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Dominican Republic: A vacation to die for


So if you’ve been reading the news, checking social media or chatting to literally anyone, you know that Dominican Rep has been getting a lot of attention lately and not the good kind. Let me preface this entry with my opinion - If you have plans to travel to DR in the immediate future you might want to check out a different country with maybe slightly less unexplained deaths in the last few months ( for full list of travel advisories, click here. I warn you there are quiet a few places on the list but don’t get discouraged from traveling my friends ). I also should then mention that quiet a good number of my Dominican friends will tell you that DR is just as safe (or unsafe) as any other county so I guess book that trip! or don't! You know whatevs. Side note: This also serves as a great topic at a BBQ but as my friends and I have learned, Alexa has 0 opinion on this topic. 
The BBQ referenced above
Ok now as for me - all this talk about DR no matter how heart breaking, reminds me of an amazing time I had last summer at Secrets Cap Cana with 2 of my friends (to whom I’m thankful for this trip happening in the first place).  
My friends LB & KL were gracious enough to invite me to tag along with them on a trip when we realized we were all tired from every day life. We needed a trip that was fun, laid back and fit all our schedules and one we can book using a time share (thanks KL + parents!). We combed through hundreds(? Okay maybe like 7) of islands and somehow all came to a conclusion DR will be great. The flight wasn’t crazy expensive and it’s a pretty short distance to Punta Cana. I am sad we did not fly my preferred airline and instead flew AA which I guess was alright especially on the way back ( read on to find out why). 
After weeks of planning, venmo-ing and shopping for new bathing suits we finally decided on Secrets, a luxury resort in a gated community of Cap Cana. As for flights, well as any good traveler to get the most out of our days off we booked a crazy early flight and set out on an exciting adventure. You see LB is kinda cool and thanks to her and her fancy credit cards while waiting to board we had great free coffee at I want to say Bobby Van steakhouse (might update this later once I fact check this), why is this important you wonder? Because #freecoffee! 
The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful as I had spent my time wisely watching the 2nd season of Riverdale - so good! 10/10 recommend. 
Flight duration: 4 hours
Episodes watched: like 5 - enough said.
That’s what I call a productive morning. 
Once in DR we were greeted by warm weather, palm trees and a very friendly driver with our own private shuttle to Secrets Cap Cana. I cannot give you an accurate estimate on the price of this trip as I had stayed there using time share prices and for that once again super thankful. (Lots of thanking going on this trip, hope they read this blog!)
Waiting for our room
Arriving at Secrets was pretty great, probably because we weren’t at work anymore and we knew we still had plenty of time to soak up the sun by the pool and raid the all you can eat buffet. I won’t bore you with the details of how much champagne we drank while waiting for our room to be ready until we finally settled in, changed into our bathing suits and carried on enjoying more champagne by poolside this time. As any good vacation goes, details of the trip are a bit fuzzy. We spent the rest of our time hanging by the pool, enjoying poolside drinks only to move when it was absolutely necessary, most of the time just to eat yet again not very far from the pool. We did partake in some day activities such as yoga on the beach (as someone who does not even like yoga not on the beach, believe me this was a big deal) and water aerobics (did not partake, but leisurely floated around my friends who did). At night we kept ourselves entertained by taking a super long time getting ready (3 girls washing their hair and picking out outfits), scrolling social media, reading books, doing important PhD work (again not me), trying each and every restaurant on property and going to semi awkward shows at the theater. There was a club where we obviously made friends (thank you alcohol) and a Hibachi style Pan American cuisine restaurant where I definitely got plenty of attention at a family style dining table. Apparently not eating rice is a big deal no matter where I go or who I meet. After being properly fed (even without rice) and thankful to about a bottle of champagne for 2 we were on our way to finally escaping the extra social situation none of us were prepared for. 
Our favorite restaurant on property was Portofino (Italian cuisine) and our favorite part of the whole resorts was Coco Cafe that was open 24/7 and served amazing iced lattes, cakes and cookies. All inclusive coffee and cookies when you are drunk in DR is literally the only way to vacation!
On day #3 or maybe 4 we decided to finally leave the comfortable lounge chairs, poolside champagne and cold towelettes (which we got without asking, almost as staff can read our minds when we got too hot) and set out on a half day party boat with glass floor that took us snorkeling (again not me personally) as well as drinking in a natural pool. You can head here to read more about the Marinarium tour
If you don’t want to snorkel you don’t have to, I certainly didn’t. I was a designated photographer 

for my friends while I also worked on my tan and got pre-party drinks from the very nice boat crew which I guess is what happens when you are the only girl on the boat left for a good half an hour.  After all the brave souls came back from gazing at nurse sharks, sting rays and who knows what else, we set out to the natural pool where we all got off the boat (again you don’t have to but I did) and enjoyed a super loud party made up by 3 equally day drunk by now boats from other tours I’m guessing. It was definitely an experience as teenage boat crew swam as fish and made sure we never had and empty cup. I guess it’s not often you are in the middle of water dancing and drinking. All in all fun experience and best part we made it back with plenty of time to go back to our beloved pool and forego the plastic cups given to us on the boat for our by now missed champagne flutes because #fancyAF. 
This post is getting pretty long and no one wants to read this much about someone else’s vacation so I promise I’m wrapping this up. 
We celebrated our last night by ordering chocolate cake from the room service menu which got delivered into our strange secret compartment in the closet - in other terms we did not have to see or speak to a single soul through the whole process as we also ordered it on room iPad and honestly - highlight of the trip! 
Well Guys and Gals, 5 days came to an end. Our trip back was great, once again thanks to LB, some of us got upgraded on the plane, we all got free drinks, I watched more Riverdale, and before boarding enjoyed our time in the lounge rather than boarding area where once again we were easily distracted with food and drinks and a pretty bad ass pool. Yes. Pool. In the airport lounge. Overlooking the runaway. 
If you are still reading, I should probably thank you for being a loyal fan but this is where I stop with this entry.  For more photos of DR and all else check out my Instagram.
Book a trip, go snorkel, make friends & be safe. And as always don’t forget to 

Daydream and Wander 

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