Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Costa Rica Vacation RIU

Riu pools.It was a truly nice, relaxing and pleasant vacation! Except for our trip to volcano and Daniel’s mom sickness, but I will not write in detail about those.

Pacific.What I liked the most was the water, both the ocean and the pools. It was just so warm! I remember that when we were in Costa Rica four years ago, the ocean was much colder and I swam in it briefly just a few times. This vacation was so different. We spent hours in the water.

Kids by Arenal Volcano.Of course, the ocean was wavy, and it was not easy to watch both kids at the same time by myself, but luckily Daniel and his dad were both helping me out most of the time. Also Daniel’s mom was watching the children in the pools sometimes, which was nice especially when Danя, his dad and I were doing water aerobics.

Pools. By Boris R.I also really liked the fact that the resort did not feel crowded. You could get a nice spot on the beach at any time of the day. Anюta and Arosha liked playing in the sand in the shade of the trees and they were pretty much the only children doing this. The pools were not crowded either, and we could almost always get a ball to play water sports with.

Dad. Anna in the background.There was a program for the children in the evening — they would get on stage and dance and have a little competition afterwards. Arosha was shy the first few days, but then he got a taste of it and was really excited to participate. Anюta was joining him too, but she still felt a little shy throughout.

The beach at sunset. By Boris R.The food was OK. Not bad, but kind of very similar in all the restaurants. As it always happens on such kind of resorts, I’ve came home a few pounds lighter, and so did everyone else. I liked fresh fruit the most, especially pineapples. You simply can’t find pineapples this tasty in Brooklyn. Anюta insists that eating watermelon was one of her favorite vacation parts.

Anna with coconut. By Boris R.I also got a chance to wear my pretty summer dresses! And so did Anюta. One day we were wearing a matching nesting doll dresses, and people kept commenting how adorable we look.

Anna with grandma.Talking about clothes, I got Daniel a long sleeved rash guard. He never used one before, and I think it really changed his beach behavior for the better. He used to avoid being in the sun or getting in the water in the first half of the day unless there was shade. Like most of us, Daniel really hates putting on sunblock, and this took care of it for the most part. I also think that having apple watch gave us extra incentive to be more active, hence we participated in water aerobics classes for the first time ever.

One of many monkeys in the trees. By Boris R.One of the highlights of the trip for me was going down the beach and seeing semi-wild monkeys in the patch of the adjacent forest. Daniel’s dad, the explorer he is, brought me and the children there after discovering them on his own. We saw two different kinds of monkeys up close.
Arosha on a trail.
They were not afraid of people at all — in fact, they were used to people feeding them and taking pictures of them. One of the monkeys was eating a hard boiled egg, and children found it to be pretty amusing. Unfortunately for Danя, when we made another trip to watch the monkeys in his company, there were none to be seen.

Giant leaf Arosha found in Arenal National Park.We also encountered different kinds of lizards and iguanas both on the beach and on the resort’s grounds.

On a trail at Arenal National Park.It was sad to leave this wonderful country and splendid resort. The children are begging to go there again in the future. I hope we’ll be able to.

Riu pools from the top floor.
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Costa Rica 2017

Riu Palace Costa Rica.We are back from our trip to Costa Rica and I’m happy to report that it went well. Actually it was pretty great with a couple of small exceptions. It was a nice change of pace from our usual very active trips and it was quite refreshing not to rush anywhere and just relax.

Breakfast at the buffet.And if after our usual exploration vacations we’re pretty tired and are happy to get home, the downside of this one is that I could easily do another week of doing nothing. It was a little too short.

Breakfast juices.The exceptions came in the form of my mom getting what seemed to be a food poisoning which made her stay in bed for a day and our excursion. More about that later.

Now a little bit about everything.

Resort


Pools.Last time we stayed in Hilton all-inclusive. It was somewhat mediocre. One of those rare cases when Hilton really disappoints. This time we decided to stay in place that is famous for doing all-inclusive correctly — Riu. And Riu Palace at that. I checked up on Hilton and the property was actually sold to some other chain. Riu Palace was also in Guanacaste Province as was Hilton, but a little bit to the south of our previous stay.

Our room.When we were assigned our rooms we had to make quite a walk to the far end of the hotel from the front desk. My mom was actually upset that it was so far. However as it turned out it was the best location possible for several reasons. It was the place from where the walk to the pools and the beach was the shortest.

Riu Palace.All the eateries were also easily accessible. It was on a ground floor — no stairs to climb. Rooms faced the back gardens away from the pools and the theater which made them very quite — very good for kids who need to take naps and go to sleep relatively early.

Omelet cook.As far as food goes there were breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets, 4 thematic restaurants and a mid-day pool BBQ, all of which we have visited. And as usual there was a countless number of bars serving all kinds of drinks one could desire day and night. There were a couple of things that I enjoyed from the restaurants, but mostly the food wasn’t very memorable.

Ocean beach.The temperature of the pools was amazing. We actually sampled one on our very first night in and it was the warmest pool I have been in. You just walk in and enjoy — no need to use any power of will to actually submerge. There were at least 5 pools and there were always empty chairs and beds available. The beach was the same in many respects. There was always space available in the shade of the trees and the water was also very warm — same deal — just walk in and enjoy.

Our water gymnasts. By Boris R.The ocean was often quite wavy though. Kids enjoyed playing in the sand, but we had to hold them very close to us when in the water. On the very first day Alёna got knocked over by a wave and lost her $500 prescription sun glasses. My dad lost his hat towards the end of the trip. There were several cases when breaking waves were several feet over my head. So we would usually relocate to the pools as the day progressed.

Lina.Our Anna is a very proficient swimmer in her floating pads and she would torpedo all over the pool for hours. Arosha refuses to use any flotation devices for years now, so all the practice made him a decent swimmer as well — self thought. We probably should sign him up for some swimming lessons so they would teach him some correct techniques.

Riu Palace.All in all Riu Palace Costa Rica was a great resort to stay at. We can highly recommend it.

Fitness


Us.A day before the trip Alёna and I exchanged watches. She didn’t want to take her Apple Watch with her, much preferring our indestructible Casio Pathfinder for this kind of vacation. Yet hers was the waterproof Series 2 watch, while mine was Series 0. I’m glad we did that. I spent hours upon hours with my Apple Watch in the water.

Matching dresses.Originally I thought I would have to visit the gym daily to keep up my exercise and calorie burn streak going, but it worked out even better. Every day at 11:30am there was a water aerobics class in the pool that lasted for about 30 minutes. It provided enough exercise minutes and even though the calorie burn was moderate the rest of the day easily put me over my goal of 400 active calories per day. It was a nice change of pace.

Kids.I also attempted to do a swimming workout on my first day there only to realize that doing a swim for 15 minutes is a LOT harder than doing an hour on our spin bike. I did manage to eek out my 15 minutes, but that was my one and only attempt.

Excursions


Our van. Hyundai H1.This part was a very expensive and very epic fail of our vacation. During our last trip to Costa Rica we enjoyed our visits to local national parks. This time things didn’t go as smoothly. First of all we needed a big car — there were 7 of us. Chevy Suburban just doesn’t exist in Costa Rican rental places. I also wanted to get the car with full insurance considering that my regular insurance doesn’t cover anything overseas and realizing that stuff like bison vs Suburban can happen.

Lago Arenal.After finding what seemed a decent option for a car that was supposed to fit 7 people and 4 suitcases we realized that the 3rd row of seats was more of a gimmick than an actual set of seats that even kids wouldn’t fit into comfortably and there was no space left for our bags. So we had to get one rental place to shuttle us to another one. At that other one we ended up with a cross between a full-sized van and a minivan — Hyundai H1.

On a trail.This van had no proper seat belts nor did it have any latch anchors for kid car seats. It did have a lot of space and a lot of size which made it’s puny engine very noticeable. The damn thing could barely climb any kind of incline. All that came out to $856 for 8 days — crazy expensive. But that was the least of our problems.

Lava fields by Arenal Volcano.On our second full day we decided to revisit Arenal since we didn’t get to actually see the volcano because of all the fog last time. The trip was extremely long end tedious. The roads were bad and umarked. At one point we had to drive down a dirt hill where they suddenly forgot to put any asphalt down. We met zero animals of any kind which was a sharp contrast to our previous trip.

Arenal Volcano.When we got to the park we were charged $85 to enter — they charge per person not per car. In United States I can get a pass to ALL of national parks for $80 for all of us.

Lava field.Arenal National Park had two short trails. We took the one up to the lava field which was a mile each way. Lava field turned out to be a collection of large black boulders — much less impressive compared to what we saw in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. And the view of the volcano itself was better from the road to the park, not inside. Anyhow.

River.We also stopped by the river that was mighty impressive on our last trip. This time it was your usual mountain river — quite bland and empty. On our way back we wanted to get some late lunch at the same German place that we ate at the last time, but by the time we got there the kitchen was already closed. It wasn’t even 4:30pm yet. So we ate at a nearby Italian place.

On a trail.And then the scary part. It was already quite dark outside when we got back to that dirt-road patch that I mentioned earlier. And when we attempted to drive up that road our car started sliding down. Every attempt seemed to make things worse. At one point it actually got caught by the underside on some dirt pile and just would not move in either direction. Everyone had to get out. The car just wouldn’t go up and the width of this road was about the length of our car with cliffs raising (luckily) on both sides. Everyone got really scared and stressed out. Getting completely stuck in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere with little kids.

Giant tree.I managed to pull off a U-turn without any regard for the bumpers at this point. We had to take a long detour back to our hotel. This day completely took the wind out of our further excursion plans and we had no desire whatsoever to go anywhere else. We just hoped that this car would be able to take us back to the airport when the time came without any additional stress. Which it did.

Lago Arenal dam.So there you have it — $856 for the car, $85 for the park, $60 for the gas plus credit card currency conversion fees and you have a very expensive epic fail. Not doing that again in the future.

Our Day


Riu Palace.Our days were great. We would wake up at somewhere from 7 to 8am and go eat breakfast at the buffet. Then we would go to the beach and play with the ocean. By around 11:15am we would move to the pools and do our water aerobics until 12pm. Then we would get some lunch and go back to our room for a couple of hours of nap. After nap we would again return to the pool and stay there until 6:30pm after which we would go get some dinner. And then back to bed for a good night of sleep. Rinse and repeat.

On a trail.Towards the end we started going to the theater where kids would participate in a kid show and games on the stage at 8pm. And then there was a show done by the hotel crew at 9pm. It’s no Cirque du Soleil, but some of these shows were quite fun to watch.

Swimming in the ocean.That was a very nice routine. I could easily do another week of this. I am already feeling some nostalgia for our Costa Rican stay.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Отпуск в Мексике

Paradisus La Esmeralda resort.Должна признаться, что отпуск на пляже — один из самых скучных на мой взгляд. Но с двумя маленькими детьми ездить на море хотя бы раз в год имеет смысл.

В прошлом году мы на море не ездили, потому что Анюта была слишком маленькой, ну а в этом, несмотря на дороговизну, мы полетели всей семьёй, включая Даниных родителей. Мы решили поехать на неделе Арошиных весенних каникул. В принципе, если бы он пропустил другую неделю, тоже было бы нормально, но так как цена на неделю в ту или иную сторону не менялась, мы решили, что школу зря прогуливать не стоит.

On food quest.В Мексике мы с Даней уже один раз были, а вот дети еще нет. Резорт забронировали при помощи агента Даниной мамы — так выходило дешевле и меньше головной боли. Она же и порекомендовала конкретное место — Paradisus La Esmeralda в районе Riviera Maya.

Family unit.Улетали мы в пятницу, 3 апреля, а возвращались 12 апреля в воскресенье. Самолёт в Мексику вылетал около 9 утра, но его на час задержали. Мы были в принципе не против — это дало нам возможность более спокойно стоять в очередях, плюс мы в аэропорте перекусили. Я очень надеялась, что Анюта в самолёте поспит 1-2 часа, но мои надежды не оправдались и вздремнула она всего 15 минут. Это учитывая то, что ей пришлось встать на 30 минут раньше обычного. Ароша перенёс полет совершенно нормально — он играл на iPade, болтал с нами, смотрел в окно, и слушал как мы с Даней читали ему “Волшебника Изумрудного Города”.

Orange family unit.От аэропорта в Канкуне до нашей гостиницы надо было еще где-то час добираться на автобусе. Ароша был Ок, а вот Анюта жутко капризничала и плакала каждый раз, когда автобус замедлял ход или делал остановку. Когда мы наконец доехали до гостиницы, я думала, что она сразу же отправиться спать, но не тут-то было. Пока Даня с д. Борей регистрировались в отеле, дети начали изучать территорию. Анютина усталось куда-то пропала, и она снова стала весёлым ребёнком, готовым с радостью исследовать мир вокруг. Она даже не хотела, чтобы её переносили с места на место, когда мы шли в наш номер, а хотела везде идти сама.

Kids.Резорт нам в целом очень понравился. Комнаты (а у нас были две комнаты по соседству на последнем третьем этаже) были шикарные, в ванной был не только хороший душ, но и огромная ванная, куда мы все вчетвером легко влазили. Еще был очень хороший балкон, где всегда была тень. Правда, сначала Даня немного поругался с администрацией. Дело в том, что мы резервировали комнату с одной большой кроватью, а вместо этого получили две маленьких. Кровати в конце концов составили вместе. Спать на них было в принципе удобно. Еще Ароше должны были прикатить отедельную кровать, и Дане пришлось звонить много раз прежде, чем это произошло. Только с Анюткиной кроваткой не было проблем. Её прикатили быстро. В конце концов всё утряслось, но было бы приятнее, если бы нервы зря не мотали.

Pirate ship at the kids' pool.Территория резорта была очень большой. Был хороший детский бассейн, где вечером вода была настолько тёплой, что даже Анюта там могла сидеть больше часа и не мёрзнуть. Были хорошие бассейны для взрослых — они располагались возле зданий с номерами (с первого этажа балконы выходили прямо в бассейны, что хорошо для взрослых, но плохо, если есть маленькие дети, которых без присмотра на таком балконе не оставишь) и шли по кругу. Так как какое-либо из зданий всегда отбрасывало на какую-нибудь часть бассейна тень, Даня мог плавать в них в любое время суток без солнцезащитного крема.

Turtle and fish ponds.Возле бассейнов кроме лежаков были кабаны — беседки с крышами из пальмовых листьев. Их было ограниченное количество, и д. Боря в 6:30 утра шёл и занимал для нас одну. Мы обычно в начале восьмого шли на завтрак, потом на пляж, и около 10 утра возвращались к бассейнам. Первый день мы кабану не брали, потом пользовались той, что занимал д. Боря, а потом работники стали более строго придерживаться правил, и забирали наши вещи из кабаны, освобождая её для других гостей если в течение 30 минут никто не подходил к занятой кабане.

Posing from grandma.Пляж от нас был далековато, но в принципе терпимо. Мы обычно шли туда после завтрака в буфете, а от буфета туда идти было всего пару минут. На пляже мест занимать было не надо, особенно рано утром. Мы всегда находили лежак с зонтиком без каких-либо проблем. Песочек был хороший и чистый, но в воде было много больших камней, о которые я не раз ударяла ноги. Мы потом поняли, что с левой стороны пляжа камней гораздо меньше и всегда старались плавать там. Сама вода была довольно тёплой, но мутноватой. В принципе, пляж мог бы быть и лучше, но мне всё равно понравилось. Еще один недостаток пляжа, это то, что прямо рядом с ограждённой буйками зоной для плавания, начиналась дорожка для водных мотоциклов. Они жутко воняли и наверняка загрязняли воду. Но меня они сильно не беспокоили, потому что мы на пляже были рано утром, когда на этих молоциклах практически никто не катался.

Lunch as Sunrise Grill.Ароше нравился и пляж, и бассейны, хотя, наверное, предпочтение он отдавал второму. В детский бассейн, где он всегда мог ходить по дну и держать голову над поверхностью воды, мы пускали его без нарукавников, а в море и более глубоких бассейнах он плавал в нарукавниках. В детском бассейне была большая горка, 2 маленькие горочки в виде бегемота и акулы, и труба, в которую можно было попасть, забравшись на пиратский корабль в середине бассейна. Ароша сначала не решался кататься по трубе, но потом ему это дело очень понравилось и он часто ей пользовался.

Mexican restaurant decor.Еще Ароше очень понравилось плавать в большом бассейне. Конечно, он держался при помощи нарукавников, но он мог делать правильные телодвижения для того, чтобы продвигаться в выбранном им направлении.

Анюте море совершенно не нравилось. Во-первых, вода там была холоднее, чем в бассейнах, а во-вторых, она пугалась волн. Я помню, что Ароша в её возрасте тоже не любил море. Зато она с удовольствием играла с песочком и водой, которую ей неустанно приносила в ведёрках бабушка. Они с ней часто копали ямку и наливали в неё водичку, и она в ней полоскала ножки.

Sleeping.В бассейне ей тоже первые пару дней не нравилось, но потом она как-то решила искупаться с Даней, и после этого поняла, что бассейн — это здорово! Хорошо, что это произошло где-то на 3-й день, а не в конце отпуска.

Inside the cabana.Я с детьми купалась два раза в день — утром (пляж и бассейн) и часов около 5 вечера (в бассейне). Вечером нам как правило составлял компанию дедушка, а утром все взрослые (хотя Даня в море залазил, наверное, только раз). Я обычно мазала детей солнцезащитным кремом только один раз — где-то в 9:30 утра.

А еще они, особенно Анюта, очень любили купаться в нашей огромной ванной.

Us.Еда в “Эсмеральде” была очень вкусной. Когда мы были в Донимикане и Коста Рике, дню к третьему еда уже надоедала, а к концу отпуска от неё просто тошнило. Тут такого не было. В буфете еда была свежей и вкусной, и рестораны были тоже на высоте. Мы почти каждый вечер ходили в какие-то рестораны. Больше всего мне понравились бразильский (где мы были аж два раза — в первый вечер и в последний) и японский. Другие тоже были хорошими, но у меня о них почему-то более смазанные впечатления. В некоторые рестораны мы не попали — туда можно было только взрослым. Данины родители пошли в одни такой ресторан, а мы с Даней в тот вечер ходили в итальянский (дети там поели хорошо, но до настоящей итальянской кухни они всё же не дотягивают).

Our Anna.А еще на территории были каналы с водой, в которых жили рыбы и черепахи. Ароше с Анютой они очень нравились. Один раз Ароша в этот канал свалился. Мы очень смеялись, ну а он, естественно, возмущался.

One of the restaurants.Еще там каждый вечер были шоу, но мы на них не попадали, так как дети к этому времени шли спать. Только один раз мы с Даней застали кусочек какого-то акробатического представления. До цирка Дю Солей им, конечно, далеко, но минут 5 посмотреть было в удовольствие. Дважды было представление “Король Лев” для детей. Хоть наши дети на него и не попали, но они с удовольствием рассматривали наряженых и загримированных артистов, которые за час-полтора до преставления ходили по территории и позировали с довольными туристами для фотографий.

Arosha with theater crew.Еще там была детская игровая комната, где можно было попрыгать в надувном доме и поскатываться с надувной горы. Когда там никого или почти никого не было, Ароша с Анютой играли там хорошо, но когда туда прибегали дети постарше, то они прыгали с горки и носились вокруг, не обращая внимания на детей помладше. В результате, Ароше на голову прыгнул какой-то мальчик, и после этого мы в игровую комнату не ходили.

At Brazilian.Обратный перелёт был очень утомительным. Автобус в аэропорт отходил в 12:40. Мы успели позавракать, поплавать в бассейне, поспать (Анюта) и даже второпях пообедать. Вылет самолёта был задержан на 1.5 часа, но в реальности, даже больше. В аэропорте Ароша успел разбить в одном магазине флакон духов (пробник, за который его простили), а в другом – керамического попугая. За попугая мы заплатили, причём по собственной инициативе. Сначала мы, повинуясь инстинкту, сбежали с “места преступления”, но потом, предварительно хорошенько отругав Арошу, вернулись, извинились и заплатили. Надо сказать, что работники магазина за разбитого попугая взяли только 1/3 его цены, что было с их стороны очень мило. Мы сказали Ароше, что деньги за попугая ему придётся заплатить из накопленной им мелочи, так как мы с Даней много раз ему говорили ничего не трогать в этом магазине, потому что если разобьем, то придётся платить. Он, конечно, был очень расстроен, но выхода у него не было. Нам повезло, что попугай стоил всего $30. Надеюсь, этот небольшой урок останется у него в памяти и впредь он будет более осторожен в магазинах.

Us.Когда мы прилетели в Нью-Йорк, самолёт долго кружил над городом, а потом очень долго ехал к месту высадки пассажиров. Потом мы долго шли к нашему багажу и ждали его 40 минут. Анюта была более менее ОК — кроме дневного сна в Мексике, она еще 45 минут вздремнула в самолёте у бабушки на руках. Ароше было сложнее. Бедный ребёнок настолько устал, что начал укладываться на пол в аэропорту и говорить, что он уже не может и что ему надо спать. Потом он таки заснул в такси, и домой я его несла на руках. Дома мы были примерно в 23:30. Так что на короткий 3.5 часовой перелёт у нас ушло 11 часов с момента загрузки в автобус возле гостиницы.

Ready for dinner.Легли спать в тот день мы еще позже. Дома дети оживились и даже немного перекусили. Арошу мы на следующий день оставили дома, хотя изначально планировали отправить в школу.

Вобщем, отдыхать — всегда хорошо. Думаю, мне хватило был даже на 1 день отпуска меньше, потому что к концу стало уже скучновато. Надеюсь, что когда дети будут постарше, то я смогу немного больше расслабляться в подобных местах.
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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Riviera Maya Vacation

Riviera Maya. Beach.While it’s typically very hard for me to organize all my vacation thoughts and put them into a meaningful narrative, this particular trip is going to be much easier in that regard. It was a recharging and relaxing vacation and not an exploration one, as on of my friends puts it. We enjoyed each other’s company, did a lot of swimming and even more eating.

Resort at night.We were not sure how the flights would go, since this would be Anna’s first time on a plane. But everything went well. Arosha was fine as always, although he did suddenly throw up on the way back. He was OK, then threw up, then was OK again. Anna decided to enable her previously unknown to us robot mode. She decided she doesn’t need any sleep. She wasn’t fussy or anything. She just stayed in Alёna’s arm looking around.

Kid's pool.When we got to our resort (about 50 minute drive from the airport) we got quickly checked in, but all their promised room upgrades turned out to be a useless gimmick. Our rooms actually ended up probably in the farthest possible location away from the beach, but we got used to it fairly quickly and it wasn’t a big deal.

Orange family.The first evening gave me quite a bit of frustration since I had to call 5 (!!!) times before the actually gave us a roll out bed for Arosha to sleep in that was promised to us during the booking as well as check-in. Poor Arosha at one point figured that it’s not looking good for his bed and he’ll just have to not sleep while on vacation. They also promised us a king size bed, but instead there were two doubles. The did end up moving them together, but it’s still not quite the same thing.

Three generations.On the first evening we went out to explore the territory, find a place to eat and figure out the general layout of things. Anna insisted that she must not be carried (we didn’t bring the stroller either) and that she must explore the whole place on her own feet. We were super tired by then, but she kept going and going and going. Arosha didn’t lack any energy either. I have no idea how they do it.

In the pool.The general routine of our days was pretty simple. We would wake up at around 7am (kids decided on the wake up time) and got to the buffet for breakfast. After breakfast Alёna, my mom and kids would go right to the beach while my dad and I would go back to our rooms for our morning procedures. After that I would come down from the room and Alёna would be come back from the beach and we would swim a bunch in the pools.

Parents.The hotel had a large number of pools. My favorite one that went alone all the buildings (first floor rooms actually had balconies with stairs leading right into the pools) since there was always one with shade. I hate putting sunblock on my skin more than anything. So having a pool in shade allowed me to escape that nasty procedure except for a couple of times where I did swim in the sea.

Dinner at Italian.My dad would reserve a cabana by the pools every morning (you’re not supposed to reserve, but everyone is doing it) and we would spend the rest of the morning sitting there and swimming in the pools. Kids loved it. Anna wasn’t so sure at first and didn’t want to go into the water with Alёna, would for some reason happily agreed to go swimming with me. After the first time she actually understood that it is quite enjoyable.

Little woman.Arosha would either play in a large kids pool in the center (it had a large pirate ship in the middle and all kinds of slides) or would actually swim in the adult pool. He had shoulder floaters that allowed him to swim. At first he couldn’t figure out how to do that. He would move his arms and legs and spin in the same place. Eventually he figured it out and started swimming back and forth through whole pool.

Day rest.All along I kept trying all kinds of cocktails. I went through Bloody Mary, Long Island Iced Tea, Apple Martini, Miami Vice, Tequila Sunrise, Tequila Sunset, Margarita and something else that I’m forgetting. I love Bloody Mary, but it’s not very good for my stomach, so I could drink it much. Tequila Sunset was probably my favorite out of the rest. Their beer selection though was much to be desired. When asked what kinds of beer they had their general response was — beer. Yup.

Mexican restaurant.After the pools we would eat lunch at the placed called Sunrise Grill by the pools or would go to buffet again. Then we would go up to the room and jump into a giant bath tub where all four of us would fit. And into the shower and then a daily nap. Anna would sleep every day, Arosha did sleep on some occasions and did Alёna and I. Also we played a whole bunch of Hearthstone. After our daily quite hour somebody would take kids down to the pools again — mostly Alёna and my dad.

Brazilian restaurant.In the evening we would go a restaurant for dinner. The property had a good number of different restaurants. Some of them were adult-only, but most allowed kids. So we made reservations for a different place for the duration of our stay. We went to Brazilian, Tex-Mex buffet, Japanese, Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican and I think Brazilian again. I must note that the food was excellent. The service was exceptional. Waiters (with 1 exception) were extremely polite and courteous. Only one guy (Mexican restaurant) was what appeared to be bad, but that’s just in comparison to the rest of them.

Family units.I thought that maybe I was crazy that I thought food was mediocre in Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, but I was right. We all liked the food here much more. It was always interesting to see what new stuff they have for us on each day. And naturally all of that was accompanied by some nice cocktails, beer or wine.

At the pools.A couple of words about the resort itself again. It was very large. Many pools, many eateries, a really nice series of ponds filled with all kinds of fish and turtles. Arosha wouldn’t be Arosha if he didn’t fall in into one of them at one point. Everyone ran to his rescue, but they were shallow enough that he wasn’t at any risk, so we started laughing. All the hotel employees started laughing. Only Arosha didn’t find it funny at all for some reason.

Kids.The beach however wasn’t very good. As on our previous time in Mexico there were a lot of hidden rocks in the water. But Alёna went there with kids so they could play with the sand. And my mom thought that she’ll get a better sun tan there for some reason. None of us figured out why.

Path to the beach.The resort also had a bunch of activities for the kids, but it didn’t seem nice to pawn your kids off to somebody to take care of them so you could do your own things. With respect to the kids that is. We wen there to spend time with them and they would be pretty upset if we were to get rid of them. We did take part in one of the activities — Easter egg hunt. Arosha had fun.

Pools.That’s pretty much eat. Good, boring, relaxing family vacation. Kids loved it, so I’m happy. Good resort for adults and families — they had an adult only part as well. Time well spent with our great family. Now we’re looking forward to our summer road trip.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Costa Rica — Impressions

View from the balcony.Alёna already wrote about things in general, so I’ll probably be somewhat repeating her thoughts here, but here are my own impressions in a few words.

Flight


The flight was surprisingly easy. Arosha has “matured” a lot since our last trip to Dominican Republic. Even though the flight to Costa Rica was quite a bit longer he spent most of it in his seat either watching cartoons (not much at all) or looking at books, looking out of the window or just talking to us. And when he needed to go to the bathroom he would just ask. The flight back went pretty much the same way.

In addition to that I myself stopped taking motion sickness pills for the flights about a year ago. I find that I actually handle flights much better lately because I’m not insanely drowsy and can just watch movies and read without falling asleep while not being able to actually sleep.

Our Hilton Papagayo resort.One interesting thing was the fact that when we landed we expected to pay an entrance fee as it usually happens at these types of destinations. We were quite surprised that there was none. However as it turned out later there is a catch after all. Even though there is no entrance fee everyone has to pay a departure tax of $30 per person. I actually would’ve rather dealt with that upon arrival than having to do all that when you’re trying to catch a plane.

Car Rental


Renting a car worked out rather well for us. I’m typically not a huge fan of beach vacations, but a car gave us an opportunity to see more of the country rather than spending it in the confines of our resort. As Alёna said I just got a decent quote from a guy in the airport — you can actually push them for a better deal, and we got the car for exactly the price that was promised to us.

Our rental — Toyota RAV4.A quick shuttle took us to their location and soon after we were in a nice Toyota RAV4 on our way to our hotel with the help of a rented GPS unit. We decided not to rent a car seat for Arosha, even though we originally planned to do so. Instead we just bought a brand new one at Wall Mart for the same price that the renal would’ve cost us and this way we were sure that it was clean and new. It was light enough and you can check it in with your luggage for free for the flight.

Vacationing.The car was big enough for us to fit four of our suitcases in and seat 5 people comfortably. Later I also was glad that we rented an SUV as some of the roads would just be not passable on a normal sedan inside the national parks. The roads around the country itself were in a quite decent condition.

Resort


We decided to stay in Hilton Papagayo Resort. However we didn’t really win much beside free Internet for all our iDevices for our Diamond VIP status. We ended up booking the vacation through a travel agency because the combined price for the flight and hotel was coming out $500 cheaper as opposed to us booking it all separately. As a result we got no points for all the money spent.

Our rooms are next to each other and 2 balconies.The property had 3 restaurants in addition to a buffet, but the food seemed quite repetitive. Italian restaurant actually had different kind of food, but the service was the worst and the food didn’t taste good. For example risottos that we ordered with Alёna were so salty that we couldn’t really eat it.

The territory itself was quite big situated on the coast of a very nice quite bay of Pacific Ocean among pretty steep mountains. There were very frequent shuttles running around, but as Alёna mentioned we ended up being pretty close to the beach, pools and main restaurants that we didn’t even need to use those shuttles.

Buffet. Checkout that fork action.Basically the moral of the story here is that as far as food goes we had the best experience at Riu Palace in Cancun and Hilton wasn’t really worth it in this situation. I think we’ll stick with Riu for our next vacation of this type if it will be available. Although maybe all the waving of my Diamond VIP card did have some effect on the rooms we got, even though we did have to move to get them.

The Beach


The beach was really nice. As I mentioned it was located on the bay and therefore there was practically no waves which can’t be said of the open coast of Pacific Ocean. When we were in one of the parks there were waves my height hitting the sand. Nobody dared to get into that water at all.

Arosha on the beach with his beach accessories.Arosha had a blast. He loved playing in the sand, jumping into the water, playing with his shovel and a bucket and all other things. He also spent a lot of time in the pools and enjoyed going from one place to another. He spent hours and hours playing and swimming throughout these days.

I on the other hand jumped into the ocean water once and preferred to spend my time hiding under a shade reading something on my iPad. I am very susceptible to sunburn and I enjoy putting on all the sunblock about as much as I enjoy the sunburn itself. Although I did swim in the pool almost every day when there was shade from the water bar covering a portion of the pool.

In the pool.Also on our last day my dad got burned by jellyfish. He had a pretty severe red line around his arm and a bad burning pain. I read that the best thing to treat this would be to spill some vinegar on it and fresh water would actually be the worst thing one could do. I suggested he goes to the diving equipment rental place that we had and ask them about it. Luckily enough the lady working there whipped out a bottle of vinegar when she heard about it and put it on his arm, so I guess it’s not a very rare occurrence there. Vinegar did help a lot. We were just glad that it happened on the last day and didn’t happen to Arosha.

Excursions


These were actually the most fun days for me, but I’ll write about them in the next post.

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Costa Rica — Vacation Start

Hilton Papagayo Resort.Vacation time came unexpectedly fast as always. As the majority of people, I dislike packing, but at least I’ve become quite efficient with it over the years. It takes me 2-3 hours on average to pack bags for the three of us, and even though I usually overpack, the amount of unused stuff nowadays makes up a considerably smaller proportion of our overall luggage than it used to.

Anyhow, we packed, we made arrangements for Shublik, we went to bed early on Suturday and got up early on Sunday. The drive to the airport was quick — we do live very close to JFK after all. Checking in and going through the security lines was a pretty fast process too. We had a flight on JetBlue.

Our first set of rooms — 404 and 406.Aroshka was excited. The best thing about the airport as far as he is concerned are escalators. He kept telling us from the moment we set foot in terminal #5 that he wants to take a ride! He had to wait for all the necessary procedures to be finished (and that included breakfast), and then he just ran to the escalators and kept going down the escalator and up the stairs (there was no escalator up) over and over and over again. By my count he did it for about 20 times before it was time for us to go and board the plane.

Our second set of rooms — 202 and 203.What I love about JetBlue planes is more spacious leg room. In majority of airplanes my knees touch seat in a row ahead, and when people lean back, it actually hurts. I don’t have this issue while flying JetBlue. We had 5 seats next to each other — Aroshka, Danya and I were on one side of the isle, and Danya’s parents on the other. Arosha got a window seat. He first watched cartoons for about 10 minutes, but got quickly bored (maybe because they were in English and he does not understand it yet). We talked to him a lot, I read one of his favorite books for a little while, he watched cartoons on iPad for a little while (no more than 20 minutes I think). He ate potato chips snack — he likes chips, but we don’t buy them, so for him it was a rare treat. He did not sleep, but we kind of expected this. I was a little worried about him using the restroom on the plane — we have not had any accidents in months, but I was not sure if unfamiliar situation will affect him — but it turned out that I had nothing to worry about.

Aroshka playing on the beach. Check out the running part.Upon our arrival to Liberia airport, we took a shuttle which drove us to Budget car rental. Danya made a few reservations with other places in advance, but at the airport he got a better price quote from the Budget representative, so we decided that there really is no point to pay extra. We rented a Toyota RAV4, and there was plenty of room for all 5 of us and all our luggage. Before the trip we bought an inexpensive car seat at Wallmart for Aroshka and brought it along. It makes me feel better to use our own car seat — not only it’s cleaner, but we also know its complete history of accidents.

The drive to our hotel was relatively short, around 20 minutes. Hilton Papagayo resort, where we stayed, is located in Guanacaste area. The bay where resort is placed is really beautiful. I did not tire of the view throughout our stay, but kept thinking of how nature can create such an amazing, breathtaking grace. There is an old tree at the center of the beach line, and due to the dry season it was absolutely naked. Each time I looked at it, it seemed as though its branches formed faces and bodies of some magical creatures.

Main buffet-restaurant.We were pretty exhausted and starving. When we were checking in, in turned out that they only had rooms which required taking a shuttle to get to the main area where beach, restaurants and pools were located. It was slightly disappointing, but not a big deal, since this particular Hilton had a lot of small bungalows covering large territory and I think that majority of people have to take shuttles to move around. When we arrived to our rooms, it turned out that they were not interconnected as we have requested months in advance, but just next to each other.

Danya went to the front desk to see if it was possible to fix this, since having interconnected rooms was really convenient because of Aroshka. After initial reluctance of a lower level manager to do anything, the upper level manager fixed it — he told us that tomorrow a pair of interconnected rooms will be available, and that if we wish, we could move. And so we did. Our new rooms were also much closer to the center, which was an added bonus. We did not have to take a shuttle to get to the beach anymore. I have to say though that shuttles were driving around often and you could always request one. Moreover, Aroshka LOVED riding on shuttles, so pretty much each night we were taking a ride just for the fun of it.

One of hotel's frequent shuttles.We had a dinner at local buffet, and the food was pretty decent. They have a salad bar, and then everyone has to order the actual meal. It was functioning as a 100% buffet only at breakfasts. There were three other restaurants, but I find that the food was very similar in all of them. We got progressively more tired of it, but this usually happens to us in all-inclusive resorts. The only exception was Riu Palace hotel in Cancun — their food was far superior to other places we stayed in, and their restaurants were definitely high end. Aroshka ate pretty well. I felt slightly bad that he was eating french fries almost every day, but he ate a lot of fruits and vegetables too, so whatever.

We spent Monday at the resort. Woke up early, ate breakfast and headed to the beach. The sand on the beach was not yellow as we are used to, but grayish-black in color due to its volcanic origin. I think it also had a smaller grain and was lighter. There was also a lot of small pieces of corral on the beach, so I guess the beach itself has a mixture of volcanic-coral sand.

Hard at play.Aroshka loved the ocean. He spent around 3 hours running around, playing in the water, playing with sand and overall being happy. The sand area of the beach was pretty much deserted. Sometimes there were people going for a swim in the ocean, but they preferred to stay under umbrellas in the grass-covered area above the beach. Which worked perfectly for us — it was much easier to track Aroshka when there were no other people around.

I used a combination of zinc oxide sunscreen by Badger, which made Aroshka and I look like a pair of mime artists, and a more conventional spray which provides a chemical block. The combination of Badger and small-grain black sand was really something, plus it was hard to wash off!

Hilton Papagayo from the top.After the beach we ate a lunch in one of the cafes, and went to get some rest. After a shower Aroshka was fast asleep. He did not require any song-singing or fairy-tale telling throughout the whole trip. The only thing that was needed is the cosiness of his crib. By the way, he could barely fit into the standard hotel crib. I fear that in a few months he will outgrow it completely.

We planned a trip to Santa Rosa National Park for Tuesday, but I’ll leave it for the next post.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pocono Getaway

Mountain Springs Lake.Yesterday we came back from our third trip to Mountain Springs Lake Resort. It’s a beautiful place in Pocono Mountains that offers very cozy cabins, located on the lake and surround by forest, for rent. It’s not cheap, but is well worth it.

Our cabin #41.The cabin (#41) itself ended up costing us a little under $900 for 3 nights. There was a total of 6 of us — Alena, Arosha, Maruk, Alina, Emma and I. We split all the costs in half which made it much more affordable. The overall total expense for each family came out to $594.

Best tasting beer in existence.I like this place so much because it is such a non-worry vacation where one can really relax. There is not much planning involved beside making a reservation for the cabin and getting there — and it’s only 100 miles away. This seems to be the only type of vacation where I don’t end up driving myself crazy by becoming a nervous wreck a day before.

On the lake.We drove out at 12pm for 4pm check-in — even though we got there quite a bit earlier, they had no problem giving us the keys to our cabin. We picked this time specifically for it to coincide with Arosha’s day-time nap. And luckily for us Arosha did fall asleep soon after and slept for hour and half — pretty much all of our drive there.

Maruk, Emma and Alina.We did all the shopping with Maruk on the first “morning” right after we got there. There is a number of huge supermarkets around it, Giant being the closest — a much more pleasant shopping experience than that of a shopping at any of the Brooklyn places.

Maruks marinated the shish-kebabs a day before using their own recipe for marinade.We filled our shopping cart with all kinds of organic things to be grilled. We ended up with $225 worth of food and proceeded to eat pretty much all of it during our stay there.

One of the salads.Our daily dining regiment consisted of early light breakfast (yogurt and tea), hamburger brunch, shish-kebab lunch and skirt steak dinner. Ever meal included a number of side dishes such as salads, fried pineapples, grilled onions, seared collard greens, squash and pumpkins. One day we grilled salmon steaks and shrimp.

Salmon steaks and shrimp.Everything was super-delicious and we are very grateful to Maruk for doing most of the grilling.

Emma and Arosha cooking a soup.The lake itself was no more than 20 meters away from us. Kids enjoyed playing in the sand and the playground.

Arosha getting ready to slide down.Arosha found one of his favorite objects on the playground — a юль (руль — steering wheel) and a slide which would propel him at freakishly high speed down — it was made of some very “slidy” plastic.

Mountain Springs Lake.I slept rather well during the nights — we brought our own blanket and didn’t have to deal with typical hotel type multilayered deal that I always hate. Arosha slept in his portable bed which he likes quite a lot, but he kept waking up several times a night. Sadly he did the same thing at home this night, but hopefully it will pass soon.

Grilled pineapples.In the evening after the kids would go to sleep we would sit around a fire and drink tea, hot-chocolate and eat some fire-toasted marshmallows. I myself stuck to tea, but Maruks loved their marshmallows big time.

Sitting by the fireplace in the evening.It was a great getaway spent in a small circle of family and close friends. I enjoyed it a lot.

Shish-kebab with a salad.
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dominican Republic Vacation

Pools at Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus.Time flies and yet another one of our trips has come to an end. Writing about this one is going to be quite a bit easier than writing about Japan because not that much of anything has happened. It was a nice, good and relaxing family vacation.

Flying


Getting there and back was one of the things that we worried about the most. Aroshka is still quite little and this would be his first flight ever. We weren’t sure if he’s going to be able to handle 3-4 hours of being confined to a small place and if he would take all the noise and altitude changes OK.

Sunset at the beach of near our hotel.Everything turned out to be not as bad as we thought. We didn’t have a separate sit for him — he were to fly in Alena’s lap. We had to wake him up very early in the morning to make the flight, but he wasn’t fussy at all because the ride to the airport and airport itself seemed interesting and exciting to him.

Inside the plane itself he fell asleep almost right away and slept for a good portion of the flight. When he woke up Alena and my mom walked with him through the isles, watched some cartoons on built-in TVs and fed him some snacks. And when we had only 20 seconds left until touchdown he started complaining, asking to go home and then threw up all over himself and Alena. Luckily he was back to normal soon after.

Resort lobby.Our flight home was OK as well. This time Arosha didn’t sleep as much, so it was harder on Alena and my mom, but towards the end he was actually looking out of the window at the little houses and roads and was perfectly fine as far as motion sickness goes.

I myself flew without a motion sickness pill on our way back for the first time in a long time. Last time I did that when we were flying from Tashkent to Moscow right before our upcoming flight to U.S. So that makes it almost 17 years. I used to get really bad during flights and just didn’t want to risk it. But it is much easier to fly without one because all of them make you very drowsy. It’s good to know that I don’t have that problem anymore.

Steakhouse building.At the airport we were picked up by a shuttle bus and we were at our resort — Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus — in 30 minutes.

First Impressions


For a number of reasons my initial impression of the resort and the personnel was quite negative. Check-in was quite a bit unpleasant because of the person handling the procedure for us. A lot of personnel that we encountered on the first day was just unfriendly and I was getting a feeling like they all were doing us a great favor by serving us food, cleaning our rooms and so on.

One of the buffets. Restaurant reservations were especially bad. You could sit there for 15 minutes while the person who was supposed to make a reservation would keep talking on the phone like you weren’t even there. I’m not really accustomed to this kind of rude behavior. It would be unacceptable in any place in this country that would hope to stay in business for a long time.

Food and Drinks


The buffet had a rather small selection compared to what we had on our cruise or in Cancun. When I asked what kind of light beer they have I was informed that they only had 1 kind of beer overall. When I asked for a Bloody Mary I was told that I should go to one of the bars and ask for it there and I will not get it here. And as for the wine they had 2 choices — red or white.

Daniel near the sea.I remember in Cancun we had a fully stocked fridge and a bar stand with all kinds of alcohol. Not that I care all that much about alcohol, but it made everything feel cheap. Our fridge had some water, the same kind of beer and a bottle of Coke.

It’s worth noting that tap water is not drinkable. Not only that, they recommend to use bottled water even for brushing your teeth. And they supposedly use some kind of processed water for cooking and serving water in dinning rooms, but we weren’t sure if that was so and it make us feel a bit uneasy.

View from our balcony.As far as food quality goes — it was OK. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. It was just OK. It felt like they use cheap ingredients for everything and even hamburger patties didn’t taste right to me. I remember that during our previous all-inclusive experiences we had a hard time resisting eating too much. Here it was easy. Maybe that’s a good thing. Dinner restaurants were better, but they weren’t any more special that our “everyday” Brooklyn restaurants. Again, we weren’t left hungry, but I didn’t get any particular enjoyment from something delicious either.

Hotel & Resort


Our room.Our rooms we ended up being very happy with. At first we thought they were located in a bad (location-wise) building (#5), but as the time went on we realized that it was actually one of the best places for us. The best part was that our rooms were interconnected which allowed us to put Arosha to bed and go to the other room and talk and do stuff. It made it very convenient.

Our balconies are on the top floor — 2nd and 3rd.Both rooms had balconies which were overlooking the gardens and the ponds inside the resort. The territory was much much bigger and much nicer than that of our resort in Mexico. This place had a lot of native trees with branches looking like long threads running down, green grass, flowers, palms, pools, fountains and ponds filled with ducks, swans and a bunch of peacocks which had a really loud scream that they loved to practice at night — that didn’t bother us much thought.

Alena at one of the benches.It was really very nice and we used to take walks with Alena through the numerous paths and marble hallways in the evenings after Arosha would go to sleep.

Beach and Sea


Umbrellas at the beach.I’m really not a big fan of beaches and swimming. I hate getting sunburn and I hate putting sunblock all over myself. So while my mom preferred to bake in the sun I typically prefer to stay away. However we would go to the beach twice a day and while I would normally skip the morning part I would always go in the evening — around 4 or 5pm. The sun would not be as angry and I didn’t have to use any sunblock.

The beach.The water of Caribbean Sea was amazing. It was really warm, the bottom would be sandy and without much sharp rocks and I would sit in it for an hour or so every evening. It often had some mild waves going which made it even more fun. I don’t remember when I enjoyed swimming so much and I didn’t miss a single day (except for the day when they announced the iPad, but I made it up in the morning).

Arosha


Arosha playing with sand.Arosha liked all the new stuff. He liked playing in the sand, some days he liked swimming in the sea, some he didn’t, he really liked the showers all around the beach. Some days he ate well, some days he didn’t eat well at all. He liked going to a kids playground — running around the slides, climbing all kinds of structures, and he especially liked spinning the “steering wheel” attached to one of the walls.

Kids' playground.He also liked going to a kids’ dance even in the evening where they would all get on stage and jump around while some funky music was playing. He would get braver and braver each day and would get further and further away from Alena and onto the stage.

Arosha on our balcony.He really still is a handful though. He still wakes up early and needs all the attention of his mama. Alena spent most of her time running after Aroshka and doing things that he wanted to do, not things that she wanted to do. Feeding him still is a big chore. When he wants to eat — great, but when he doesn’t he becomes fussy and much harder to handle.

Arosha and his favorite showers.Aroshka also scared us all one day when he suddenly had a high fever, but luckily after a good night sleep he went back to normal. At about this moment all the little things that bothered me became quite meaningless and when Aroshka started feeling better I actually started enjoying the vacation.

The Good


Now reading all the stuff that I wrote above it comes off as there was a lot of negative stuff. But that’s not the impression that I want to leave and that’s not the impression that this vacation left with me. I’m just nitpicking and all off the negative stuff really wore off in the first day or two.

Path to our building.We met a lot of great people that work there — very nice and friendly people. Some of them work really hard to make sure people have a great vacation. The girl that works with kids starts of at 10am (at least that when we see her first) and spends her day watching after kids up to 5pm. Then she helps organize all the evening shows, does an nightly dance with kids at 8:30pm and takes part in the rest of evening entertainment up until 12am.

Ponds, trees and fountains.A lot of them work 13-14 hour days and really do make everyone feel welcome. Another guy that comes to mind — from the early morning he was running around in some costume around the beach making jokes and getting people to participate in all the activities. You could see him doing this all day long until the evening when he would take a part in a show in a theater pulling dance and acrobatic moves that I wouldn’t be able to do in my rested state. I don’t know where he gets all the energy.

So there really were a lot of good people there that made our time there more memorable.

Summer rain.The weather was very warm. In fact maybe a bit to warm. It was getting really hot in the open sun in the middle of the day. But it was very very pleasant to spend 10 days in “summer” during the winter. The last couple of days were cloudy and a bit rainy, but those tropical rains come and go very quickly and it kept everything cooler. Even though it was upsetting my mom greatly I didn’t mind slightly cooler weather at all.

Technology


Sunset.This was the first trip that I didn’t take a computer with me in 10 years. I only had my iPad and it was more than enough. I’m happy to know that I can leave my bulky laptop at home and I know that iPad can do everything I need while I’m on vacation — which basically comes down to lots of reading and backing up and inspecting photos on a bigger screen.

Papa, mama and Arosha.The place has Wi-Fi all over the territory, but it costs $13 a day — way too expensive. But luckily they had a lot of issues with their configuration that allowed me to get on for free from time to time and sync up my reading apps on the iPad. Of course the only day that I really wanted the connection — Apple keynote — I couldn’t get on. So I broke down and paid for it.

Dominican Republic


Inside our building.Sadly I don’t really have any more idea of a real Dominican Republic after this trip that I had before. We really spent all this time inside a tourist zone which is nothing like the rest of the country. We wanted to take a tour to Santo Domingo, but decided that it would be too much hassle with Arosha.

Of the little that we’ve seen on our way from the airport to the hotel and back it appeared that people live in pretty bad conditions and are generally poor. Their houses look more like garages and tiny barns made out of hay. I don’t know if that representative of the whole country or of that particular part, but that’s what we saw.

Alena near the entrance to restaurants.I hope one day to come back and really explore the country itself.

Conclusion


I really enjoyed being with my wife, my son and my parents in this tropical paradise. I had enough time not to worry about the daily life and just wind down a bit before coming back to work. In fact it is a sign of a good vacation when you wake up on a Monday morning after, ready to go to work.

Arosha playing at the beach.And even though I do prefer more active vacations you got to throw some of these in the mix as well. Just all the fun that Aroshka had there and watching him explore new things was worth it all in itself.
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