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!

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