Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Honeymoon Part 4: "Happy Thanksgiving!"

**Sorry I just realized I forgot to hit publish on this post a couple weeks ago

As I mentioned in a previous post we decided to go to the Dominican the week of Thanksgiving both because of cost and because it allowed me to only have to take a couple of personal days.  I was bummed to be missing my favorite holiday at home with family but we ended up having a great day even without Turkey.

Most of the day was similar to how we spent any other day; we started the day relaxing on the beach and ended the afternoon at the pool.  We had decided early in the week that one night we wanted to have dinner on the beach.  The resort provided private candle light dinners on the beach and we decided this would be a suitable substitute for missing Thanksgiving dinner.  So after relaxing all day we got dressed up and headed to the beach:

A picture of us all dressed up before the humidity attacked my hair

Our table on the beach
The meal was like a 7 course dinner that consisted of:
Grouper Ceviche
Salad Symphony
Portobello Mushroom Soup
Lobster and Vegetables
Grilled Chicken and Potatoes
Passion Fruit Sorbet
You & Me Black & White Chocolate Cake

I took pictures of each course but the pictures really didn't capture the yummieness of dinner.  Our waiter, however, noticed me taking pictures and when he brought us our dessert insisted on not only taking a picture of the dessert for us: 

But then also insisted on taking pictures of us feeding each other:

We were also surprised by a mariachi band that serenaded us during dinner:

While it was no turkey and mashed potatoes it turned out to be a pretty great Thanksgiving dinner!

After dinner we were headed back to our room and walked past the buffet and discovered this little beauty:

How fantastic is he?  We also noticed a sign that said the buffet was serving Thanksgiving dinner so I thought it would be interesting to just go look and see their interpretation of the American tradition.  Let's just say I'm glad I didn't get my hopes up.  There was not a single thing on the buffet that even remotely resembled a good ol' American Thanksgiving.  Good thing they had Mr. Turkey out front to make up for it. 

Every Thursday on the resort was also "White Beach Party" night so we decided to take a walk down to the other side and check out the festivities.  The party consisted on lots of performances by men in little white shorts included a bar tending show, dancing, and flame throwing and don't worry there was a pretty fantastic conga line thrown in as well.  Sadly the darkness mixed with the glow sticks we didn't get many pictures but here are a few to hopefully give you an idea:

 All in all it was a pretty great Thanksgiving and one we definitely won't forget.

So that is the end of the wedding and honeymoon recaps.  Now I suppose we need to get to getting on house stuff so I have more stuff to post about!  Hopefully I will have a couple house posts soon.  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Honeymoon Part 3: "The Real Dominican"

We knew before we even got to Punta Cana that we would want to go on an adventure (or excursion)  we just didn't know what we wanted to do.  The first full day we were at the resort we had an introductory meeting with our travel agency and they provided us with a book of adventures to choose from.  We had a hard time deciding what we wanted to do and in the end it came down to an afternoon cruise on a party boat or a day experiencing "The Real Dominican."  Because we are huge nerds (mostly just me this time) we decided to go with the second choice.  Now I'm smart enough to know we didn't really experience a day in the life of a "The Real Dominican"  but we did learn some things, met some new people, saw some of the island beyond our resort and had an enjoyable day so I think it was a success.

Just after breakfast we boarded this truck/bus thing:

and our tour guide "Rudy"  immediately started serving drinks. We decided with a tour guide/bar tender like Rudy it was sure to be a good day.  Once we were all loaded with drink in hand we were off.  Here is a view of the countryside on the way to our first stop:

Our first stop along the way was a school.  Rudy explained that kids go to school for a half day each day in a one room school house and then another group of kids comes in the afternoon.  It looked like there were probably kids in the classroom from about 1st grade to probably about 8th grade. We spent about 10 minutes at the school before loading the bus again on to our next adventure.

We drove on some interesting "road" and a couple of times I was a bit worried we were going to get stuck but we managed to make it even after getting stopped by a herd of cows:

Some more pictures of the country side:

Our next stop was a "restaurant" owned by the tour company where we had a traditional Dominican meal, learned how cigars are made, and saw some wildlife:

Pineapple Plants- I had no idea each plant only produces 1 fruit 

Making Cigars

Lunch- fried chicken, rice, tomato salad, and potatoes- Very yummy!
After lunch we went to a coca bean and coffee bean farm where we learned how both are made.

The cement pad is where they dry coffee beans

Coffee Beans

Coca seeds- raw seeds are very slimy right out of the pod!

Coca beans and pods
After we left the farm it was off to the beach to enjoy some boogie boarding:

It was a very fun day and while most people probably think I am crazy for going on an educational adventure I thought it was the best of both worlds.  We got to enjoy beach time and learned some new things, but yes I can admit I am a giant nerd and Nick is a trooper for going along with my nerdiness.