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Punta Cana, DR

by dan.kronstal on January 29th, 2012
Reunited

Reunited

Our quick stopover in Santo Domingo featured some pretty spectacular hospitality by Armando’s family, which extended right up to the door of the bus. Our five hour ride to Punta Cana was pretty uninteresting, but in conjunction with a short cab ride, was enough to see us into our resort – the VIK Cayena Beach Club.

Our stay here is a Christmas/Birthday gift for Christina from Tito Greg, her uncle, who has provided timeshare-venue accomodations at other exotic locations for us and other family members in the past. We were expecting Carmela’s arrival at the airport within the next couple of hours, so we didn’t take time to get too comfy, although we managed to down a couple of rum and cokes before departing for the airport.

We're here!

We're here!

It would have been fun to hold a sign with her name on it, amidst the throng of other sign-toters, but we didn’t have a piece of paper. Her flight arrived on time, but Christina was so anxious and excited to see her, she was practically halfway leaned over barracade, straining to find Carmela in the crowd.

Birthday evening

Birthday evening

Carmela eventually emerged and we returned to the resort to get her checked in as well. We got tucked into our room, then tucked into some food at one of the five restaurants available at the resort, La Trattoria, an a la carte Italian spot – to celebrate Christina’s birthday. Later on in the evening with Cuba Libras in hand, we smoked a celebratory cigar by the pool.

Our bar

Our bar

Our week was spent loosely balanced between the beach and the buffet table, sprinkled with trips to the bar, pool, and dance floor.

Perfect weather

Perfect weather

The Dominican Republic is well known for spectacular beaches, and after walking along either side of our resort’s beachfront we could tell that ours was on one of the best ones.

 

Salsa with Camille

Salsa with Camille

The white sand was soft enough to feel like walking on cotton candy, and was decorated by grass umbrellas and lounge chairs as far as the eye could see.  Water in sarcastically bright tones of azure and turquoise, as well as palm trees extruding at irregular angles made the scene look like a cariacature of itself; like maybe it had been created as a set piece for a movie about fabulous beaches. Our accomodations at the “Beach Club” part of the resort instead of the attached hotel area allowed us, among other things, access to an exclusive area of the beach where we didn’t have to compete with the mass of guests for lounge chairs, but I still got up early each morning to ensure that we had our towels on the “best” seats, which meant chairs that were perfectly situated under private grass umbrellas.

Beach Club apartments

Beach Club apartments

Our club pool

Our club pool

Cayena Beach Club Restaurant

Beach Club Restaurant

Cool trees

Cool trees

Another beach shot

Another beach shot

Punta Cana mornings

Punta Cana mornings

The food was very good, and with five different restaurants available we had lots of options to choose from. The main buffet restaurant was good enough and varied enough to be our most regular choice, but the a la carte options had their chances as well. I did find that despite so many choices available, I regularly put together a fairly simple plate of rice, beans, chicken/beef, and salad. Very similar to the “pollo guisado” dish eaten by locals, and very similar to what I would typically make for myself at home. I’m afraid that we didn’t really pull our weight in packing away enough groceries to justify the “all-inclusive” meal plan. I did try and make up for it at the bar, and put away a fair number of gin & tonics and caipirinhas – both admirably suited to the beach.

Manager's Party

Manager's Party

On one of the evenings we were invited to the Manager’s Party, which was a special event only for guests of the Cayena Beach Club. It featured a nice selection of barbecued meats, live entertainment, and prizes. We won some small souveniers and a discount on an excursion (which we gave away to some other guests from Quebec), but missed out on the massage certificate (which we certainly would have used).

 

Our running track

Our running track

We went for a couple of morning jogs along the beach, and also visited the gym. I had been pleased to learn that there were tennis courts available, but we never got around to using them.

Yoga while drinking

Yoga while drinking

Instead, I focused on my ‘yoga drinking’ a trend that I can see taking off here in Punta Cana. We took quite a few photos and on one occasion had a bit of fun taking beach shots – which Christina has blacklisted from the blog.

Girls gone for a beachside massage

Massage Hut

The girls were keen on reading and napping in their lounge chairs and one afternoon got themselves a beach side massage.

Learning Merengue

Learning Merengue

I was keen on drinking some liquid courage and squeezing in some dancing lessons in, butt shakes and all.  In the evenings, we were treated to a different show each night.

Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson

There was a competition for “Miss VIK”, a Michael Jackson concert, complete with impersonator and back up dancers, and my favorite, a burlesque show. For a week where the three of us did nothing but relax, it went by all too quickly. Before we knew it, we were seeing Carmela off to the airport, thus ending Christina’s birthday extravaganza.

 

We’ll be in the area for a short time longer before our return, but do not have any specific plans beyond getting the last of our journalling and reading squared away. I’ve already got my first meeting for work scheduled, and it definitely feels nice to come home to some sort of routine. Our next post will most likely be the “conclusion” of this chapter of our lives, and include our reflections on our travels and experiences from the past year – a conclusion we will be sad indeed to author.

Fun on the beach

Fun on the beach

Too much energy

Too much energy

Yay!

Yay!

2 Comments
  1. Greg permalink

    Looks like you guys had a great time.

  2. Mom and Dad E. permalink

    All too soon to end! But this episode of your life will always be treasured forever… Only a few were given this chance to tour around the world for a year and thanks to you, we’ve shared in your journey through your blogs! Time to come home… we miss you a lot!

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