Wednesday, January 2, 2013

While it was cold and rainy in Birmingham.....

.....Will and I were on a surprise Christmas trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.  It was the best vacation ever, and thankfully made possible by the troops back home taking care of Frances (and Bella too). Thank you Meme, Grump, Amy, & Carolyn! It was the perfect trip for rest and relaxation after a wonderful Christmas with the family.
Fun new trampoline from Santa!

Christmas with the cousins!
I'm quite the organizer/planner (some people might call it anal and controlling, call it what you will), and I had so much fun planning this trip as a surprise for Will over the last 4 months.  Lots of people knew, but he had no idea anything was up (even when I told him to get a passport back in September) until 6:30am Christmas morning when I took him on a little scavenger hunt.

At this point he asked if we were going to Cuba
We stayed at an awesome resort called The Excellence and I very highly recommend it.  We did lots of lounging, eating, reading, and took an all day boating excursion, which was quite a fun adventure too! A few things I learned on this trip:

  • The islanders do not care that I like to plan things out very precisely...and I learned that I can be ok with that!
  • Riding in any kind of motorized vehicle in Punta Cana = slightly terrifying.  No regard for road rules, and the excursion guide just kept saying "Do no worry about the driving, we drive happy."  In their defense I must say they were all very polite crazy drivers.
  • If you nod and act like you understand your excursion guide's directions which he has given in Spanish, he can tell you don't and will promptly ask "You from US?" Apparently we just look like tourists.  
  • A popular rum served in the DR is called "Mamajuana" wasn't actually marijuana, that they kept trying to give us on the boat.
  • Apparently I really do have 5 year old kid humor in me- I just couldn't stop laughing every time our guide referred to the bathroom as the "pee pee room" to make sure us Americans knew what he was talking about.
  • Smart move on my part staying away from the local lunch fare on the excursion, isn't that right, Will?!
  • If you go to the "farmacia" in Punta Cana, you might find anything from Amoxicillan to Viagra to "No Pain" on the shelf, no prescription required.
  • The tropical sun is no joke!
  • Not once in 5 days did I see a resort employee with a cell phone in hand- possibly why their customer service is outstanding!
  • I really like mango, especially frozen with alcohol.

OK, enough talk, here are some pics....
View from our balcony
Checking out the beach for the first time.
Not a bad place to eat lunch 
All good!
One of our trusty excursion guides, who assured me of the safety features on the boat.

Will was absolutely thrilled about this
My favorite spot!
Isla Saona, where a piece of Blue Lagoon and Pirates of Caribbean were filmed- beautiful!

Coconuts everywhere!
Perhaps Will's favorite aspect- slippers, bathrobes, and incense!
Setting out for some riding!
Lots of fun but my butt still hurts!

Goodbye Punta Cana- we will be back!

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