For your listening enjoyment - New Monsoon
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Punta Cana

After 53 years of working a job and the last 40 years in the HVAC Trade I decided it was time to take a break. All the years of working in a gas station, doing janitorial work, furniture factory machine shop work, silo building, railroad track laying and repairing, and  HVAC Engineering are now behind me.
As a parting gift my employer gave me a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic with a stay at the Dreams Palm Beach Resort.

On the trip it seemed as if I was being profiled at the airports. Upon Leaving Sacramento after passing through the metal detector I was diverted to the side where my palms and shoes were wiped down with a little flat pad. The pad was then inserted into a device with a digital graph display. My readout was basically a flat line at the bottom so I was allowed to proceed. I was also singled out for a pat down and swiped with a hand-held detector at the Atlanta and at Punta Cana airports. On the return trip, at JFK in New York, after passing through the X-Ray booth I was asked to step aside - they needed to check my leg! I was wearing shorts so my leg was clearly visible, but they proceeded to run their hands up and down my leg and squeeze it a couple of times until they were convinced it was real.

Upon arriving in Punta Cana we were directed to Immigration, a room with about 1,000 people standing in lines to get their passports checked. This is not an exaggeration!  Fortunately we had pre-purchased our tourist cards so we were able to bypass about 1/3 of the crowd. After about 45 minutes we were able to board the shuttle but had to wait another half hour for the remaining people on the tour.

The only time I had a window seat was on the flight from Atlanta to Punta Cana. 
This is an industrial area of Atlanta near the airport.

Little Boxes made of Ticky Tacky

Cumulus clouds over the Caribbean

Grand Turk Island

The Beach at Dreams Palm Beach

We had planned on kayaking, sailing and snorkeling however with what was tropical storm Matthew at the time churning up the sea and blowing a constant stiff wind we had to pass on all of those activities. Even at the beach, well inside the barrier reef the waves kept the ground crews busy removing the seaweed from the usually pristine white sand beach. At the left edge of the photo is one of the beach peddlers hawking their wares. Though persistent, there weren't as many as I have experienced in Mexico.

Palm frond umbrellas at the beach. 
The waves crashing over the barrier reef can be seen in the distance t the left edge of the photo.

One end of the large swimming pool which extends throughout the center of the resort.

Another view of the main pool.

The wind was constant at 30mph and above.

  The meditation hut was overseen by a Buddha made of some translucent material.

Buddha at night - rather strange in my opinion.

Garden of the Gods at night. One of the Gods can be seen seated on the lower right.

Each complex of four residence buildings had its own pool.
Our patio was by the light near the right side of the photo.
In the distance is one of the lounges.

Another night shot of the grounds. The main building with shops and restaurants is in the distance. 
To the right is a stage where bands played on some nights and they had Karaoke on other nights.

Saturday was Burger Festival day with a Burger Buffet on the beach and a local band.
The burgers were descent and the band was very good, covering many older popular songs.

Sunday morning, our last day there, the storm clouds began rolling through. Matthew was now a Category Five hurricane with the eye passing a couple hundred miles south of our location, although the edge of the cloud shield was very close to us. 
The next day it had turned north and was passing just west of Haiti where it did extensive damage and dumped 23" of rain on the Dominican Republic.

Some of the many flowers around the grounds.
I had recently bought a set of extension tubes for my camera to take macro closeups of the flowers and whatever else I might find. However, due to the wind, I was never able to use them. As it was I had to set my camera to take multiple shots each time to get at least one that was in focus since the subjects were moving around so much.


  1. For me, this place looks like a good spot to go flop down and do ABSOLUTELY nothing except eat and drink and talk and sleep... for about a month... when it's NOT hurricane season.

  2. That's pretty much what we did.
    It was an all-inclusive resort with a number of gourmet restaurants and huge buffet with Latin and French influenced items. It was so strange to walk in, order or gather food then leave without paying. Even the tips were included.
    The only thing we did there that cost money was a massage for two. Even for that, we had a two-for-one coupon.
    On the way back, at JFK we had a 2-1/2 hour layover. After going through all of the NSA bullshit we found a restaurant and ordered Philly Cheese Steaks for dinner. As we were waiting for them to arrive I noticed that the BS had taken over 2 hours. Our flight to Sacramento was boarding in 20 minutes! Yikes!
    So we got our $45 cheese steaks and fries in boxes and boarded the plane. By the time we had taken off and reach a point where we could open our trays the sandwiches and fries were ice cold - Yum!

  3. Back to cold hard reality there. :o[