Dominican Republic: Part 1

So a trip to the Dominican Republic will be my next trip. My mom has a trip planned for ten that will consist of myself, my two cousins, my sister, my aunt, both my parents, and some other relatives. I’m particularly excited for this trip now that I’ve look at attractions.

First is Punta Cana which is a beautiful and the top rated beach in the DR. There are plenty of resorts and many golf courses for my dad to play and enjoy as well as the waves, sand, and sun for the ladies.

Next up is Jarabacoa. Jarabacoa is in the mountains and is home to the best river rafting and hikes as well as paragliding, mountain biking, and canyoning.

I’ve also read that Samana Peninsula and Bay are also beautiful areas. The water here is unbelievably clear and the marine and bird life are unimaginably beautiful. Here, there are also many caves, coves, bays, and waterfalls to discover. Wale watching is also a great and abundant activity to do here as well as trekking and body boarding.

The last place I’ve read up on is Dudu Lagoon Park. The place is an absolute beauty and is man made but has an all natural feel. It’s a big attraction in the Dominican Republic to swim and hike in.

Looks like I’m going to spend most of my time in the water and sun this trip. Will update when I get back!

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Life Lesson Learned

I never realized how much there is to do while travelling or how many places there are to go. There are plenty of places to eat, things to see, and ways to travel. There are 196 countries to visit. People tend to be creatures of habit and they visit only a couple of places in their life. I want to go backpacking through Europe and South America. Then my cruise, Costa Rica, and Los Cabos trips happened and my perspective have changed. Those were new experiences and places I visited other than my annual trip back to Hawaii. Now, my next trip is planned, again, for some place other than Hawaii. It’s the Dominican Republic. I have to admit that I’m a little skeptical about how it’s going to go, but better mind, better life. I’m working through my skepticism to prepare for this trip in order to have a great trip. So now I’ve come to realize that there are many more options than just Hawaii. Many more options, 196 to be exact. Even more cities to visit, hundred of thousands of places to tour and sites to see. So now I try to keep an eye out for new adventures and that seems to open up doors to new places I never thought I would see.  This is a life lesson that I’m still learning and am excited to keep experiencing through my life.

 

 

Carnival Inspiration

So, I’m back from my cruise. It was four days, two were spent boarding and disembarking and the other two filled with fun. We took the Carnival Inspiration this trip to Ensenada, Mexico. You can look back at this post for more about the ship.

The first day we did not board until 3:00. We had to go through a ticket check, customs, and a check in. At check in is where we got our room keys and number. Our room was on the fifth floor near the end of the ship. Deck 7 was the main deck and from there on were the amenities floor. Below the seventh deck were the rooms, the sixth floor was the only with balconies and from there down until the fourth floor were rooms without balconies. The tenth floor was the floor with the buffet for breakfast and lunch. As required by the Coast Guard, an emergency briefing and drill must be held on day one. This happened at 5:30.

When the signal sounded on the ship, my family reported to our assigned muster station where we awaited the announcement, briefing, and demonstration of our safety message. It too quite a while but after it was over, the crew took us to the to the rafts we were to use if there was an emergency. This is when the boat started to undock and we could feel the wind and smell the salt as we started to leave.

The rest of the night was super relaxed. We got some dinner, at which I ate duck pot stickers and a miso glazed salmon as well as a grilled steak and chocolate ice cream. After we went to go check out how the ship worked. There are only three elevators, one that leads to the middle of front of the ship, one that leads to the middle of the ship, one the last leads to the middle of the back of the ship. The ships get super confusing but if you look at the map and take the correct elevator, things should run smoothly. If your destination is in the back of the ship, take the last elevator. Correlate your destination with the closet elevator near there and take that one. The ships floors aren’t exactly through and through, so make sure you take the right elevator.

Day two was our one full day at sea. During this time, I laid out by the Waterwork water park. I took this day for frozen lemonades, tanning, and ice cream. I did go down the water slides and boy, they were pretty fun. Day two was also the fancy dinner. Dressing up fancy was mandatory to go to dinner. The dinner for sure matched the dinner attendants; that night I had orange glazed duck and mushroom sauced steak and, of course, chocolate ice cream.

Our third day was the day we arrived in Ensenada, Mexico. This day we disembarked at 8 am and headed to La Bufadora.  Here we took pictures and watched as the geyser did its thing. As you walk down to the geyser, you pass about 300 shopping centers and restaurants. These shops are owned and run by locals. All are family shops with handcrafted souvenirs, hats, caps, magnets, keychains, and so much more. Prices can be lowered by bargaining and most of the stuff over there comes cheap. Nothing is too expensive and even if it is, the prices there are better than downtown. When disembarking the ship busses await to take you downtown. Here there are many tour buses that actually are cheaper than buying tours on the ship. Also, souvenirs come at a much higher price here than they would at the shops near the geyser.

We had to be back on the ship by 5:30 that evening and we got out of the port by 6. The rest of the night we relaxed in our room and ate. That night I had seafood some pasta and vanilla and chocolate ice cream. This was our last night so we caught a show. It was 80’s inspired with music and dancing that fit the theme. It was a comedy musical and highly enjoyable. The adult comedy shows were very as well. Don’t forget to catch all the activities you can, all the shows, fundraisers, and parties. Do a little of everything and don’t forget to get ice cream at every meal and snack everyday like I did. 🙂

Ensenada down!

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Ready?

My next trip is coming up soon. In my last post I talked about my newest and closest planned trip, a cruise to Mexico. In this post I’m going to be explaining how to and what to pack for trips. This will include many different places, not just for a cruise!

First of all, people always say to pack lightly but I personally cannot say that because I am a heavy packer. Packing light is not the key, sure it will help but packing essentials and what makes you feel secure is really the key. If that means to overpack, then overpack, as long as you’re overpacking on the right occasions, not to go backpacking. Always bring a nice set of clothes among your regular. This secures the option to take good pictures on at least one occasion.

While still on the topic of clothes, packing clothes that correspond with your planned activities is good. I say always to pack at least on article or outfit of each genre, as long as it correlates to the season. For example, for this trip I’m going to bring a fancy outfit or dress, comfortable summer clothes, workout/ activity clothes, swim wear, and even a jacket, just in case. That covers both land and water activities and even extreme weather change conditions. Also, packing a set of clothes and necessities is good for going anywhere. When I took my trip to Costa Rica, we did a spontaneous trip to spend one night at the Bali Hot Spring Resort and Spa. This resulted in a stay with no clothes or any necessities and ever since then I pack a spare set and a toothbrush and paste in travel size packed in my drawstring. An extra bottle of water is also good, especially if going hiking or anywhere even slightly remote.

Make sure to bring necessities as well, personal hygiene items, electronic chargers, sincare products such as sunscreen, moisturizer, and makeup (if you prefer.) Bringing a camera, go pro, or any other electronic to capture your good times is also a good idea, polaroids are cute (if you can affor the film) and make sure to get more than just the standard pose.

Don’t forget to make sure each genere is covered and dont forget to have a good time!

Just Cruisin’

The Carnival Cruise Lines is actually going to be my next trip. I’ve never actually been on this specific cruise or cruise line. But like any vacation I’ve planned, I’ve checked out the cruise, activities, itinerary, restaurants, ratings, rooms, prices, the whole deal. This trip is planned for next month to go to Baja, Mexico.

According to the itinerary, we spend ship off on in the evening and spend that night and the next day at sea, then on day three we arrive at our destination. There we are able to get off for about 14 hours and then must promptly head back to catch our ship. The rest of that evening we will be at sea on our way back to our home port.

For our full day at sea, there seems like plenty to do. There are plenty of places to shop, including botiques, gift shops, and even build-a-bear. Restaurants, cafes, and snack shops are abundant for a bite to eat. Waterworks, the Carnival’s water park is also pools-2included in the initial ticket package, so slip on your water wear and lather up that sunscreen. There are also kid pools, mixed pools, mini golf, a sports center, and Sky Course, which is a suspended park. So after shopping, grabbing food, and playing all day, Mega Deck Party is a great skycourse-1way to top off the night. This is a twister-waterslide-1party for guests of all ages with dancing and a DJ.

When we arrive at our destination, we will have roughly fourteen hours to spend it as we please and come loaded back with everything we bought. That evening, we will be departing and on our way back home.

Be back in the next post or two with full details!

California

California is home to me. I’ve lived here most of my life, with an exception of a few years in Nevada. I was born in Anaheim, California, and spent most of my life in Orange County area. Today, I’m going to cover things that I love to do here, sites to see, and places that I used to go to.

When I was younger, we spent a lot of time in downtown LA. Downtown LA consists of many different streets and little ally ways, all containing places to shop. In elementary, we used to go to this area to buy valentine grams for all the kids in my sister’s class and my own. Most things, at the right shops, are fairly priced and that way I always gave out the best toy grams while the kids gave out two or three pieces of chocolate. I remember I bought water toys, water games, color changing throw balls, rubix cubes, really cool jumpropes, and quite a few other things to give to my classmates. They also see things like food, fabric, clothings, beddings, and accessories in downtown LA. The street food is pretty amazing and the clothing places are cheap yet produce items that match department store quality. The people are usually pretty open to bargaining their prices if you make the right moves. Phone cases are pretty abundant here and one should have absolutely no problem finding a good place to purchase one that pleases you very much and at a price that does the same.

Obiously as Californians, we (stereotypically) love the beach. Hungtington Beach is probably the most common, but Laguna Beach, Corona del Mar, and Newport Beach are also great beaches. Some other places to go include Big Sur down the 101, which is one of my favorites, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransico, Big Bear, Disneyland, Hollywood, Catalina Island, Mammoth, and Carlsbad.

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This is a picture of me and my younger sister quite a while ago at a flower field in Carlsbad.

Personally, I love to go shopping in California, go on road trips around the state, and go to the beach. South Coast Plaza is a popular place to shop in Socal, and we do have some good food down here too. North Cal has all the wine and cheeses though. Travelling through the state, you’ll get more than one experience, we’re two pretty different plaes that, I do believe, anyone cann enjoy. So come on over, and travel through our state.

Better Mind, Better Life

 

Carlos Villamayor D’az

photo, Carlos Villamayor, 2010 ©CC-BY-NC- ND 2.0

Today I want to talk about how I was doubtful that Los Cabos could be so much fun. When my mom told me that we were going to Los Cabos which is technically in Mexico I started to doubt that it would be fun or even be safe. Even though my mom told me we were staying at resort Pueblo Bonito, which is a beautiful resort, I did not want to go. She told me about all the amazing snorkeling spots, because I love to snorkel, the amazing beaches, and everything else she was hoping would catch my attention. Though all her efforts, I still didn’t want to go. I kept my mindset narrow and it made the travel and flight there a pain. I was upset that I “had to” go. Little did I know that it would become one of my favorite places to go travel to.

Los Cabos was beautiful, I noticed that as soon as we drove through the area, yet I was still skeptical. I was very, very skeptical I would like it there. Yet, the ziplining

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My cousin, left, and I, right, after our ziplining trip the first time we went to Los Cabos

trip we took totally changed my mind. It was a couple days before we left and I had a bit of fun before then but that trip sealed the deal. It was right before the hurricane hit. It was raining and windy which made it all the more fun because it began to get dangerous. The wind and rain were coming down hard and the hurricane hit just a day later. We went ziplining with Wild Canyon Adventures. The employees made sure we had a great time and stayed safe during our trip. The hiking was a hard slope but manageable, I love hiking too by the way. There was mud and rust flying all over while we were coming down the cables and the rain was hitting us from all directions, it made the rides so great. 10/10 would do again, especially in the rain.

After that one activity, I did not want to leave. At all. I did not want to leave at all. It was the best way to end what really was one of the best trips of my life and is now, to this day, one of my favorite places to vacation at. It has become one of my paradise places.

 

All I want to do for vacation now is visit Los Cabo, Mexico, a place I was scared and skeptical to go to at first. The ziplining trip totally sealed the deal, made me love the place, and made me realize that if I hadn’t been so skeptical I could have had much more fun that first time. My mom was right though, the snorkeling was great, the beaches were amazing, and everything else was absolutely gorgeous. We ziplined, stayed at an amazing resort, and found the most amazing picture sites at beaches.

I now realize and believe that having an open mindset will improve your traveling experience, as it did to mine. I was too skeptical going into our Cabos trip. If I hadn’t been I would have had so much more fun that first time. My advice to you, be open minded. Better mind, better life. It really does work. The resort  Pueblo Bonito, the ziplining company Wild Canyon Adventures, and my recommendations: lover’s and divorce beach, find your own beach when you take a boat out, and have fun!

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