Beck and I left for Punta Cana today. Our flight was at 6.30am, so that meant we had to get up at TWO AM to get ready, load up and get to Lambert two hours ahead of our flight. We got to the airport check-in exactly two hours early, waited for them to open up (a little before 5am), and got our boarding passes. That’s when we looked behind us to see a ton of folks in line. Glad we were there early!
Then we had to wait for the TSA security checkpoint to open up sometime after 5am. That seemed to take forever, but we got through without any hassle, despite the bag full of camera gear on my shoulder. That delay though was still not enough to allow for the restaurants and coffee shops in the concourse to be open. Ugh.
We boarded, and started our journey southeast. Once again, I brought my iPod with me for the trip, and found that to be a great companion for the trip, especially after Beck took a Dramamine and snoozed off. 🙂
Upon arriving at the Punta Cana airport, we got through immigration, picked up our bags (last bags off the plane, of course), and caught our bus to the hotel.
Much like I noted in Jamaica a few years ago, I was struck at just how impoverished the Dominican Republic was. Unlike Jamaica though, there was a lot of trash along the roads, and folks dumping more as we drove by. The other thing that struck me was all the motorcycles — they were everywhere!!!!
We got to the resort, but were just a little too early to check in, so Beck and I ran off to get a bite of lunch. It wasn’t stellar, but was passable, and frankly, we were so starving… well, cardboard would’ve been acceptable! Once we got checked into the room, though, things started looking up. The room was very nice, with a sunken seating area and a big bed. Unlike Jamaica, this was a single mattress, rather than two mattresses pushed together with separate sheets. That alone was a big improvement.
The rest of the day, we wandered around the grounds, met with our Apple rep, and kicked back in the courtyard after dinner. Once again the food at the dinner buffet was just okay — nothing like the fabulous food at the Riu in Jamiaca. However, as we left dinner, one of the staff had a box of hand-rolled cigars at the ready, and between that and the free-flowing oporto, I was able to relax some.
After a while, we went back upstairs to find that we’d had a turndown service. Instead of mints on the pillows though, we had Halls Mentholyptus on the turned down sheets. I kid you not. Dunno if that’s what passes for candy in the DR, but if so, I’d love to be in the NyQuil business! 🙂