Friday, January 27, 2017

The Bittersweet Ending in Punta Cana

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It was unreal on the morning of January 12th when we loaded into a van to head to our final destination, Dreams Punta Cana. When we were planning the trip, 4 weeks sounded absurdly long, possibly too long, but in a flash it was over and we loved nearly every moment of it.
After 5 hours of traveling we finally pulled up to Dreams and we were blown away from the second we arrived! We were definitely treated like royalty with people helping with bags, being given comfortable chairs to sit on, a plate of cookies...of course, we were paying a lot for this service ;-) but we still enjoyed every moment of it!
We did get a little blindsided by a timeshare guy (we hadn't read anything about them at this resort in reviews) but we were able to avoid it easily and they didn't bother us again. Our rooms weren't quite ready so we left our bags and headed to the buffet for lunch.
Oh. My. Goodness. I could not believe my eyes! EVERY kind of food you could ever imagine was there it seemed, especially after 4 weeks in the Dominican Republic. Sushi, Mexican, Italian, dozens of salads, meats, sides, breads, and desserts including gelato. Much of it was made to order and nearly everything we tried was delicious. It blew away any other buffet I have seen anywhere hands down! (and the breakfast was even better)
Our rooms were nice and the grounds were beautiful. The highlight was the peacocks and flamingos wandering around though, we never tired of seeing them and trying to get close to them.
Unfortunately the high winds that came into Las Galeras seemed to follow us here so after one afternoon on the beach we stayed away the rest of the time (we had already seen better ones anyway) and took advantage of the food, the comfy room and the kids club. The kids actually enjoyed the kids club! There was a Wii, water play area, playground, recent movies (like Storks) and they took them to do fun things like bungee jump on trampolines and feed ducks and turtles. Mike and I fully enjoyed some peace and quiet!
Every restaurant we tried was great (Mike and I had a date to the fancy French one) and we definitely got our money's worth by eating and eating and eating some more. We would have gained 50lbs had we stayed more than a few days!
Despite the food and relaxation, we decided at the conclusion of our time there that we are just not resort folks. We would rather experience the area and hand pick the best beaches when we are in a new place and I feel like with resorts you are paying so much you feel like you need to stay there and make the most of it. So, it has perks, but we probably won't do it again. Dreams was definitely a good one to end on :-)!
Our flight home on Saturday January 14th wasn't until 4:45pm so we hung around our rooms until the last possible second (noon) then left our bags up in the lobby and ate one last feast at the buffet for lunch before heading to the airport. Even the airport was adorably touristy and definitely was different from our arrival in Santo Domingo! It was a bittersweet moment to board that plane knowing we would be home in Houston in just 5 hours.
My parents were able to pick us up at the airport and bring us home, where the kids were welcomed by one excited cat and their Santa gifts (set-up by my mom while we were gone).
I was surprised by an amazing gift Mike had commissioned for me from a talented artist we met while in Sardinia last spring. Roberta is friends with my childhood friend Christina and does all her work with ball point pen. She is extraordinarily talented and the pictures are even more special since we met and hung out with Roberta! I still need to figure out how to best display them.
We got Chickfila for dinner and the endless loads of laundry began :-)! We learned a lot from this amazing adventure. We know we could most definitely do this full time (if only it wasn't for Ella's swimming!!!), I wrote down little things I would do differently and what products I was thankful to have because they were so useful. I know this will be the beginning of many more adventures for our family and that is the only reason I have been able to get back to real life again haha!
We love you Dominican Republic and will be back again!!!
(if I was better with these things I would have combined all these itty bitty videos into one but I don't know how ;-)







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"What is this weird knife?!"
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Addie trying to help a bird escape..and reaaally wanting to touch it too ;-)
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trying to show that flamingoes are seriously tall haha!
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Mike and I went to check out the show that night...it was fabulously bad ;-)

The peacocks gave us a proper farewell
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