The Dominican Republic, Part One: Tiny Tenders and Tender Mercies


Whoomp, here it is!
The vacation that has been four years in the making has sadly come and gone.
But, guys.
It was the best.
I came back a better wife, a better mother, and with so much more appreciation for all my tiny blessings.
And I guess we had a little bit of fun while we were there, too ;)
I suppose we should start with some background information?
Tyrel and his brother both served two-year missions for our church in the Dominican Republic when they were in their more youthful days ;)
I stalked both of their Facebook pages for pictures during their time there, and this is all I could come up with {sorry boys!}:

Aren't those the cutest babyfaces ever?!?
Needless to say, they fell in love with the country and its people.
In college, Brandon and Tyrel lived in the apartment complex behind Kristen {now Brandon's wife} and me.
The summer after Brandon and Kristen got married, Tyrel and I sealed the deal too. 
After our first anniversary, the talk of going back for our five year started.
And, naturally, we got B & K in on it, too. 
Being poor, broke college kids, we figured out how much to save each month for the next four years so we could slowly afford the trip without even stressing about it {which isn't very expensive, by the way!}.
Next month Tyrel and I celebrate our sweet five years of marriage, and by golly we took that trip!
It was terrifying leaving Tate {who STILL doesn't take a bottle...}, but he was in good hands and survived on Lil' Crunchies and Capri Sun ;)
Kemry was more than excited for us to leave and was ready to head to Grandma's again the minute we got back.
I think we are hoping to make this an regular trip every five years, but the boys are set on buying a home there together for super cheap and seeing where that could take us.
We'll see.
Tyrel has to write his New York Times Bestseller first ;)

Here they are, chaps. 
All those pictures you are dying to see.
{They are a mix from my camera, my phone, a GoPro we borrowed from a friend, and Kristen's waterproof digital camera.}

After landing in Santo Domingo

We picked up our rental car and loaded in two huge sets of golf clubs which we had to fit around.
Three-hours later, we made it to our resort. Please note my receding hairline and Kristen's mohawk ;)

 I had been having nightmares about getting to our resort and finding out they had no record of us there.
Which totally almost happened, guys.
And no one speaks english there.
Luckily, our two dashing princes are fluent, so they got the problem all figured out.
When we pulled in that night, it was too dark to go and do much.
We meandered down to the beach in the pitch black and stuck our toes in.
It was seriously the greatest feeling ever.

The resort was nice {but got a meh on the food scale}.
What the food lacked, however, I think the beach and pool made up for:


While we only saw one topless woman {who was the only girl on a large team during a game of volleyball...all those men must have been just very serious about the sport, I guess ;)...}, there were quite a few little toddler boys running around with their "tenders" hanging out, if you know what I mean.
It was hillarious.

Much bocce ball was played. And I'm proud to say that us girls held our own, thank you very much.

We also decided we wanted to attend church while we were there.
The thing about our Church is that it is the same everywhere you go.
The same doctrine is taught, the same classes are held, the same everything.
While driving around FOREVER Saturday night to find where we needed to go the next morning, we got lost.
Well, not lost really, but we couldn't find where we were going.
Google Maps failed us plenty of times out there, no locals knew where we were trying to go, and the layouts of the towns/cities are nuts {plus the drivers, goodness, let me tell you...}.
Just as we were about to give up and head back to the resort, we spotted two men in white shirts walking along...those darn missionaries!
We pulled over, and they were pretty exited to chat with us.
PLUS, we had pulled over directly in front of the church building.
There you go.
Tender mercy.

I think I will wrap this up in two more posts.
But, really, don't you want to go to the beach now?
I sure do.

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