Kids, What Kids?

A month ago Steven and I spent a wonderful, relaxing week in the Dominican Republic. It was relaxing because we took it... wait for it... without the kids. I know, right? I'm jealous of me, too.

Before you think I'm heartless and cruel for pawning my kids off on someone else, they actually had plans before we did. Allow me to give you a quick reenactment:

Steven's Parents and Grandparents: We're going to go to Florida for a week in May, and we want to take the kids. Is that OK with you?
Steven: And we're not invited?
Steven's Parents and Grandparents: No, just the kids.
Steven: Fine by me.

There may or may not have been lots of of high fiving and emailing of travel agents as soon as we got off the phone.

I won't bore you with page after page of descriptive paragraphs. Instead, I'll let the photos do the talking. And, yes, this doesn't really have anything to do with my kids so it probably doesn't belong on the blog about my kids. But guess what? I'm in charge here, so there's nothing you can do about it. Ha!

All the ground floor rooms had a patio and personal hammock. Cute husband is not included. He's with me.

This is the view from the aforementioned personal hammock.

Since it was our anniversary, we got this sash on our door. I cringed every time I saw it, because to me it really said "Warning, these people maybe be doing it at this very moment!"

Me and my hubby - I think this one's getting framed.

This place was so beautiful, it didn't even seem real.

Little old me, in the great blue ocean.

The resort had a huge, meandering pool with different zones. The zone pictured here had a shallow ledge with chairs that were set in the water. This was perfect for keeping your hands dry - very important for poolside reading - but you could put your feet in the water to cool off. If we ever put in a pool, I'm totally stealing this idea.

The pool also had a swim-up bar. As you can see, pool floats make excellent cocktail tables.

Enjoying my treat from the swim-up bar. On a completely unrelated note, I am not obsessed with mango daiquiris.

The resort was full of beautiful native flowers. This is just one of many nature photos I took.

The pool and beachfront had thatched-roof huts, and we learned on Day 1 that you have to get up early to claim one. They go quickly, and for good reason. They provide shade, obviously, but they're also waterproof and protect you from sudden thunderstorms, which aren't uncommon. I felt very smug as other guests went scurrying away from the rain while I stayed put, kept reading, and ordered another cocktail.

Speaking of beverages, our room's mini-bar had glass bottle sodas (restocked daily!) and it is a proven fact that sodas taste better from a glass bottle.

On a boat, headed to Excursion #1, Reef Explorer, where we snorkeled, played in the water and got mini-massages.

Me, kayaking at Reef Explorer

Steven, paddle boarding at Reef Explorer

Tired, but happy

I've got on all my gear for Excursion #2, mud buggies!

Mud buggies stop 1, where I am quite relieved to rinse off some mud in the ocean.

Admiring my very dirty feet at mud buggies stop 2, where we also bought some souvenirs.

Our trusty steed

If you want to know how dirty we got, this bag was bright blue when we started. And no, we still haven't gotten all of the mud out.
After being covered in mud, nothing feels better than a long shower and a dip in the pool.

We spent several evenings at the resort's casino and did rather well for ourselves. I think we made around $75 over the course of the week.
The terrain in the mountains and foothills was beautiful.

Excursion #3, zip-lining! It looks just like this, only with more straps and harnesses.

See? Lots of straps and harnesses. These photos were taken by the guide group, obviously. I don't normally shell out money for the photo package, but in this case we had no way of taking photos of ourselves, so it was worth it.

This is the souvenir I bought for myself; a larimar jewelry set, which is native to DR. Even better, I accidentally haggled the price from $35 to $20. Score!

Word of warning: if you plan on going to DR (or anywhere tropical, I would assume) pack bug spray and use it!

Steven says his last good-bye to the ocean.

These are our "I don't want to go home" faces.

All in all, I would highly recommend everything about this trip. It was great just the two of us, but this would also be a great destination to visit with friends and family. I have listed some key info below, but if you have any questions leave a comment and I'll try to help you out!

Excellence Punta Cana
- The food and service are excellent
- This is an adults-only resort, which I recommend. If I'm not bringing my kids, I don't want to see your kids, either.
- All food and drinks, including cocktails and room service, is all inclusive. The only thing we paid out-of-pocket for was excursions and souvenirs.

Liberty Travel
Shayna Leverton
- This was our first time using a travel agent and I am hooked for life. Shayna is in NYC, but that wasn't a problem since everything is done over the phone or email. We just told her we wanted someplace warm and all inclusive and she gave us some great options.

Olympus Tours
- You can book with them through your travel agent before you leave (which we did for 1 excursion) or you can book with them directly at the resort (which we did for the other 2). Both are equally easy.
- They are very flexible. You can reschedule your activities as needed, which we had to do. I got sunburned on the first day, and we delayed the zip-lining. Sunburn + harness = not good.
- They are also super friendly. I felt comfortable and safe being shuttled around the island away from the resort.
- They also provided our airport shuttle. This was a great thing to book, because the last thing you want to do is hail a cab at a Spanish-speaking airport when you are exhausted from air travel.

Obviously this isn't a sponsored post. If you think I'm getting free or cheap trips just so I'll blog about it, you must be new here. Sit down and stay awhile!


  1. Loved this post! Looks like you had a wonderful trip! Do you think that the resort was a good value? Can you give me a ballpark of what the trip costs were with airfare and resort, not including excursions of course.

    1. I think the resort was a great value. It was wonderful to know we had paid up front and we could eat and drink whatever we wanted after we checked in. Everything was of the highest quality. We spent around $2500 for 1 week at the resort, booked through a travel agent. We used frequent flyer points to pay for our flight, but based on past trips I would estimate the flight would have been around $500 per person. Add another $500 for excursions, tips and souvenirs, I would budget $4000 for a trip like this.

      Let me know if you have any more questions! I'm glad to help out :)

  2. My cousin got married here! It was beautiful. You are making me have tropicalvacaycravings like whoa.