Friday, May 27, 2005

La Romana - Day Two

The next morning we got up, showered, slathered on sunscreen, put on our new bathing suits, and headed to the pool. The wonderful, glorious pool. With a bar that you swim up to on one side and walk up to on the other. I secured a location that promised to be quiet, on the island by the walk up side of the bar. NY and T eventually made it down.

We found our way to the towel room, where we traded in our little cards for some fluffy towels. There are all kinds of activities on the beach, be we didn't sign up for any. They have ping pong, volleyball, aerobics and all kinds of things to do. We decided to just hang at the pool

We lounged. We drank. We swam. We lounged some more. We drank some more. We wandered over to the other side of the pool to one of the restaurants that served pizza (kinda) hot dogs (kinda) and hamburgers (kinda). They also had a selection of pastas, salads, meats and cheeses. I think their cheese is goat cheese. I don't know for sure. But it is really strong. After filling our bellies, we wandered back to our seats to resume lounging, drinking and swimming.

After a while we walked down the wooden walkway to the beach. I forgot how wonderful warm sand between your toes felt. We walked to the beach and stared at the water. It was so blue. I had never seen anything like it before, except for in pictures. There were parasailers, sail boats, speed boats, and fishing boats tooling around in the calm water. So peaceful.

We stood for a bit, debating whether to stay at the beach or return to the pool. Since the pool was much closer to the beverages, we went back. Then we realized that the pool has volleyball and scuba diving lessons. It was kinda fun to watch people try out the scuba gear and make these funny noises when they couldn't breathe through the mouth piece right.

Then a girl named Rosie came over and asked us if we wanted to go to a casino. Apparently one of the other Hilton resorts has a casino and the run a free bus trip to it. The trip was the following night. Well sure! Why not! (Oh we had no idea.) But R and NY thought Rosie was cute, so I guess that was reason enough.

Anyway, we decided that if there were bus trips to casinos, there may be other fun things we would want to do. We wandered up front to the hotel lobby and found ALL KINDS of things to do. We took brochures for the speed boats, horseback riding, a big monster truck tour, and the "crazy wheels" tour. "Crazy" wheels are 4 wheelers. I guess to the Dominicans they seem a little radical. Or maybe just to the French. Remind me to tell you about the French.

Satisfied with our options, we wandered back to the pool after promising to book and pay for our trips the next day. We lounged and drank and swam some more. We decided to head back to the room and shower and change. We had to decide where to go for dinner and there was a show in the ampitheater we wanted to see.

I was still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I was on vacation. A real vacation.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Picture Share!

Cold front

Thursday, May 19, 2005

La Romana - Day One Conclusion...

We gathered up our room and towel cards and headed to our room. The resort was actually much larger than we anticipated. The bell boys tossed our luggage into a little trailer and we rode in the canopy-covered golf cart to our room. There were several buildings on the resort. I think 12 room-buildings and 4 restaurants. A spa, an ampitheater, the pool house where you traded in your towel cards for fluffy towels, and the huge pool.

We arrived at our room, which we discovered, much to our delight, was in the back of the resort overlooking the pool (and very far from T and NY's room). The bell boy carried our luggage up to our third-floor room, though the open air building. We entered the room and stepped out onto the balcony. I squealed in delight as I realized that the huge blue expanse beyond the pool and palm trees (palm trees!) was the Caribbean Sea.

We gawked in amazement for a few minutes, trying to grasp the reality of where we were, and suddenly remembered that we were still in jeans and sweatshirts. We scrambled back inside to change. We were putting on shorts! In March! And we were still WARM! R put on one of his new "Hawaiian" shirts, and I must say, he looked pretty sexy, normally being the jeans - t-shirt - work boot type. I knew right then it would be so hard to leave this beautiful, warm place, but quickly pushed that thought to the back of my mind. I had a whole week to enjoy it.

We settled in, unpacking our suitcases. I absolutely cannot live out of a suitcase. I feel too unsettled. I have to make where ever I am staying feel as much like home as I can. I don't want the constant sight of a suitcase packed with clothes to remind me that I don't really belong where I am.

As we finished unpacking, NY called from their room. He wanted to know where we were going to eat. We got out our handy-dandy little map of the resort and decided on the Mexican restaurant, conveniently located above the pool house and only a short walk from our room.

They met us at our building, and we all headed over to the restaurant. We saw a buffet sitting out. We were seated, and the waiter brought us a special little frou-frou drink and asked what else we wanted. I decided to stick to the Presidente. He took our orders and we proceded to stuff ourselves with the somewhat unidentifiable yet extremely scrumptious items from the buffet, almost forgetting we still had meals coming.

They must realize that that is exactly what all stupid tourists do, and delivered our reasonably sized meals to us. Delicious. Or as NY kept exclaiming, "This is phenominal!" The waiter, realizing that this was our first night (no doubt by our awe-struck faces - we were sitting by the SEA! - and frequent statements of "I can't believe we're finally HERE!") brought over four sombreros and took pictures of us looking all smiley and buzzed and silly.

We finished our meal, and decided to leave. It took me a bit to understand that, yes, we just get up and leave, no, we don't have to pay for anything, and no, we don't have to tip the waiter, it's ALL-INCLUSIVE.


I felt like a little rich girl.

We trekked over to the middle of the resort, and found the "sports" bar. I guess it was a sports bar, they had a big pull-down screen showing a soccer game, and funny paintings of these monkey - alien crossbreeds playing various sports.

We sat down in the very air-conditioned bar (why are we inside when it is so warm outside) and ordered some more Presidente. We talked and laughed and drank. Eventually, I got tired and a tiny bit cranky, partly from the days travels and partly from NY becoming increasingly drunk and loud.

Finally I told R that I had had enough for the first night, I was ready to go back to the room. I told Him to stay out if He wanted to, secretly hoping He would come back to the room with me. He grudgingly obliged, and walked me back to our room.

Turns out He was a bit sleepy too as we were both out fairly quickly and dreaming of pina coladas by the pool...

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Wedding help

I know I am only through part of day one of La Romana, however, I need the wonderful people who suffer through my pitiful blog (yes, all 3 of you) to tell me if they know of anywhere that sells WHITE leather clothing for women.

I'm looking for something like this. And all I can find is black. How am I supposed to be biker bride if I can't wear a white leather wedding ensemble???


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Trip to La Romana - Day One Continued...

We all piled into Junior's van/mini bus/whatever and we where on our way. It started raining as soon as we left the airport. I wasn't too worried - I read that the rain in the Dominican doesn't last long. Unless it's a hurricane or something.

We were off, soon to see just how crazy the Dominicans drive. Fortunately we had seatbelts. (And air conditioning, which NY insisted we wouldn't. He is the only person I know who will find anything to complain about before it even happens.)

Dominican's to not believe in right-of-way, assured-cleared-distance, turn signals or speed limits. They do however, know how to flash their headlights when they enter the opposite lane up a hill before a curve, where the horn is, where the gas pedal is, and how to yank the steering wheel to the right. They seem to forget where the brake pedal is and only remember at one-inch-to-spare distances from the vehicle in front of them. I heard someone say that the number one cause of death there is from car accidents. I don't know if that's accurate, but I'm not second guessing it.

Soon we pulled into a gas station. Junior maneuvered the van into a teeny tiny spot between a car and a scooter. He looked back and motioned for R and NY to go with him.


From a gas station. OK.

R and NY go in with Junior and return with 4 brown bags. R hands me one and NY hands T one. The Dominican Republic also has very lenient open container laws. As in, the container can be open, as long as it's in a paper bag. And they will open it for you in the gas station.

We took off again. The beer was excellent. Presidente, brewed right there in the Dominican. I don't remember how many milliliters it was, but it looked like a 40-oz size bottle.

Settled in with our beer, we enjoyed watching the countryside go by. Palm trees, cows, goats, little huts. Broken down cars, motor scooters, bare foot children. We went through several little towns. There were lots of hair salons and banks. And bars. We did not stop in the bars. I don't know that the locals would welcome tourists in the non-touristy areas. Our video camera was buried somewhere in the back, so we said we would have to remember on the way home to film some of the scenery. Especially after Junior took us past an extremely large and beautiful "iglesia".

We drove and drove and drove and then the beer hit. I had to piss like a race horse in heat, and the Dominican Republic sure doesn't have any rest areas.

"Psst. T. How do I tell him I have to go to the bathroom?"

"Um, Junior, she needs el bano."

That must have been good enough, because he said "Ok, no es bueno" or something like that, which we took to mean that he would take me somewhere to pee, but it wouldn't be very nice. I didn't care. I had to go.

He pulled into this place that I thought was a house, but next to it was some sort of garage with a pop machine (the old style) and another garage behind it. The garage behind it turned out to be a shower house. We learned this because when Junior got out to ask someone if we could use the facilities, R and NY reported that a rather well-endowed nude man emerged from the shower house holding only his towel.

The report went something like this:

NY: "Holy Shit, R. Look at that guy. He's huge. I'm not letting T out here.

R: "Oh my God, it's down to his knees."

T and jAG: "Where? Where! We can't see!"

Unfortunately T and I missed the whole show. By the time we looked, an angry-looking Junior was ushering the guy back inside. I think that perhaps he thought that taking your car full of tourists and showing them a naked local man with a dick the size of an horse's was not going to make a good impression, and therefore make for a lousy tip. Immediately following, I saw a younger man carrying a bucket into the first garage.

"Oh dear God, R, I cannot pee into a bucket here. No way. Tell him nevermind."

T, in her broken Spanish got Junior's attention and told him, somehow, to forget it, that I could wait. He looked really upset. Not at us, but again because I think he was trying to impress us.

T finally convinced him it was OK, and we left. We were out of beer, my eyeballs were floating, and we had no idea how far we were from the hotel. Then in the distance, was a BP station! A glorious BP station! With beer! And a bathroom!

After accidentally going into the men's restroom, (I didn't care. I had to go. There was no sign on the door.) Junior led me inside to the women's restroom. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Relief. And there was toilet paper! I wasn't expecting that luxury! I finished up business and saw a sign on the back of the toilet. En Espanol. Hmmmm. Wonder what that means? Oh well. I tossed my TP and flushed and exited. T was waiting.

"Hey T, when you go in there, see if you can figure out what the sign on the toilet says. I didn't understand it."

I go back outside to join R and NY, where they are standing with - Yay! - more Presidente. Now that I had an empy bladder, I could resume Presidente consumption.

A young boy came up to us and was asking for money. R gave him a dollar, and he promptly went over to the pump and filled his little gas can with a dollar's worth of petrol. Not sure what it was for, but he hopped on his little dirt bike and was off.

T emerged from the building and said "Don't flush the toilet paper. That's what the sign says.".

"Oh. Oops. Guess I should have let you go first."

We hopped back in the mini-bus-van and headed toward the resort. Turns out we were only a few minutes away. We gathered our luggage, paid Junior and headed in to the check-in desk.

We had finally arrived.

And it had stopped raining.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Trip to La Romana - Day One...

3:30 AM. Several inches of snow on the ground. The cab arrives to take us to the airport, where we will fly to Chicago.

I hate flying. No matter how I much I try not to be scared, I am. We boarded the plane and it was a little plane. A little crashy plane. 2 seats on each side, maybe 20-some rows. Our seats were in the first row. I tried to remember if they say your odds are better in the front or back of a plane if it crashes.

The plane started moving and I started breathing harder. Tears were welling up in my eyes. It is so much harder to try not to cry when you are around a plane full of people that will think you are a moron. We took off and I just closed my eyes and listened to R tell me that everything was fine. He ordered me a Vodka and OJ for our short flight and I felt better. After we landed, He told me He didn't realize I really was that scared to fly.

When we were walking off the plane, the lady sitting next to us asked me if that was my first time flying. I told her it was not, and she said "well, I think you did very well for someone who obviously doesn't like to fly." I was only slightly mortified that my fear was so obvious to perfect strangers, and again, felt like the world's biggest moron.

We had a little bit of time before our next flight. It was colder in Chicago than it was in Ohio. We ran outside for a quick smoke (you can't smoke ANYWHERE at O'Hare), came back through security and waited for our plane. I decided to take a Dramamine for that flight - it was about 5 or 6 hours. I don't get motion sickness, but I knew it would relax me.

It did more than just relax me. I felt like I was drugged. I could not stay awake. Fortunately, the plane was not full and I was able to put my feet up in the seat next to me and my head on R's shoulder so I could adequately drool on His shirt. Most of what I remember is R pushing my head back up onto His shoulder 47 times before saying "this isn't working, you need to sit up."

I could not sit up. I just laid my head back and slept. Next thing I know we are over water and preparing to land. Landing is not so bad when you are landing on a tropical island after leaving freezing temperatures and several inches of snow.

The airport was unreal. NY had joked on the way over that our friend told him the airport was a hut. It really was. A big hut, but a hut nonetheless. And when you get off the plane you actually have to go down the steps and walk outside. And it was 80 degrees. And humid. I was about halfway down the steps before I realized what I was feeling. Wonderful humidity, making me sweat in my jeans and sweatshirt. We weren't even into the hut/airport yet and I was in heaven.

We had to fill out an entry form and show our birth certificates. I think we had to pay $10 apiece or something to get in. We went and got our luggage. And the breeze was blowing on us. Because we were in a hut. Outside. And it was warm. Sometime while waiting for our luggage, I forgot about everything back home in freezing Ohio and was ON VACATION.

We had called ahead for a cab, and a guy would be there waiting for us, holding a sign. When R called to book the cab, the owner, Rafael, told him we could have the cab driver for as long as we wanted for the set fee we saw on the website. R asked why there was no time limit and Rafael said, in his rich Dominican accent, "because sometimes people like to stop and get BEERS."

Well, Rafael, yes they do.

Now I speak (very) little Spanish. R doesn't know much. Neither does NY, but T knew a little more. We found our cab driver. We were able to establish that the airport was about 2 hours from the hotel and his "Nombre es Junior".

We loaded the suitcases into the car and grabbed another smoke.

Then I piped up. "Cerveza?"

Junior looked at me and grinned. He held up his hand and said "Cerveza. Cinco minutos."


Friday, May 06, 2005

I need some sexy luvin'...

PMS makes me feel so gross. Fat, ugly, undesirable, useless, lazy. You name it, if it's negative, that's how I feel. Anything can set me off. Anything. I blow everything out of proportion.

He isn't touching me right now. He thinks I'm gross.

He didn't watch me take off my robe. He doesn't love me anymore.

He is going to sleep! He must have found someone (insert any word here: younger...prettier...smarter...sexier...) than me.

Oh yeah. Totally irrational.

And to the male species, I appear to be a complete lunatic. Absolutely psychotic. Bi-polar even.

I can cry at the drop of a hat. Songs, commercials, dead animals in the road, can all make me cry right now. I do believe this is where the term "no use crying over spilled milk" came from. Some poor PMS-y woman was trying to pour milk into her coffee and spilled it on her newly mopped floor and just broke down and lost it.

I didn't have this problem for a long time. When I was on Depo (which I recommend to absolutely NO ONE), I didn't have any of these mood swings. For 9 years. I hadn't had a period since I was 19. I forgot about all of this crap.

Men think women are nuts.

We can't help it.

At least I can't. I KNOW that I am not thinking normally right now. I can tell myself that. But I can't make myself believe it.


I know I can't be the only one. Otherwise there wouldn't be so many PMS jokes. Or nasty comments like "Are you on the rag?" I really HATE that one. As if we have a choice. Because believe me, no woman in her right mind would choose to have sore boobs, bleed every month, have cramps, and these God awful mood swings that keep her from being in her right mind!!!!


Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ain't this the fuckin truth...


Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.
-Ellen DeGeneres

Pointless thoughts of the day...

In a little more than 3 months, R and I will be married. Husband and wife. My duty will be to honor and obey.

The sun was out yesterday. It wasn't warm, but it was trying. Today promises to be warmer and even better Friday, then Saturday. Saturday we plan to do some riding. Sunday I hope to make it to the greenhouse. I've decided that I should get myself some things to plant, that fact that I'm not a mom is not important. I deserve pretty flowers too, dammit.

Z-dog's toenails are out-of-control long. She tore one partially off her toe the other day, poor thing. It must have gotten caught on something. I am trying to trim a few a day to whittle them down, of course she only lets me get about 2 or 3, if I'm lucky. Yesterday I made one bleed because I cut too much. They are still so long. I wish she didn't get so scared. It's frustrating.

PMS time again. No need to say more.

R got a hell of a hummer last night, if I do say so myself. (He said so too) It was all my idea. He seems to think I don't do that enough. I start out doing that a lot, but, well, you know, it DOES something to me. He doesn't seem to fully understand is that when I do that, it makes me HOT. I was good though, even refused when He told me to take my clothes off. That was tough. Had to take of my panties afterwards, they were a bit moist.

It's Thursday again. One more day, then freedom for two days. I can't wait.