Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Dominican Republic 2008

We're back!!! Brace yourselves. This is going to be a long post since we've been away for a while! Our vacation in the Dominican Republic was FANTASTIC! I have absolutely zero complaints about our trip or the resort! Our resort (Paraiso Tropical in Puerto Plata) was amazing. The rooms were very clean and comfortable. The food was good and there was a lot of variety. The staff was amazing, friendly and helpful and the entertainment and activities were great.

I suppose the only complaint I have is having to be back home! When we got to Toronto, it was cold and there was A LOT of snow! Surprisingly, the Island is much milder and has less snow than T.O.!
This is the smaller of the two pools on the resort. Our villa overlooks this pool.
Our villa is on the left of this one. It was a great spot! It was close to the pool and to one of the restaurants and bars, as well as a few steps from the lobby, gift shop and front desk.
This is the lobby of the Paraiso Tropical.
View of the pool and some of the other units at the resort.
This is where we stayed.

Our room for the week. That's Hubby in the reflection in the bathroom mirror. No, he's not "using the facilities"! He's just checking out the bathroom!
Some of the friends we made on our trip.
Una Bahama Mama y una Pina Colada :) Mmmmm!
Hubby wore his "Just Married" sandals on the beach. So sweet :)

Another shot of our room.Can you believe that we've had our digital camera since last June and I've only NOW figured out how to use the "timer" setting???

A few words of advice from our tour guide: A) Never take a siesta under a coconut tree. You may get bonked on the head by a coconut! B) Don't drink toooooo much coconut milk. You may end up getting the Puerto Plata Splatta!!
Hubby taking a dip in the ocean. We didn't do our homework before we left Canada. We didn't realize that on the north end of the Dominican Republic the water is rough. Cabarete is known worldwide for surfing, body boarding, kite boarding, etc. It's not the easiest to swim in, but it's beautiful nonetheless.
Hubby played volleyball almost every day. We also played mini gold and horseshoes. Hubby enjoyed playing volleyball and I joined a friend in the Aquasize class. It's sort of like aerobics in the water.
I'm not sure whether that's a suntan or a sunburn!
Hubby taking a siesta in the lobby.
My attempt at an artsy shot in the lobby. You can see some of the other rooms in the background.
Initially, we were not going to go off the resort and just wanted to relax for the entire time we were in Puerto Plata. Hubby decided that one tour would be good so we could see what things were like outside of the resort. He chose a tour he thought would interest us both. How sweet! We went on a Monster Truck Safari Tour. On this tour, we went to the mountains, a lagoon, a ranchero, Dominican family's home and a school.
Hubby playing pool with the tour guides at the ranchero.
Sugar cane.
Our tour guide, the driver and the bartender accompanied us on the tour. It was open bar even on the Monster Truck!!! I was really surprised!
We drove through Cabarete, Sosua, Puerto Plata and Bella Vista to get to the mountains.
A Dominican home. The kids all run out to greet the trucks. Our guide said that if you give the kids candy or pencils/crayons, make sure to throw them away from the vehicle so the kids don't get run over.
We got to see a lot of flora and fauna native to the Dominican. These are bananas.
This is paprika. If you open the pods, the inside is a rich orange-red colour. We also saw cacao plants, mango trees, pineapple, coffee beans, limes, sour oranges, and many other types of vegetation.
At one of the rancheros.

We had the opportunity to visit a school and see the children while they were in the middle of a lesson. This part was special for me because I am a teacher and am interested to see how the schools and the educational system operate in the Dominican Republic.

At the ranchero, a wonderful buffet lunch awaited us. There was also a river that runs right by the ranchero. We took a swim in the river after lunch.
The musicians were really lively and the music really made everyone want to dance!
There were three monster trucks on the tour.

We bought safari hats on the tour because A) My head was getting hot from being in the sun all day and B) 40% of the money from the merchandise goes to the schools that the Monster Truck Safari Tours sponsor. I wanted to in some way donate some money to the schools and to the kids.

Back at the resort!
This is the other pool. It faces the buffet area/dining room.
We were called "The Honeymooners"! Though we've been married for one year and nine months, this was our "belated honeymoon". It was the first time we were able to really get away.
Some of the loot we brought back for our family.
Getting ready for another night out.
Being serenaded at supper time :)
One of my favourite photos of us.
La Senorita Rita y yo. Just having fun!
What a rough life! ;)
Hubby playing volleyball...again! He was addicted!

The resort had a buffet and three other restaurants (Mexican, Thai and Italian). We tried all of them.
Supper at the Mexican restaurant with our friends La Senorita Rita y Paul Newman.
Chili con carne
Burritos, tacos y chimichangas.
Evening entertainment.
Kite boarding is a popular activity in Puerto Plata.

More evening entertainment. This was a water show. They were dancing on a floating stage.

Daily activities were aplenty.
We didn't miss Canada, home, the snow, work or chores, but we did miss our pets! This is why we brought Trouble with us on our trip! Just kidding! There was a cat on the resort that looked exactly like ours! A lovely British lady let me take a photo of the cat taking a snooze by her feet.
Scuba diving lessons in the pool before heading out to the ocean.
Hahaha! Hubby took a photo of me putting on my make-up! Ms.Mamma asked me to post a photo of my tattoo AGES ago but I didn't have any. Here you can see my little sunshine.
This is Cris. She's one of the bartenders at the resort. Before we left the Dominican, I gave her a pair of my dressy sandals and all of my make-up.

A German family we met at the resort. The little guy is my swimming buddy. He kept speaking to me in German while we were racing from one end of the pool to the other! What a cutie!

What a wonderful, wonderful vacation. Hubby and I had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed our time in la Republica Dominicana!


Uncivil said...

I'm so glad you two are back safe and sound! We missed ya!
Loved all those pictures. I liked the one with hubby holding the sombrero! That was funny!

Uncivil said...

Yay!!!!!I was first and second...Tee hee hee!!

t said...

welcome home! it looks like you guys had an amazing time in the dominican. did you bring me back some brugal?!? can't wait to see all of your vacation pix! talk to you soon!

C said...

Yay! Thanks for being the first person to comment :) You're awesome! :) We had a blast in the Dominican Republic! Wish we were still there!!! Back to reality, I guess!

I can't sleep! It's 1:34 AM! I have to leave again in 6.5 hrs! I'm off to Kingston for Kenny's 1st birthday! I haven't even had a chance to unpack and I'm off again! LOL! TTYS!

Jeanna said...

Welcome back, C.! I hope you didn't stay out in that sun too long, you're a Kanook now you know. Lots of fun photos, the animals look more intelligent there somehow. Jimmy was a little like Roscoe when my cousin is gone too long.
Looks like a good time of year to go. Love those paprika pods, they look like milk weeds.
Did you say they had an open bar on the monster truck?

Ellie said...

Wow, you lucky girl!! I am so glad that you are back safe and sound, I missed you!! The pictures are great, it is almost like being there. Okay, well...almost...


D'Rae said...

It looks like you guys had a wonderful time! You look so cute in your safari hat! I hope you found yourself refreshed & rejuvinated. (I know, my spelling is bad!) Glas to have you back safe & sound!

Curiosity Killer said...

You guys look so happy!!!! Welcome back!!

Cherry said...

Sounds like you two had a wonderful belated honeymoon!

That monster truck tour sounds like a great way to get out and see stuff and to be tourists. I love that they stopped at a school and at a family's home.

A few years ago we went to Mexico with my hubby's family and they didn't want to leave the resort so we never got to SEE Mexico. I was bummed. We'll go back someday.

Dina said...

looks like you had an awesome time!!
Your pics are wonderful!

caninecologne said...

welcome back from your trip! great photos! looks like you and your husband had a blast!!!

by the way, i'll mail off the earrings to you this weekend. :)

mrinz said...

I love the photos! What a wonderful time you had - a well deserved break.

Nabeel said...

looks like a fun vacation .. and you have some relaxing time too .. at dinners and pools and such :) nice pictures over all. the days looks sooo warm and sunny .. it's still cold here.

pinks & blues girls said...

SOOOOO amazing, C! Everything looks so beautiful... of course, including you! :)

I am so glad you guys had such a wonderful time. Well deserved!!


fancypansy said...

Wecome back. Great pictures. I am glad you had such a wonderful relaxing vacation, you deserve it. You are so generous!!!

AnnieM said...

What a beautiful trip! Looks like the weather couldn't have been more perfect. All those pictures would've made me totally jealous if I didn't have my own little vacation coming up in a few weeks.

I love your rosey glow- you look beautiful!

christine said...

WOW what a great trip. I'm so jealous. Totally jonesing for some sun. & you are tan.

Karen MEG said...

C, I'm so glad you and hubby had such a fantastic time!!! What a well deserved R & R! I LOVE all those photos, you guys are so cute!

Welcome back! When are you back around TO again? I'm sorry I missed you. We just finished up March break.

FB me 'kay?

Ms. Mamma said...

Welcome Back, your dreams were your ticket out... LOL

C said...

LOL! bar on the monster truck! Insane or what? LOL! I'm a wuss. I just had water and a 7UP. I don't know if I could have done the rum & coke thing on a moving vehicle!

Thank you! You are so sweet! I'm going to write you an e-mail of more substance sometime this week. I just got back from Kingston yesterday and I am exhausted! I need to get back into the swing of things. I've been on vacation mode for way too long! LOL!

C said...

Thank you! You are so sweet! We had a great time. I cannot believe it's been almost two weeks since I've been away from the blog! LOL!

Thanks! Yes, indeed! We were just saying how we need to go back! LOL! We had a blast and we're already planning our next vacation! LOL!

This was actually the first time I had ever stayed at a resort. I've been to 12 countries, but I've always tried to avoid the all-inclusive resort packages and try to see what life is like in the countries I visit. However, this time because we only had 7 days and because I didn't want to worry about anything (I just wanted to be hassle-free and pampered for a bit), we chose a resort. We are so glad we did! It was wonderful! I'm also glad we got to go on that safari tour as well. It was a good way to see the Dominican mountains and countryside.

C said...

Thanks! We had a great time! I was in Toronto yesterday and was going to call you. Plans got messed up and we ended up staying only just one night and we arrived late and left early in the morning. Boooooooo :( I'm tired from all the traveling in the past two weeks!

Thanks! Oh, and yay for the earrings!! I'll send you an e-mail later on today. We were JUST talking about you and all of a sudden there was your comment on the blog! Looking forward to seeing you guys in a few months!!!

Yes, indeed! If only we could have stayed a little longer though!!! ;)

J at said...

Welcome back, and a late honeymoon is better than no honeymoon! Glad you had a fabulous time. :)

BeachMama said...

Wow, that sounds like a fabulous belated honeymoon. What beautiful photos and memories you guys have. I hope that the snow around here (even though you don't have much up North) doesn't get you down. If need be take a look at those photos, they would keep me going :).

Glad you had a great time.

Don Mills Diva said...

Those are awesome pictures! GUess what? I stayed at that same place I think - about 10 years ago! Glad you had a great time - welcome back.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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