We're back from vacation! Until I have enough time to write an entry that would do our trip justice, here is the Reader's Digest Version...
Ray and I went to Punta Cana for a week of fun, sun and romance. My ex-husband recommended the trip to us, but I guess he forgot to mention the intense heat and humidity. I'm sure that if he realized I was prone to multiple hormonal hot flashes recently, and this climate could be a virtual HELL to any menopausal woman, he would have warned me. On the bright side it was refreshing to see EVERYONE with a sweaty face, limp hair and wrinkled clothes for a change. I don't recall my ex describing the nightly mosquito spaying ritual either, but I'm sure he did. It's really wasn't that bad. The clouds of insecticide blew by quickly and gave any food you were eating a sort of... tropical/bar-b-que flavoring.
It rained the first two days we were there. Desperate to get a tan, I went out without using ANY lotion on the third day, getting myself an awful case of sun poisoning. My hands and feet were so swollen they looked like little sausages. I had to avoid any activity that included sun exposure for the next three days. Considering we were staying at an All Inclusive Beach Resort... that left only eating, drinking and sleeping. A lesser woman may not have exerted any measure of self control under these circumstances. But I knew from prior experience that you can't make many trips to the all-you-can-eat-buffet when you're plastered. I am ashamed to report that I gained back every ounce of the ten pounds I lost on The Atkin's Diet.
I did spend some of my idle time wisely. I figured I might as well try to expand my mind as well as my waistline. I learned many fascinating facts about the Dominican Republic while convalescing in the shade. In Punta Cana, bananas are found growing in abundance, hanging upside-down, off of vines suspended from ceilings of outdoor, hut-like bars. Apparently this fruit can also be used to make an alcohol, and the natives spend a great deal of time creating many varieties of beverages out of it. I tasted as many of them as I could. I also learned that hollowed out coconuts make convenient containers to hold those beverages. They're festive AND environmentally friendly. I started to learn to speak Spanish. I can now say that I like "frutas fescas" in my Pina Colatas, and "pasteles" with my coffee in the morning. I transformed myself into a student of Dominican culture and attitude. "Do eveything slowly." "Eat a lot. And often." "If you're not sure you've had too much to drink... then go ahead and have another one." I even conducted a few scientific experiments. My research proved that crushed ice doesn't melt as quickly as ice cubes, Mr. Bubble must NEVER be used in a Jacuzzi, and time passes by at a much slower rate in Punta Cana than anywhere else. Thusly...a Dominican minute is equivalent to an American half hour.
We did finally get out there and have a few real adventures, but I'll tell you about them in another entry. Wait till you see the pictures!
In closing, let me say that I hope you didn't get the impression that Ray and I were hopelessly spoiled and lavishly pampered. Please note that we had to rough it on several occasions and do without more than once. There is no Half and Half for your coffee in the Dominican Republic. They do not serve drawn butter with lobster. And ... there were a few times at the pool when we had to get up and get our own drinks. We could have just waded over to the swim up bar, but the walk up one had peanuts. And ice cream cones.
And yet... despite these hardships... they call it Paradise.