Punta Cana

Hi Everyone!

***Be warned- I wrote SO MUCH!

So last week, I beat around the bush and told ya’ll that I would be away, but I didn’t say where.  As the title suggests, I was in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic with Russy.  I didn’t say where I was going because I never really talk about trips before they happen.  I don’t know why!  I have always been like that.

Anyway, long story short, Russ and I bought a Groupon a few months back for a 6 day, 5 night stay at Natura Park Eco Resort in Punta Cana.  We were able to do this with an extremely low budget, thanks to my wonderful parents that gifted their frequent-flyer miles to us for graduation, so a BIG thanks to ma and pa πŸ™‚

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Before Punta Cana, I had only been to an all-inclusive one time before (in Cuba) and Russ had never been, so we were both beyond excited about this trip.  Plus, it was the last 6 days we are able to spend together for the next 5 weeks-tear! (More on that to come).

This trip ended up being one of the best, if not the best trips I have ever taken.  While the resort was average, we had no complaints whatsoever, and ended up having the time of our lives…DSC_0150-001 DSC_0155-001

FRIENDS

The day we arrived, Russ and I quickly determined that we wanted to make friends.  We scouted people out, but everyone looked either a) old or b) not American/ English-speaking.  Unitl…we were sitting at the bar and saw a guy wearing a Phillies shirt.  We proceeded to stare at him until he waved and we asked if he was from Philly and he said yes and the rest is history!  This person, Kevin, invited us to have drinks & dinner & and go out with them that night, so of course we did.  That first night we met them, we actually went OUT of the resort (which is what everyone said NOT to do….) to a bar/ club with the whole group and a few Dominicans.  It was so, so, so much fun and we figured that if worst comes to worst, it would make an excellent headline if we were all robbed and killed.  No?  We spent the rest of our vacation with the group and I think they are the #1 reason our trip was as great as it was.  They are all wonderful people.  And two of them live in Philadelphia-win! (Not everyone is pictured in the photo below)DSC_0295 DSC_0197-001

FOOD

TripAdvisor reviews warned that the food was just okay, if not horrible.  They were sometimes right.  The buffet was very repetitive, so I stuck to vegetables and bread (SO MUCH BREAD!).  The resort had three restaurants, and thanks to our new friends, we were able to try all three.  We liked the filet at the steak house and the salmon at the seafood restaurant.  We did not like the caesar salad that tasted like fish or the cheese that tasted past-due.  My favorite was breakfast, because breakfast is hard to mess up and they had containers of unlimited Nutella.DSC_0040-001 DSC_0063-001 DSC_0014-001photo 2 (20)photo 1 (13)

FUN

Oh my gosh, I don’t know where to begin.  From the bar/club dancing on that first night (more like jumping up and down and earning our American title), to snorkeling, to dancing and doing the YMCA together at Kareoke night, to having chicken fights in the pool, to every single other moment. We had SO MUCH FUN!DSC_0271 DSC_0250 DSC_0248 DSC_0233 DSC_0221 DSC_0029-001

BEACH & POOL

We spent 90% of our time on the beach looking at or swimming in the crystal-clear water.  [The other 10% was spent eating, sleeping, or drinking booze].  I couldn’t get over how CLEAR the water was from the moment we saw it on the plane.  We spent some time at the pool, but only near dinner time as everyone had their pre-dinner drinks.  We also took a boat out with some friends for an hour or so of snorkeling, where we got to feed the fish.  That was fun and I popped 3 Dramamine right before we went, so no ocean sickness for this girl.  We also got to see the dolphins, but that made us sad because they were in small cages (compared to…you know…the ocean).photo 1 (18)DSC_0085-001 DSC_0086-001 DSC_0108 DSC_0110 DSC_0111-001 DSC_0115-001 DSC_0076-001 DSC_0078-001 DSC_0080-001 DSC_0082-001 DSC_0074-001photo 4 (10)photo 4 (9)

ECO

Natura Park is an eco resort, so it’s home to lots of wildlife!  Russ and I tried hard to be friends with them, but they were having none of that.  My favorite were the flamingos.DSC_0283 DSC_0280 DSC_0186 DSC_0184-001 DSC_0164-001 DSC_0175-001 DSC_0120 DSC_0054-001 DSC_0050-001 DSC_0060-001 DSC_0017-001DSC_0123-001DSC_0071-001photo 4 (7)photo 2 (18)photo 3 (8)photo 4 (5)photo 5 (11)

DRINKS

Were plentiful.  And Russ enjoyed all of the bartender’s “Especial” drinks.DSC_0195-001 DSC_0045 DSC_0043 DSC_0042-001DSC_0190-001I am already planning our next trip, and I hope it can be with everyone that was just on the last one πŸ˜‰

In all seriousness, this trip was incredible and I’m so thankful for being able to go!  Russ and I loved every minute πŸ™‚DSC_0162-002

If you read this far, you’re a trooper!photo 4 (8)