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- Moderator/Palladium Expert
- Posts: 7231
- Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 11:22 pm
- Location: Ontario, Canada
Feb 4th 2014-feb 11th 14
As we were arriving late ( landed at 10:15 pm) we booked a private transfer ( IBK) very happy we did as we de planed far from the airport and were taken by bus to the terminal, by the time our bus was full they did not even have the stairs up to the back door of the plane! So we would have been even longer waiting for those travelers if we were taking the provided transfer! I must say we have come to love the private transfer regardless of when we land, we find the older we get the more we want the convenience of the private transfer! No issues with IBK they were there with the sign for Hardy boys! ( Brinley the owner always tells me the sign will say hardy boys which is my email address but the sign usually says Susan Hardy, but this time it said hardy boys, the porter was like is that really your last name LOL! From the time the plane hit the tarmac to the resort was 1 hour! On entering the lobby I was surprised to hear a cheer go up! It was Bria and her husband waiting for us! We had met them I believe last Feb and it was so nice to see them again, but sadly they were leaving the next day. The bell man was not there to bring our bags to the room so we went to the main pool bar to say Hola to Sandy and Luis and to have that first drink in our favorite place , the bellman came along with our bags and Glenn followed him to our room which was 5041 3 rd. floor last room before the presidential suite ( awesome view) also it is the only renovated room in the old section as it is the mock up for the proposed renovations (not sure if they will keep the décor as the bavaro has been renovated and the royal being the higher end should be better than the rest, that saying the room was lovely! Sadly I took pictures of it on my phone as it was late and most of them did not turn out and the maid never did put all the pillows back on the bed, I know I could have for a photo pop but I was just too lazy). After the pool bar closed we went to the lobby to see Miguelina and Elva:0) and then back to the room to sit on the balcony and listen to the surf and the far off sounds of the disco in the village next door all is good, happy to be back to our second home and away from the nasty winter we have been having in sourthern Ontario .
A bit of rain and overcast but it is WARM! We went to the lobby to see Bria and her husband off, so sad they have to go home. Went to the main pool to chill until dinner. Went to the royal for dinner, the terrace as is my preference, we met Zak and Mike ( Zakattack) and another couple who are PA members who lurk I am really sorry that I can’t rember their names. Anyway we spent the rest of the evening with Zak and Mike, really nice young guys (funny they are just a few years older then our son but on vacation it does not matter the age of the person LOL)
Spent most of the day by the main pool just enjoying the sun and the warmth! Have decided that the first table with the shade on the left of the pool is our fave table, it’s a great place to people watch :0) We went to the RG again as the French terrace was full, since we ran in to Zak and Mike in the foyer of the RG we decided to dine together ( always love when that happens, we get to dine with friends without making plans, hate to make too many plans when on vacation) I had the fillet stroganoff ( never had it before, yes it’s my 13Th trip and I have not tried everything on the menu!) it was awesome! Will defiantly have it again next trip! The Sax player was playing during dinner again (was also there the night before) and it was lovely! After dinner we parted with Zak and Mike and headed to the main pool bar, it was great as expected but we or at least I was thinking about last Feb and the large group of PA members waiting for Steve and Cindy to arrive (missed everyone, Marty and Shawn, Doug and Diane, Steve and Cindy)
Glenn had promised his buddies at work a web cam wave so at 11:15 Ontario time we waved, other guests probably thought we were nuts waving at the building! And it turns out his buddies were unable to see it as the internet cut out at Gann’s work just before we waved! Dinner again at the royal because of the wait for the terrace in the French (I smoke so prefer the terrace, plus its much better ambiance out there IMHO) we met a new Jeff, Ruben and he is awesome! Much like Juan who left (apparently he was in room service before, I am sure his talents were wasted there and so glad he is in the RG now) Freddy is training to be a Jeff and while looking nervous looks awesome in his new role!
Another great day doing nothing but sitting by the pool and people watching! One passerby asked if I was Susie :0) another PA member who lurks :0) Dinner at the French, we had to wait about an hour as everyone had just been seated on the terrace, ( note the terrace at the French only has about 7 tables, the royal probably has double that number) but that was fine as we were seated at the little sitting area on the far side of the French and they were bringing us cava :0) We could have been seated immediately on the terrace of the royal but I wanted the French as we were going off resort for dinner tomorrow. We had the Chateaubriand and the cheese fondue it was awesome! We shared the crème Brule for dessert, delicious! Sax player is playing again so all is wonderful! Our waiter was Micelles and the service was awesome! The rest of the evening was at our five spot and it was an enjoyable evening as we always have fun together.
Another day of blissfully doing nothing other than sit by the pool and take the occasional dip in the pool, breakfast pool side and then they bring out the mini pizzas for lunch, a trip to the lobby to see what food they are offering there…………. Then Glenn would go to the snack bar in the PC section on the beach and bring back chicken wings in the bubba mug as they are also great for keeping food hot ( not that it’s really an issue in PC as even when he brought back wings and fries on a plate the fries were still hot enough for me ( I am the queen of sending fries back in restaurants here at home as they are only worth the calories if they are hot) at 5 our driver picked us up ( IBK) to head to Hague for dinner at our friends house they served us Sanconcho which is a traditional Dominican stew that is time consuming to make and is delicious! Typical to Dominican hospitality they invited our driver and the neighbours in for dinner :0) our driver didn’t mind that we were a little over our 4 hrs. that we had booked as he was having a great time as we all were! If anyone invites you to their house go! Awesome experience! We have already been invited back for dinner on the next trip. We did not stay too late as we were heading to Santo Domingo the next day... When we got back to the resort we had a drink at the pool bar and said goodbye to everyone in case we missed them on our day of departure, then on to the lobby to again say goodbye.
Up bright and early to board the bus to SD, had just enough time for a for breakfast at the RG. We get on the bus and guess what we are the only English speaking people on the bus LOL even the oriental looking couple speaks Spanish! ( everyone’s speaks Spanish) which of course is fine but it became comical as the tour guide would do his sepal in Spanish and the go “ English speaking people” and repeat LOL
First stop was at the cathedral in Hague lots of history here, the tour guide was telling us that people make pilgrimages to this cathedral often walking great distances and then crewing on their knees from the entrance of the parking lot to the cathedral itself! Women are not allowed to enter the Cathedral if their knees are not covered and there is a lady outside proving skirts for those not suitably dressed. Thankfully to TA I did know that and I wore Capris pants and Glenn wore long pants. While we are not Catholic nor really church going people we really appreciated the Cathedral and on our exit they had many tables of candles lit in memory…………………..We lit one in our daughter Rebecca’s memory as the day we were there was the 8th anniversary of her funeral, it was very special and even now typing this it brings tears to my eyes.
Our next stop was at chevron de altos which is a recreation of an 18 century Mediterranean village, lovely views and they have an amphitheater there where big names play. We had lunch there, had the plate of the day which was typical Dominican food and it was really yummy and we were really glad we shared one plate as it was tons of food! We continued on and arrived at the fiesta hotel in SD about 2 and we had lunch (lovely outdoor area to eat overlooking the pool which looked awesome) and then checked in to our rooms, rooms were fine, basic hotel rooms but we were not going to be in them long anyway. Next back to the bus for the shopping trip…………..had to wait on the bus while certain guests were getting their kids vegan drinks at the bar GRRR I wanted a bottle of water and DH, concinnities as he is hurried me to the bus, only to sit there to wait for the family with the kids with the virgin drinks! Headed to the shopping mall, took way longer then they said partly because the bus driver kept going the wrong way and it was rush hour! And speaking about rush hour, nuts in SD! We were stopped at a light and a taxi actually did a U turn in front of us! After watching all the bad driving from the bus I know I will never get Glenn in a taxi LOL. So we get to the mall and we have 2 and ½ hrs. to shop. First store I see is Cartier :0( not a good sign, we tour the mall and the only store I would want / can afford to shop at is Aldo shoes but Glenn tells me I don’t need shoes ( anything else I buy he does not care but he thinks I have too many shoes!) Any way he tells me that if I buy shoes I need to leave a pair behind LOL. So it took us 30 min to see all the stores in the mall, so now what next? There was a cute little eating area in the middle of the main floor, not a food court but a restaurant , decided to go for a drink, found the tour guide there and sat with him, decided that drinking there till it was time to leave was going to be cheaper then buying anything in this mall! For info it is called the blue mall, don’t go there unless you want to spend a lot of money that said my Clarions eye cream was the same price as at home.
Back to the hotel and dinner, it’s a small buffet, kind of like the royal buffet, adequate but not great. Drinks at the bar, they actually ran out of white wine!! Had to drink red!
Up early to tour Santo Domingo old city, all I can say is awesome! Defiantly recommend it, but would recommend a small group or hiring your own guide as I would have prefer longing longer
Only downside was the really bad kids on the bus, the parents did not care what their kids did, in fact one of the dads was worse than the kids! Making them louder and louder! I finally (after many times looking back and shaking my head in discus) actually yelled at them to be quiet which is totally out of character for me.
We arrived back at the resort about 4 pm and had about 4 hrs. Until our transport was to pick up up, we lazed by the pool until it was time to leave, in the lobby and at the last possible moment we meet northern! And his wife! Off to the airport and our driver is Pedro, the same guy who took us to Higuey