My husband Slava and I just went to Dominican Republic for some alone time, sunshine, beach and new adventures. DR is not a new vacation destination for me. Back in 2006 my friend Olga and I went on a crazy weekend together, literally spent 3 nights there and came back! Why would somebody fly out of the country to only spend 3 nights? The answer is my job and crazy schedules I work. We met her friends there, drank all day long and even took a trip on a pirate ship to some remote island. All in all it was crazy awesome, we laughed a whole lot and brought back bottles of rum and some questionable massage oil. Oh, and something called Mama Juana. Apparently, it is an aphrodisiac, but I don’t remember it living up to the hype.
This time my husband and I were going to meet his sister and DR is very Russian tourist friendly due to a simplified visa process. The trip didn’t work out for his sister, but did for us, so we went!
On Friday, January 4th we drove to Tulsa to spend the night to fly out bright and early in the morning. We stayed at one of the airport hotels with park-n-fly option to make our return as smooth as possible. Whole Foods hot bar dinner went very well with a bottle of Merlot and some truffle cheese that night, we even watched a movie in the room, some flick that had to do with a phone sex company and 2 girls being very successful at that. It was a legitimate, just out of theaters movie, nothing naughty, I promise!
Our flight to Punta Cana was very pleasant and before we knew it we were greeted by good looking Dominican girls wearing national costumes in the airport. My 2006 memories about the country included a shady taxi service and a quick drive through ruins and trash on the side of the road, but there have been a lot of improvement in the way things appeared and felt in 2013.
We arrived to Barcelo resort around 3 pm to our first surprise: our check in representative was Russian ! Just like that I felt back in my country as the guy wasn’t even trying to make us feel good or doing anything extra special, just half-ass doing his prescribed minimum. Typical customer service Russian style.
With room keys in hand we entered this crazy world of summer in the middle of winter, and so much more. My day would start with a treadmill run at a very hot and humid hotel gym. Once I ventured out of the hotel and ran outside, but the running temperature wasn’t much better , plus running in proximity to bushes and jungle made me all anxious, so I stopped. After my run I would quickly shower, wake up my husband Slava and we would have a leisurely breakfast at one of the buffet style restaurants. Portion sizes were outrageous, and somehow I returned home weighing 1 pound less. May be running 3 miles and swimming 2 hours a day had something to do with it. After breakfast we would become beach bodies until 1 pm. The beach was beautiful, the water was borderline cold right when you enter, but after a few minutes of swimming it felt just fine. At noon I would take part in beach aerobics, a pretty vigorous session of jumping jacks, lunges and other challenging moves, good workout actually. Once done with that, I felt free to indulge in as many rum cokes as humanly possible. Then quick stop at the hotel room to shower and have a beer, then lunch. Yes, buffet style, leisurely, guilt inducing.
After lunch we would go back to the beach for dance lessons, followed by swimming for an hour. Almost forgot! We had our siesta in the lobby bar every day, it was our favorite activity – have a post lunch drink and find comfort in one of those lounge chairs for a quick nap. We called them “petals” due to a peculiar shape and extreme comfort. Still remember psychedelic lobby bar music, so fun to just lay there hidden from sun rays, under breezy conditions, warm and relaxed. My husband said I snored a few times out of sheer relaxation. How embarrassing!
4 out of 7 dinners were at specialty restaurants. All I remember was thinking “these people don’t even come close to any chain restaurant in USA“. But we managed to eat well and ended up ordering a bottle of wine with each dinner out as Dominican wine is CRAP, impossible to drink even it was the last wine left on Earth after nuclear catastrophe. Drinks in general were pretty weak, but if you have 5 of them a day it works out pretty good!
The weather was divine with only one rainy day, or should I say rainy hour? Slava and I spent the hour splashing each other and swimming. Before we knew it the sun popped out again and stayed for the rest of the day.
Once we walked on the beach into the sunset and reached a fairly wild jungle, took a million of pictures, but being outside the US makes me worry about weird things like kidnapping and organ harvesting, you know? I was glad when we reached our beautiful and safe hotel grounds :)
We had a great time, however, comparing this vacation with our favorite Florida destination, Florida definitely wins! Pristine water and white sandy beaches of Destin, great times we had feeling safe and at home, going anywhere with no fear, cooking our own food or going out to eat exactly what we wanted – that’s the best vacation in my book.
I am very thankful for being able to just take off and go to far away lands. We did enjoy our trip and there are many reasons for it. I think the most important one is – my husband and I have fun together no matter where we go!
See ya later!