9 May 2011

No, No, No, No!! I'm not ready to go yet!

March 2007 - (DR Trip, part IV: the final chapter)

Well we made it back!  Sometime after 4 in the morning I said good night to my dear friend Stephanie and I strolled back to my room (after that crazy "Mangu" club experience).  My sleeping roommates were both light sleepers (how unfortunate). And although I tried to exercise consideration, let's be honest, I was likely very much like a bull in a china shop trying to get ready for bed.  Having just gotten settled, only three hours thereafter, Quinn and Terri were up and ready to start the day.  Not wanting to miss out, I too made my way to breakfast.  Besides, I am the queen of naps. Just had to get to the beach ;)

Today would be the Newfoundlander's last full day with us.  Early morning exchanges of email, led to making plans for the evening disco.  Both Stephanie and I had started our day rather rough (hers definitely far worse, after receiving some sad news from home) and although we had talked so bravely last night about leaving the resort today to explore, we had obviously come to our sense's with the return of the sun this morning, phew. After a few more interactions, we were eventually on the sand being taken care of by Thomas.

This day was a slower pace than those previous, us taking time for hydration and additional naps. Just before the daily rain, two of us took the short jaunt to Playa Dorada's shopping centre.  I was on the hunt for an oil painting, a few small trinkets for the fam and hoping to mail a couple of postcards. The paintings were vibrant (such colour), the canvas had texture and I couldn't look at them without feeling I was right here, in the DR, on vacation.  In the end, all things were accomplished and as for those paintings, I couldn't settle on one, so I purchased three  ;) 

The day led to evening, which meant dinner first followed by dancing.  Tonight's menu choices were Mexican dishes and although resorts are mostly cautious when it comes to spices in their food, my palate got a jolt this evening.  The lesson here is to read the cards in front of the food, or ask questions.  And for future reference, the red sauce along side the nacho bar likely  ISN'T salsa ... you've been warned :P my lips were nearly burnt off even before the nachos touched my lips and please don't get me started on my swollen taste buds lol.  'Holy, Hot Sauce'...I guess so!!

Almost immediately after dinner, we strolled down the coral lit pathway toward the beach.  The sound of disco music filling the night air put a smile to our faces.  Once inside it wasn't difficult to find the Newfie Girls, not only could you identify Tracey's laugh, but their table was absolutely packed.  Enjoyed a few cerveza's, a couple twirls around the dance floor, posed for a few pics and that was that.  Stephanie and I reminisced of our time together this week for only a minute. Tanya reminded me again that I should come to Newfoundland (NL) in August during their festival. We all promised we'd stay in touch.  And long before the music ended, we NB girls made our way back to our room (with a happy, yet heavy heart...'will I see them again'? I'd hoped so, but you always wonder).

It was during this period that we said good-bye to Cruz and his family, Cathy and Tony (also from Newfoundland) and a few of the disco staff (just in case we didn't make it back down tomorrow night).

AMIGAS...we go home tomorrow :(
Early to bed, early to rise.  ;)  We had lots to do today, but it was so relaxing to just stay in bed and stare out the patio doors at the blue sky, blocked partly by palm trees, listening to the symphony of tropical song birds.  *Stretch* *Yawn* ... vacations are wonderful :)  Well, enough of that lol, let's get up!  We needed every spare minute we could get for our last full day in Puerto Plata.

Breakfast first, followed by a final stroll up the beach.  The beach here is lined with resort fronts, every area assigned to a specific group of vacationers.  Some parts sandy, some wavy, some filled with coral ... but all of them had people offering things to sell you.  "Looky, looky for free" "I can make you fly" "banana boat rides".  But the most notable question of the day was "swim with me?"  My best guess is that it was like some dating challenge and the question was to be asked by every local boy to every vacationing girl.  My 2nd best guess is that almost every girl said "yes" and agreed on a time to swim to be able to walk away from the conversation, only to not show up later ("to swim" ... I'm still not sure what that meant, not exactly, but I have ideas lol).

Our beach time always included a "hello" to Thomas, today was no exception.  The time now 10:30 am, the sun shining full and the temperature feeling hot, hot, hot (and I had acquired 3 swim dates for the afternoon during our short walk hahah).  Thomas was prepared to find us chairs and get us settled, but with apologies, we would have to return a bit later.  Oddly, someone had taken our usual beach location.  That's weird.  We'd sat in the same spot since arrival and now two guys from Norway had acquired our space.  No hard feelings, it's all still beach, just very peculiar that these pretty boy's would want our spot (-noted).

We were collectively back on the beach within the hour.  Thomas was excited to see our return and immediately took our bubba kegs to get filled with Banana Mama.  What a spectacular place.  Our afternoon consisted of swimming, napping, applying sunscreen, saying good-bye to our new vendor friends, trading and bartering as much stuff as we could and getting to know those two guys from Norway.  Since their arrival we had nicknamed them, considered them 'eye candy' and thought for sure that they were vacationing in our Privado section "together". 

Just the same every afternoon, the skies opened up and the pelting rain drops drove us from the beach.  Stopping to visit Noroberto for a few cerveza's in our Privado section before realizing that the clouds were still there but the falling water had ceased.   Nothing like an opportunity :)  Before any one of the three of us could even think about it, we dashed for the huge swim up bar ... this being the last day here and not having experienced it yet, there was no time like the present.

It really is exactly as it sounds. You get in the pool via a ladder.  You swim, walk, paddle, float your way across to the other side. Once there, a bartender in a bar with a thatched roof awaits your arrival.  You take a seat on the concrete stools that are just slightly under water and you order your beverage.
You sit, you order another. You meet other people doing the same.  You realize that your smokes are on shore, 'no problem,' the bartender has smokes and lighters right there for you.  This allows you to sit and order yet another, all the while meeting some very fascinating people. 

Ramon and Evelyn were our bartenders this afternoon.  He wasn't married but lived with 6 brothers in a shared house.  Evelyn was married with four kids.  They were working on their English and seemed to enjoy our company (and my pathetic attempt to speak Spanish with them lol).  We then met Janese.  She was from New York City.  She was vacationing with her two kids and I must say that I remember every detail about this glamour gal.  After sharing many laughs, stories and invites, we girlies decided to get out of the pool and find some eats.  I loved the swim up bar.  I still continue to look for those when I'm planning to stay at an all inclusive resort.

Noroberto left the buffet out for our return (he was absolutely the sweetest).  A little lunch, a little H2O and we decided that since we were already in our swimwear we might as well continue in the jet pool of the privado Royal Club section.  HA. Funny.  The Norwegians also shared the same idea (coincidentally).  It's here that we learned that they weren't a couple ;) oops.  And they shared their strategy with us from the beach earlier today.  Seems the taking of our beach location was on purpose so that they could meet us. Brilliant.  And when we turned and left the beach after our brief stop to talk with Thomas, they thought for sure they'd ruined things. They were as pleased as Thomas was when we returned.  Tricksters.  And only because I'll never spell their names right, they're pronounced:  "Drawg-oover and Bure-ta"  We named them "Dawg and Robert".  What a fun time in that pool. The rain returned, sheets of it, didn't even notice. 

We swam there until 7 or so.  Quinn and I only paused briefly to visit our Air Transat representative, Nicole.  She had the details on how we were suppose to proceed with departure tomorrow.  Funny how both of us wished we'd taken notes during this visit...it'd been a long day hehehe.  We left the pool with dinner plans to meet up with Dawg and Robert in the Italian place for 9pm but we girlies had some very last minute shopping to do first.

Our souvenir excursion had left us a little late for dinner.  Better late than never, we arrived to find our dinner guests had somehow been seated in the luxury white leather corner VIP table.  Hmmm...maybe Dawg wasn't telling stories when he boasted of his financial prowess?!  I thought him telling me was a very unlikely vacationing fish story...but the extravagant seating, specialized menu and private servers suggested that maybe he was who he said.  Regardless of who's who (they weren't gay and he was rich...okay, whatever! still doesn't change how I feel about them, they were awesome people), we had an absolutely amazing time at dinner.  Laughed so hard several times that I nearly wet my pants (for those of you who know me, you know that I'm not kidding). And when we concluded dinner, it only seemed fitting that the good times not end there.

Plans to attend the disco were put on hold long enough to make a pit stop at our room.  Last minute packing while enjoying the moment with a few beverages, just couldn't believe that this was our last night here.  Before we ever made it to the disco, Dawg had to call it a night (bad stomach...I had hoped it wasn't from dinner).  Robert stayed while we packed up the rest of room and we never did get to the disco.  What a completely random last day adventure.  :)  So incredibly fun. 

Our night ended when the largest flying cockroach-like bug flew onto our patio and landed on Terri's chest.  At first I was like "what necklace is that" ... AHHH GROSS.  It was a bug.  A large round bug, landed and stuck center chest, at the end of her collar bones.  A few shrilling screams combined with flailing arms and we were inside with the bug safely locked on the outside in seconds.  Robert used that as his exit and within minutes we girlies were in search of the sandman.  Good night Ladies.


Of all days you might oversleep, it's Murphy's Law that it'll be the last day, especially when you have an early morning departure.  Thanks to the birds we weren't super late, but definitely running behind.  Showers, luggage, breakfast and at 8:15 am "beep beep" had rolled up to the gate with our golf cart taxi to take us to the lobby to meet our shuttle for the airport.  We had hoped to see the boys from Norway this morning to exchange emails but we couldn't wait any longer.  After a very heartfelt good-bye to Noroberto, it was time to go. The closer I got to the gate, the more I could feel my heart breaking.  And I wasn't so far away that I couldn't hear Noroberto's "aye yi yi yi" from the distance (put a smile to my face). 

What incredible staff working this Royal Club section.  Sylvie, Valentine and especially Noroberto...thank you.


Before 9 am we were seated on the shuttle bus heading to the airport.  Edgardo was our departing guide.  He spoke to us in very broken English, with a very serious tone but he was so very genuine.  His speech included an invite to come live with him at his house, a request to bring some snow the next time we come and for us to be assured that we are all leaving 50% Dominican from our time here. 

The airport was fast, efficient and our flights left on time.  As we started down the runway, my eyes filled up.  Before we were even off the ground I was sobbing.  I was happy to be heading home to my real life & routine and excited to see my family & friends.  But so very sad to be leaving all these wonderful people of whom we had just shared a week of our lives.  "What if I never see them again"?!  It was in this moment that I was reminded to appreciate any time we get with any person, for however long it may be and to be thankful for the experience.  That's a lot to swallow in a few minutes let me tell ya, and it sure didn't stop the tears from streaming down my face.

A few Must Shares
  • Heavy rain can cause litter to flow easily into the same waters you're swimming in, yuck!
  • Tiles are slippery when wet.
  • One should never eat foreign hotdogs.
  • If there's a guest at your resort who runs up and down the beach that looks, sings and acts like William Hung from American Idol ... maybe it is!
  • Just because two people appear to be 'together' ... it's best not to assume.
  • The expression "no problem" should be used by everyone, vacationing or not, to create a more relaxing, calm world.
Something Nicole (the Air Transat Rep) had said during the final session with her has never been forgotten.  She looked at me with all sincerity and said "I've seen your kind before Heidi, without a doubt you'll be back. Maybe not right here, but you have a desire for people and culture, I can see it in your eyes and your smile."  I wasn't even on the plane to leave and I knew it too...

Thanks for coming to the DR with us.  Keep your bags packed, we'll leave again for the next adventure very soon.  Suppose we’ll ever get back to the Dominican?  To quote from my journal:  "I hope to someday go back.  I hope to see at least some of the wonderful people we met during this trip ... and if not, I want them to know that I am so lucky to have met them! xoxo"

The results from the Weekly Survey Question:  do you keep in touch with the people you meet while on vacation?
67% of you said that you at least try
33% wish that you would

But before we reunite with the Girlies from Newfoundland, I'd like to take the next post entitled "Honey, we're home!" to tell you about the East Coast of Canada.   All too often we get busy playing "tourist" in all these wonderful places we're so lucky to visit, that we forget that we have great things, shared with great people on the go, right here.  And speaking of keeping in touch, I really do try hard.  If someone reading this knows Dawg and Robert from Norway, tell them I'm still sorry I didn't get their emails before we left that day and thank them from the three of us, for the awesome memories.

Share your comments, your stories, your travel advice etc. in the section below (comments or reaction section) and give your answer to the weekly survey (top right of the blog page).  No sign up necessary, just a simple click :)  A little shy?!  Why not send me an email instead: holidayheidi@hotmail.ca.

~Holiday Heidi

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful adventure to wake up to this morning -- smiles, acouple of hehehehehehes - and even a tear or two being wiped away from my eyes. That was a wonderful holiday indeed. A chance to meet Miss Heidi and continue to be best friends to this very day. Too funny about the cockroach/necklace event. (had the same thing happen here - OMG- too funny!!!)The saying "No Problem" - I love it - that's all they say over hear in Doha !!!! We should all learn from this and all be saying "No Problem" :-)It's a big world out there, and they are all waiting to meet Holiday Heidi <3 Can't wait for your next adventure. Love you xoxo