Wayne Konrardy’s Dominican Republic Vacation Review!

Wayne on his way to the Dominican Republic!

It’s Valentine’s time again this year and maybe you’re finding yourself not quite up to snuff in the romance department. Lucky for you we have a romance pro here at Runde’s who has treated his wife with love and care for over 45 years. Wayne Konrardy is the definition of a nice guy, an expert when it comes to caring for his family’s happiness &  a voice of authority regarding where to go for vacations. This year he traveled to the Dominican Republic with his wife  Mary to celebrate their 45th anniversary. Take some notes from Wayne and learn how to do vacation right and keep your significant other happy from Wayne!

Where did you go this time Wayne?
The Dominican Republic

Was that the first time you’ve been there?
This is the 4th time. We go to a different resort every time. We first went there in 1980-something. We’ve been to Iberostar, Dreams Punta Cana, Dreams Palm Beach and this one – the Now Larimar.

On the way to a week of relaxation

You like any of them more than the other?
I like both of the Dreams and I like the Now Larimar.

Are there a lot of Americans there?
When we first went in the 80’s there were very few. Now it’s mostly Americans. I think they said it was only about 5-10% before. Now it’s over 50% I would guess.

Who all went with you?
It was just my wife and I. My neighbors all know when I’m gone because they are all out shoveling by themselves. They also say that every time I go a storm comes.

Was there an occasion?
We were celebrating our 45th wedding anniversary.

Did you treat her good throughout the entire trip?
Oh yeah! I have to, or else she wouldn’t stay with me!

Do you go out of the states a lot to celebrate your anniversaries?
Yes. We always go out of the states, somewhere where it’s warm, and we always go somewhere different. We’ve gone somewhere every year for 22 years for our anniversary. We’ve been to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Hawaii… we just like to go someplace warm where we can go for a week without a lot of flying time.

How long were you in the Dominican Republic?
Seven  Nights. We went in January and it was 83 degrees every day while we were there. There was a snowstorm here in Dubuque and we were sitting on a beach enjoying ourselves.
You were really missing out on all of the slippery roads and terrible weather…

See any customers while you were there?
Yes. I saw a customer that I sold to from Mexico on a previous trip. I met him in the airport and they were going to the same basic area that we were going to in the hotel right next to us.

Do you often run into customers on your vacations?
Just about every time! I always run across someone I know.

Seems like you just can’t run away from work, it follows you wherever you go!
Yeah, but it’s always nice to see my customers.

Where did you stay?
The Now Larimar Resort. It’s a really nice, all inclusive, hotel. We opted to upgrade to the “poolside view” for about $30 more. It gave us a much nicer view on the bottom floor and we could get outside right away. The service and everything was wonderful.

Notice any cultural differences?
Everyone is really outgoing and friendly. You’re not supposed to tip there, but we did because we were used to doing it in the states. We  gave because the service was so great and I wanted to let them know that they made us happy.
That’s something that I learned many years ago in the car business – if you’re nice to people and you treat them good, they’ll come back to you when they need something.

Hobie Cats cc licensed ( BY SD ) flickr photo shared by mcclouds

What did you guys do while you were there?
We went out on what’s called a Hobie Cat, it’s kind of like a small sail boat. We love to snorkel so we also went snorkeling. We have our own snorkel gear so we take it with us when we go on vacation.
But we’ve done everything there already from our previous trips so mostly we just relaxed, mingled with other people and had fun.

Do you go pretty deep when you go snorkeling?
My wife gets sea-sick so there’s no way I’d go far down with her. I’d be nervous going down really far without someone who is an expert and can explain things very clearly. I’m very happy just snorkeling right on top.
I’ve been to some areas where I’ve walked right out from the beach and saw everything I wanted to see like puffer fish.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve seen while snorkeling?
Shark, Sea Snakes, Barracuda’s, Octopus, and a Manta-Ray – that was probably the most exciting thing I’ve seen.

Wayne enjoying dinner with his wife Mary

Were you nervous at all when you saw the shark?
No, I probably should have been, though. I got more nervous when I saw the Barracuda. I got myself between that and my wife and took her back to the boat right away. I told the guide with us that there was a Barracuda and he said they are friendly – I was thinking “yeah right!”

Do you guys meet a lot of interesting people on these trips?
We’ve met people from Russia, Canada, Chili… we’ve even been invited to some people’s houses if we were to ever visit the city they live in! We met a lot of really nice people.
We met one girl who was on the activity committee there that came up to me and said “I remember you, you were in the Dominican Republic two years ago. I remember your happy face.”
It’s funny how everyone is so outgoing and friendly on the trip, but as soon as they get back on that plane they stop being so bubbly and outgoing because they realize it’s time to get back to work and reality! It’s too bad that we can’t feel like we are on a vacation every day because people would be a lot happier.

The View wasn't too bad...

Any particular events that you went to?
We went to a lot of shows that they put on near the resort. They had great shows every night. Mostly we went there for relaxing, walking around the beach, going out for great supper then going to a show at night.

How did you get around? Cabs?
No, we had so much fun at the resort we didn’t need to leave!

Did the beaches have white sand or brown?
White. White and powdery. The beach there was probably one of the nicer beaches we’ve been to. It was very nice, and I’ve seen a lot of beaches. The water there was really pretty, and I’m color blind, so if I think it looks good, it looks pretty good.

Did you eat any interesting or unique food there?
I ate a lot of steak and my wife ate a lot of seafood. We went to Japanese, French, and Italian restaurants, they had them all there, it was really great. I had a desert, and I still don’t know what it was. It was a giant brownie with a bunch of different flavors. I told them “whatever it is, get me one more if it!”

Wayne & Mary enjoyed snorkeling and walking on the beach.

How highly would you rank your vacation?
It would definitely be on the top 15. I’ve been on a lot of vacations and been to a lot of different places.

What was the best vacation you’ve been on?
I think the trips to Disneyland with my grand kids were my top trips. Also up there is when I went with my sons to Mexico.

What’s #1 on the list of places you’d still like to visit?
I’d probably like to go to Italy and see Rome. I’d also like to go to Normandy and Germany.

Any plans for next year?
I’m going to go to Washington DC. I want to see all of the monuments. The World War 2 Monuments and everything else there is to see there. I’m still not sure where I’ll be going for my January/February vacation.

The mysterious giant flavorful brownie

If someone were interested in going to the Dominican Republic for the first time, what would you recommend to them?
I’d tell them to make sure they pick out a good resort. Find a place where you don’t need to make reservations to eat. That’s basically it. I don’t go much by the reviews on trip adviser and those online sites because I found out that the people who are displeased are usually the only ones that fill out those reviews and the ones that were happy don’t feel a need to fill out anything.

This is the Russian Girl who loved Mary's flower.

Who was your travel agent and how highly would you recommend them?
I go to Sharon Pitts from House of Travel. I think she’s phenomenal. I’ve gone to her for 20 years now. She does everything exactly the way you would like it. I would highly recommend her.

Anything else you’d like to add about the trip?
You know what amazed me the most about this trip? This has probably been the neatest trip as far as people go. We met some young people from Russia. This young girl came up to my wife and she said “Your flower is beautiful, I love flowers, too” then she held out her hand and said, “My name is Veronica, I’m from Russia, where are you from?” we told her from the United States. So she said “I like Americans” and we told her that we like Russians. She then explained how they traveled 11 hours on a train and 12 hours on an airplane to get to the Dominican Republic. Things like that take you by surprise.

Any special plans for Valentine’s Day?
I’ve got five girls to buy stuff for, but no I don’t think there’s anything too special. I’ll take my wife out someplace nice to eat. She’s not big into the candies anymore. I’ve learned to buy her flowers only for the weekdays so they last long at work where she can look at them.

Thanks for sharing your most excellent adventure with us Wayne. You’re a constant reminder of how to have a good time and treat family right!

5 Comments

  1. Yeah Wayne!! I loved reading this. You are an inspiration and need to call my husband a little more often to gently nudge him and give him tips and suggestions!! By the way, when you book that trip to Italy, better make plans for us to tag along also. Italy is on my vacation wish list. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. Great article!!

  3. great interview, brother. First class.

  4. Seeing as my left hand is so much larger than my right hand from catching your fastball over the years, do you think the other tourists would make fun of me? Could you maybe send a note of explanation with me when I travel? I hope you didn’t have a mouthful of Diet Pepsi when you read this one! 😉

  5. Your one week vacation to the Carribean sounds great, Wayne! We are also enjoying sunny weather in AZ, for 12 weeks! I highly recommend it.


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