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May 7, 2015

Honeymoon in the Dominican Republic | {Kali}

May 7, 2015

Zac and I spent last week on our honeymoon in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! It was such an amazing and relaxing week in paradise.

We stayed at the Barceló Bávaro Beach Resort at the adults-only part of the resort (which was my one request). We actually still got access to the rest of the resort, which was great because most of the pools and restaurants were over there (kids were allowed in that part). The entire resort was pretty huge.

^^ First things first—we grabbed a drink & hit the beach right when we arrived!

^^ Night one—we got all dressed up to go eat dinner!

^^ Delicious desserts at restaurants Mexico Lindo and La Dolce Vita (the Italian restaurant)—strawberry cheesecake & tiramisu!

So, let's talk the food. I was actually very impressed with the food. It had its standard buffets that I think most resorts have when you do all-inclusive. They also had a bunch of restaurants that were included in the all-inclusive plan (there were two restaurants that weren't included). I thought all of the restaurants we were able to try were really good! My favorite was the Mexican restaurant, Mexico Lindo, while Zac's was the Italian restaurant, La Dolce Vita. We had heard it was important to make dinner reservations the first day we got there, so we did that.

The first night we had made reservations at one of the restaurants, Chez Gourmet. We got all ready and headed over there—only to find out we didn't quite read the rules carefully enough. Guys, if you visit this resort, make sure to bring a few pairs of pants and dress shoes! All of the restaurants at the resort have a formal dress code, and guys had to wear pants and closed-toe shoes. Zac showed up in a nice shirt, khaki shorts, and sandals. The hostess asked Zac to go change, but at that point he was already really hot in his long-sleeve shirt, so we ended up just eating at the buffet that night. Luckily, I had mentioned to him while we were packing for the trip to bring some jeans, so he had one pair and a pair of tennis shoes, so we were able to end up going to the restaurants the other nights!

^^ We ate at the Mexican restaurant, Mexico Lindo, one night—this was my favorite of all the restaurants we ate at!

We thought about doing an excursion and were certainly pitched all the offers they had (and many sounded tempting), but in the end, we decided we just wanted to spend all week relaxing by the beach and pool. I, of course, also had to work in a massage at the spa one of the days!

So, every day, we got up around 9am, put our swimsuits on, headed to the buffet to get breakfast (ham + cheese omelets, bacon, and pancakes were our usual choice), then headed to either the beach or pool and spent most of the day there.

Late afternoon, we'd head back to the room to get ready for the night. After we were all dolled up, we'd go to the other part of the resort where all the restaurants were. We usually would first go for a drink at the sports bar there, go to dinner, then we'd have some form of entertainment to go do or see after dinner.

Two of the nights were taken up by the draft, and then the fight, which we watched at the sports bar. One night, we went to the casino. I'm not a gambler at all, so I just watched Zac lose $20 in Blackjack! The last night we were there, we went to one of the shows at the resort. That night it was a rock band, and they were pretty good!

One of the nights, we decided to ditch the fancy restaurant reservations and just went to the sports bar. It was draft night, so Zac was hoping it'd be on one of the TVs in there. We asked the manager if he would change one of the TVs to the draft, and he tried for a good 20 minutes to figure it out. He finally pulled Zac into another room, with a huge projector screen, and we got the draft playing in there! By the time the draft started, the room was packed. Zac was pretty proud of himself for making that happen :)

^^ My view most days, with drink in hand, obviously.

The pools were massive! Most days we stayed at the adults-only pool, but one of the days we went to the other part of the resort because the pool there had a swim-up bar we wanted to check out.

^^ Lots of pretty, colorful art!

We also have to talk about the beach! I loved being on the beach while Zac loved the pools—so we split up our time so we could enjoy both! It was by far the best beach I'd been to—white sand and the clearest, most blue water I've ever seen.

I also have to mention how friendly everyone was! The employees of the resort were all so friendly and so happy, which really made the experience all that much better. There was a pretty big language barrier (most of the employees only knew a little English), but they were probably some of the nicest employees I've ever encountered! We also met four other couples that we really enjoyed talking to. There were couples we met from Nebraska, North Dakota, Alabama, and Ohio. We met them all at inconvenient times during the trip (we met the Alabama couple on their last night, and we met the Ohio couple on our last night), so we didn't get to spend too much time with them. While I enjoyed just being with Zac for most of the trip, it was still fun to hang out with other couples too!

^^ Mini complimentary Coors Light cans in our room, otherwise all the beer we drank was Presidente.

^^ Another night we got dressed up to go to dinner! After dinner, we went back to the sports bar to watch the fight. I honestly could not have cared less about the fight, and certainly would not have watched it had we been at home. But, I'm glad we did watch it because we met a really fun couple from North Dakota who we hung out with the rest of the night!

If you ever go, we'd definitely recommend staying at the adults-only part because it was much quieter than the other part. Plus, I just didn't want to be around a bunch of kids (no offense to kids, love 'em, but I'm on vacation..). Because we still got access to everything at the other part of the resort, we didn't feel like we were missing out on anything. Even though the adults-only part was more chill, they still had fun games and music going on at the pool/beach in the afternoons.

The only other beach vacation I've been on is Cancun with my family a few years back, so that's all I had to compare it to. Dominican Republic definitely beat Cancun by a long shot. The food, the beaches, the pools, the people—everything was amazing. I truly couldn't think of one thing that I would have wanted to be different. I'd HIGHLY recommend Punta Cana as a vacation destination—especially the Barceló Bávaro resort!

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