Jennifer goes to La Romana

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Squirrel monkey at Monkeyland

Before the Dominican Republic fell victim to Hurricane Irma, and soon Hurricane Maria, I had the opportunity to stop at La Romana on my cruise. La Romana is primarily known for Casa de Campo, which is a large resort. Visitors can go to the beach, ride horses, play golf, and shop. There is also Altos de Chavón, which is a replica of a European medieval village.

My family decided to skip Casa de Campo and do something out of the ordinary. Our tour took us to someone’s home where we got a taste of the Dominican Republic. We ate fresh fruit, like pineapples and mangoes, and drank cocoa tea. All of it was delicious.

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Where they roast cocoa beans

We then drove a short distance to Monkeyland, which is in the mountains and is home to squirrel monkeys. Monkeyland is an interactive experience. I knew that I would be feeding the monkeys, but I didn’t expect them to be as friendly as they were. I had them crawling all over me and had one even on my head.

The monkeys are adorable and extremely gentle. I found that even when I didn’t have food, they still wanted to interact. 

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Me feeding a squirrel monkey

I’m hoping Monkeyland didn’t have much damage after Hurricane Irma and will make it through Hurricane Maria because it is definitely a once in a lifetime experience. It is something I and my family will never forget.

 

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Jennifer goes to Grand Turk

DSC05436My heart goes out to everyone who has suffered as a result of Hurricane Irma. It is hard for me to believe that I just visited Grand Turk and St. Maarten, and their welcoming people and those same islands have now been destroyed. It took years for Grand Turk to recover from Hurricane Ike, which struck in 2008, and it looks like that might be the case with Hurricane Irma.

Here are a few facts about Grand Turk:

  • It is said that Columbus discovered the Turks and Caicos Islands in 1492.
  • In the 17th century, Grand Turk became a major player in the salt industry.
  • John Glenn and Scott Carpenter trained at the U.S. Air Force base and John Glenn was brought to Grand Turk after he landed in the Atlantic Ocean after his space mission.

While in Grand Turk, I had a wonderful time. I went on a tour of the island. Grand Turk is only 7 miles long. It was beautiful.

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Donkeys are everywhere.

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St. Mary’s Anglican Church

On the tour, I visited the Turks and Caicos Museum, which houses exhibits on Grand Turk’s history and environment. There also are exhibits on the Molasses Reef shipwreck. Additionally, I visited St. Mary’s Anglican Church and the Grand Turk Lighthouse.

I hope Grand Turk is able to rebuild again and that I’ll be able to go back for another visit.

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Me at the Grand Turk Lighthouse

 

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Jennifer goes on a cruise

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This summer, I was lucky enough to go on a cruise out of Miami. I visited Grand Turk, La Romana, San Juan, and St. Maarten. Over the coming weeks, I will share details of my trip.

I love cruising and it has been a long time since I’ve gone on one. The food is great. I can easily eat gluten free. The entertainment is fabulous and it is completely relaxing. I love that my biggest worry is what time I want to go to the dining room for dinner.

Going to sleep and waking up in a new place is exciting. I love going on excursions and did something on this trip that I probably would have never done if I’d known more about it. That is your teaser. The details will come another week.

Before leaving from port, I explored Miami and it is a lovely city. South Beach is just plain fun. The beach is beautiful, but if you’re not a beachgoer, there is still plenty to do. Shops and restaurants line the street. At night, make sure you have your dancing shoes because the nightlife is spectacular with the many clubs.

While in Miami, I also visited Coconut Grove and went through many of the shops at CocoWalk. It is a pretty area of Miami and it’s not as crowded as South Beach (or at least it wasn’t when I visited).

 

You can also find me here: Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest and don’t forget to check out my newsletter if you want to stay up to date on my latest happenings.