I’ve been working on a wrap-up post for the past couple of days and somehow I always get distracted. I’m either sleeping in a bit too long in the morning or filling my evening watching heartbreaking baseball games (Do my Cardinals even really have a chance now?). But I can’t not share some of my favorite stories and traveling adventures.
First off, I am SO glad we stayed on the resort the entire time. We had considered an excursion or two but we were hit with stomach issues off and on from Mon-Fri and the last thing either of us would have wanted to deal with on an excursion would be racing off to find a bathroom. Not good.
We loaded up on sunscreen and both managed to get some pretty decent tans. Oddly, Ben looked sunburned but he didn’t peel or feel warm to the touch at all. Now that we’re back, all the “red” is a really nice brown. He’s the tannest he’s ever been in his life! lol
I realized I have a gazillion pictures of Ben playing (ok drinking) in the water… And all of these were taken on different days!
A rare and unusual picture of Ben doing what I liked best: sitting in the shade and vegging out (nice & humid morning):
The blue rafts were a rare treasure to find. They would bring a huge cart of them out in the morning and pass them out. Since we were back on the lazy river, they always would run out before they got to us. We started hounding the towel guys first thing in the morning but were usually only awarded one raft per couple – AND they’d get taken while we went to get lunch every day!! Once we tried putting them under our chairs – gone. Another time we threw our wet towels on top of them on top of the chairs – gone again. So then we borrowed some storage space from a honeymooning couple that had a swim-up room and were able to stash a couple in their Jacuzzi tub. That meant when we hit the lazy river at 9am and the raft guy wasn’t due for another hour+, we could veg around and drift in bliss. That quiet hour in the morning was probably my favorite time of day.
One funny vacation story was our hunt for rum. Some friends of ours went to this same resort 3 years ago and each day they found a small bottle of rum in their room. Naturally, we were expecting the same treatment only to discover NO RUM!! Oh the horror! Let me tell you something – I am the biggest lightweight when it comes to drinking and I was keeping a pretty steady drinking pace from 10am till 5pm every day – and never had a buzz. So while we certainly weren’t looking to get drunk on vacation, a little booze in our drinks would have been nice. We discovered our new Pittsburgh friends received a bottle on their arrival but hadn’t gotten any more. So that began my attempts to get rum in our room:
Matt ended up bribing a guy to bring a bottle of rum to his room every night. Ben walked past a guy just as he dropped some bottles of water on the floor and helped him pick them up – only to be tracked down and asked if he wanted some rum. Well yes, of course we want rum!!. 🙂 Before we knew it, we were basking in rum like never before!
Tell me, is the onset of rum in our drinks at all related to Ben sleeping in his chair??
The local and “legendary” booze of the Dominican isn’t rum though – it’s something called “Mama Juana”.
Mama Juana is fermented in tree bark and when you buy it in the resort it’s loaded with pieces of bark that you have to filter out. Evidently it’s also an aphrodisiac? That became a constant joke amongst the resort workers – that a shot of Mama Juana tonight would lead to 7 babies in the morning… We brought no Mama Juana home but we did each try a shot while we were there. I think I’ll stick to my fruity drinks. 🙂
You have to be careful where you buy your booze from. You can go to lots of stores and sample delicious Mama Juana and bring bottles home only to discover that the stuff they give you to sample isn’t the same as what you purchase – and since most people wait until they get home to drink it, there’s no recourse. That happened to our friends who sampled delicious varieties and brought them back only to discover they tasted like vinegar. It probably also didn’t help that he has terrible handwriting and when he filled out the customs form “Mama Juana” looked a little too much like “marijuana”. Oops. Kinda funny though. 😉
I did get to sample coconut water right out of the coconut. They had a guy on the beach with a machete who would cut the tops off the coconuts and give them to you to drink. It was the first day we’d gotten there and I was HOT. Drinking coconut water from a coconut that’s been basking in the hot Dominican sun isn’t tasty or refreshing… but at least I can say I had the experience.
The best drinks I had were at the lobby bar at the sister resort. The drink of the day was always proudly displayed and the individual components laid out for viewing – which I thought was pretty cool.
They made the richest, creamiest pina coladas. I could have sat there all day long.
The night before we were left for home, Ben was in a hurry to get dressed for dinner and emptied a bunch of his dirty clothes in a small pile on the floor by his suitcase. When we came back from dinner, this amusing sight greeted us:
All neatly folded. We died laughing. We were also sent away with balloons and our only towel art of the trip:
Final parting photos:
Punta Cana – we miss you already!!