29 November, 2010

Punta Cana: A Trip to Paradise, Part 1

I have never felt more relaxed and carefree in my life. The fact that we chose a luxury all-inclusive resort could be part of this. What a weird feeling to eat dinner and then get up and leave without asking for a bill or paying a tip. In addition, the people we met were so friendly and helped us with any and everything we needed. Well let's just get to the pictures...

Day 1

Plane wing over NJDeparting Newark (the armpit), NJ, USA

Plane wing over DRArriving in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

There’s the airport… the little hut… over there… Punta Cana Airport

When we checked in to our beautiful suite (one of the best on the resort as we’re told), we got a delicious welcome package and some of the best rum I’ve ever tasted.

Girls with Cuba Libre drink

The bottle lasted us about two days, but there was no shortage as Kristin won another one in a dance contest later in the week, and our new friend Luis (who we understood to be the head of the wait staff) hooked us up with a bottle for some Cuba Libre, well, libre (free), shortly thereafter.

Girls watching Luis prep a drink for usLuis fixing us a proper Cuba Libre

Passing by the pool on our way to the lobby, we were greeted by some freshly-chopped coconuts filled with a delicious cocktail called Coco Loco (some variation of light and dark rum, coconut milk, pineapple juice, and liqueurs). We thought this would be a daily occurrence but it seems that they actually have someone who grabs a machete and chops down the coconuts right on the resort when they become ripe.

Coco Loco in a coconut

By mid-afternoon we were really hungry but we had missed the window for lunch so we headed to the snack bar for some ham and cheese sandwiches and Sex on the Beach. Cocktails, that is.Sex on the beach, on the beach

Notable moment: random [local?] guy walks by, looks at the three of us, and exclaims, “You women are beautiful. Congratulations!” I guess they don’t see too many attractive young trio’s at this mainly-honeymooners resort.

Anyway, my sinuses really don’t like flying and all the sugar was not helping, so later that evening, Trish and Kristin explored the resort while I caught some Zzzz. Something did not agree with Kristin’s stomach and she slept on our bathroom floor that night. It couldn’t have had anything to do with all the drinks we had consumed that day…

Day 2

We all woke up bright and early to book some excursions through a guy named Miguel, who quickly became one of our favorites (and us his).

Good morning girls with Miguel

Of course, we also had to get an early start on hydration.

Marmajuana shot in the morning, it's good for my cold

And Kristin became the first to complete an item on our officially unofficial scavenger hunt.

  • “Take a picture with a guy with a big hat.”

Guy with a wide-brimmed hat and Kristin

We headed to the beach for some much-needed sunbathing and kayaking. We also watched a wedding take place right on the beach, and met a Russian couple who were on their honeymoon.

Little MermaidsWhite sandy beachGirls on the Kayak How do you steer this thing?Bathing beauties

Then, we took a trip to the other resort, where families and kids are allowed, and where there are many more restaurant options and a bigger lunch buffet.

After lunch at the buffet, we walked around this other resort for a bit, dipped our feet in the pool, then took our time getting back while walking along the white sand beach.

Poolside cabanas

We made dinner reservations at the fondue restaurant on our side, quickly stopped at the internet station to check e-mail and post annoying status messages on facebook to make all of our friends at home jealous, then headed back to the room to freshen up and relax.

When we arrived at La Petite Fondue for dinner, they upgraded us to a table for 5 and made us feel like VIPs. The fondue was delicious, not unlike the Melting Pot here in the States.

The fondue place, table for 5Being silly with fondue

We stayed for a while just enjoying the ambience, then headed to the other side again for the evening events. While waiting for the shuttle we met our new favorite bartender Emilio. He likes to make up phrases like, “Humpty humpty, shaky shaky” which we found both lewd and hilarious.

We got to the other side of the resort with plenty of time to grab front-row seats for the show. Kristin and Trish got up on stage for the beginning, and eventually we all got up for the finale.

Trish and Kristin on stageTrish and I on stage for the finale

When that was over, we were ready to hit Areito Disco!

We heard mostly Latin music in the beginning but it quickly changed to American pop and standard club tracks as the night progressed, and we met some guys from Toronto, CA and another group from Miami, FL, USA. One of the guys was Kristin’s second win for the scavenger hunt.

  • “Take a picture with a bearded man.”

Kristin with the bearded man from MiamiWhen we returned to the resort we needed to cool off from all of that dancing, so we quickly changed to our swimsuits and donned our awesome bathrobes to head to the pool. Us in bathrobes ready for a night dip

Unfortunately we got kicked out because, as one Spanish interpreter pointed out to us, they were chlorinating the pools. Oops. We didn’t know if it was just for that night or for every night but needless to say we didn’t try again. Besides, the ocean is right there…

Day 3

We woke up in time for the breakfast buffet on the third day and had a little time to kill before our first excursion. So, we all knocked out another item on our scavenger hunt.

  • “Take a picture with a statue of an amphibian.”

Us sitting on a turtleTrish laying on a turtle

I honestly don’t know how we came up with that one. Anyway, we each got a point for it and spent the rest of the morning wandering around the resort and hanging out by the pool.

Sunwing VIP ClubTrish lounges to my right First-person POV looking at the pool and my beautiful feetKristin lounges to my left Trish taking a dip Barbie spikes a beach ball My beautiful blonde bff at the pool

By mid-afternoon, the heat was full blast and we stepped onto a hot school bus with the windows knocked out to get to the port. When we arrived, we had to listen to some boring safety stuff, grab our lifejackets, and head on the boat for a leisurely cruise to Stingray Bay where we would be meeting some stingrays and swimming with the sharks, then snorkeling around the coral reef and imbibing a bit while enjoying some on-board entertainment. Or so we thought.

On the way to Stingray Bay

The stingray part was tame enough. They were slimy, especially on your back – ick! Did not expect that at all, but it was fun.

I'm holding a stingray!

When they hand-selected eight out of about a hundred people and asked them to volunteer for a new program, involving “interaction” with the sharks, my gut instinct said “HECK NO!”

But, my two girlfriends were already looking for the dotted line to sign the waiver, and I couldn’t be the only one of the three to chicken out.

Me with a Nurse shark ahhh Ah! I’m holding a Nurse shark!

So, I lived to tell the story (obviously) and after we swam with it for a while, we hopped back onto the boat for some entertainment before arriving at the coral reef.

Amazing dancers on the boat All dancing crazy on the boat Ready for some snorkeling Looking dorky ready for some snorky.

The reefs were so close to us, Kristin actually scraped herself on it. Then the dancer guy put some reddish anti-bacterial on it, which actually made it look worse and hurt worse. Of course I snapped this flattering shot to commemorate the event.

Kristin making a funny face and pointing at her scrape from the coral Dancers in costume on the cruise back from Stingray Bay

After some of the infamous mamajuana shot and some brief entertainment, we arrived back at the port. Then it was a hot and sweaty bus ride back home in the mid-afternoon sun.

Trish gazing out the window

That evening, we ordered room service while getting ready to hit the second club, Imagine.  The weird/cool thing about it is that it’s inside a natural cave. We didn’t know what to expect.

Kristin all readyMe all ready

Trish didn’t make it that night - it was her turn to be sick. But, we liked it so much, Kristin and I decided to go back again the next night with her. Aren’t we good friends?

Imagine: the club that's a cross between a cave and a castleA club inside a cave, with great music and atmosphere. You don’t have to imagine it; it’s real!

Stay tuned for part dos!

2 Comment(s):

Uncle Chas said...

Hi Amy,
Thanks for Part I of your trip report. Glad to see you had such a great time. What a beautiful place! I'm familiar with the Cuba Libre (rum & coke) -- have a cuban friend from college days. I used to have an occasional Coco Loco at a Chinese restaurant. The photo of the three of you on the beach (feet toward the water) could be part of a promo campaign for the resort! Your captions are excellently written -- descriptive and entertaining.
Love,
Uncle Chas

Amy Pospiech said...

Thanks Uncle Chas, it took me forever to write and then I misplaced the photos from Stingray Bay which I felt were necessary to complete the post... they were hiding underneath my keyboard :-p silly me.

Glad you enjoyed it and hopefully I'll get to Part 2 within the next week or so. Talk to you soon!

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