I know many of these first articles are out of chronological sequence (It’s going to drive Honey nuts), but I feel it is important to give some kind of background before I jump forward. I feel I need to introduce any new reader to the cast of character’s that have littered my life for the last four years. People who continue to be part of it today and will appear in future articles. Since I’ve changed their names in a weakly veiled attempt to give them anonymity, I thought I should re-publish our first meetings. This will give new readers some kind of idea whom the people I refer to are. By giving everyone pseudonyms it makes reading or re-reading, whichever the case may be, all the more fun for everyone. It’s the best of two worlds!!
That’s right, we have finally arrived. I am currently sitting on the deck of my cabana at Los Gringos in the Dominican Republic. The sun is just rising and it looks like it will be a beautiful day.
We arrived yesterday in the middle of the afternoon, around 2:30 local time, the temperature was in the mid twenties and it was sunny. I expected no less and wasn’t disappointed. Damn; I love this place.
The plane trip was the same as always, taking about four and a half hours with the same mix of sun seekers and party goers.
The party goers are all geared up from the start. They drink from the time the rolling bar opens until they are finally told to sit down and buckle up. They used to annoy me. I don’t have a problem with people having a good time but it would be nice if they didn’t feel the need to include the entire plane in their merriment. I really don’t care that they can drink the others to unconsciousness. In my experience the loudest is usually the first to slide under the table. They don’t even make it long enough to eat dinnerand they’re always the quietest the next day.
Me… been there, done that and I’m embarrassed to say, have the pictures to prove it. The days of going all night long and getting up the next day and starting again are long past. I’m at the age where nights like that, take three days
to recover from. I also now know in advance that I need to pace myself or face the painful consequences.
The all-inclusive resorts can be a shock to the uninitiated. Just because it’s all you can drink and all you can eat doesn’t mean you have to do it the first day! I watch people pile food on their plates as if they will never see another meal again. Drinking like they better get as much rum as possible in them today in case the bar goes out of business! News flash, amigo, they’ll make more food again tomorrow and the liquor is brought in by the truck load daily!! They’re never going to run out!!! But you on the other hand are going to have the runs for the next three days.
So much for the pious, father knows best crap. The truth is once I clear customs, the first thing I do is get a cold beer. The plane arrived about 15 minutes early, so by the time our host from Los Gringos arrived to meet us I was just finishing my first. Patrick informed us that he needed to pick up another couple whose plane was due to arrive within a half hour of us and asked if we minded waiting or would we rather go immediately to Los Gringos and he would come back.
Hell no, we’re on vacation. We are not in any hurry to do anything. He placed our empty beers against the wall and went and got us another round. By the time the flight arrived with The Earl and Ginger, who just happen to be the owners of the property on which Los Gringos stands, and cleared customs, we had eleven dead soldiers lining the wall. Let the holidays begin.
The Earl and Ginger are from England and purchased Los Gringos about six years ago. They visit a couple of times a year but Patrick runs the show for them. It seems like a good deal, since Patrick speaks five languages and has been residing in the DR for eighteen years. Originally from Belgium, his English is fluent with virtually no accent. Friendly and amiable it’s hard not to like the guy immediately. After re-arming ourselves for the trip, we hit the road for the hour drive to the Playa Magante. Of course we had only gotten to Caberette when we were forced to stop as the cervasa’s had evaporated. Hot weather will do that.
We stopped at a pastry shop in the town that just so happened to serve beer. Okay that’s no big deal, every place sells beer. It’s harder to find milk than beer. We sat out on a deck area that had half a dozen tables made of stone with patio umbrellas. A toast to great weather and a great holiday was made with the traditional clinking of the bottles. That’s when the bottle slipped from my hand and broke on the table, see there was a reason I told you it was stone.
The bottle broke and splattered beer all over Patrick and The Earl. Honestly it was the sweat from the bottle that made it slip from my grasp and had nothing to do with my condition. I sure know how to make a first impression, don’t I? Everyone was gracious but I’m sure The Earl was thinking to himself, “Bloody Canadians.” But since no one lost an eye, all was forgiven and after our short repast, we continued on our merry way.
The rest of the evening was spent at the bar at Los Gringos, the five of us getting to know one another. We ate an incredible meal, prepared by Patrick and were joined by the one other guest at the resort, a 75 year old woman from Switzerland. We ate, we drank and we laughed. It was the perfect beginning to what I’m sure will be a terrific holiday.