Dreams Resorts, Punta Cana

We left Ottawa for Punta Cana, Dominican Republic on July 11th, flying Air Canada to Toronto and then direct to Punta Cana from there.  We met Matt & Sarah and their friends Kyle & Jaylee at Lester B Pearson International airport in Toronto.  We sat on the plane for two hours in Toronto because of weather delays and then computer problems as well.  None of us could understand why Air Canada would load a plane full of people and then sit at the gate with the doors still open for two hours while a huge storm front blew through the area.  Someone definitely dropped the ball on that one.  We checked all our bags except one carry on each.  Of course mine was all my camera gear which fit nicely in the overhead storage bin.  We kept ourselves entertained watching movies and TV shows on the in seat TV screens.  Our flight went very smoothly once we finally got off the ground.  We arrived in Punta Cana after dark.  The heat and humidity were incredibly high and it didn’t take long before I was soaked!  
Dreams Resort Swimming Pool
We breezed through Customs & Immigration and were soon on a small shuttle bus for the hour long drive to Dreams Punta Cana Resorts & Spa.  Our driver turned it into quite an adventure.  We all agreed later that our driver would never attempt to pass anyone until he saw headlights from an oncoming vehicle.  Some type of challenge for him I suppose.  He knew what he was doing though because we all arrived unscathed. We arrived quite late, just before midnight and went straight to our room.  We had a nice room on the third floor of building 3 with a king size bed and balcony overlooking the pool.
Wasps Nesting in Palm Tree
The above link to Dreams will show you the hotel.  This is the first time Chris & I have been to an all inclusive resort like this.  We didn’t have to pay cash for any food or drink at all.  There must have been at least 6 different restaurants to choose from at the resort.  We ate most of our meals at the World Cafe in the main building, which offered a huge sit down buffet for breakfast, lunch and supper.  However, we also tried other seafood and steak restaurants on site.  We never did make it to the Japanese restaurant.  There were also hamburgers and hot dogs with all the trimmings served outside at several BBQ areas during the day and tons of fresh fruit, all free for the taking as well. Much of our  time was spent around the huge swimming pool that snaked through the middle of the resort.  There was even a swim up bar!  The kids basked in the sun while us older types sought shelter from the sun.  We still managed to get a little pink though.  
Chris & I both enjoyed strolling on the sandy beach and swimming in the Caribbean.  We had both brought our running gear with us but frankly it was just too hot & humid to run outside.  Most days temperatures were around 44C with almost 100% humidity.  Staff told us the weather didn’t vary much throughout the year either.  There is a nice gym and spa on site but we decided to stay outside as much as possible.  Our best day was when ten of us went on an excursion into Punta Cana.  Our excursion included snorkeling, SNUBA (kind of like SCUBA) diving and speedboating.  We had to pay extra for that but it was worth every penny.  We left the hotel around 1 pm and didn’t get back until after 9 pm.

Sarah and Matt’s wedding was on July 16th around 7 pm and went off without a hitch.  It was a very hot day under the huge outdoor gazebo where the ceremony was held.  Sarah was absolutely stunning in her wedding dress and Matt looked very posh in his white tuxedo as well.  The ceremony was a small, quiet affair which only took about ten minutes.  We all toasted their marriage with champagne while still under the shelter of the gazebo.  That’s when a thunderstorm rolled through and drenched the area.  Thankfully, we were all still under cover.   After a few photos on the resort’s main staircase,  it was upstairs on to a protected outdoor patio for a lovely supper.  I took lots of photos and am slowly working my way through them all in Photoshop.  I’ll post some here and the rest will all go to Smugmug.