What a trip! What a Journey! The Dominican Republic is certainly an interesting place to go on vacation. One of my best friends since third grade invited me on yet another one of her amazing summer vacations to the Dominican Republic for a week. And the best part, it was on June 16th 2012, my 17th birthday! What a present! Of course we'd be flying there and I'm not a fan of flying but I survived and I must say the trip was worth it! When we first landed it was quite a view. The airport you see was completely outside with huts, it was so fascinating, questions ran through my head. How did they get so many palm branches? How did they deal with the heat!? I'd only been outside for five minutes and already I was sweating. Luckily we weren't there for long a quick check of the passports and picking up our luggage and we were to the cab. The drive to our resort was longer than I excepted, 30 minutes in fact. What I saw on the drive shocked me, the land was so impoverished. Most of what I saw was plants and few homes, most looking like shacks. The tiny towns we drove through were the same little shacks with little inside them. The pictures I had seen of the Dominican Republic certainly didn't resemble what I had seen thus far. It pulled at my heart strings, I was worried that the resort would sadly seem the same as the rest of the country. We arrived at the Gran Bahia Principe Esmeralda Resort in the late afternoon and what met my eyes was a huge relief, it didn't look to be in the same shape as outside the gates, in fact it looked just as the website had shown(http://www.bahia-principe.com/en/hotels/punta-cana/resort-esmeralda/). Not long after arriving I learned that the resorts had helped a lot in the development of the country and continued to help it grow.
Once in our rooms I found out that my friends lovely parents had told the hotel that it was my birthday and I was greeted with a plate of fresh fruit and a bag of goodies which consisted of two hotel t-shirts . Not too long after that it was time for dinner. Dessert was my favorite with a buffet of all the sweets! I took one of everything and made it my mission to try every dessert throughout the week. Also at dinner I was served a scrumptious chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry cake and had happy birthday sung to me in Spanish, French, and English! What a day! The rest of the week consisted mostly of swimming at the pool. We did however do one thing that was quite nerve racking to me, we walked on the bottom of the ocean. They had special helmets that allowed you to breath normally under the water but I was still nervous. Of course I was the first one to the bottom and even though the helmet allowed me to breath normally I was breathing fairly sporadically. Overall it was an experience that was only worth doing once. By the end of the week I was glad we were going back home, I missed my family. One thing stuck with me most though as we drove back to the airport, I wouldn't forget the land outside the resort for a long time and it has certainly impacted me to know that the resorts help a lot with providing jobs.
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