Friday, June 15, 2012

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic- Two Year Anniversary!

Josh and I have gone on 3 trips out of the country so far; Our honeymoon to Mexico, First Anniversary to Jamaica, and this year we went to the Dominican Republic for our Two Year Anniversary. We were told time and time again to travel before we have kids, and since we are school full time fall and spring, our anniversaries are the only time we can go on a big trip that doesn't consist of St George or Idaho. We had never thought of the DR being a beach vacation, so we had never brought it up. We were looking to go to Cozumel this summer, technically still Mexico, but it is a separate island with lots of good snorkeling. I was Googling the top beach vacations and Punta Cana came up, so we did more research and found amazing reviews. We found an amazing hotel that was #3 out of 96 hotels in Punta Cana and had 4 1/2 stars on Trip Advisor, which is the place we always read reviews from before booking anything. This hotel was like our Mexico hotel, it had an older part and a new part. The older part was the Majestic Colonial section and the newer part was Majestic Elegance. I had first found the Colonial side and liked it quite a bit, but it was too boring for Josh, so we kept searching. He found the Elegance part, and we both LOVED it, and didn't put two and two together for a while about them being the same hotel. So we ended up booking this hotel in January and then just had to wait about 4 months to leave!

We have gotten redeye flights the last two years because they are cheaper and I just sleep the whole way and when its light outside, we have arrived! They are so nice! Josh on the other hand, can't sleep on an airplane to save his life, he stays awake worrying. We left Friday June 1st at midnight and arrived in the DR at 1145 (0945 Utah time), after catching a connecting flight in Charlotte, NC. On a sad note, these hotels don't allow pets, so we had to leave Roxy with Josh's parents :( Thankfully Susie was able to watch Roxy the whole time we were gone. Check-in wasn't until 2pm, so we got to the hotel at 1 and had to wait an hour, so we went to the buffet for lunch. When we were finally able to go to our room, we were so excited because of pictures we had seen, these rooms were definitely elegant!!

 Hotel Lobby
 Our amazing room! 
 Josh showing how big the closets are

 Jetted Tub!
Our balcony 
 View from the balcony
 Bathroom and shower

Sitting area with sweet light

We were there from Saturday to Saturday. Most of the days we would eat breakfast, go down to the beach for a couple hours, and then end up at the pool til the sun went down. Our resort had 6 restaurants which was AWESOME... Tepanyaki & Sushi Bar, Steakhouse, Italian, French, Buffet on the beach, and buffet by our room. We tried all of these and we never had one bad meal, the food was delicious! I always had french toast and mangoes for breakfast. There was always someone at the buffets cooking fresh stuff; for breakfast someone would be making omelets, lunch they would usually grill fish, shrimp, and hamburger, and dinner it depended on the theme of that night but we had fajitas one night and they were so good! We always had breakfast and lunch at the buffets and then dinner at one of the 4 restaurants. For our anniversary dinner, we went to the french restaurant and they had us right by the piano player and had covered our table with little pink flowers.  

 Steakhouse Bar

 Sushi bar.. yes I actually had 2 pieces of "sushi".. my meat was cooked :)
 Tepanyaki.. mmmmm!
Anniversary dinner- French

We went on two excursions during the week. Tuesday we went on a full day excursion from 7am-7pm to Saona Island. It was an hour and a half bus ride to the beach where we were boarding our catamaran, and then an hour catamaran ride to the private beach (don't remember the name). We were at the private beach for 2 hours. There was about 50 people on the beach from our boat and another boat. We had a big lunch that they cooked for us including grilled fish, chicken, and beef. They had diet coke too!!! Our resort only had nasty Pepsi, so I was in heaven. Poor Josh stepped on something pokey in the water and had about 4 thorns stuck in his heel, right at the beginning of the 2 hours at the beach. We couldn't find any tweezers, so he just had to deal with it the rest of the day and walk on his toes :( We then took a speed boat to a shallow place where starfish were. We got to hold the starfish. Then it was on to Saona Island. This island was so pretty! The water got deep really fast so we didn't stay in very long, especially with Josh's foot hurting him. We bought a coconut here and drank the milk... nasty! I think everyone else liked it because they all had rum in theirs. It seriously tasted like I was drinking warm dish water or something. Josh found his new friend, a one-eyed crab. He was a nice crab and let Josh pet him. Josh kept him safe until he could burry himself under the sand. It was so cool to watch him dig a deep hole, he kept coming up and throwing a little bit of sand out at a time, so cute! We took speedboats back to the buses, it was still like a 30 min ride, and they went so fast and the water was extremely choppy. Josh and I both had bruises on our hip bones and butt by the next day. 

 Catamaran :)
 Private beach

 Since we were there for 2 hours, we took some pics 


On Thursday, we went on a half-day excursion to Bavaro beach. Bavaro is a town we hit before we got to Punta Cana, about 20 minutes away from our hotel. We first got on a big boat and went out to the middle of the ocean and went snorkeling. The guide LOVED our sweet waterproof camera, he basically took it out of my hands and swam with it the rest of the time. At least it was for a good cause, he dove down deep and got some pretty sweet shots of coral and fish, and also took tons of Josh and I! Thanks Victor for being our personal photographer! We then went and got to drive little two-man speed boats, which is what I was most excited about and Josh not so much... til he got to drive it and thought it was the coolest thing and got us in trouble for not following the rules! After the boats, we got to go snuba diving. I have tried actual diving in Lake Powel (my dad and step mom go diving all over) and it FREAKED me out and I never wanted to experience it again. Snuba still has the oxygen tanks and weights on your body, but you don't go as deep as actual diving. I was terrified. When it was my turn to go down the rope, I turned to Josh and was shaking my head and was going to have a panic attack. I sucked it up and went down, I equalized perfectly and just focused on my breathing so I didn't have an attack. It was so much fun!!! Our snuba guide, also loved our camera, since all they ever see are those dumb disposable water cameras. He took it from us for the whole time as well and was our personal photographer once again! We got so lucky! This was by far the best excursion I had been on in all 3 of our trips. 

 Waiting to get on the boat
 Creepy pirate ship
 Speed boats!

 Feeding the fish! 

 Josh got some really neat pics, I can't dive down as deep as he does




 Look at all the fish!

 Everyone thought our snuba kiss was so cute :)

Hi fishie!

There was a ship wreck right by our hotel, so we decided to kayak out to it... it definitely was further away than we thought but we eventually made it! 

I really wanted to take some nice pictures of us while we were dressed up for our anniversary, so we went out to the beach around 6 pm when the beach was empty and set up our tripod! I love the way they turned out and plan to blow one up and hang on our wall! 

That pretty much sums up our trip! We had sooo much fun! We were excited to get back to our baby though :) Enjoy the rest of the random pics! 

 UNLIMITED drinks! Pina Coladas, Bahama Mamas, Strawberry Daquiris, mmmmmm

 View of our resort beach

 One of the three thorns I cut out of Josh's foot
 The snack bar was open 11pm-6am.. we had many midnight snacks

 We saw a snorkeler spear a puffer fish, I guess they are yummy to eat!
 Our room on the second floor
 We like to go play tennis... Josh didn't beat me ONCE
 White boy ;)
 Lobby stairs
 Door sign 'Happy Anniversary' that the resort put up for us! 
 Josh dunkin the ball

Lobby at night
Punk drink, nails, floatie, and swim suit