Detox: If there’s one word that separates my recent vacation to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic from previous vacations, it would be detox. Previous vacations, for one reason or another, required a vacation from the vacation. This one was quite different. I spent my days laying on the beach or poolside at the Melia Tropical Resort from September 30th through October 9th, 2012. The best part was the lack of connectivity to the rest of the world. There was no cell phone service. Well, I wasn’t willing to pay international roaming charges. There was no internet service. The internet service that was available for $15, which I paid for on the 5th day, right in the middle of the vacation, was somewhat spotty. And there was limited TV service. ESPN Deportes was not a viable option, which was only watched for the occasional review of the scrolling scoreboard, and even that took a little imagination to figure out. All-in-all, I spent the vast majority of the vacation disconnected from the world, enjoying my time in the sun (and shade). Between 4 and 6 hours of every day was spent in the ocean or pool. The swim-up pool bar was a nice touch, making things simple for those of us that like to enjoy a cocktail or two (or ten).
We did partake in a few excursions. Eric and I hit the links at the Cocotal Golf and Country Club. The rental clubs were a bit shoddy, which I’m using an excuse for the lousy round of golf, but the course itself was very nice. The rough, though not tall, was surprisingly thick and the greens were somewhat slow. I prefer a slow green, so that worked to my advantage. Eric requested I refrain from posting a picture of the final scorecard, which I will do. He ended up beating my by one stroke. Later during the trip we all went on a snorkeling trip. We enjoyed a few hours at sea and were greeted back on land with thunderstorms. The amount of rain that fell within such a short period of time was impressive. Even more impressive was the lightning and subsequent sounds of thunder. One lightning strike seemed to land quite close to the resort as there was no break between the lightning and the sound of thunder. However, that was the only daytime storm during the week, making for an enjoyable trip.
We flew American Airlines and were lucky not to be involved with any issues that have been plaguing them lately. However, they have the most uncomfortable seats I’ve seen (felt) during the past few years. The planes flown between Los Angeles and Miami had the old school tube TV’s running down the center isle. It wasn’t pretty and I don’t plan to fly them again. The resort itself was expansive and beautiful. The rooms and beds were clean and comfortable. The beach was filled with chaises and umbrellas made from natural materials. The pool was also quite large with chaises and natural umbrellas. Even better, it had a swim-up bar. The only complaint, and this isn’t really my complaint, was regarding the food. I’m not a food junkie, just give me some basic necessities like eggs, pasta, and bread, and I’m a happy man. But my friends that enjoy a good meal here and there were not impressed. The resort wasn’t at full capacity, which I would venture to guess is why we were always able to get a decent spot at the beach and pool everyday. I would recommend staying there during the month of October, before the busy season starts during November.
In the end, I relaxed and enjoyed the lack of connectivity. There was no need for a vacation from the vacation. If anything, I needed time to reacclimate myself to the hustle and bustle of work life. Now, if you’ve actually read all of this, enjoy some pictures from the trip.