Monday, May 3, 2004

Paradise 101

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 it’s the only Adults Only Resort in Punta Cana.  I love being around kids except when I’m 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 there’d 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 doesn’t like “slug vacations”, where you do nothing but lie around and eat.  He’d 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 didn’t 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 Atkin’s 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.  There’s no need to thank us.  I also found that it’s 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.  It’s very romantic and I think the water actually feels much warmer after dark.  I just couldn’t 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 don’t 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.

 

 

Picture from Hometown

 

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 wouldn’t 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...

12 comments:

readmereadyou said...

So sorry about your sunburn but it still looked as if you two had a good time. I could almost feel your pain with the close up photo of you where you are so red. Luckily for me, I despise the sun and always have with a passion.....Plus, it gives me a headache. I've had one light sunburn eons ago when I was 14 and it cured me for life. I'm always amazed by beach lovers. Although I do love the ocean at night (love to fish and watch the sunsets) and love living near the ocean for some strange reason.
The place looked very pretty and so did you. : )

sonensmilinmon said...

awwwwwwwwww sorry to hear y ou got sunburned but, it looks like the two of you made the best of everything!  GREAT pictures ... wish I was there minus the sunburn!

Monica

babygsmommy said...

Wow, you were red! Has it all turned into the glorious tan you wanted or did it peel? I did the same thing in Hawaii a few years ago. I, too, sat under the shade trees for the following days! Well, Ray seemed so sweet to get creative and make the best of it. Joe just went and played golf! I loved the pictures. Take care, Heather
http://journals.aol.com/babygsmommy/SummerVacationsandotherinteresti

suzypwr said...

Nothing like being near the equator and trying to stand in your own shade to hide a burn - can't turn your back on the sun no matter how many circles you walk! You have all my sympathy with the sun poisoning. I did that in Cancun by accident (I thought I had lotion all over, but missed one arm and my back) and a few weeks later at home I had the itches on my back so bad I couldn't sleep. I thought the burn was all healed! (Lanacane helps; but as a nurse, you know that.) My tanning and burning days are over, but I sure had some doozies in Florida, too. I found the secret is to turn over every 20 minutes in the tropics and put new lotion on with every turn. Lotion also goes on the bottom of your feet and on ears. I am very glad you managed to enjoy your trip. I never let a burn stop me either.

jeffcomedy said...

I'm sorry it wasn't the best vacation ever.  But at least you had fun making fun of what a fun time you were not having.  (Does that even make sense?)

wayoutdacloset said...

OMG WHAT GREAT PICTURES I LOVED THEM. SORRY ABOUT THE SUN BURN THOU....BIG YET TENDER HUGS TO YOU. ~BERLY

somenuttychic said...

Ouch. Ouch, ouch, ouch. Ouch.

Indeed, Ray sounds like a good sport, but then again, so do you. You described your adventures beautifully with your usual brand of humour. And . . . this vacation wasn't a total loss because next time you'll know better.

krobbie67 said...

This is really beginning to sound like a Chevy Chase movie. You poor thing!
:-) ---Robbie

andreakingme said...

Lisa! Ow. I knew you'd gotten sun poisoning, but those lobsterish photos of YOU made me wince. You poor girl.

Your vacation, sans the sun poisoning, seems exactly like what I wanted to do! Man, I wish I'd gone with you and Ray instead of getting on that cruise ship. Not that we didn't get a chance to experience new things, not that we didn't have fun, but the two things I went for (warmth and scene) didn't quite compare with what I see in your photos. (Waaaah. What a baby I am.) Anyway. What the frell was the big brown ball-like thing you found on the beach that one night?

Ray does indeed seem like a good sport. What a sweetie.

onmiownnow2 said...

LOL, Andrea!  That big, brown ball I found on the beach was actuallt a rusty buoy of some kind.  I hated to touch it but I like taking fun, action type pictures more than boring, portrait ones.  The ball was actually much lighter than I expected it to be and when I grabbed it I almost fell right over on my butt!  Now THAT would have been a good picture!  LOL!  Lisa  (The Occupant)

goldenchildnc said...

Eeek! Sunburn! So sorry about that dear! You'll have to let me know the next time you plan on spending copious amounts of time outside and I'll be sure to turn the crank down on that big, annoying glowing thing in the sky. Really. It's no sweat. And I LOVE the beach at night!!!! I love the beach period but at night...well, your description hits it right on the nose.

redhdka said...

Oh I know you were suffering but how clever you were taking all those pictures of things you couldn't do. Poor thing! At least Ray was so sweet and loving about it. I like the beaches better at night anyhow! That beach looked beautiful!