One of the reasons it was so quiet around here in December is that we went and got to spend six days in the Dominican Republic. Our visit didn't come close to doing the island justice, but it was refreshing and fun. It's also a good excuse for a couple gratuitous happy Peanut in the sun pictures.
We flew into Santo Domingo, stayed one night there, and then went north to the Samana penninsula where we stayed at Las Galeras for three nights. Our trip north was by guagua bus, which is a mini-van 15 passenger bus that's packed as full as they can manage. Our initial idea was three seats - one for each of us - but Peanut's not quite a countable guagua bus person yet, so we ended up in the back row (seats for four) with two other young ladies. Luckily, they thought Peanut was cute and he ended up sitting in their laps for a while as well. Peanut is generally a good travel buddy, but when we go places where people love kids, it's even easier. He was the happy recipient of plenty of attention throughout our entire trip!
We had the good luck of finding great accommodation twice, both of which I would highly recommend. In Santo Domingo we stayed at the Hotel Atarazana in the historical Zona Colonial. It's a boutique hotel nice, clean, calm rooms that are an oasis in the city. The rooftop terrace and the garden where they serve breakfast are also great. We spent plenty of time in both areas. The breakfast coffee was some of the best we've had in a long time. Our suitcases full of the same coffee (a combination of two types) attest to our pleasure!
In Las Galeras, we stayed at Sol Azul. It's a five minute walk from the only intersection in town and a sanctuary. Las Galeras itself was not very impressive, but at Sol Azul, the gardens are gorgeous, the pool is inviting, and the bungalow rooms are cozy. Breakfast was included here as well, and plenty good. Somehow, this little town has a French Swiss Boulangerie and the bread is great! When we arrived, owner Esther produced a collection of excellent trucks and sand tools for Peanut. He made good use of them during our stay. We were also particularly pleased with the bunch of bananas (off the tree) hanging in the breakfast area and the invitation to eat as much as we wanted. In the afternoons, Esther offered us welcome coffee or tea and cookies. We felt quite well taken care of and rested after our stay. That despite the clouds and rain that came for all three days of our beach visit!
Any suggestions for our next trip?