Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Punta Cana Dreaming With Jose, Drake and Anibal

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Our first vacation in almost a year!  Not since our adventure to Disney World in December 2012 had we actually flown anywhere on vacation.  LC and I both were thinking somewhere warm - and despite our original thoughts of the Turks and Caicos or the Bahamas; but we ultimately decided on the Dominican Republic - Punta Cana to be exact.  While the weather was basically the same, the price was a fraction of the cost of Atlantis or the Turks and Caicos.  It was a non-decision to me.  On to the DR we go!

San Pedro de Macoris anyone?

Saturday.  We arrive late afternoon after perhaps one of the most harrowing tax rides I have ever taken.  Swerving into oncoming traffic? Check.  Dodging mopeds going the wrong way? Check.  Indiscriminate passing and light flashing? Check!  LC and I were holding on to dear life barely noticing that we drove by a hard Rock and the Coco Bongo Circus nightclub.  Forget about the fact that our ride from the airport was life altering, the attention on check in made up for it.  I was half expecting someone to try and sell me a time share or a condominium, but instead we got hit with a bunch of deals and gold keys from our on-site concierge.  I thought this was all-inclusive?  Well to a point.  Dinner on the beach, you must pay.  Leave the grounds, you must pay.  After we get to our room, weary from our travels, we go to the steakhouse for a late dinner.  By the time we get out of there, we are all exhausted and crash in the rooms.

Sunday.  The kids immediately go to the Core Zone, or the Sports zone.  That is when we first meet Drake, who is a friendly guy that takes an immediately liking to C and G.  Saddled with Ping Pong, Pool, Archery, Foosball and basketball, we leave them to get some time in at the beach.  Although we are bombarded by guys trying to sell us crap, the beach is beautiful despite the warnings of rampant seaweed.  I hang out with LC and DLG biding time until the sports bar opens for football.  Free drinks and football?  Count me in.  When I arrive, I am already a couple of drinks in and I proceed to have a couple of more drinks.  I make some friends with guys from Chicago and Denver but ultimately leave a little "loaded." So loaded, unfortunately, that I fall asleep during the magic show later that night.  We eat lunch, have drinks at the preferred club and dinner at the Hibachi, pan Asian restaurant. A lot of fun was had by everyone, especially as a result of the guy who named himself "Super Waiter."  We watch (and when I say watch, make fun of) some salsa dancers at the outdoor bar.  OK, then.

Monday.  Rinse and Repeat.  Breakfast at the buffet, lunch at the buffet and drinks at the preferred club.  Instead of the beach, we head to the pool.  And instead of Asian Food though, we get some Italian food and are treated to one of the nicest guys we run into - Jose.  Perhaps one of the most attentive guys ever to help us out. Shortly thereafter, we watch the Patriots on Monday Night Football on a big screen at the beach.  We also found out exactly how many New Englanders there are at this resort.  There are about 100 people of the beach with us.  Maybe they were there for the nachos and hot dogs?  Who says this isn't Americanized for crying aloud!

Tuesday.  More beach, more pool, more sports zone and more buffets.  The kids are having a blast, playing in the kids zone (for DLG) and the Sportszone (for C and G).  So much so that LC and I try to get away to have a night to ourselves.  Even though the sickness is starting to take hold of my insides, we spend some time with Anibal at the Preferred Club and we take a stroll around the various bars and restaurants.  We come back and watch the kids play pool and ping pong, even partaking and showing off our respective skills.  It was a great night.

Wednesday.  More pool.  Forgetting about the guy who was pissed at us for taking his reserved lounge chairs, we had a great time going to the buffets and to the Sportszone.  I talk to Ramon, Drake's sidekick and the overall theme was that the kids made things interesting.  The best part was the garbage/septic smell that always permeated that area took the emphasis off of our own children who thought swimming in a pool was the same as showering.  While I tried to rally to go to the Hibachi and the circus show, things were not working out for me.  The kids seemed to love everything about the Hibachi.

Thursday.  Although it was our last day and it was Thanksgiving, we still enjoyed ourselves at the beach and buffets (who knew?).  We also were able to watch a borderline offensive show where staff dressed up as turkeys, pilgrims, chefs and Indians and everyone was chasing the Turkey around.  Huh?  After that though, we said goodbye to Superwaiter, Ramon, Anibal and Drake (who according to his Instagram is actually named Jesus), and started our slow journey back to the States.  Even C was sad to leave.  Never mind LC, DLG and G.  I was also sad to leave but also grateful to have an opportunity to get some drugs to fight off the "Revenge."

Although we are back home, the memories of that trip will always be with us.  Just don't drink the water, or eat the ice cubes or have undercooked food...

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