Category Archives: Travel

Honeymooning in the Dominican Republic

We flew into Puerta Plata about 2:30 in the afternoon on a dirt airstrip. As we made our way towards customs, there was a band playing music that Andrew kept calling a Mariachi band. The resort we were staying at is about a three and a half hour drive from the airport, so we arranged for a transport service beforehand to meet us there. I was a little nervous that there would be some miscommunication because of the flight delays, but when we walked outside of the airport, there was our driver holding a sign with Andrew’s name on it.

I felt very VIP. :P

We loaded all our things in the van and were on our way. Our driver was so nice (if not a bit of a crazy driver – I thought we were going to crash several times) and would point out interesting things to us. It helped that Andrew knew Spanish when something didn’t translate right. The countryside was very beautiful, but it was very evident just how poor the country is.

Resized Honeymoon (58)

About halfway there, our driver stopped and bought us some waters, cheese, and crackers from a local farmer. The cheese wasn’t bad, it just had a texture I’ve never experienced before. It was really juicy, which is a term I don’t normally use for cheese, haha. Here is a bad picture of me and said cheese:

Awkward Cheese Picture

It was a long drive and it was neat to see the less “touristy” areas , but I was so glad when we finally got to the resort. We checked in and there was a golf cart waiting for us to carry us and our luggage to our room. The resort was built on a big hill, so everything was up and down stairs – or you could call for someone to come pick you up on the golf cart, but we just usually enjoyed the exercise.

Our room was huge! The bed felt bigger than a king-sized and the view from our balcony was amazing. Everything was so green and lush and pretty. We always kept the blinds open so we could see the bay. There were several different pools, but we usually lounged by the one by the bay because it usually wasn’t very busy and there was a snack/bar. The Bahama Mamas were my favorite drink. ;)

By the Bay

We visited the beach twice, but it was always a bit crowded and Andrew felt like he got more sunburnt down there. ;P They had a great snack bar as well with nachos, chicken legs, hot dogs and hamburgers and then a variety of fruits. We ate (and drank) so much that week.

They had a buffet and the food was a little mediocre. They had a huge bread bar which I really wish I would have taken a picture of; they had breads in the shapes of flowers and real long sticks. They had every shape and variety and I love bread! Haha

Me with the bread flower! It wasn't very tasty.
Me with the bread flower! It wasn’t very tasty.
The variety of shapes they had their bread in was really kind of infatuating me.
The variety of shapes they had their bread in was really kind of infatuating me.

They also had some nicer restaurants where you were required to make reservations. We tried the French restaurant first and it was kind of “meh.” But it was fun to dress up – and I take any chance that I can to make Andrew dress up since he lives in shorts and a t-shirt. The restaurant was up by the main office, which we weren’t really around that often, but offered such a gorgeous view of Samana at night! So the food was eh, but the view was totally worth it!

Dinner Resized Honeymoon (15)

We cancelled our other two reservations because a) we were either lazy and didn’t feel like changing out of our swimsuits and showering and b) I had a little too much to drink one day.  :? We really spent most of the week relaxing. After a stressful summer, we really just enjoyed reading by the pool and napping on the beach. The beach really was pretty cool and for some reason this is the only picture I snapped of it. I guess I just thought it was so cool I was laying under a thatched hut umbrella thing. That’s what they’re called, right?

Beach

Andrew was approached by a scuba instructor and persuaded me to take a scuba class with him. I was a little unsure, but it was actually a lot of fun once I was accustomed to all of the gear, breathing underwater, and hand signals.On Friday morning, we met on the beach to take this sketchy looking boat out to another island.

Scuba Diving Boat

We met a Spanish couple who were scuba diving with us. I’m not really sure why we took the class beforehand, because we spent the whole morning going through the class with the other couple. We already knew everything, so it didn’t really seem like the best use of our time. The Spanish lady was having some issues clearing her mask and following all of the instructions so it took a lot longer.

We finally took the boat out into the ocean. We jumped off the boat and began the descent. I could tell Andrew was having a blast, but about halfway down I wasn’t able to “equalize,” or pop my ears and adjust to the pressure. I had caught a cold the day before, and it hurt too much to go further, so I surfaced and waited for the others to finish. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to go all the way down, but Andrew had fun so that made it worth it to me. :)

Overall, a super relaxing week with my best friend in the sun!

Resized Honeymoon (19)

Getting to the Dominican Republic

In honor of our three monthiversary today, I wanted to start to share our honeymoon. :) More to come!

On our wedding night, we had booked a hotel close to the airport so we could take the shuttle in the morning for our 6:00AM flight to Miami, and then from Miami to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. My brother had taken us to my parent’s house first so I could change out of my dress and Andrew out of the suit he rented. My dad would take it back in the morning when he returned his. As I’m gathering all of our suitcases, my phone starts to ring, which I think is bizarre because who would be calling me on my wedding night? I answer the phone and get an automated message informing me that our 6:00AM flight was delayed, so we would miss our connection in Miami. They had booked us on a flight to leave Monday morning, have a 23 hour layover, and fly out Tuesday. Today was Saturday.

Uhm what?

I’m beyond peeved, at the moment. I explain everything to Andrew, and he takes the phone and calls the airline back. The lady on the phone that he gets is not very helpful, nor does she seem to care that it’s our wedding night. She reschedules our connection to leave on Monday from Miami, but says that there are no other flights earlier than that. Andrew wants some form of refund because our resort is already paid for, and we are losing two days of our honeymoon. She offers a voucher for a discount on a flight that expires in a year. He informs her that we aren’t traveling anywhere in the next year and she replies, “That’s the offer on the table. Take it or leave it.”

Andrew is pissed, but he accepts the vouchers because they’re better than nothing. My parents are home by now and my mom just encourages us to go to our hotel and relax and sleep in the next morning. I’m really bummed about losing two days of our honeymoon, but there’s not much we can do so we get our suitcases and check in to the hotel.

The next morning, we sleep in until about 9:30 and then we’re not really sure what to do with our extra day at home.  My out-of-town family are still here for the day, so we go on a free brewery tour at Anheiser Busch and spend some time with them. I felt bad for Andrew that we were spending out first day of our “honeymoon” hanging out with my family, but I think he had a good time.  We got free beer samples, but neither of us really like beer so we gave them to my uncle. ;P

For lunch we ate some of the leftover sandwiches my mom made for me and the bridesmaids the day before. We also had so many cupcakes leftover! Andrew was happy there was still some batman cake for him to eat. After we finished eating, we had to figure out where we were staying for the night. Andrew and my family believed the airport should at least compensate us for our hotel and we never received a new itinerary, so we didn’t have any of our flight information. Since we didn’t have much luck before with calling, we just drove to the airport to speak with someone in person.

The lady who helped us was so nice and – surprise! –actually helpful, but she was confused as to why we were just now coming up to the airport. Andrew and I looked at each other questioningly and told her we weren’t told that we had to come to the airport. She apologized and gave us our boarding passes, seat assignments, and then vouchers for food and hotel for the night. With all of our travel plans in order now – thank you Lord! – we joined our family for dinner at a local Mexican place. After we finished eating, we hugged everyone goodbye – for real this time! – and checked into our hotel room.

It was raining, and as we were unpacking some of our things, I heard a drip, drip, drip. I sighed and followed the noise to the window, which was leaking profusely. Andrew called the front desk and they moved us to the room next door. That window was leaking, too… so they moved us to a room inside the atrium which just had windows to the pool below, and we were good.

3:30AM the next morning came way too early. We groggily threw some clothes on and headed down to the lobby to wait for the shuttle. Andrew did not feel good, and kept near a trash can. He dry heaved a few times and, as his new wife, I kept thinking along the lines of, “I am your wife! I need to fix you! Make you feel better!”

Honeymoon!
Waiting for our next flight in Miami

We went through the airport on autopilot, checked in our baggage, made it through security, and boarded the plane. I was nervous about making our connection in Miami, but we made it with plenty of time. Just as we were about to take off, Andrew starts checking his pockets and frantically looking around him, and then utters an expletive, which is weird because he normally doesn’t curse.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

He looks up at me sheepishly and then says in a really quiet voice. “I lost my wedding ring.”

The laughter that bubbles out of me surprises both of us, but once it starts, I cannot stop laughing. He gives me an exasperated look and then sits back in his seat. “You lasted,” I say between giggles, “a day and a half with your wedding ring.” That may be a new record! He thinks that he lost it in the bathroom at the Atlanta airport when he was washing his hands. Well, at least he washed his hands!

He apologizes over and over but I just shake my head. What can you do? He was really disappointed about it and really mad at himself, but it really didn’t bother me too much. I tease him and I still giggle now about it – thankfully we picked a fairly frugal ring to begin with so it wasn’t a huge hit in the gut financially. Jokingly I say, “Now you just sit and think about what you’ve done for the next three hours.”

I am just so relieved that after everything we had to get through to sit on this plane that I am just doing that, sitting on this plane with my best friend going someplace new. And after three hours, we are finally in the Dominican!