Wednesday, January 31, 2018

You are the Sunshine of my Life

Here we are in sunny Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. A nice winter getaway from the cold weather at home. We flew from Savannah,  changing planes in Atlanta. After a pleasant flight we landed mid afternoon at a modern airport and easily got our luggage and found our transportation to the hotel. We are staying at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

It is a huge property with beautiful grounds and lots of lagoons, ponds and rivers with lush landscaping. Our room is just beautiful and spacious with a large balcony overlooking a lawn with pond, palm trees and lots of colorful plants.

A full moon greeted us and a short walk took us to one of eight restaurants for dinner. All the food, drinks and tips are included so it is party time. After eating we took a tram ride around the property to see all 12 pools and more.

Woke up this morning to sunshine and warm breezes. Compare to low 30's at home, we are pleased. I spent some time out on the terrace and to my delight saw some birds. A pair of Palm Chats are building a nest in a palm tree about 20 feet from me. They are the National bird of the Dominican Republic. They build communal nests, but I only saw the two birds.

Then I noticed a woodpecker in another palm. He is the Hispaniola Woodpecker and he posed for a long time. I believe the one with a black head is the female and the full red cap is the male. At times there were four woodpeckers on the tree trunk.

Had a late breakfast and headed to the beach. There are many areas and all have thatched canopies for shade.

We found chairs looking out at the blue ocean and planted ourselves for several hours. Waitresses come around for drink orders and we napped, read and relaxed. I got my toes wet and took a nice walk before we had a very late lunch. On the walk “home” we saw some beautiful flowers and
a green heron.

Back at the room we are napping and getting ready to pick a restaurant for dinner.

We decided on Ipanema, a Brazilian Steakhouse. The restaurant is large with amazing salad bars and hot food buffet. Jeff was very happy as they came around with large skewers of beef, pork and more. Jeff’s, favorite was the sirloin and he enjoyed the pork loin also. I was fine with all the buffet items including peel and eat shrimp, salad, soup and stewed chicken with mashed potatoes. Afterwards we went over to explore the main lobby and found more restaurants and stores. The casino is there too. We started to walk in, but it smelled like smoke and I had just washed my hair, so that is not a place we will frequent.

We are back in our room and thinking about what to do tomorrow. Will involve the beach and more food.