Monday, October 31, 2011

Republique Dominicana

We are home safe and sound from our weekend in the Dominican Republic and I want to tell you it was awesome.

I'm sure if you went to one of the may wonderful resorts in the DR everyone would speak English. We did not. We spent the weekend in what I would call downtown Santo Domingo, a city of about three million people. Almost no one spoke English. I did get to speak Spanish and French. Was I intimidate? You bet. But if you wanted to eat, sleep, get anywhere, you had absolutely no choice.

When we first got to our accommodations where no one spoke English, we found that they had given our reservations away and there was no room for us. OK. Rick was polite but persistent in both English and Spanish. Finally, they found us one room, we needed two. There was another woman traveling with us. They had big comfy chairs in the lobby, so Rick told me to take the room with our friend Rosa and he would sleep in a chair. If I learned one thing this weekend it was ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE. We had some other friends from Puerto Rico staying at the same place, when I started asking around we found that there was a room with four beds with only two women in it. Our friend Rosa was happy to stay with these two women and Rick and I had the last room left at the Inn.

I will tell you about the Dominican Republic, but first I want to tell you a little bit about our friend Rosa. It was most important that she go on this trip and do some important work. Her path was filled with obstacles. When we finally got to the airport in St. Croix, ready to leave, we were a little late. (Yeah, you guys know me) Anyway, Rick and I had only carry on luggage. Rosa had a bag that needed to be checked. TSA would not take it, because we were late. They told her she could board but she could not take her luggage. She did not know what to do. I looked her in the eye and told her I knew it was important for her to go, I suggested she leave the bag. BEFORE THIS; I had plead vehemently with the A/A check-in clerk to the point where she told me not to say another word or they would not let me on the plane. She told me not to talk to the Customs Agents or anyone else, but to shut it and go through the boarding process. (I wanted you to know that I did not tell Rosa to leave her bag behind without a fight.) ANYWAY...Rosa exercised more faith than I have ever seen before. She walked away from her luggage and boarded that plane with the clothes on her back. Once in your life I sincerely hope you can experience that. It is to stand in the presence of greatness.

In the Dominican Republic I had the opportunity to speak Spanish and French with a little bit of English thrown in. I got so used to speaking Spanish, that yesterday when we were coming through Customs in Puerto Rico, they were trying to redirect us and I asked something in Spanish, the agent let lose with a whole paragraph in Spanish. When he saw the bewildered look on my face, he apologized and said that after I spoke he did not realize that I was not fluent in Spanish. Are you kidding me? I was raised in Chicago. I'm barely fluent in English. Anyway it was a compliment.

We didn't make it to the beach. The ocean there is very different that on our little island. It is of course beautiful and just as blue, but the swells are enormous 5 - 6 ft. These are not white cap waves, just the ocean swells. That was intimidating.

No one would take dollars. We had to exchange our money and the exchange rate is not good. There's a little wake up call America. There were military types armed with automatic weapons as interesting places. Like a toll booth. I mean the toll on the highway was less than a dollar. They must be pretty serious about collecting. Interesting for me that after three days, the armed military presence ceased to bother me.

Rick and I ate out in a very posh restaurant on Friday night. Nobody in the place spoke English. Our poor waiter was very intimidate. We managed to have a wonderful dinner, and we got what we wanted. He understood my Spanish. We even had Chocolate Mousse for desert. It was in this restaurant where  I learned my most important Spanish word POSTRES ~ yeah, you guessed it that means desert. When the check came I though I was going to have to put my CPR skills to the test. Rick was hyperventilating. See a copy of the charge receipt at the bottom. NOT TO WORRY, that's in DR pesos. About $69US. We knew that, but just the sight had Rick's heart stop for a minute.Hopefully our credit card makes the right exchange, that should be interesting.

Both TSA and Customs were either on High Alert for some reason, or I look like a terrorist. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that Rick hurt his back and on the way home every time he had to take his shoes off, I had to tie them up for him (he could not bend over).  All that messing with his shoes made them nervous. They kept telling me to step away from him and then he would get the once over again. I told him to wear the flip flops, but would he listen?

This turned out to be one of my most favorite "road trips" ever. I will be going back. Bad news from our kids is that they probably won't be able to come for Christmas. We are looking for cheap rates to St. Martin. We will try to go between Christmas and New Years to distract ourselves from missing the family. Hey, they speak French there. Who's up for a road trip.

Nanowrimo starts tomorrow. I can hardly wait. We'll have to see what it will be like and adjust the posting schedule accordingly.I know your waiting with baited breath.

Happy Halloween.I hope you can spend the day somewhere where "thinking is optional". I'm gonna.


  1. Now that's quite the adventure! Don't know if I could've boarded the plane without my luggage.

  2. So glad you got home safely...have missed your post. Sounds like an interesting least you got to go to the wonderful!

  3. Wow, you had an amazing time, regardless of if you got the room you wanted. I'm glad they found your friend a room. Next time the husband better wear the flip flops like you say, eh?

    Great post. I'll be back. Happy Halloween and start to NaNoWriMo

  4. yep, that is definitely heart failure!!