I have been waiting to finish this post and all these photos for a while, and here they finally are!!
I WAS planning to have it out way earlier, but when we got back, work, Holidays, and a bunch of getting sick got a little in the way. So I figured why not brighten up the post holiday blues with some memories of sunshine.
If you’ve been following me, you know that we escaped to the sunny Dominican Republic for a week in December. I have been asked a lot of questions about the trip, from tips on travelling with toddlers to where we stayed etc, so I am going to try my best to address them all.
I will have to write up a more detailed post on travelling with kids but I will say that this trip (which involved the longest flight we have been on with the kids so far) was BY far the least stressful. The kids were just AMAZING through the flights. On the way there we had to get up so early that we lucked out with them both taking a little nap on the flight. We have taken many flights with the kids and we have found the best thing which keeps them from going completely crazy on the flight is to let them run it out and get their crazy out just prior to boarding.
When we got to the Dominican, Sophie promptly decided she was done with everything and started crying which totally worked out to our advantage. We got whisked through the airport, bypassed customs line up, skipped baggage screening and out to our bus in a matter of minutes.
The bus ride to La Romana was quite long, an hour, which made our trip a little over 12 hours from start to end, but it was totally worth it!!
We stayed at WEARE BAYAHIBE, the resort itself was just perfect for what we wanted out of a vacation with kids. Lots of people asked if it was an all-inclusive. But it wasnt totally like all the other all-inclusive resorts that we have been to.
For starters, we had a full apartment all to ourselves. It had a kitchen/living room with a balcony that looked out onto the pool, and 2 bedrooms. THAT was the reason I decided to overlook the travel time and I am so glad that I did. If you have vacationed with children, you know that a separate room for them to sleep/nap is pretty much the holy grail. We were able to put them down, go out on the balcony and enjoy our day/evening. The cost of the apartment was surprisingly the same as the cost of a regular room, the only upgrade we payed for the was pool view, which was only $50 dollars.
But the funny thing about the resort was that it was’nt all dedicated to an all inclusive, we weren’t sure how it worked exactly, if some apartments were for rent or if some were time shares or belonged to the locals, but not all the doors had magnetic card readers and you could see in the windows that there was different decor in the apartments. But I think it made the place feel more authentic.
The hotel itself resembled an old spanish town with gorgeous cobblestone walkways and colourful vines growing on buildings, it even had a small chapel in a little square, so romantic.
The only downside to the hotel was the food, there was really only one buffet and an american food sports bar. Very honestly the buffet worked amazing for us with the kids. They are picky eaters and patience is not their strong suit, it was nice to present them with ready made variety, very quick and painless for us.
One other AMAZING perk of the hotel was the GIANT water park. I’m kind of happy it wasn’t open all day or we would never been able to pry Ava away, haha. It was open a couple hours in the morning and a couple in the afternoon so you could space it out nice. It was honestly every kids dream. There was also a playground right on the beach, pretty awesome hey!
We usually spent our mornings at the beach and afternoons at the water park and made every single sunset, which to me, was the best part of the day. It just doesn’t get better than those sunsets. The bar was right on the beach and the sun set into the water, so we just brought a few buckets and had the kids play in the sand while sipping on a refreshing bevy, nothing ever felt better!!
WE came at the tail end of the shoulder season so the place was pretty much EMPTY. That was something we loved so much, it felt like a complete escape from the chaos of life, a sensory deprivation of sorts. Another perk of the hotel was that the beach had no through traffic, you could see that to one side there was a stretch of hotels but on the other side there was nothing but trees since the hotel bordered a national park, so it was sort of a dead end.
Before we knew it, it was time to pack up and go back to reality, and now it feels like it never really happened (well aside from a few tan lines and flaking dry skin, haha)
All in all, it was a lot of work but it was so totally worth it. The kids absolutely loved it, you could see the magic in their eyes. We cannot wait to do it again and again and again… I’m missing the turquoise blue water, tanned faces, and sandy cuddles so much already!!