Sunday, 5 August 2018

Etu, Sang, Altice and Louie go to Dominican

Huffle decided this year we would have a good holiday, a proper holiday, one that requires a plane ride.  So instead of our usual little yearly renovation to the house, we decided to spend it all on a holiday.  Originally we wanted to go to Antigua, where we got married, but the reviews weren’t so good and we didn’t want to ruin the special memories we had of there.  So Huffle searched far and wide and found us a holiday in the Dominican Republic.  Now for some reason this country doesn’t have a great reputation in the UK but we thought we would give it a go.

So two weeks ago, we got up at 2am and drove an hour to Toronto Airport.  Our flight was 10am and because it was so early, the only place open for any kind of breakfast was Tim Hortons.  I know we live in Canada and should love this place but we really don’t (wow shock horror).   We grabbed what we could and finally boarded our little six seats, one aisle plane (no food, limited beverages and drop down TVs with one film for all).  It was only a four hour flight (same time zone too as it’s pretty much straight down from Canada).

Arriving in Dominican, we were transported by a bus (some would call it a van with seats and windows) for about an hour.  Our plane was full of Canadians and Americans and they all went to a different resort.  The resort we chose was not one normally chosen by the English or North Americans which suited us fine.  Funnily enough, sitting on a beach full of people (not normally our style) of Italian, French and German people gibbering away was just a noise and not bothersome at all.  In fact, the only trouble we had was with an American woman who told Smallest she would take his sunbed if she didn’t see him sitting on it and then when someone took hers the next day she proceeded to rant for half an hour very loudly.  “The Rudeness, I know thats my chair, I can see that he has it and I know that he’s the one who took it” pointing at a non English speaking man.  We also knew he took it because he winked at us while we giggled behind our towels.  She proceeded to throw her daughter out of another in defiance and folded her towel very angrily.

Our accommodation was a one bedroom, two huge beds, one bathroom with a patio.  It was very comfortable and had very cool air conditioning (too cool for me as I struggled to keep my nose and feet warm when in bed but it was needed as it was so humid).  The boys slept in one bed and didn’t have too much trouble except that Smallest talked in his sleep and Small stole all the covers.  To be fair we only used the room when we slept or came back for showers before evening.  Our maid cleaned our room daily, left us clean towels and bottled water.  Most days we had a lovely towel sculpture, our favourite, an elephant copied from Smallest’s, Smelly.

Everyday we had breakfast in one of the nicer restaurants overlooking the sea.  Small had eight pastries most days (he is tall!!!). Smallest and I got into the habit of having a fresh huevo made for us.  One finger pointed up meant a fried egg and two or more meant an omelette.  By the end of the two weeks, our huevo man knew what we wanted.  The toast machine also toasted a good croissant if
you squashed it enough.  Jams, honey, maple syrup and lashings of chocolate sauce were there as well as every conceivable cereal, fruit and cooked breakfast item.  We avoided the fruit at first because of various warnings on the internet but Smallest and I had some lovely fresh fruit by the second week.
 plenty of drinks and cocktails and beer
 interesting foods!

Our routine continued with Smallest swimming in one of the three main swimming pools while I had an extra Cafe Solo and Small caught up with his messages and Huffle checked the news.  Once we moved onto the beach, we didn’t really move much for the rest of the day.   Bocce tournament at 10:30am and 4pm everyday.  For the first two days we didn’t take part but just watched the Italians with their over exuberant gestures and arguments.  We learned how to say red, blue, count to eleven and could understand many conversations in Spanish, Italian and French.

By our second day of joining in the tournaments, Small and I had won.  By the end we won fifteen prizes in all, some by ourselves and some we partnered new people.  We met some lovely German girls (always in bikinis and normally standing with Smallest), some Italians (one of whom chose Smallest most times and we later found out he lived there and had shares in the hotel).  Towards the end of our holiday we teamed up with the SwissFrench.  Normally when people saw us enter the tournament, they would groan.  We were known as No1 or champions.  It was a lot of fun (well mostly, sometimes other people took it too seriously, but we always had a laugh).

The beach was gorgeous with almost white sand and the sea was so clear.   There was a coral reef and the fish were plentiful and really colourful.  We heard another American saying how awful it was but it was quite spectacular considering we were in such shallow water.  Fish of all sizes, shapes and colours.  It was beautiful and I’m so glad we took our goggles.

We spent an awful lot of time in the sea and a lot of time in the shade of the huge palms.  Smallest spent all of his time either in one of the pools or the sea.  He is a proper little fish.

For lunch we had three places to choose from.  A snack bar that made Chips, burgers, hot dogs, salad and pasta and a bit of mid afternoon cake.  A pizza place that had a proper pizza oven, fresh pasta dishes (which normally was fish tomato!!?) and various Rice’s and meat dishes.  The other place was the buffet which served everything.  We didn't go in here too much as it was warm and stuffy despite being open windows all the way round.  Small’s favourite spot was under the shade of the walkthrough where he got the best wifi and he mainly had stuff from the snack bar.  Huffle liked the buffet and Smallest and I liked the pizza pasta place.  Sometimes we ate all together and sometimes all apart.  Smallest always ended up in the pool before and after.  It was good because both boys could pretty much come and go as they pleased, went to the bars and restaurants when they wanted and swam in the pools or sea.

Small and I tried paddle boarding but it was too shallow, too rocky and too wavy.  It hurt our legs for days after.  Smallest and Huffle took out a kayak but it was also too wavy and hurt their backs and hips.  Not comfortable at all.

Mainly it was far too hot to do anything but relax which is just what we wanted to do.  Bocce was an added bonus.   Swimming was great but a huge shock at how salty the sea was.  We have obviously got to used to the fresh water lakes here!

In the evening we would go back to our rooms, sometimes together and sometimes in twos and shower, get dressed, cool down and go out for dinner.  Buffet or Pizza place were our main places but if we booked in advance we could go in one of the three restaurants where we got waited on properly.  First we tried the Italian.  We went there twice.  The first time it was okay and the second time was much better.  Our waiters tried to speak English and they helped us with our Spanish.

The second place we tried was a Mexican.  Small wasn’t feeling so good this evening and so stayed behind and slept (we think he got sun stroke).  Again we went here twice.  Both times were good but the first time they plied us with margheritas, the second time they said they had none!

The last place we tried was a fusion restaurant.  We did not like it here.  It was poncy and we just didn’t understand the food.  There was Pistachio soup with a strawberry mousse in the middle.  Pasta in a cream sauce (to me it tasted like sweet cream and nothing else), lettuce in caramel and honey (wrong).  Not sure what it was trying to be but we don’t like it and we didn’t go back.

All in all a thoroughly fabulous holiday with nice relaxing, book reading, bocce playing, swimming, eating and drinking involved.  The staff were excellent.  We made friends with Giovanny who was partly deaf, only spoke Spanish and made us get him Coke and Ice.  MiniMe who called us Etu, Sang, Altice (Smallest always got his name pronounced correctly apart from Lucciano the old Italian who liked to call him Louie), Hannah Fromm Leicester and Hannah from Kentucky and Michael Jackson who had a show imitating MJ which was very good.

One thing we didn’t like was all the people who smoked and it always came our way no matter where sat.  We feel like we need to have patches now in order to become unaddicted!!!  The plane home was interesting.  The boys and I sat on one side of of his aisle with kids who kicked out seats (I had to yell at them) and kids who jumped on their seats in front.  Huffle sat on the other side of the aisle with a family of twelve indians.  Very loud and they played their Bollywood for all to hear.  The boys and I had our headphones so we didn’t hear it but Huffle was loving it!  It was a very long four hours back and not at all restful.  Still, we are home now and we have had our first proper cup of tea for two weeks.  Lovely.  Smallest went straight in to have a bath and Huffle and I picked nearly seven kilograms of courgettes!!!!
 flora and fauna

 holiday friends

 more flora


No comments: