Sunday, 26 November 2017

Trip to the Dominican Republic 1: Getting there

THAT was a marathon! I shall break it up our trip photos into some manageable parts (see below). I have some fun stories, and some fun photos, as well as a number of critters I spotted. Grampa still hasn't seen many of our photos. I'm still uploading and downloading photos, sigh.

I noticed that many people on facebook have a pedicure before they go, and I had a mani-pedi, as I knew I'd be wearing open-toed shoes and I needed a professional job that would last.
I prepared for the trip by packing and repacking three times, and kept taking things away!

Here are our bags. Yes, mine is on the right. Caitlin packed for the three of them in the bag on the right. Seriously!

I am very fortunate to have gone with my daughter and two grandies. When you view something through the eyes of a child, it deepens the experience. I'm not much of a beach bunny, those deck chairs aren't comfortable with my back, but swimming with them was so much fun!


We began our long trip by hubby driving me into Ottawa. He drove home right away, avoiding the dark. The four of us (Caitlin, Josee, Izzy) took a taxi to the airport to travel from Ottawa to Montreal. We arrived around 9 p.m., and had to awaken at 3 a.m. to catch our flight to the Dominican Republic. 

By the time we flew from YOW (Ottawa) to YUL (Montreal), we were cold and tired. I shared my cape. The girls were already in the PJs, for a quick sleep time. When they began the safety talk, they both pulled out the info cards for our plane, and read them diligently.
We had to wait 20 minutes for the Holiday Inn shuttle bus.

Friday: 3 a.m. wake-up, to get to the airport!

On the plane!

Izzy and I sat together, and we shared pizza and cheese and fruit. I'd brought cardstock, for her to do a card for Grampa. She had a good read of our transportation itinerary. 

Then, after four hours, we landed in Samaná, the capital of the country.
We're at Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo!

Here is the airline tracker for hubby! You can track a map, in real time, of all airlines as they come and go. You can track all flights, or plug in the flight number, i.e., This is our flight to the Dominican Republic 1788, on the 17th!
It was a shock to the system. Clever people had brought tops to switch into, or just peeled off layers. I didn't anticipate how long all this would take, we had paperwork to fill out.

Eventually (10:50 a.m.), after customs and finding a spot on one of the three busses, we made it. There wasn't room on the two big busses for us, and we had to get on a smaller bus that was headed to a different resort, first. This meant that we had a look at the countryside, and the small towns.

The red in the rock, Josephine told us, was due to there being iron. Momma, the hydrogeologist, cofirmed this!

The first hours were tedious, here we were waiting for hours until the rooms were cleaned, ours was one of the last. We could have changed in the bathroom, but you don't get towels until you get into your room. Just a LITTLE frustrating for the kids. We didn't get our room until three-thirty, or so.

Finally, in we got to Villa #10. Actual china cups and saucers!

We visited the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, near Samaná!


8. Friday, and home!


coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I can never sleep when we have to do an early flight, so we don't bother with the hotel room. We just start driving at 1:00 a.m. usually to get to the airport (Toronto) and then wait three more hours for our flight. It's the worst part of the trip, the waiting. I feel for your granddaughters in those pictures, waiting for the room to be ready! In what area of the Dominican were you? -Jenn

Powell River Books said...

What a glorious trip, even with thunderstorms. I'm sure they build and pass quickly and it's still warm. When we went to Cancun it was that way. We had to get up at dawn (no flying during the dark allowed in small planes). We had to be at our destination by 10:00 am to avoid thunderstorms with lots of bumps and high winds. But it was fun and a trip to remember. - Margy

William Kendall said...

Lovely shots from there! Quite a trip to make!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Laterite; I love it. Seeing it takes me back to many of my tropical adventures. Getting there is always one of the trying parts of any trip - you were safe, you had fluid and food, and that place looks posh! Bring on the rest!!! YAM xx

troutbirder said...

Be careful. My knowledge of this island paradise is framed by the fact that twice my 16 year old grandson who lives in Arizona "was picked up by the police in the Dominica Republic for having 2 pounds of marijuana stashed in his rental car. He told me not to call his parents, sounded just like my grandson and needed eight hundred dollars for bail. Slow on the uptake it was a few minutes before I asked him to name his four siblings. I got a obscene reply and a hang up. Six months later the call lasted only a few seconds...:)

DUTA said...

Traveling to a foreign country is always exciting, especially when with family to share the 'adventures' of flying, hotels, attractions.
Take your time in sorting and posting the pictures taken along the trip.
I'm looking forward to your account of the journey and the photographic evidence.

Christine said...

Can't wait to see the next installment, what a lovely trip with family.

Olga Hebert said...

Loving those tropical scenes as I shiver here!

Nancy J said...

What a grand time you all had. Flight tracker, I did that when the family went from Auckland to Vancouver, they had a 2.5 hour wait on the loaded plane here, and engineering fault.That does not instil confidence to begin with. Then from Vancouver to home, another huge delay, snow everywhere, I kept giving them updates on the flight from Kelowna, it was delayed due to huge snow at Vancouver. looks like it was VERY hot. Is your man happy to have you home again? XXX

Red said...

That was a marathon. However, I'm sure you'll enjoy your time.