3. Welcome to the Dominican Republic
We arrived in the Dominican Republic at around 10 p.m. Part of the excitement of visiting the Caribbean is flying over the island and watching that midnight blue water go to turquoise. American Airlines, thanks to your incontinent plane, we got none of that! You stole my joy!
We were ushered out of the plane, across the tarmac and to the airport gate. People lined up and there was an assembly line where you took a picture with two women in traditional dress, and then went on your way to customs. I have to say whoever thought up that one was a true business person. I am sure I looked like hell after spending an entire day in airports and on planes, but bless them for trying.
Customs was quick, which is to be expected. What the hell are we smuggling into the DR anyway? Clean underwear? Toiletries? We also had to pay a fee to enter (this was never explained), but I handed over the cash. Everyone knew English. It was "WelcometotheDomicanRepublicenjoyyourstay" (Stamp passport). Unsaid:nowgetthefuggoutsoIcangohome. I'm sure we were the last flight to arrive. Everyone looked tired of pretending they weren't tired.
The trip to the hotel was quick. Some of the other wedding guests were there too. I peered out of the window, but it was dark, so I didn't get to see everything. I just wanted to get checked in so I could go to sleep.
4. The Moon Palace
This place was unbelievable. The scale of the doorways and the height of the ceilings just made you feel insignificant. The hotel rooms had two person jacuzzis in the floors. The bathroom was massive, with a walk in Roman style shower. There was sparkling wine waiting in a container of water which would have been ice had we checked in at our expected arrival time. Everything was grand.
5. The one in which I become G the Mosquito Slayer
The only thing that sucked (you'll get the pun in a second) was when I discovered the swarm of mosquitoes in the bathroom. There were a bunch of them, and they weren't shy. Unfortunately, mosquitoes love me because of my sweet, sweet blood type. Instead of going through the usual pre-bedtime routine, I decided to knock out some of the population before they attacked me for a fresh nightcap. I clapped, chased and stalked mosquitoes. I found a bunch under the sink and when I got tired of hunting them, I went to bed. I had a few more days to lower their numbers. Besides, it seemed for every one I killed, five more would emerge to take over.
By the second day, my husband introduced the towel snap technique. Yes, the locker room trick, which ended up being very effective. I even designated one of the towels just for the purpose of killing mosquitoes. By the time we left, their spot under the sink was a ghost town.
5. Ghost Palace
Speaking of ghost towns, the resort was nearly empty...and I loved it! 1700 rooms and maybe 300 people? You could have an entire pool to yourself. You could hit the beach and see nothing but empty loungers. It makes me a little sad because I know if we go back, it won't be the same. There is something to be said about getting away from it all--especially when "all" includes other people.
6. Flight of balloon boy
We spent one afternoon watching the balloon boy saga. It seems like big things happen when we take trips. When we were in the Bahamas, the U.S. Navy ship was bombed in Yemen. Okay, never mind, that's a truly lame comparison. The balloon boy event was not a "big thing" at all, it's just that the hotel TV was receiving a local news channel from Denver, so we got to see live footage of a mushroom-saucer mylar balloon that allegedly had the boy in it for at least an hour. We watched it till the end when it landed and--surprise!--no one was inside. Hoax, I thought. As more came out about the parents, something seemed amiss. When the boy emerged from the attic claiming that he had hidden and taken a nap, I thought "bullshit." When the police officer decided to press charges on these idiots for wasting resources, I felt a little bit of glee. Okay, no, I felt a lot of glee. I am tired of people mugging for fame and shamelessly dragging their kids along for the ride. It's bad when your 6 year old is the one who tells the truth.