Punta Cana - Dominican Republic April 6 - 13, 2023
Easter - Passover, what's the difference? A big meal, some story telling, lots of food, lots of family, lots of laughs and remembering the old times. That's what it is to me. I am lucky to be able to celebrate both. Passover or Pesach with my family and the Easter with the Mrs.'s side. In my experience, the only few real differences between the 2 is that Passover lasts 8 days and before the "last supper" you read from a pamphlet*** for an hour, whilst the hour before dinner at Easter is consuming cocktails. Oh yeah, and also that the Jews recall the story of how we were slaves in Egypt and finally free and at Easter we talk about the savior Christ and his glory, who of course was Jewish, and of course who was killed by the Jews through some peoples eyes. Quite funny actually. Then there's the no bread thing for me which always makes Easter tough. Anyhoo, we decided somewhat last minute to escape all of it, as the kids were off a fair chunk of school, and book an all inclusive to the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana for a week of fun in the sun and sand and gross disgusting pools that everyone pees in and spills their water downed drinks in. Does it seem like spring break for the American college kids is every week no matter what week you travel? We went with my brother and sister in law and their wallet suckers, so we felt better about the fact that they were spending as much as we were. We had a lovely room at a great resort called the Royalton Bavaro. So much food, so much to drink and way too much sun. I love the islands specifically, the people. The hotel staff at this resort were exceptional, they are there to please all of the guests and while they are mostly on island time, they come through. "Would you like a drink" asks Miguel while I am sitting on my shaded lounger, reading my book and every so often a head up tilt to stare at the sea. "Por qué no?" I respond. We then start to talk about baseball after he asks me where I'm from. "Toronto" I say, he says "Punta Canada!" I guess we are well represented. "Do you like baseball?" "Do I like baseball? I reply. He doesn't know how long this conversations is going to last! He mentions some old Dominican baseball player names like Rico Carty, Alfredo Griffin, Tony Fernandez, and Big Pappi, then I tell him Valdimir Guerrero Jr. Well, did he light up. Loves him, and of course his father, was a hall of famer who played for the Montreal team, and his son now plays with Toronto. I told him that Toronto was one of the first teams back in the 70's to come to DR to scout for players, San Pedro De Macoris was the major town. It continues to be a hotbed of talent and the list of both former and current players from here and all around the island is crazy. From such a small place, so much goodness. Miguel, Juan and Sheryl were amazing and they treated us so kindly, we had a really nice week and as I continued to sip on my tequila, I thought about baseball, my first Passover away from home, the joy it gives me to see the kids playing in the sea and on the beach and the reason we make these memories and how grateful we are to be able to. When the night comes and after all the music and nightly entertainment simmers down, the Mrs. looks over and says "Time for bed?" to which of course I say "por qué no!"
2 queen beds and a pull out sofa in a lovely spacious room with a balcony. They get fancy here with the tub in the middle of the room but it's a cute touch that the kids will talk about with their kids one day.
I got lucky on this trip and not just that kind of lucky, the boy slept on the pullout sofa and the Mrs. with the girl in their bed. Queen to myself! not sure how that happened, but I'll take it.
We stayed at a Royalton a bunch of years back in Mexico, so I had a feeling going in that I knew what my sleep was going to be like, assuming of course that the Canadian owned Royalton's would be using the same supplier throughout all their resorts. I was correct. Kingsdown pillowtop and a beauty. See Slammers blog here from a few years back - https://www.bedsplus.ca/post/slammers - Exclusive to the Royalton, this was a really nice mattress with a mini pillowtop that conformed beautifully to my body and really enjoyed sleep. Pillowtops can sometimes be too firm, with extra firm foam or way too soft with really soft foam. As you know by know, I am a softy, but too extreme of course is too extreme. Linens were nice 100% cotton and the mattress was decked out with a nice encasement and mattress protectors. The only downfall was the traditional box spring and metal frame the mattress was on. The metal frame had a warped leg and wheel and on a hard surface it moved a bit, not so lucky. When we checked out, we were asked how are stay was and besides telling them that we had an obviously fabulous time, I made the mistake of telling them about the bed. Mistake only because they had no idea what I was talking about trying to explain it to them and then the Mrs. was giving me shit that I talked too much and yadayadayada. Always recommending some sort of rubber cup or pad especially on a hard surface or a base that has a sturdier support, like a platform base or something solid that can handle the overall weight of both mattress and person.
What can one really complain about. I suppose if your expectations are set too high then yes, plenty to complain about. I have learnt not to set them overly high when it comes to places like this. I never really liked the "all inclusive" style of vacation. Many have you locked in to what they offer and not much variety in terms of food and activities. The food was excellent and bountiful, the service was great and the rooms were clean and freshish. You can wander the beach for miles and miles here. Great spot indeed. The biggest complaint would be with the company, but I even set my expectations lower here too! HA! We all got along great as we always do and had so much fun. Why not is a great way to live your life and I continue to be blessed with amazing adventures with kids, nephews and nieces, brother and sister in law and wives (meant wife) and all that. When in doubt, think about why not before you think of why. I really would recommend this resort and now that I have been to 2 separate properties in 2 separate countries, they do a great job. 🌞😎 🏐⚾🍹🥂🧉💤⛱
GREAT RELATED LINKS
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Major_League_Baseball_players_from_the_Dominican_Republic This list is exhausting but fun if you're a fan