New Years in Jarabacoa, Dominican

Wednesday: Though we left Fort Wayne on Wednesday we didn’t make it into the Dominican till about 6 am on Thursday! With New Years Eve being that night and Bethany, my sister who lives in the Dominican, being excited to see us¬†after months and months, I knew we wouldn’t be sleeping much at all! And I was right! We hardly sleep for 48 hours but it was worth it! We had so much fun and I am so excited to share a little from our time in the Dominican! Most of these are just i-phone photos with only a few ones with my canon camera mixed in but this post in mostly just for documenting! Hope you enjoy! ūüôā

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stompedits_0395.jpgBethany only gave us a few hours for a nap in her room because she was so excited for us to start our adventures in the Dominican!! haha So basically we got maybe 4 hours of sleep in the span of about 48 hours!! Busy but such a fun time! Right when we woke up we were thrown onto motorcycles and taken into town! I had never rode one before so my first time was down a high mountain on the busy and crazy streets of the Dominican. What an experience! In town we got Dominican breakfast, did some shopping, and hung around the plaza in center of town which had SUCH a massive tree!!

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stompedits_0399.jpgYou would not believe the crazy things we saw people carry on their motorcycles!

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stompedits_0450.jpgThe MASSIVE and beautiful tree in the center of town! (not an i-phone pic!)

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When we got back from our adventures around town we took a hike to some nearby rivers! It was beautiful but I don’t think I have ever¬†been so aware at how out of shape I am! haha

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There were cows EVERYWHERE!!

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After our hike we went horseback riding! (Note that we are still awake from the previous morning and the day is still not even close to being done!) It was crazy cause there were no rules at all! They just threw us on a horse, whipped their butts, and then sent us on our way on the mountain! Even though it was Scotty’s first time riding it was me who fell off my horse…so that was an experience! In all the years of riding horses this has never happened to me! haha I was given a skittish horse and so when they whipped his butt he was startled and jumped leaving me completely unprepared which led to my dramatic fall! It was actually pretty terrifying at the time but now its something to laugh about since I wasn’t injured! It was so beautiful to ride horses through the beautiful mountains and right beside and through the stunning river!

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In the Dominican, New Years is a big deal and everyone goes to the barber to get themselves looking their very best! The girls get their hair and nails done and the men get their beards trimmed! One of Bethany’s Dominican friends, Melvin, took Scotty because¬†he obviously had to experience getting his beard professionally trimmed in the DR. I must say, they did a fabulous job! He looked so handsome! Not sure why I didn’t take a picture of it!

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We spent New Years Eve at Bethany’s local church watching a talent show! There were a lot of really talented people and only a few crazy acts! haha¬†Notice this is all still the same day and besides the small nap we had right after our flight we had still been up since the previous morning before our flight so we may¬†have slightly dosing off for a second or two! haha! The talent show ended a little before 12 so after we drove up to the top of a mountain with Melvin and Bethany, climbed through barbed wire, and watched fireworks at the mountains edge to bring in the New Year! It was beautiful because from where we were you could see the whole city all lite up! We tried to get a picture but it does not do it near justice to how beautiful the town looked behind us! A perfect way to bring in the New Year!

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Thursday: Finally a new day! We got to sleep in a little and hang out on campus! We did so much in one, well really two days that we were exhausted but thankfully we finally got to sleep in and relax till noon around where we were staying! Later we met up with Justine and Jochy so that we could finally meet them, get some engagement pictures done, and check out and review wedding plans! It was so beautiful where we were and I felt totally spoiled to get to snap photos there!
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We found a random couch…and yes I obviously incorporated it into some of their engagement pictures! hehe!

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Also took pictures on this super sketchy bridge! Even though it was super shaky and seemly unsafe motorcycles from there use that bridge as a shortcut all the time which seemed even more crazy but I figured if motorcycles could do it, I could too! haha

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That evening Bethany planned a date night for us at this AMAZING restaurant! It was amazing because it was on the top of the mountain so the whole time we¬†were eating¬†we had an amazing view of the whole town all light up at night! The food was delicious, the view was amazing, and the company was the love of my life so as you can imagine it made a very romantic and fun night for New Years! (I know in this picture Scotty looks like he’s about to sneeze but the flash on our i-phone was more intense then you would think and it’s really the only one we have from the restaurant!)

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Friday: This was one of my favorite days! We went PARAGLIDING! I seriously never do things like this so it was super fun to be out of my comfort zone and experiencing something truly amazing! We woke up early and rode all through the mountains in the back of a truck! I clung onto Scotty and off we went! Though we had to hang on for dear life around every curve the view was amazing! Mountain cliff after mountain cliff as we kept traveling up and up into the clouds! When we got up to the top the view was one of the most stunning sight ever! We took so many pictures that I am excited to share below but it for sure does not do it justice!
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When we got to the top we seriously experienced almost every form of weather! Sun, rain, cold, crazy fog and even a beautiful rainbow! Even when the rain passed the wind was still not safe enough for us to jump off so we had to go to another location! Enjoy these pictures from our first location! It was beraktaking! (all i-phone)

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We got back into the truck and were off to our second location on a completely different mountain across town! When we arrived the wind was good and off we went off the mountain and into the sky! I can’t even explain how truly sureal it was! It was really scary first jumping off but once you were in the air it was the most gentle and peaceful ride I have ever had with seriously the most amazing view! My guy went the highest so I could see Scotty below me the whole time and he even did 360s in the air so I could get an even more fully view, it was awesome! This pictures are a mixture of what both Scotty and I managed to capture as we were in the air!

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Saturday: The wedding! About 14 hours of shooting, traveling from place to place and the wedding and we were dead beat at the end! The wedding was stunning though and an amazing way to start the year! You will have to wait to see pictures when I post their wedding blog but all I have to say is that they turned out gorgeous and I can’t wait to post that blog!! ek! Here is a behind-the-scenes picture and one of us waiting for the wedding to start! (almost an hour late…gotta love Dominican time! haha)

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Sunday: BETHANY’S BIRTHDAY! We were so happy that we got to be there to celebrate Bethany’s birthday. In the morning Scotty and I helped lead worship at their church with Bethany. Though I love to sing and sing all the time with Scotty, it’s really not something that I do in public at all! So that was growing but¬†honestly a lot of fun! Later that afternoon we drove into the city, Santiago, for a baseball game! That was a lot fun. I have always gotten so bored at the baseball games I have been to in the States but loved attending this game! Everyone was SO lively and excited and there were always people cheering and loud music! Scotty and I had fun watching everyone bang their inflatable¬†sticks together ALWAYS off-beat from¬†the music and cheers! It was seriously hilarious!

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Monday: That day¬†was actually a holiday for the Dominicans called “Three Kings Day” and so not much was¬†open but after the wedding and previous lack of sleep we were pretty tired so we took that day¬†to relax and hang out with Bethany around campus! We watched a movie, sang worship songs (in the bathroom of all places haha), went for a hike and back into town and then had dinner at a lovely couples house on campus! It was a lot of fun! Here are random pictures from around campus and town! (a mixture of i-phone and cannon camera shots)
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Tuesday: This was our last day but still filled with so many fun things! We woke up early and went on a few mini hikes to¬†see some waterfalls! Scotty and I brought our camera which we had not brought to most things so it was super fun to actually get to do what we love in some GORGEOUS places! I will post a blog later of some waterfall pictures I think because I love how they turned out but their are just so many I don’t wanna over crowd this post! Plus most of these images are iphone pictures anyways!

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Okay, Okay….One sneak peek!! ūüėČ (not an i-phone photo!)

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After the waterfalls we drove 2 hours to the beach! The specific beach we went to actually had a cable cars going up the mountain so we stopped by to ride it up the mountains and I loved it! You will see in the pictures but it was so cool because when we were in the cable cars one side was all mountains and fog and then the other side was the town and beach shore! It was so gorgeous! I love the diversity! So beautiful!

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Finally arrived at the beach!! It was so beautiful! I don’t like swimming normally because where we live its all pools but put me by an ocean and I am in paradise!! Dominican beaches¬†are gorgeous!

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At 3:30 am we left to head home!! Since it left so early and we wanted to spend as much time with Bethany as we could we just stayed up till the flight! We popped popcorn, made coffee and watched a movie! It was such an amazing trip and experience and such a perfect way to bring in the new year! So thankful I had the opportunity to shoot my first wedding of  2015 in the amazing Dominican!

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If you don’t know this about me, I am OBSESSED¬†with New York and would move there in a heartbeat (not really mom, don’t worry, I just really love it! haha) and it made me sick how close I was but yet so far. Ask Scotty, I think I told him that about a million times!! Alas, New York waits for another day, another time, another wedding, another trip!

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