Hola Amigos! If you have been following the blog, you might know that we recently took some time off to visit the Dominican Republic. Although if you didn’t know then that means we were successful in our stealth getaway. Our trip was 9 days split between two cities, Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. It was an adults-only trip (woohoo!) as Grandpa watched Lil James while we headed off to the Caribbean to attend a wedding and to enjoy some vacation time afterward.
The timing of the wedding was perfect because Jason and I were way overdue for a vacation. The last time we shared some extended time away from work was on our babymoon about 2 years ago. So as you would imagine we used this opportunity to recharge, relax, and of course, we chatted about the future direction of the blog. For security purposes and to make it a real vacation we decided not to lug around the big camera (Canon 5d MkIII). We only relied on iPhones to capture a few highlights from the trip. So advanced warning on blurry, weird angle photos.
The adventure started off in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic where my dear friend Jasmin was getting married. We also had the pleasure of traveling with my best friend Kristina and her husband Soren. Since this was our first major trip together with them, I now know they make good travel buddies. They both work at Trader Joe’s grocery stores, and they always have delicious snacks with them.
Both Kristina and I were bridesmaids in the wedding. While all the pre-wedding craziness was going on, Soren and Jason just got to hang out at the Renaissance Jaragua Hotel pool relaxing and drinking “Presidente’s” (the local Dominican beer). Rough life, I know.
The wedding of Jasmin and Eli was incredible. Great local Dominican cuisine like yucca encebollada, mahi mahi, lechón asado, platanos maduros and mangú were on the dinner menu. The reception was like none other and included a special Hora Loca “Crazy Hour” celebration with performers in costumes handing out party props to the guests along with a display of traditional dances.
Yum, a delicious sweet coconut wedding cake.
After the wedding festivities, the next day our four person group packed into a van and headed 3 hours East to the resort town of Punta Cana. Taking advantage of our adults-only situation, we decided to stay at the Breathless Resort, which has a kid-free environment. We knew we were going to miss James, a bunch, but we didn’t want to be constantly reminded by seeing other little kids playing in the pool.
People are grabbing drinks and hanging out at the ‘Deep Swim-Up Bar’.
The view from our room.
This was our first experience at an all-inclusive resort. All you can eat & drink! The options were truly endless. It was very easy to overindulge and all of us we’re loving every minute of it. What was funny is that it’s the only hotel we’ve ever been to that provided a scale in the bathroom. Haha, suckers! As if I was going to weigh myself on vacation, yeah right!
Endless finger foods at the Xhale Lounge.
I couldn’t resist made-to-order donuts each morning for breakfast.
A little extra cinnamon and sugar to top off my freshly fried donut.
We found ourselves eating at a French restaurant in the resort called Coquette almost every night. The Beef Bourguignon was the bomb but note that a Dominican medium-rare cook is straight up rare, so we were quick to order the steaks medium on our next few visits.
It took us the first night to figure out that there was no check at the end of our meal, we sort of sat there waiting as they kept refilling our drinks. As we watched a few other couples leave, we realized that whenever you had enough you just get up and walk out.
Photo Op with one of the E-Team dancers.
The entertainment at the resort was also fun. Since we were at an adults-only resort, there was a schedule of events slipped under the room door each morning. It listed a bunch of games and parties to check out. We attended a Gatsby themed fire show, foam pool party, aerial acrobatic and magic show, just to name a few.
White sand and the sunshine, couldn’t ask for more.
With a fair amount of downtime during the day, we took advantage of the peacefulness to read. Thanks to Bjork of FoodBloggerPro for the recommendations, Jason brought along two books. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and Will Write For Food by Dianne Jacob. I brought along some trashy romantic novels to read, what? I’m on vacation! 😉
Jason tells me if you’re looking for a quick read on motivation, overcoming resistance and the mindset of a professional then you’ll enjoy The War of Art. If you’re looking for the de facto guide, practically a textbook, on food writing and food blogging expertise then he highly suggests Will Write For Food.
Soren and Jason taking a reading break to enjoy a “Sammy Sosa” which is a rum drink consisting of Strawberry Daiquiri, Piña Colada, and Blue Curacao.
Kristina and I are striking a pose during a gorgeous windy day at the beach.
We all had a great time in the Dominican Republic. Taking a break from the blog routine was nice and being untethered from the internet as best we could helped to put life into perspective. Without the distractions of Facebook and Email, you’re almost forced to appreciate life and enjoy your surroundings.
Thanks for reading and allowing us to share our Dominican trip with you 🙂