Sunday, September 18, 2016

Dominican Republic Trip: Part 1

For the past nine months or so, we have been planning a get away trip with some good friends of ours.  We named it trip "1981" since all of us were born in 1981 and are turning 35 this year, we texted a lot back and forth, as we anticipated our departure, after all, anticipation is half the fun.  Once the lists were made, instructions were printed and explained to our parents; after luggage was packed and the schedules were attached to the refrigerator, I finally laid down with four hours to sleep before my alarm went off at 3:10am, since our flight boarded at 4:55.   It was all certainly worth the effort, though it did feel a bit like running the gauntlet as I tried to check and re-check that all my i's were dotted and t's were crossed.

We had thankfully gotten our TSA pre-check approval just in time and we easily and quickly made it throug security and breathed a sigh of relief as we sat down waiting to board.  We didn't look excited at all, did we??!
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We paid a little bit more for Delta Comfort Seats with the extra leg room and unlimited drinks which was a really nice touch on our international leg of the trip.   Even with our "extra leg room", Adam wanted to make sure and get a good stretch in before we left Atlanta, so this is how he rolled (great face huh?)
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When we landed in Santo Domingo we rented a car and drove the two hours to Sublime Samana.  We discovered this location from a blog that lists luxury boutique styled resorts called Mr. and Mrs. Smith.  This was our first time using that website but we will certainly be using it again, because everything was top notch and exceeded our expectations!  The resort could have picked us up, but we chose to wing it a bit.  We had a little trouble getting our car but eventually we were packed in like sardines and off, punctuated with a torrential down pour of course, so here's our trusty captain and co-captain as they navigated a new country and unknown roads.  The rain eventually let up and we were able to pull over to a local roadside restaurant which really was pretty tasty food and totally authentic which was fun.
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The road to Las Terranes had quite a few toll booths along it, and in our hurry to get out of town we neglected to do any currency exchange, and they wanted "pretty" bills at each booth (I think so that they could insure that they weren't receiving counterfeit money.) The very last booth we had to get through was the toughest and we ended up having to have a Frenchman help us break money and get us through the guarded gate.  This woman began to warm up to John's broken Spanish and eventually let us through though we felt like she took us to the bank if you know what I mean.
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As we got closer to the resort there was a beautiful lookout that we stopped to take in the scenery.  We decided to climbed up on top of the large rock to get a better view.  My flip flops are quite slippery on the bottom so I had to take them off to climb up.  Adam was trying to help me get my shoes back on because there were lots of broken glass bottles, however, in this picture that Carol captured, it looks like he's trying to push me over the rail... but he loves me, I'm pretty sure he wants to keep me around.
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Upon our arrival at Sublime Samana, this is what met our eyes!
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What a perfect picture this sight was!
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All around the property was immaculately kept grass and gardens.  It was truly remarkable how lush and verdant it all was.  There were stone walkways trailing throughout the resort and this one led to our casita which happened to overlook the aqua, pool water while also giving us a chance to see the Atlantic ocean from our roof top.
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This was our home away from home.
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The master bedroom was really nice, with an open air bathroom.
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We unpacked our things, slipped into swimsuits then headed straight to the beach.   It was truly breathtaking to take in the unbelievable view that would be ours for the next four days!!
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Leading up to our travel, we had been praying that our time away would feel multiplied.   Thankfully, it really did seem like the moments didn't rush by, which was such a welcomed treat.  We were able to enjoy moments together as couples but also had time alone, just us.  It was a nice mix of both and helped contribute to the relaxing nature of the trip that both of us were seeking.  
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