Sunday, November 11, 2018

Santo Domingo: Zona Colonial and Los Tres Ojos

I love the history of Santo Domingo. Founded in 1492: the oldest city in the new world. Walking around the old colonial streets feels like Pirates of the Caribbean. We went to the Zona Colonial a few times to explore and shop. I would like to say eat, since there a lots of yummy restaurants as well, but we couldn't pass up the chance to eat pretty much every meal at his mom's house, since she and her cousin are such good cooks!
The Zona Colonial feels like a tropical European town. And the rest of Santo Domingo typically looks like this:
 I love this capture from Victor of us walking back from the colmado aka mini mart.

Thanks to pinterest, I heard about a National Park called Los Tres Ojos--it's 3 underground lakes and when I asked my mother in law if it was close to her house, she said it was less than 5 minutes away, but you would never notice it driving by. So crazy that this awesome spot is in the middle of a busy city.

 We had to take a little boat to get to the third lake, and it felt and looked like we were in a pirate movie searching for treasure. So cool.
Santo Domingo has beaches as well, but we didn't bother going, since they don't hold a candle to the beaches we were about to go to up in Samana. It was fun exploring the capital a little more, but I was more than ready to get out of there. The traffic is really bad, mostly because they are really bad drivers. But that's besides the point. Up next: Samana!

Friday, November 2, 2018

We took the kids to the Dominican Republic

Yep, we finally did it! We had gotten a passport for newborn Dominic in hopes of making this trip happen, and I'm pleased to say it went wonderfully. Obviously traveling with small children still can test your patience, but overall they were great on the flights (so much better than our flights back in February to Hawaii so I really can say that it gets easier as they get older) and also in the car driving around the country. 

The main purpose of the trip was to see all of Victor's family and introduce them to the boys. And it helps that Victor's family lives on a gorgeous tropical island in the Caribbean that has amazing food, so this trip to visit family was also a super fun vacation. Our itinerary was a few days in Santo Domingo and then the rest of the days on the north coast of Samana. Both were fun in their own way, but Samana takes the cake. What a beautiful place. 

I have a lot of photos to share, so I am going to divide up the posts--something kind of crazy was that we only used our nice camera once on this trip. Everything else we just took with iphones. It actually was really relaxing to not worry about taking perfect pictures on our big camera. 

Our trip started with an early morning at LAX. First flight to NYC took off at 7 yikes. 
 ^^they wore their pjs all day. Comfy and easy^^
 ^^these kind of things make my heart burst!^^
 We got in late, so this was the boys first taste of the D.R. at our hotel balcony before driving to Victor's mom's house in Santo Domingo. Lots and lots of honking!
 This is Victor's mom's house in the capital that her Papi Ramon lives at. Aka the Ramon we named J after, and also visited on our honeymoon years ago. Also, Victor's mom and stepdad met us there and stayed the whole time we were there which made the trip even better. Always love spending time with them. The boys love Abue and Papa.

 Getting cozy in the Zona Colonial 
 This time around, Santo Domingo was not nearly as hot as last time. It was much more enjoyable. Still pretty humid though.

 Stay tuned for more!

Recuerdame--Halloween 2018

Another fun Halloween in the books! And another almost family costume. When Victor found out he would be gone the week of Halloween, I didn't bother to make him a costume. Not worth the effort and money ha. So it was just the three of us: Miguel, Mama Coco, and Dante!
 We had a fun time at Victor's work party, and the boys won for their costumes! They were so proud of their exchange gift cards they won...and used to buy hot wheels of course.

And we opted out of our ward trunk or treat this year since my family was flying in that night and wanted to do stuff in San Diego. I was ok with that, because that face painting on a 4 year old is a pain! I had to do it three times already.
 For actual Halloween night we went to Katelyn's neighborhood again and had a fun potluck and movie on the lawn, as well as trick or treating. We missed Victor, but I'm glad the boys had a great time and were easy on me ha.
 ^^I got festive with my appetizer^^
Annual photo with a pretty sunset. 

Happy Halloween! Until next year. I never know if this will be the last year of the family costume. We will see!

Christmas Card Season: Help me choose!

Ok, now that Halloween is over, I can start to think about one of my favorite part of the holidays: Christmas cards! Although I would be lying if I said I haven't already been looking at several websites trying to find the designs I like best. I've looked through hundreds of styles, but hadn't found any I was completely sold on that were in my budget. And then I heard about Purple Trail in the knick of time.

I love the selection of Christmas cards and holiday cards that they have, especially since I was looking for a more specific card, which I feel is different every year for me. This year, I've been looking everywhere for more a more religious greeting ie more specific than "Merry Christmas" but I also found a lot of other "themes" on Purple Trail that I love to do so I'll show you those too ;)

So for real, which do you like best out of these? Having a hard time choosing! (showing you the stock photos since I don't want to "reveal" our picture yet ha!)

^^I love the nativity, and you can change the Bible verse to anything you want. I would probably choose a KJV verse, since that's the translation I read^^

I always love Year in Review cards: such a cute new way to update people instead of a typed up insert haha. Here's some I loved on Purple Trail. Another reason I love the year in review theme is that you can use regular photos you've taken throughout the year ie you have a husband like mine who would die if I made him get family portraits every year!

I'm also loving all the unique cutouts for cards that Purple Trail had. I think those would pop out on a fridge full of cards!

Ok, I may have gotten carried away with showing designs, but like I said, I love Christmas cards and look forward to them every year. So thanks to Purple Trail for reaching out and giving me lots of good choices!