The D. R.
That’s what my friend Laura calls the Dominican Republic.
We call it our vacation destination this summer.
We love a big city vacation, like New York last December, but I think we love a beach vacation just a little bit more. Sunshine, salt water, rum, sand…….are we missing anything? Not in the DR they aren’t.
Goodbye Dallas, Goodbye Miami…..
A few Bloody Marys and Caribbean islands later….
Hello Dominican Republic…..
It took a bit of scouring Travelocity to find a resort that didn’t have a bathtub in the middle of every room. (Jamie doesn’t mind…….but I just think it’s kinda, ummmm, gross. I mean, I know that other people have stayed in our room……but I don’t like being reminded of what they had been doing in our room.)
We settled on the Paradisus Punta Cana. (Technically it’s in Bavaro)
It’s been a banner year in our household, with a couple great personal accomplishments, so we treated ourselves and upgraded from not just all-inclusive but to the “Royal Service” experience. (We’re normally placed in the very back of the resort by the staff entrance.) Aside from the ocean view, just 20 steps to the beach, our “Royal Service ” experience came with a butler.
I know! How bourgeois. We felt like Star-Bellied Sneetches with our “Royal Service” bracelets. That’s right, we’re better than you.
OK, “Butler” isn’t exactly the right word. Enrique was really more of a personal concierge. He made all our dinner reservations, stocked our in-room bar, and even took us on a private tour of the resort.
Speaking of the resort! It was freaking huge. It was about a mile from the lobby to our room. Good thing there was a shuttle, we were on a lazy vacation, not a calisthenic vacation. The grounds were just beautiful, and sprinkled with flamingos and black hummingbirds.
Since no trip to a foreign country is complete without some kind of excursion, we shuttled over to the genuine Punta Cana and spent a day at sea with Side by Side Adventures on a “Booze Cruise”. Our crew – Raul, Shaggy, Scooby, and Fred – was just outstanding. (Yupp, those were their names. At least, that’s what they told us they were) Those guys made every minute of the day fun.
The cocktails didn’t hurt either.
We snorkeled over a sunken statue garden….
Had grilled lobster and pina coladas at the Westin Resort on the beach….
and relaxed even more in a natural ocean pool…..
But wait, that’s not all…
Back on land we took a short hike through a nature preserve and cooled off from the day in a natural fresh water lagoon.
It was an unbelievable day in paradise. Thank you again Side by Side.
If any of y’all ae ever in Punta Cana, or Bavaro, take the trip. You’ll love it.
The next couple of days we were back at the Beach at the Paradisus.
We parked our butts on beach chairs and napped most of the days away.
At night all we did was eat. The food was really pretty good for an all-inclusive resort. We had most of our lunches from the buffet, and diners at the restaurants that Enrique picked for us.
Loved every one of them,
But the best restaurant he saved for our last night; Passion at the Paradisus.
The food was so beautiful….like art.
I had the 7 course tasting menu and a couple of glasses of the finest chardonnay that the Kendal Jackson winery produces.
Our waiter, Danny, asked if I was going to take a picture of every course…
I sure did.
6 days went by so quickly….almost too quickly.
We grabbed our last Dominican breakfast at Lapolapa. I fell hard for the mangu. (That’s mashed plantains, with salami and an over-easy egg)
Spent a few more hours in the adults-only pool….Which, opposed to the family pool, never seemed to have more than 10 people in it at a time.
I grabbed one last mojito, of course, and wrote out a few postcards.
Jamie says that no one does that anymore, but I still do. I know we’ll be home before they get to their respective recipients…..But hey, I love getting them….and you reap what you sow. Am I right?
You know those vacations that are just a continuous week of eating, drinking, and relaxing neck-deep in warm water…….while still eating and drinking? That was this vacation.
We said good-bye to the Dominican Republic…..and returned to Big D.
(Y’all may have noticed that this was a drama free trip.
NO hurricanes (we’ve had 3), NO political uprisings, NO airplane trouble, NO firing squads……None of the usual drama that always seems to attach itself to our vacations.
“Not today, Satan!”
There weren’t even any other people to get in our way.
Seriously. Scroll back up and look for other people in our pictures….there’s just a handful.
And that handful had the good sense to stay away from us……)
Looks Heavenly James! I’m quickly looking at your pics & post, but I at lesser wanted to get off a quick comment. I will go back in the next day or so to look more closely. My granddaughter is graduating next spring from high school & I would love to take her & my daughter (her mom) on a beach vacation next summer. So glad you both got off to a beautiful spot!
This looks awesome! I think Mike and I might need to check it out!
Great post! We’re in our 60’s (but we’re cool.) Would we be out in of place?
I’m pretty sure all ages are welcome. Especially if “little activity” is how you consider a good time. 🙂
Well deserved treat, awesome pics.
Glad you had a blast.
So glad you had a great time! Everything looks lovely (or tasty, as the case may be). Enjoyed our lunch in the Big D a few weeks ago.
We did have a great time…and I enjoyed our lunch as well. 🙂
Looks Amazing! Glad you had fun. The 7 course meal looks beautiful except for the last pic on the black plate…reminded me of intestines.
Carole, it may have looked bad…but it tasted heavenly. We were both so stuffed…and they kept bringing food!
oh my god. moving the DR up on my list of places i need to beg my husband to go to with me! 😉 (beach vacations are harder to get him to!) i love your vacations – they always look so lovely!
Awww thanks, I’m glad they look good on paper….because sometimes they are a little rough.
Jeff and I are envious! How beautiful! I just got back from a business trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti….not quite the same style! You guys deserve to do it right like this! And so well deserved! 🙂 –Erik
That flamingo looks photoshopped! What fantastic photos; thanks for sharing. I will put the DR on my list!
Your vacation looks like it was paradise! I am jealous! P.S. You hold your pen funny! 😉
Candice, I hold my pen like a monkey. I taught myself to write….and that’s a holdover. I have to remind myself to switch. Btw, my drafting/art teachers were not fans of it……
Great photos and have just mentally added the DR to my bucket list. How was the weather? Too hot to sleep? Comfortable?
I am a big fan of your blog and read each and EVERY one carefully, study the photos, enjoy your humor. Thanks for sharing.
A friend asked if it rained every day. I think she was there during rainy season. It rain a little every night, but we slept through it. If you’ve ever been to any island, you’ll know that it rains almost every day. The heat was bearable…..we’re from Texas where it’s 100+ about two months straight. Air conditioning isn’t the norm there, but we had it……only the hotel controlled the temp it was set at. Weird, right? We just asked them to set it as low as possible. (I’m so thrilled that you enjoy our adventures/my writing. It’s great to know that someone reads this stuff.)
I LOVE reading them. Enjoy all the home improvements & really like how you both have decorated. I even bought one of those wooden boxes from Target that you wrote about, to put your various vintage treasures and kchotskys (sp?) in. But … alas it’s still sitting in the shipping box. on my to-do list …
And I know heat!! as we live in the central San Joaquin valley of CA where it’s usually at or way over 100 from June thru August. UGH. That’s why I asked about it … and I LOVE AIR CONDITIONING.
We moved here in 1980 from San Diego. Every year I remind my husband of this and ask WHY!?
I love that Target box. Although I have so much “Inspiration”….mostly toys… on my desk, that I can only see the top 2/3. Same with decoration, just surround yourself with the things that you love and give you daily inspiration.