Snowbirding in Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana


We had traveled to the Dominican Republic’s Punta Cana last winter to break away from New York’s cold and gray and connect my daughter with the island of Mamá and Papá, where the air blows salty, the greens and blues amaze, and people treat you like they’ve known you their whole lives. For this trip, we were celebrating my husband’s birthday and getting our family and friends together all under one roof.

We stayed at a gorgeous villa in the Punta Cana Resort and Club where we greeted the day with generous cups of Café Santo Domingo, one of the island’s treasures and one of my favorite things on earth, on the poolside terrace and then fueled up with a royal breakfast spread of fresh fruit, eggs, toast, plantains, and batatas (sweet potatoes). Mornings went usually like this: We drove the golf cart to nearby Playa Serena which was an accurately named secluded spot with cool turquoise waters, sand as fine as flour, and a breezy beach front restaurant called The Grill perfect to grab a beer and snack after a dip in the ocean or some golf.

Club House

Flan de Limón

Playa Serena

We would then head back around noon to put E down for a nap and nab one ourselves. Lunch was served later in afternoon with another lavish spread that our lovely chef Timoteo put together. Every day’s menu was something different and divine. One day it was freshly caught grilled snapper from that morning, another a rustic Sancocho stew made with five kinds of meats and tubers.Feeding the goats

Mommy and me

A late afternoon dip in the ocean would end the day followed by drinks on the terrace and light fare. This trip was a reminder that even though my country has changed so much since the year I left back in ’98, there’s still so much that has remained intact: its insane natural splendor, the care of the folks who live there, the way it always seems to greet me with the such openness and warmth, whispering “Welcome home, child”

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