January 20, 2012

Now Larimar Resort

As I mentioned the beaches of Punta Cana before, I would like to share our insight about the "Now Larimar Resort" with you. It was actually a great lastminute hotel deal. We spent only one third of the actual price but enjoyed full service ˆ.ˆ

The Hotel
Arriving at the hotel feels like arriving to paradise. Words cannot describe how beautiful everything was... but hopefully my pictures will bring a little sunshine to our winter ˆ.ˆ

The hotel lobby
The room and bed were huge. We even had a Jaccuzzi in the bathroom which we tried out but decided it's nothing for hot summers. If one upgrades to "Preferred Club Membership", the Jaccuzzi is outside on the balcony - but who would wanna have their neighbours peeking inside?

Hotel room
Anyway, we had a great view into the palm garden and even a little ocean sight - not much though but we walked to the beach every day anyway... There were 5 pools, 2 of them for the Preferred Club members. Water is just so relaxing when nobody else is there... I'm not sure why everyone went to the crowded pool but lucky for us - we almost had our own private pool.

And even at night it's perfect... the bars and hallways outside as well as the pools and beaches.

The Food
There were 4 à-la-carte restaurants, offering Italian, French, Japanese and American cuisine. They were all crowded every single day. Of course that's not really a surprise for an all-inclusive hotel. Where else would you go?
I like the effort, the guests have to pay by dressing up for dinner. Having a dresscode really keeps the luxarious locations together.
But still I must say, I was a bit disappointed in the Japanese and Italian restaurants. The Japanese restaurant was all about the show of the Teriyaki chefs with knives and fire. I had fried icecream flambé which gave me a great picture but it tasted horrible...
On the other hand, the American restaurant just offered the best steaks and burgers. I'm still melting thinking about them...


Anyway, I'm a big fan of breakfast in this hotel... They have the biggest variety of dishes during breakfast, starting with all kinds of delicious fruits which are all sweeter than back in Germany (obviously), then all kinds of bread and pastries, bacon, cheese, fresh omelette and waffles but also various original Dominican dishes and drinks like Mangú (mashed plantains) and batida (fruity milkshakes). My boyfriend told me an anecdote of the word Mangú - it derives from the English sentence "Man, this is good" ˆ.ˆ

The Negative Part
I thinks the only sad part is, there was no Dominican restaurant... They should open one as well. I think, the further away the origin of the restaurant, the worse the food. In that sense, it must be easier to find a Domincan chef compared to a French chef.

Anyway, at least the snacks could be Dominican - there are such great hamburgers on the streets of Santo Domingo - but they give away crappy sandwiches and sausages during nighttime.

It's sad because there's no self-confidence - as if their own food was not good enough for the hotel guests. By few employees, we were not treated like real guests because my boyfriend comes from the Dominican Republic and somehow they were offended to serve their own kind - and I don't mean that in a good way... I wanted to complain about a waitress because she kept ignoring us and even admitted she was mad at us for whatever reason but my boyfriend was to concerned about our safety that I promised I wouldn't until we were back here. I'm normally really patient because I know the other side - I grew up in a hotel and I hate that business... but I would have never been that disrespectful. Besides, I think it's some kind of self-racism - it's the worst form of racism. For the same reason, only Dominicans are bothered at costoms at the airport. Of course Europeans also don't really understand corruption. I wouldn't even know how to get out of tricky situations...

The Positive Part
I would like to finish this post positively. Look at the beach: It always looks different depending on the time. Isn't it gorgeous? No wonder, we saw two weddings at the beach (at the white flowy thing). It's so wonderful, right into honeymoon... I could imagine getting married just like that as well ˆ.ˆ without the bunch of people that I don't wanna see and without the big planning for food and location. Well, who knows? I can't help it - I'm changing my mind about the perfect wedding all the time! 

I felt really relaxed after spending only 3 nights in that hotel. Besides some minor inconveniences, we were treated like emperors and we felt like in paradise... The sun, beach and the location made it a perfect short trip! Anyway, two weeks all-inclusive would have been too much and too boring for the two of us... but for the short amount of time, it was perfect!

Bavaro Beach
Homepage of Now Larimar Resort: << click >>

January 13, 2012

Chinese Peanut-Noodle-Salad (冷面)

冷面 means cold noodles. It is especially popular in summer because it cools you down from within but I've also prepared it for some parties in winter. You could also eat it warm but it tastes a lot better cold.

Please excuse the shaky picture... I was way too hungry to be patient.

All you need is this:
  1. Chinese Quick-Cooking Noodles (1 Portion per person) - cook and cool down
  2. 1/4 Cucumber per person - cut in small pieces
  3. For the sauce, mix the following ingredients (per person):
    • 1 sp. Peanutbutter
    • 1 sp. Soy sauce
    • 1 sp. Balsamico Vinegar
    • 1 sp. Sesame Oil
    • 1 sp. Sugar
  4. Optional: If you want to spice it up, use some Sambal Oelek
  5. Mix all ingredients together and voilà!

January 11, 2012

[Tagged] 2012 - Plans, Hopes and Dreams

from Miss W

Job, Studies, Career
Writing my phd thesis and graduating from University.

Friends & Family
My family is fine. I'm definitely going to see two friends more often. The weddings will do their share ˆ.ˆ In the end, it will bring us closer, I think and hope so... I also can't wait for my both best friends to meet my boyfriend. Since we live so much apart, it's difficult. I'm glad, I like my friend's fiancé ˆ.ˆ That would be horrible, if I didn't.
It's a good idea to sort out frenemies though I haven't figured out a way to handle this new roommate-love situation with these mean comments.
Health, Wellness & Fitness  
I continue with dancing, the only sport that is also art... It's also the only sport I'm interested in. I hate the gym and aerobics. I don't even like Zumba - it's just not for dancers - too easy. My boyfriend will also work on a Salsa routine with me (for my friend's wedding and other events).
My health hopefully stays the same. Since I love fruits and veggies, it should be fine...
I should probably lose some kilos. Not because my roommate thought so (Asians have a sick relationship to being skinny - it's almost anorexic) but I ate way too much during the holidays... but everything was just soo delicious. Hopefully, sports will be enough.
But other than that, I'm fine. There's nothing I desperately need to buy except maybe the dresses for the weddings. ˆ.ˆ 

Hobbies & Projects
Dancing, dancing, dancing... My big projects of this year are my thesis and the weddings. And there probably won't be any time left for other things anymore.

I'll go on a conference in Chicago before Easter. And there are also the weddings. I don't know if there will be another trip. That just depends on my financial situation and also time... 

I like writing on this blog and I hope I can get more continuity to write more often.

New Challenges
Well, it's not really new, but it's my personal big challenge this year: 
Getting my phd.

January 9, 2012

New Year, New Start and already annoyed

Happy New Year, everyone. Hopefully, you'll have a better start than me... 

I just came back from Montreux. No, I didn't go skiing... For once because I've never learnt it and just can't do it but then I also don't like the cold. Snow is only nice to look at. I prefer beaches, summer, sun and the sea. It was my first time in Switzerland and I really like how cute everything is...
Unfortunately, I wasn't too lucky with the weather. It had been raining every single day but I can imagine... ˆ.ˆ

I went to see a friend who's going to be married this summer. We went looking for her wedding gown and wow are these dresses expensive - probably even more so there. She didn't buy any but it gave her a better idea what to look for. That sales clerk was pressing us enormously with all kind of lies...

Just thinking about all the planning, it drives me nuts... I'm going to be the maid of honor for the civil marriage for two of my friends and they will be each others' maid of honor in church. We originally wanted to make a small trip as the Bachelorette Party, just the three of us but now everything is messed up. There's just no way to fix a date and a location (not even for skype - just imagine how difficult it is for the actual trip). Now, one wants an own Bachelorette Party, the other planned a wedding-eve two weeks before the civil marriage. The events are all over the place... These girls are just driving me crazy. I'VE GOT A PHD THESIS TO FINISH!!! I know, they don't care because it's their big day and are going to be mad if I can't make it. I know that I'm also supposed to plan all those events but I don't live anywhere close and I can't make those big plans, let alone even being there for all events. I can't even count them.

I don't even know how I will survive the last 6 months of this year because I didn't get the scholarship which means I need to be even more focussed on my studies.

But anyway... I have a couple wedding games in mind, as well as a wedding book and decorating the bed with rose petals. I'm just worried about the planning because so many different people are involved.

So and last but not least... my roommate told me that if my boyfriend and me got married, he should wear white because white makes me fat. Who needs enemies, if you got "friends" like that...