We flew into Puerta Plata about 2:30 in the afternoon on a dirt airstrip. As we made our way towards customs, there was a band playing music that Andrew kept calling a Mariachi band. The resort we were staying at is about a three and a half hour drive from the airport, so we arranged for a transport service beforehand to meet us there. I was a little nervous that there would be some miscommunication because of the flight delays, but when we walked outside of the airport, there was our driver holding a sign with Andrew’s name on it.
I felt very VIP.
We loaded all our things in the van and were on our way. Our driver was so nice (if not a bit of a crazy driver – I thought we were going to crash several times) and would point out interesting things to us. It helped that Andrew knew Spanish when something didn’t translate right. The countryside was very beautiful, but it was very evident just how poor the country is.
About halfway there, our driver stopped and bought us some waters, cheese, and crackers from a local farmer. The cheese wasn’t bad, it just had a texture I’ve never experienced before. It was really juicy, which is a term I don’t normally use for cheese, haha. Here is a bad picture of me and said cheese:
It was a long drive and it was neat to see the less “touristy” areas , but I was so glad when we finally got to the resort. We checked in and there was a golf cart waiting for us to carry us and our luggage to our room. The resort was built on a big hill, so everything was up and down stairs – or you could call for someone to come pick you up on the golf cart, but we just usually enjoyed the exercise.
Our room was huge! The bed felt bigger than a king-sized and the view from our balcony was amazing. Everything was so green and lush and pretty. We always kept the blinds open so we could see the bay. There were several different pools, but we usually lounged by the one by the bay because it usually wasn’t very busy and there was a snack/bar. The Bahama Mamas were my favorite drink.
We visited the beach twice, but it was always a bit crowded and Andrew felt like he got more sunburnt down there. ;P They had a great snack bar as well with nachos, chicken legs, hot dogs and hamburgers and then a variety of fruits. We ate (and drank) so much that week.
They had a buffet and the food was a little mediocre. They had a huge bread bar which I really wish I would have taken a picture of; they had breads in the shapes of flowers and real long sticks. They had every shape and variety and I love bread! Haha
They also had some nicer restaurants where you were required to make reservations. We tried the French restaurant first and it was kind of “meh.” But it was fun to dress up – and I take any chance that I can to make Andrew dress up since he lives in shorts and a t-shirt. The restaurant was up by the main office, which we weren’t really around that often, but offered such a gorgeous view of Samana at night! So the food was eh, but the view was totally worth it!
We cancelled our other two reservations because a) we were either lazy and didn’t feel like changing out of our swimsuits and showering and b) I had a little too much to drink one day. :? We really spent most of the week relaxing. After a stressful summer, we really just enjoyed reading by the pool and napping on the beach. The beach really was pretty cool and for some reason this is the only picture I snapped of it. I guess I just thought it was so cool I was laying under a thatched hut umbrella thing. That’s what they’re called, right?
Andrew was approached by a scuba instructor and persuaded me to take a scuba class with him. I was a little unsure, but it was actually a lot of fun once I was accustomed to all of the gear, breathing underwater, and hand signals.On Friday morning, we met on the beach to take this sketchy looking boat out to another island.
We met a Spanish couple who were scuba diving with us. I’m not really sure why we took the class beforehand, because we spent the whole morning going through the class with the other couple. We already knew everything, so it didn’t really seem like the best use of our time. The Spanish lady was having some issues clearing her mask and following all of the instructions so it took a lot longer.
We finally took the boat out into the ocean. We jumped off the boat and began the descent. I could tell Andrew was having a blast, but about halfway down I wasn’t able to “equalize,” or pop my ears and adjust to the pressure. I had caught a cold the day before, and it hurt too much to go further, so I surfaced and waited for the others to finish. I was a little disappointed that I didn’t get to go all the way down, but Andrew had fun so that made it worth it to me.
Overall, a super relaxing week with my best friend in the sun!