I could write about what is happening south of my border in Trumpville. There is no shortage of fodder from his first week as president of the Divided States of America. He has signed a record number of executive orders that have a price tag in the billions, he has authorized an attack on foreign soil resulting in the loss of American life, has insulted numerous countries, has lied (over-exaggerated if you want to be kind) about the number of job losses to foreign countries and the number of people that attended his inauguration, and he has declared an entire religion as persona non grata in his country. He’s been a busy boy! My life though is a happier place because I have a Prime Minister that behaves in a dignified manner (outside the House of Commons)and when he is asked a question he does what all politicians should do… he dodges it rather than hand me a bunch of bullshit. Trump just isn’t that smart, so he lies and blames the press for not backing his lies.
But I don’t want to be angry and depressed over what I see, I am heading to the Caribbean in less than a week and that is what is foremost on my mind. Warm temperatures, salt air and no snow!
As I have mentioned in the past, this year’s sojourn to the sunny south is packed full of familiar characters, people I am wholly looking forward to spending some face to face time with. It also includes familiar places, which is helpful since I am putting myself behind the wheel of a vehicle once again in a foreign country. I have spent the last few weeks getting my ducks in a row (airport transportation and cat feeding etc) and have set up travel lines of communication with both Ginger and The Earl and Rock and Stream. All systems are GO!
The items on Honey’s lists are mostly stroked out and I have even vacuum packed my island clothes, which means I will be wrinkly the whole time I’m in the DR. I’m hoping the humidity will make the worse wrinkles come out. With all the air removed from the vacuum bag, my entire 14 day wardrobe looks like a giant chocolate covered raison. Honey too has shrunk wrapped her clothes, she just does it more carefully. This we are doing to reduce our travel luggage from 3 bags to 2. The reason is two-fold; 1) we must pay for additional luggage and 2) I have to get 4 adults and their luggage in the rental vehicle for our trip from the airport to the Playa Magante. A week later I will attempt to do the same with 5 adults and 3 sets of luggage. I have reserved a Hyundai Tucson SUV (or similar) to accomplish this feat.
Renting a car in the Dominican Republic is very much the same as renting one in Canada; it is all done over the internet. Most North American car-rental companies are represented at the airport in the DR, as well as a few European ones. I am dealing with Avis, a company that I have dealt with in the past both in Canada and the DR. The difference is when I wish to rent a vehicle in Canada, I can get exactly what I want but in the DR I might get what I want or might get similar. Which means everyone and everything might fit, or might not. I was able to locate a 2015 Tucson in a parking lot of the Big Box store the other day and I feel good about its size, but no matter how hard I tried I could not locate a 2015 Similar. I don’t even know what company makes them!!
Dealing with this uncertainty has caused Honey and I a certain amount of stress, hence the downsizing. What if the 2015 Similar doesn’t have enough storage space? I don’t want to have to strap The Earl to the roof! He wouldn’t like it!! Lighting a cigarette at 100kph would be impossible!!! The alternative would be to take The Earl and the baggage to the Playa and return and retrieve Ginger and Honey, who will be no doubt be shit-faced by the time I pick them up 3 hours later. I’ll have been on the island for six or more hours before I can drink anything but water!! There is very little I can do about preparing for a too small car disaster and with only a few days until I find out if I got a Hyundai or a Similar the best we can do is squeeze everything into one bag each and hope for the best. The 2015 Similar had better have similar space to the 2015 Tucson is all I can say
You may be thinking that I am concerned about nothing, one will be as good as the other but I do have some experience with Dominican car rentals. The last time I reserved a car I was given an upgrade at the airport to a 2013 4-door Similar sedan. “See,” you say,” you got something better than you ordered! No reason for concern!!”
It had a slow leak in the front tire, a rear door that didn’t latch properly and eight dents. I think I have a right to worry about the space in a 2015 Similar SUV.