Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Island of Hispaniola

We had a nice relaxing vacation in the Dominican Republic on the island of Hispaniola. This was our fourth trip there but first at this resort. We stayed at the Fun Royale Resort in the Playa Dorado complex on the north shore. Tropical storm Ernesto sailed by the south side of the island our first day there giving us warm rain and was here to greet us again on our return with very COLD rain!

After Ernesto had passed by we had hot, sunny weather for the rest of the week. We spent a day lying on the beach and the other days at one of the pools at the resort. In years past we have gone on various tours but this time we just relaxed. I reread a favorite book, we played several games of On the Rocks and Cribbage and ate way too much. As this was a last minute trip I hadn't brushed up on my meager Spanish but it came back as the week went on. This was the first resort that we have stayed at where it was totally unnecessary anyway. Overall we were quite pleased with this resort. With the exception of one bartender and the Internet vendor, the staff were all quite friendly and ready to do whatever they could for you. The couple of problems we had were taken care of very quickly.

There was family of peacocks that roamed the grounds and quite a few cats. I loved watching the swallows soar over the pond, it was like watching a dance. My tipsy looking pics were my attempts at capturing them and not the effects of the rum! You had to watch out for the blackbirds that sailed through the restaurant that would steal from any unattended plate! The grounds were pretty. John enjoyed watching the golfers try to carry the water hazard right by the pool bar.

There were several others from the United States there which was a pleasant surprise for us as in the past we have rarely met anyone else from the US. There were also lots of folks from Canada, Germany, England, Ireland and Scotland. We both enjoy "people watching" and we weren't disappointed with this group! What a lot of people don't seem to realize when traveling is that they are ambassadors of their countries. We know from our travels that Americans are not always well thought of and work to change that. Almost all of the children were cute and very polite. Unfortunately too many of the adults, no matter what their nationality, felt that the F word was perfectly acceptable to use in every sentence. We love to travel with Canadians, we always have a good time. The Scots all struck me as very nice. The Germans were a contradiction, at the same time both reserved and happy go lucky! I'm sure the language barrier was at work here. The Brits were to largest group and their personalities were quite mixed. We enjoyed meeting some of the older couples and could have done without the younger ones. Almost all of the Irish we met were obnoxious which is too bad, as they left me with an unfavorable view of their county. I'm sure they were not representative of their whole nation and hope to meet others in the future.

I don't know what others felt it was necessary to pack for a week or two at the beach but everyone else seemed to have huge suitcases. Our tour rep was warning that heavy cases would be assessed a surcharge on our return to the airport. When we were leaving the rep that met us commented on the small amount of luggage that we had. So why then did very few of the men have appropriate clothes (dockers and a nice shirt!) for dining out in the evening!!!

If you'd like more information on our stay at the resort, tips for what to pack, or tips for Americans wishing to save money by traveling on the charters out of Toronto leave a comment.

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