Wanderings: Horseback riding in the Dominican Republic

...

Though we spent most of our time in the Dominican Republic lazing around the beach, we were able to see a little more of the La Romana area via horseback.  Our resort helped us set up a horseback riding trip that meandered through the lush countryside and along the beaches.

It was a lovely way to spend a balmy, breezy morning, and our guides were warm, easy-going and fun to chat with. One of them spoke four languages fluently, several more languages proficiently, and seemed to have lived a dozen lifetimes.  The two older men declared that the youngest guide had pretty much been born on a horse and was the best horseman of the three.

Cowboy Mister

Cowboy Mister

Hibiscus flower on horseback

A gift: Hibiscus flower on horseback

Guides and rides

Guides and rides

After our ride, we explored a Dominican cigar factory, ventured to a grocery store where we happened to meet former baseball all-star Julio Franco, and stopped at a small lunch counter to pick up food that ended up being the best meal we ate our entire time in the D.R.

Local catch

Local catch

...

Bananas

Bananas

Sampling the local coconuts

Sampling the local coconuts

Cigar maker

Cigar maker

...

Amazing local food

Amazing local food

Wanderings: The Dominican Republic

Beach

Beach

We’re well into winter now and I’m starting to feel the chill in my bones.  We have a lot of traveling to do later this year, so a warm weather getaway isn’t in the cards right now.  Instead I’ve been curling up under a fuzzy blanket with a stiff drink and browsing through photos of warmer days.  Right now, I’m loving these photos from last winter, when the Mister and I snuck away for a few lazy, sun-soaked days in the Dominican Republic.

...

Typically when we travel we try to find an apartment in an interesting place and explore a new country on our own.  This time, however, we were worn out from a tough year of work and politics, and we decided to book an all-inclusive trip through CheapCaribbean.com.  It came highly recommended by a colleague who grew in the Virgin Islands, and it’s my new favorite travel site.   We found so many great rates on all inclusive package deals and our trip was wonderful and stress-free.

Poolside cabana

Poolside cabana

For five perfect days, we stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  The resort arranged to have us picked up at the airport and from that moment on we had no logistics to worry about.  Food was readily available at the resort, excursions were just a matter of flipping through a colorful booklet, and cocktails were included and plentiful.  Wireless internet was only available in the resort lobby, which made it very easy to disconnect.  There were plenty of chairs available at the beach or by the pool.  As all good resorts should, there was a bar in the pool, and we quickly became it’s little satellites, never straying too far.

Pier gazebo

Pier gazebo

IMG_1723

Wonderful open air lobby

Lobby

The perfect place to shelter from the once-a-day 15 minute downpours

...

Lush, lovely greenery around our balcony

...

...

Gardens from the balcony

Gardens from the balcony

Dominican sunset

Dominican sunset

Another Christmas

Pass the Pigs antics

Pass the Pigs antics

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a relaxing weekend.  We had an amazing few days of wonderful food and great fun with friends.  Here are twelve of my favorite shots from Christmas.

Nostalgic gifts

Nostalgic gifts

The best kind of Christmas eve lunch

The best kind of Christmas eve lunch

Roaring fire and mini stockings

Roaring fire and mini stockings

Champers and paper crowns

Champers and paper crowns

Roasted duck feat

Roasted duck feat

Enticing a few gifts out of Caga Tió

Enticing a few gifts out of Caga Tió

Somebody decided to make wrapping paper for my gifts as well

Somebody decided to make wrapping paper for my gifts as well

Borrowing babies from the neighbors

Borrowing babies from the neighbors

Pretty thrilled that everyone shared my enthusiasm for paper crowns

Pretty thrilled that everyone shared my enthusiasm for paper crowns

Pass the Pigs

Pass the Pigs

A very merry DC Christmas!

...

Happy Christmas morning!  We’re spending the day munching on sweets, beating a few presents out of Caga Tió, and then heading over to see friends for a holiday celebration.

Here are a few photos of the National Christmas Tree at the White House, which we which we stopped to visit after work a few days ago.  Happy Holidays from DC!

...

...

White.House.Christmas.1

...

...

Paper crowns

...

I mentioned yesterday that I can’t think of anything more fun than wearing paper crowns on Christmas.  Last year I cut out colorful tissue paper crowns to go in my homemade Christmas crackers.  We hosted family and a friend for the holidays last December, and paper crowns on every head made for a festive Christmas dinner.

This year, I went a little fancier and used gold watercolor paint on a large piece of rice paper.  The 21 x 18 inch sheet cut down perfectly into eight crowns, each of which got embellished with little golden star stickers.  The paper crowns are now all tucked away in Christmas crackers, which we plan to bring over as a gift to the friends who are generously hosting us on Christmas day.

Paper.crowns.1

...

...

It’s Friday, I’m in love

The atrium of the building I work in never looks lovelier than at this time of year

The atrium of the building I work in never looks lovelier than at this time of year

Since the Mister spent the earlier part of the month traveling, we’re staying in town for the holidays this year.  This is the first time we’ve spent the holidays alone together, which is kind of sweet and romantic.  We’re planning to do a little baking, wrap a couple more gifts, and enjoy a few cocktails while DC is at its quietest.

Here are a few photos from the week.  Hope you have a great weekend!

The bar cart looking lovely in the midday winter sun

The bar cart all aglow in the midday winter sun

Tiny stockings hung from the bookshelves

Tiny stockings hung from the bookshelves

White poinsettias lined up on the marble staircase

White poinsettias lined up on the marble staircase

Gingerbread and candy zoo!

Gingerbread and candy zoo!

Good morning, New York

...

Today we’re planning to head into New York City to do a little shopping and enjoy the start of Christmas season.  I’ve been to NYC many times, but never around Christmas, so I’m super excited.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Hitting the road

...

Today we are hitting the road to visit family in New Jersey for Thanksgiving.  We’ve been lying low since our two week trip to California in September, so I’m excited to stretch my legs and have a change of scenery.  While I’m sure there will be some traffic, I’m feeling pretty good about not having to spend time in airport chaos.

The Mister is half Italian and his family typically does half traditional Thanksgiving fare, half Italian-American fare.  Tonight he is baking a lasagna to share with the guests who arrive early.  I’m looking forward to it!

Where are you heading for Thanksgiving?

...

%d bloggers like this: