Girls on Safari: Dominican Republic, Part Dos

Ola mis amores!

As effing usual, the 2nd instalment of my trip to the Dominican Republic is late. I keep telling you African time is a real affliction. Yes I’m always late, please just love me anyway! Teehee.

So where were we? The last time you saw Miss Fu and I, we were sipping cocktails and working on our tans. Tanning was going well and #OperationDarkChocolate was coming along nicely. Fantastic though that was, we were gagging to get out and explore La Republica Dominicana. So we booked ourselves on a cheeky Outback Safari tour!

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#Excoitment

From the second we got on that truck, we just knew we were in for an amazing time. Our guide was called Angel, and we loved him on sight. He was jolly, hilarious, and most importantly full of local knowledge and passion for his country. He told us he’d been born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and that he would never want to live anywhere else. Kudos to you sir.

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We trundled through the Dominican countryside, and I couldn’t get over how stunning everything was. The colours were so vibrant, the air was clear and the scenery was incredible. We drove through little villages, and then it was off-roading time! As we made our way through thick rainforest areas, Angel pointed out the cocoa and coffee trees all around us.

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Before we knew it, it was time for our first stop! We were taken to a little school in the hills, and peeked in to wave at the kiddies. At least I did. Some overly exuberant people with our tour group strode right into the classroom and got snap-happy. It made me uncomfortable, like Ma’am please have a seat! These children are in class so maybe don’t lean over them with your camera? Cretins. Anyhoo…

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Our next stop was definitely my favourite. We stopped at the family home of a man called Chappy, who runs a cocoa and coffee plantation with his wife. They gave us a warm welcome, and showed us how the raw cocoa is processed into cocoa powder and cocoa butter.

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We got to sample some of the delicious products. Chappy and Senora Chappy laid out some hot chocolate, cinnamon coffee, and fresh sugarcane. Obviously Miss Fu and I have no home training so we were chowing down long after the rest of the group wandered off. Everything tasted heavenly, and I bought some coffee and pure cocoa butter. Needed to make sure I spent the London summer stunting on these heaux with my luminous skin!

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Uncle Chappy is a real G. Just look at him on the packet with his wife! He was kind enough to show us around his beautiful family home and grounds. I don’t think I have ever seen anything so lovely. The colours fam…

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The fun continued as we were taken to see how coconut oil is made. Honey you know I’m all coconut oil everythang so that was awesome. Then it was time to shop! We got to sample some traditional dranks. We sipped some aged Mama Juana (you might remember the “Dominican Babymaker” from Part Uno) and then I was introduced to vino de piña, which is pineapple wine. You have never tasted anything so divine. There were all sorts of delectable items available.20150519_121521

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We also got to see how cigars are rolled by hand, which was awesome. Just a few seconds with his deft fingers, and BAM! Done. Bawss moves.

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El Bae, Miss Fu.

We then had lunch at a country ranch, which was amazing. Heaps of fried chicken, grilled beef, salads, and rice. While we ate, Angel plied us with drinks to keep the party going. It was such a perfect afternoon, and the view from the ranch was breathtaking.

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We hopped back on the bus and made our way to our final stop: boogie boarding at Macao Beach! It was just… guys I want to say it was beautiful but that wouldn’t do it justice. Like, Carol can I get a vowel or nah? No words! Look at it!

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I grabbed a board and looked out at the ocean. I was nervous cos I didn’t fancy drowning on such a beautiful day. The ridiculously hot guide who had joined our tour group asked, “You need help, mami?” I was all “YES HI I NEED EVERYTHING FROM YOU,” so he took my hand and led me out into the water. We went out so far that my tootsies were no longer touching the ground. I lay on the board and Hottie McAdonis held it still, while watching for the perfect wave. He suddenly asked, “Ready?” I was like “Gah! No!” He yelled, “Hold tight!” And I turned my head and saw this huge swell of water right behind me. I barely had time to scream “Jesus fix it” before he let go…

And WHOOSH! I was borne up on the crest of this gigantic wave, shooting towards the shore at high speed! It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before; complete exhilaration and pure joy. I was laughing and shrieking, and I felt like I was flying! I couldn’t get enough, and spent the rest of the afternoon on my #Surfboardt

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And just like that, it was the perfect end to yet another perfect Dominican day. We got on the truck to make our way back to the resort. The rumble of the engine started to put me to sleep… I tasted salt on my lips and felt sand between my toes. As I drifted off, my last thought was, “I don’t want this trip to ever end.”

I can’t wait to share the final instalment of my Dominican adventure- coming soon darlings (I promise, I promise)!

Amor,
Adjpants

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How Adjpants Got Her Groove Back: Dominican Republic, Part Uno

Darlings!

It’s your Caribbean Queen here, back in the country and reporting for duty. I just got back from paradise, and I can’t wait to share the amazing experience with you!

Last year, my homeslice/travel buddy/BFF Miss Fu mentioned a Caribbean getaway to celebrate our birthdays in May. We chose the Dominican Republic and did some research. When we came across Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa, it was a done deal. Their website described the resort as being “secluded in a lush tropical paradise.” YAAAAASS BISH.

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Miss Fu and I tore thangs up in Cuba a few years ago, so we were totes looking forward to the trip. The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean nation bordered by Haiti, and it’s known for its white sandy beaches and sizzling bachata and merengue music. The people are ethnically diverse; of African, European, and Native American descent. All these things piqued my interest and made La Republica Dominicana my dream holiday destination.

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Before we knew it, it was May 14th and we were OFF, hunty! As our plane touched down in Punta Cana, we peered out of the windows, practically climbing over each other for the first glimpse. I squealed at the sight of the heat shimmering off the concrete, and the thatched roofs of the airport buildings. As we taxied to our gate, I noticed crowds of deeply tanned “gorgoisie” (my word for the gorgeous bourgeoisie dahling- you can borrow) sipping dranks on balconies. At the airport. #WinningAtLife

We made our way through customs and immigration, and out into the sun. Moments later, we met the uniformed driver who would be taking us to our resort. He was a tall, jolly black man (who looked not unlike my Uncle Kwabena), and he broke into a smile when he spotted us. He shook our hands and cried out, “Mi colores! Mi familia!” He gestured to his skin and we realised he was excited because our complexions matched his. Throughout our time in the Dominican Republic we would hear delighted calls of “Oye morenas” (hey brown girls) and the ever-passionate “Familia!” I loved it.

About an hour later we were driving up a long, curving driveway to our resort. Listen- I have never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life. Gleaming mahogany floors, soaring ceilings with ornate fans, and everywhere lush flowers and swaying palms.

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We could barely contain our excitement as we were led to our room. It was stunning- decked out in white decor with splashes of red and lime green. I opened the curtains and…

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It was like looking out on the Garden of Eden. Also… how could there just be a peacock chilling on our patio? PARADISE, that’s how. We soon realised the resort was full of flamingos and peacocks, taking naps and preening for the gawds.

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By this point all the travel, excitement and shrieking had tired us out, so we were like “quick nap, then we’ll head out to explore.” Needless to say jetlag knocked us out, and we woke up in the middle of the night like “BRUH”

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(Introducing the gorgeous Miss Fu, who stays ready so she never has to GET ready!)

Early the next morning we headed out for a jog, excited to check out our new home for the next ten days. They say a picture paints a thousand words so lemme just leave these here real quick…

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Right?! Next was breakfast! Freshly showered and gleaming with shea butter (we didn’t come to play), we headed to one of the resort’s many restaurants. As long as I live, I will never forget the reception we got. Let me tell you a little something about Dominican men. These men are SO FINE that they look at you and you forget your name and address. The good news is that you’ll never need those details again, because you are now drunk in love. And they’re not just easy on the eye. Their swag is on ONE HUNNID. Charm? Yaaaaass. Twinkle in the eye? Check. As we sashayed past the juice station, I caught the eye of one of the waiters and he gave me the most thoroughly salacious wink I’ve ever seen. Miss Fu and I giggled, and suddenly men were hurtling across the room towards us. Pulling out our chairs, declaring us “caliente” (hot) and “linda” (pretty), elbowing each other out of the way. I think someone was injured in the fight to pour Miss Fu’s drink. By the time we finished eating, I was ready for permanent Dominican citizenship. They had me like “AND I AM TELLING YOU I’M NOT GOING” (you’re gonna love me Carlos).

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We spent the next couple of days in the blazing heat, sipping cocktails and frolicking between beach and pool. Things escalated when someone urged us to try the national drink: Mamma Juana. A potent blend of rum, red wine, honey, tree bark and local roots and spices, Mamma Juana is also known as The Dominican Babymaker. It’s reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities but of course I couldn’t possibly comment (I can) on whether that’s true (it is). As the bartender poured us a shot each, he laughed and said “It gives you potential!” HEY NOW!

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As we languished on pool mats, I trailed my fingers through the water and bopped along to the merengue blaring from a nearby speaker. The sun was warm on my skin and the Mamma Juana was warm in my belly. I remember being happy and calm. In that moment I thought, “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”

Hope you enjoyed the first instalment, pumpkins! Look out for Dominican Republic: Part Dos, coming soon! Besos!

Amor,
Adjpants

Winter Warmers: Ice Bar London

Darlings. I don’t know what to tell you. It appears that I’m obsessed with winter and all winter-related activities. I blame the fact that I grew up in the tropics! Even after all these years, there’s still an element of novelty. Of course, I also blame Disney’s Frozen. I know I wasn’t the only one screaming out “YAAAAASS” during Princess Elsa’s fierce, icy transformation…

So after months of belting out “HERE I STAAAAAND… AND HERE I STAY” at every opportunity, you can imagine my excitement at hearing about Ice Bar London. I checked out the spiel on their website: “a cold sensory experience where the walls, bar, tables and even your own personal glass are made from crystal clear Torne River ice which is harvested from the pristine winter wonderland of Jukkasjarvi in Northern Sweden.” Well, spank my tush and call me Sally! Just the other day I was saying how I needed more Jukkasjarvi in my life.

So without further delay, my gal pal Miss Fufu and I trotted down to see what all the fuss was about.

Upon arrival, a nice young man in a sharp suit checked our tickets and whisked us into an orderly queue. Another nice young man handed us a cocktail menu (your first cocktail is included in the entry price YAY). When we got to the head of the queue, yet another nice young man expertly threw a fur-lined cape over our clothes.

So guys, this is when I lost all my behaviour and home training. Those capes are EVERYTHING! I felt like Ivana Trump boarding a private jet, dahling. We sashayed into the Ice Bar, and I was enchanted.

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It was absolutely stunning. Like being inside a glacier, with absolutely everything carved out of ice. The lighting was gorgeous too- pulsating blues, purples and greens. We immediately headed over to the ice truck that serves as the bar, and hopped into the front to survey the area.

There were small tables to lean on, corner booths… all made of ice. We were particularly taken by our cocktail glasses!

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I loved that the fierce cape came with gloves attached. No frostbite. There were also some incredible ice sculptures, including a giant cupcake. I was dying to lick it, but I knew Miss Fufu would leave me stuck there. There was also a huge hollow pineapple that you could stand in. Good clean fun.

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#HeyBooHEY

So your ticket gets you a 40 minute session in the Ice Bar. You sip your cocktail, enjoy the funky music, and then either head over to the in-house restaurant or step out to continue your evening! The vibe in there was nice and buzzy but not too overcrowded. What I loved most was the pure, childlike joy you saw in all the faces. Even the investment bankers (I saw you guys).

I think this would be a great little pre-dinner activity with friends, or even a unique icebreaker (you see what I did there) on a first date. Just think of the snuggling opportunities!

So bottoms up, sweethearts! Do you wanna build a snowman? Or nah?

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Love,
Adjpants

When:
Monday to Thursday 3.30pm – 10.15pm, Friday 2.45pm – 11.45pm, Saturday 11.45am – 12.30am, Sunday 2pm – 10.15pm. Exclusive champagne sessions available Friday and Saturday 7.15pm.

Where: 31-33 Heddon Street, London, W1B 4BN. Nearest Tubes: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus

How much: Standard Tickets £13 – £16, depending on day of the week. Upgraded Tickets £17 – £20. Champagne session Tickets £24 (treat yo’self).