Punta Cana Vacation!

I just got back from vacation! My sister and I went to the Dominican Republic with two of our friends last week. We stayed at the Excellence Resort in Punta Cana. After a VERY long travel process, we finally arrived on the island. It is a beautiful place! We were greeted by a very friendly and warm people as we gathered under the thatched roof airport terminal. The biggest fans I have ever seen helped move the balmy breeze around. Surprisngly, it worked and we all felt relatively cool in the open air airport despite the near 100 degree temps.

Amanda and I have vacationed at several tropical locales. This is the first one, however, that is an actual island. You know how people talk about “Island Time?” Well – it’s not a made up thing! There is not one person who lives in the DR who is in a hurry. For anything! It literally took 42 minutes for the customer service rep to find someone with a key to the baggage room! Of course, as Americans, we find that unbelievable and frustrating anyway. But when you are on a mission to start a vacation, well, it feels like an obscene gesture! We ( finally) made it through baggage and “customs” and found our shuttle. An hour later, we were standing in the open air lobby of our resort enjoying a breathtaking view!

Armed with our room key, the number to 24 hour room service and a frothy pina colada, we set off to explore our home for the next couple of days. The resort had 8-9 different restaurants to choose from, serving a variety of different foods from steaks and seafood to Mexican and Asian. The biggest challenge was to narrow down our choice!
The first night the four of us ended up in the French restaurant. We shared escargot, field greens salads, creamy lobster bisque, a deliciously tender New York Strip and grilled Sea Bass. A smooth red wine complemented the carefully prepared food. At the end of our meal, a beautiful newlywed bride offered to share their rich chocolate wedding cake with us! It was fun celebrating with them.
Too stuffed to move too far, we ended up in the lobby theater watching the circus show. Every night, a performing company puts on an hour long live performance. This one came complete with clowns, acrobats and trapeze artists! It was really entertaining and fun.

The days were filled with lots of sun, sand and water. The ocean was beautiful and the sandy beaches were covered in coconut groves.

The resort was covered by giant pools. They lazed their way through the entire property. You could find a game of water volleyball or a quiet pool to just lay next to and read. Of course, there was no end to the supply of tropical drinks. My personal fave (as a coconut LOVER) was made out of fresh coconut water, blended up with cream of coconut and fresh lime and served back inside the coconut where it all started! Delicious and refreshing!

All in all, it was a fun trip. The island was beautiful and the accommodations were wonderful. Getting some time away was good. I am glad to be home though! I hope that you have had a chance to take some time to take it easy with your loved ones. Even if you have to pretend to be on island time!


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