So there we were in the Dominican Republic for one glorious week of sun, fun and romance. The main reason we chose to stay at 'Secrets' is because its the only Adults Only Resort in Punta Cana. I love being around kids except when Im on vacation. I like to sleep late, linger over dinner, and just listen to the sound of the ocean while lying on the beach. The kinds of things I could only dream about doing when my kids were little.
The swimming pool at Secrets was massive. It curved and winded around several buildings and restaurants. There were plenty of lounge chairs available at the pool and on the beach, and more than enough floats for everyone. But as much as I hate getting out of bed at the crack of dawn, if you wanted a chair under a thatched canopy to protect you from the sun, you had to get up early and go put a towel down on it. I found a couple of chairs beside the pool that were also near the beach, a restaurant and a bar. Anxious to tell Ray what a great spot I got, I took off my sandals and ran back to our room. I didn't realize how hot the pavement had already gotten from the sun until later that day, when the bottoms of my feet began to blister. By dinnertime, I could hardly walk. I could tell that thered be no dancing for us for a few nights. Doctor Ray ordered two alcoholic beverages an hour, for 4 hours, as needed for pain. Thank God I had a great prescription plan.
It rained most of the day and we heard that the weather forecast was going to be the same for the following day. Ray was getting antsy, as he really doesnt like slug vacations, where you do nothing but lie around and eat. Hed much rather be skiing or at least go sight seeing.
Thankfully Thursday turned out to be a beautiful day, as we were both getting bored and I was desperate to get a tan. I didn't want to go home without one, and I feared that this might be our only sunny day for the whole week. I guess that's when I got the STUPID idea to lay by the pool without putting on ANY sun block or tanning lotion. I didn't think a few hours of unprotected sun could hurt. Later that night, I discovered how WRONG one person could be. Sun poisoning is definitely NOT something you want to get while on vacation. Especially not right smack in the middle of the week! My hands and feet swelled up like sausages. It hurt to bend my fingers, my arms and my knees. It hurt to laugh, smile and blink. Even my earlobes were burnt and I still had blisters on the bottom of my feet. Basically... it hurt to be ME. Other vacationers stared at me when we went to dinner. I know they were wondering just how foolish a grown woman could be. I was wondering the same thing.
To make matters even worse, the rest of the week remained sunny, bright and beautiful, and I couldn't spend more than 5 minutes in direct sunlight without excruciating pain. Ray didnt want to go and have fun all by himself, so he suffered silently beside me. What a great guy!
In an attempt to salvage our vacation, we started looking for things that we could do in the shade or in the dark. It was too hot to lie by the pool in one of those enclosed huts for very long. So we ate a lot. And drank, of course. I tried many new alcoholic beverages, and even invented a few new ones. We sampled every meal, at every restaurant. I didn't even THINK about the Atkins Diet for a minute. I was a walking Poster Child for Skin Cancer at a summer camp for Overeaters and Alcoholics Anonymous. We watched a couple of movies on the TV in our room, shopped, and took in a few musicals performed by the almost really talented resident theater troupe of the resort. We found that some activities, though normally enjoyed only during the day, can also be done at night. Like bird watching. No longer on display for the tourists and their cameras, we discovered a group of Flamingos standing around on BOTH legs after dark (I guess standing on only ONE leg all day gets old). We studied them for a while in their off-duty habitat and came to a startling scientific conclusion. Bright pink and fluffy Flamingos are MUCH more beautiful to watch and photograph while standing on just one leg, during their regular on-duty hours in the daytime. Rather disappointing, but now we know. And so do YOU. Another time saving fact derived from the pain and suffering of a few individuals for the betterment and enrichment of mankind. No E-mails... please. Theres no need to thank us. I also found that its possible to frolic in the waves of the ocean late at night. The moon gives off quite enough light to see by, and there are no crowds to contend with. Its very romantic and I think the water actually feels much warmer after dark. I just couldnt get that image of the young girl from the movie Jaws out of my mind. I somehow knew that being bitten or possibly eaten by a shark while on vacation would completely ruin the rest of the week. I dont care how nice the place is. We could have played tennis or tried archery by moonlight as well, but the staff told us horror stories in broken english, about the local mosquitoes. They warned us that if one of these roving hordes got into a frenzy, no one would be able to stop them from having their way with us.
It was very depressing not being able to engage in all the activities that the resort had to offer. While walking around feeling sorry for myself, Ray snapped some pictures of me showing all the things I WISHED we were doing, and we had a lot of laughs.
Ray was a great sport. He just laughed and shook his head whenever he caught a glimpse of me walking with my shorts pulled down as low as they could go and my arms tucked inside of my tee shirt to shield them from the sun. Still limping from the blisters on the bottoms of my feet, and waddling so that my inner thighs wouldnt touch, I looked like a deformed midget penguin. But we had fun. And we discovered things about each other that we never knew. Ray cheats at checkers!
By Sunday I was FINALLY healed enough to go outside and really start to enjoy the vacation. Unfortunately, we only had one day left to cram in as much fun as we could, before leaving to go back home. I remembered to put on the sun block that day. Too bad I forgot that I have never in my entire life, enjoyed any degree of physical prowess, ability or skill involving any sport or activity requiring a person to maintain a vertical position...