Well hey, hey there! I’ve missed you guys. What’s new? What have I missed? I feel pretty much unplugged and detached from the going-ons of the world and it’s been absolutely amazing. But now, I’m home, rested up, and ready to get crack-a-lack’in with whatever comes next. These next few days are serious blog catch-up because I am way behind reading everyone’s posts.
What a week. I’ve got all kinds of pictures and stories to share with you. Oddly enough, we did a pretty poor job picture-snapping while on vacation. You’d think being a blogger I would have been better at that, but I used the time doing what I wanted to do, vegging out, and detaching myself from the stresses of the past few months.
We had a 5:50am flight on Saturday and our vacation started by the airline informing everyone that they’d oversold 2 tickets and the plane wouldn’t be able to leave until 2 people gave up their seats. It took a while and a $1300 incentive for someone to step up but we finally took off 45 minutes later than planned.
The flights down were pretty much uneventful. When we landed in Punta Cana and walked down the stairs off the plane, we were immediately hit by the hottest, most humid weather I have ever encountered. Ben’s glasses fogged up and I could feel the hairs on the back of my head start to dampen and curl. Holy buckets. As we stood in the customs line of the open-air airport, I remember having a minor panic attack. I don’t do well in extreme heat and was wondering if I was going to be able to make it a full week. My pants were stuck to the back of my legs, sweat was trickling down my back, and I stared up at the large ceiling fans praying they’d offer a bit more relief.
Customs was blissfully quick and we found our Apple Vacations guy who promptly took our bags and rushed us to the correct bus. The bus was air-conditioned and took a bit of the edge off, but the open bus doors and overall heat couldn’t really keep up. We drove to our resort and I was so tired and hot we didn’t take a single picture. Can you believe it? We just stared out the window and took in the new climate and landscape. Interesting fact: Punta Cana has an Ikea store. We don’t have one in Green Bay. Not fair!
When we arrived at our resort, we left our luggage at the entrance and got checked in. They provided a glass of champagne (not what you want when you’re melting on the floor) and a COLD towel. That towel was glorious. It had some kind of tropical scent to it and was wet and cold – just what weary travelers need.
We were taken to our room and once we tipped and the door was closed, we stared around the room and took it all in. The room was really nice and amazingly cool. There is a dampness which is inevitable but the A/C was chugging away and it felt wonderful.
We took a few minutes to review the map of the resort and try and get a feel for the lay of the land. It was 3:30pm and dinner wasn’t scheduled to open until 6pm. Since we hadn’t eaten anything except a few snacks we brought along with us, the first order of business was to find the “Barefoot Grill” – a beachfront set-up with grilled chicken, burgers, and French fries. We made our way down and received our first Dominican meal (which looked a lot like what we’d have at home, ha ha).
They had a little section of tables set up so we could sit and eat. A waiter kept refilling our water and we felt much better re-hydrated with some food in our bellies. We had a nice view of the beach and I opened my camera to take a picture:
That ever-present haze plagued quite a few of my pictures. It was the lens fogging up! It would sometimes take over 10 minutes for it to clear up enough to get a good shot.
Near the grill was the beach bar, so after our late lunch we wandered over to get our first vacation beverages.
A margarita for Ben and a pina colada for me! We grinned at each other, clanked our glasses together, and officially started the vacation!
Ben declared that his margarita was fantastic. 🙂 It’s the simple things, right?
We putzed around the resort and then went to the buffet for dinner – because it was close and we didn’t have to get dressed up. They were serving Jamaican coffee flambé and despite being miserably hot, I ordered a cup. It was absolutely delicious. There was a bit of brandy and rum mixed in and a layer of sweet cream topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon. They’d bring the cup to your table and pour a splash of rum on the saucer, light it, lift the flaming glass, and have you blow it out. Awesome 🙂
The nighttime entertainment would start around 8pm and we sat through a good portion before getting tired and crashing. It was a good first day!