Part 1 of 2!
We spent the week after Christmas living it up in the DR! The sunshine, the beach, the cocktails and buffets – it was all such a great escape.
Karen organized the trip, and we met Matt’s brother Andrew there. We stayed at the Iberostar Dominicana which I will lightly review at the end of tomorrow’s post for those of you planning trips in the future. Overall the resort was very nice!
We left Cville very early in the morning the day after Christmas – thankfully all healthy! Upon arrival to the resort we were all starving for a very late lunch and hit the beach buffet for some pizza and tropical fruit.
Toes in the ocean!!
Cocktail hour starts early in the tropics : )
Later in the afternoon we changed into our suits and went for a swim.
A glimpse of teenage Mazen…
The pool water was FREEZING despite the balmy 80* temps. Mazen didn’t mind, but we adults did by the end of the week. The ocean, however, was pleasantly warm!
After showers and things we headed to the main buffet for dinner. There were 1,000 options to choose from, and I tried to focus on seafood and veggies…and desserts!
Gah the desserts! It’s no secret that dessert buffets are a huge temptation for me. I had to try everything! Lucky for my body we did a lot of sharing of bites, so don’t think I downed this all (although I probably could have!)
Breakfasts were my favorite meal of the day! I went a little wild the first day with an omelet with jalapeno and cheese, pastries and fruit.
We spent our days sprinting between the baby pool and the beach.
We ended up buying a sand truck and shovel set at the resort that was a priceless purchase.
The resort had a handful of a la carte restaurants you could go to as an alternative to the buffets. They required reservations that were difficult to secure. Matt and I were able to get a late reservation at the “Gourmet” restaurant (which I believe was supposed to be French themed?) so we had a little date night out. Karen and Andrew had planned to go out another night but they ended up canceling due to disappointment in our experience.
Despite the low availability of reservations, the restaurant was quite empty.
We ordered off the menu – veggies and Provolone for me and asparagus soup for Matt to start. And then fish for me and lobster for Matt for our main courses. Sad to say that everything was really bad. Mealy and flavorless.
Even the desserts were disappointing and we both left bites on our plates. An apple tart and tiramisu.
We were happy to go back to the buffet the next night – the food was much better (although still not amazing).
Our third day was spent on the beach again – sipping pina coladas, going for walks, dipping into the ocean.
We went to the fancy buffet for lunch (instead of the beach-side one) and I made a big salad full of bits and pieces of everything. One thing they always had plenty of: cheese!
I also found fresh coconut, which I ate pretending I was a Survivor contestant : )
Iberostar has a handful of resorts all side-by-side and our resort (Dominicana) was allowed to visit the neighboring Punta Cana resort. There really wasn’t much difference (although we liked to pretend there was!) but it was still fun to go to a different setting.
Sushi…..and a lot of other things that I can’t remember!!
There were shows every night and we went to several of them. Mazen joined in to this kids’ show once – only with the help of Uncle Brain!
Head, shoulders, knees and toes!
Every morning we had to first visit the flamingo pond, which was a bit hit!
And I couldn’t resist the donuts a few times! And the mango – I ate so many mangoes!!
The decaf coffee, which was instant, was quite miserable.
The beer, however, was decent!
I had a cup with lunch a few times : )
At the beach buffet they had a giant grill and always had something good cooking. The food that came off the grill was our favorite food of the week. This day was grilled steak and vegetables, which tasted great!
I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of the second half of our trip!