shrimp, to fried fish, fish in a coconut sauce, a mix of shrimp octopus and kunt, served with rice, beans, avocado, salad, fresh natural juice, and coffee. Omg one of the best meal of this trip. This place was for sure a hidden gem. 

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We stayed about another hour after eating taking pictures and then we walked over to the hotel and chilled in the pool till about 10pm. This day was more than a success in my book. Usually my plans never turn out as I envision them but this one surpass it in more ways that I could have ever imagined. I would love to go back to Samana in future trips. The town alone was very appealing to me ;) 

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Thank you Samana for the wonderful experience!  

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Weekly pictures of my boys 33/52 (late)