Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Hard Rock Punta Cana Experience...The Dominican Republic Part 3 of 4

 This was our first all inclusive vacation.  When we arrived at the Hard Rock Punta Cana they presented all the ladies with a pink carnation  and everyone got a festive drink.  They also had  table set up with snacks in the reception area for us, which was really nice.  Everyone was so friendly, all smiles!  We had a little look around the main building while we visited with the rest of our group.  (It was a business trip for my brilliant hubby.)

 How cool is this?  Gene Simmons played this axe bass in Council Bluffs Iowa!  We were totally impressed by his guitar case!

 Is this Bon Jovi?
 Very cool, huh?
 There were quotes all over the place, including our room...I liked this one enough to take a photo of it. 
There were wonderful portraits everywhere!
 When we were ready they drove us to our suite.  We had a suite because Katherine was with us.  Here you can see the entry, the bar, the hall closet, a powder room and part of the dining room.
 This turned into Katherine's homework station....
 You stepped down into the living room...
 Check out the cool coconut sculpture and funky chair!
 This was our room...
 It was pretty big...
 Okay, it was really big!
 Those double doors lead to a bathroom that is bigger than my kitchen!
 And now to reveal Thursday's mystery....This is the lampshade on the wall beside the bed.  Pretty cool huh?
 When it came time for sleeping or afternoon napping the beds were awesome and more importantly...
 the pillows were rockin!
 I spent quite a bit of time out here...lounging and reading.  This is half of the patio.  I could see the pool and chat with everyone as they walked to the pool while Katherine was working on her school work.
 This little guy came to visit us at night.
 The Hard Rock was full of wonderful shops, bars, and restaurants.  We took the opportunity to try something new.  This is passion fruit.  It looks a little strange.  It has a very intense flavor.  To me, it was like sucking on a crunchy lime x 100.  Katherine really liked seed at a time.  We ate mangu, which kind of looks like mash potatoes and is a traditional staple in the Dominican.  It is made of plantain.  I liked it a lot.  I was surprised that most of the food at the resort was geared towards tourists.  Our wonderful waiter Hector said that on Monday one of the restaurants had traditional DR food. 
 The beach was my favorite part of the resort.  One of the cool things about this resort was how much personal attention we were given.  You see the two girls in the sand with white tank tops?  They were there to make sure we were having fun.  They did sand sculptures where we were sitting watching the volleyball game.  Then when the game was over the girl with the long hair took us out in the ocean further than we would have gone by ourselves.  She showed us how much fun it was to go way out and jump in the crashing waves. 
 This is my brilliant hubby who saved us from the winter for a week... (Thanks honey!)
 This was another one of my favorite spots at the resort.  It was just a few yards from our room.

There were so many things to do at the Hard Rock, but I did a couple things I had never done before.  I went to a disco...and danced with my brilliant hubby! So did some of our wonderful friends that were on the trip with us.  On the second night we were there a lovely lady in our group asked my hubby if he would do karaoke with her, he said no, but he promised he would find someone to do it with her.  So of course he searched high and low...LOL, he asked me...and how could I refuse after he brought me to paradise?  So every night  went to the Karaoke Bar and watched and on the last night I got up twice and sang two songs with her and another friend.  Sadly, you can only see a bit of my shoulder.  I must say it was so much fun!!!

This vacation was like stepping into another world.  It was very luxurious.  I felt special.  It amazed me that so many staff members in this 2,000 room resort knew my name or recognized me when they saw me.  A few times I was asked or my hubby was asked where the other was if we weren't together.  We all had an exceptional time.  I'm usually ready to come home at the end of a holiday, but I was sad to leave on this one.

I have one more post on the DR.  I'll show you a bit of our shopping adventure into a local village and our snorkeling trip.

(Thanks for sticking with me through all the pictures....I'm really using self control, even though it doesn't seem like it....)

If you happen to have a minute and thirty-five seconds to view my lovely daughter's first every youtube video, she would really appreciate it.  It is an original poem, set to music and pictures with her's wonderful!  (Not that I'm bias.)

Thanks, soooo much!  I <3 all of you!
What holiday have you taken that you didn't want to end?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Worth Getting Up For...The Dominican Republic Part 2

 I'm not an early riser.
 But when Katherine asked if we could get up to watch the sun rise over the Caribbean Sea, what could I say?
 We all got up at 5:45 and were out on the beach by 6:30.
 It was a bit cloudy, but it was worth it.  LOVELY!

 Foot prints in the sand...
Toes in the sand...
 Some resort wildlife.
 Some beach wild life... (Not me)

This is something we saw on our trip...What do you think it is?

Have an awesome rest of the week and weekend!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

An Unusual Arrival...The Dominican Republic Part 1

 From the moment we first saw The Dominican Republic we knew we were going to fall in love with it!
From its beaches...
 To its mountains...
 Approaching the airport was very exciting!  We were in for an adventure...
 Through the windows we could tell this would be a different kind of airport experience...
 The fire station gave us a clue...
 The walk across the tarmac to the gate gave us another clue...
 This was the size plane you would expect to see at the Punta Cana airport...
 This was similar to the size plane we landed on...
 The open air terminal was a whole new experience for us!

I must say my experience at the Punta Cana Airport was one of the most memorable airport experiences ever.  Some of you know that I am not an American Citizen.  I am still a Brit.  I have a green card.  I've been in the States since I was 8, but my Dad and Grandparents live in England along with my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins.  One day I'll become a citizen, but I'm not ready to give up my ties yet.  Anyway...As we were leaving the Dominican Republic I lost my green card.  I dropped it on one side of security and realized once I had passed through with my things.  The guards didn't speak English and I didn't speak Spanish.  I don't think I've ever been in such a panic.  My heart raced faster than it had ever before.  My hands shook.  I'm sure I was turning green! I thought I was going to get sick.  They found another guard who understood the term "green card" and "lost on the other side" and he went to look for it.  A lovely female guard came over with a big smile on her face and handed me my green card.  I almost collapsed in relief, then the tears started to flow.  My dear husband pulled me to the side to try and help my get it together before we went through customs...YIKES, what an adventure....I'll never forget the Punta Cana Airport because of its beauty and because of my travel adventure!

What airport will you never forget?