Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Puerto Plata

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I definitely woke up feeling like our time at Tubagua is done; let's get out of here :-). We did have a nice breakfast though and enjoyed lounging around our little porch relaxing more before Luis came to pick us up.
We left a little after 11 and arrived at the our resort in Puerto Plata about an hour later...The Tropical, Lifestyles. The reviews on Trip Advisor (my go-to for all trip planning) were pretty mixed about this place so we weren't sure what to expect and were a little nervous to be honest. Although our rooms weren't ready yet, they got our wrist bands on us so we could head over to the lunch buffet.
As we saw the grounds for the first time I was pretty impressed and the food was surprisingly good as well. We did see a few of the time-share guys we had read about in the reviews (people said they were constantly hounded to buy timeshares) but were able to avoid them for the time being. When we did get in our rooms they seemed clean which was my main concern :-). Yes, they are old and kind of blah and the bathrooms are falling apart a little, but they should suffice for 3 nights and we will be outside most the time we are here so as long as we can sleep well I'm happy!
We quickly changed into our suits to get some beach time in before dinner (Mike was able to score us a reservation at the Mexican restaurant by woo-ing the guest services employees with his Spanish skills haha!) at 6:30pm. The beach had one thing going for it...sand, well and the color of the water was nice too. I think we got a little spoiled by the lack of people and the pretty scenery of the beaches in the southwest and both were definitely lacking there, but the kids had a blast jumping over waves for hours regardless. The little cabanas they have set up for us to relax in are really nice and cute and you can order food and drinks to be served to you at them...always a bonus :-). We are all excited to get lunch by the ocean tomorrow!
After a quick beach visit we got gorgeous and headed to dinner. The restaurant was adorable and for being a Mexican restaurant in the Dominican Republic the food was surprisingly good! There was a nacho bar to help yourself to while you waited for your food and the kids were in absolute heaven!
All in all, we were pleasantly surprised and excited for the next two days of complete rest and relaxation! We do not plan to leave the resort once!
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Last night was the first solid night of sleep I have had in awhile and it was glorious! When I woke up and saw it was 6:40am I was ecstatic! Although we have been getting enough sleep, it has been coming in broken up chunks, and man, what a difference it makes!
We were excited to try breakfast since the food the day before had been surprisingly good and it was fine. I was a little disappointed since I love breakfast so much, but they still had an omelet station so I couldn't complain too much ;-). Our plan was to get breakfast and then head over and claim a good cabana before it was too crowded. The kids really wanted to get a double-decker so we went to do that while Mike went to secure dinner reservations for that evening. We got sunscreened up and then headed to a different area of the beach than the day before where we could get some lounge chairs. The waves were a little calmer in this area (much to Preston's disappointment haha) and we spent all morning there. Mike and I mostly just lounged, Ella mostly read next to us and Addie and Preston mostly built in the sand. They created some pretty huge masterpieces that got a lot of attention from the people walking by (including one girl who snuck a picture with her phone) and they were quite proud of them.
We went back to the cabanas to try ordering our lunch. It was a fun change but it ended up being really slow because of an enormous group of French people who set up camp right by us and were ordering food non-stop. We pit-stopped at the pool because Preston was dying to go and then headed to the rooms to relax the rest of the afternoon. Mike and I attempted to go to the gym but it is teeny for the size of the resort and was completely full...I can't say I was too disappointed ;-).
We ended the day with dinner at the resort's Dominican restaurant and enjoyed walking over to a different area of the property for it. There is also a long story to be had about an annoying foreign woman playing the life size chess game while we waited forever that I won't get into here.
Our second full day here was much the same except we skipped the cabanas completely. We lounged at the beach, lounged in the room and had dinner back at the Mexican restaurant.Two days was a good amount of time for us to be here...we got recharged but were ready to get away from all the weird tourists and back to the beauty of the island.
I find this whole resort thing quite interesting. It's kind of like being on a cruise but not as good overall. I would compare this resort to a Carnival cruise level and we are hoping the resort we stay in our last nights of the trip are more Princess level :-). I think that is what the resort has mostly done to me...made me want to be on a cruise! Where the good things we have experienced here are multiplied tenfold and the bad things decrease by an equal amount...cruising really is the perfect vacation.
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