Picking up where we left off, Tuesday morning involved an excursion to the Dominican Republic countryside so we could drive buggies (or “boogies,” if you follow their spelling). We rented 3 buggies (two people per car) and drove in a single-file line down dirt roads and along a beach. We visited a few different locations, including the aforementioned beach, a “plantation” where coffee, cocoa and tobacco are harvested, then a cave that was supposedly filmed as part of “Jurassic Park.” It was rather difficult to determine whether the “plantation” was actually functional, or whether it was an outpost in the middle of nowhere set up to show tourists how coffee and cocoa are made, and cigars rolled. In any case, it was somewhat instructional and proved to be entertaining. Overall, the buggy ride was a nice diversion from an otherwise beach-centric vacation.
Tuesday afternoon, we returned to the beach, though I think we were a bit more relaxed than the day before. Brooke and I took the opportunity to remain in the shade for most of the time, giving our (limited) sun burns a rest before hitting it hard the next day. We did, however, make an attempt at renting some kayaks to try and make our way out into the ocean where there was a partially submerged ship used mostly for scuba excursions (I think). The girls were able to make it out there, but my kayak was very, very uncomfortable, so I couldn’t quite make the trip.
(…and before you think me a weakling, bear in mind that Brooke and I switched kayaks at one point and she had problems as well…it wasn’t just me!! Brooke and I were both sore for the next few days from that kayak trip…stoopid kayak…)
That night, we ate at the buffet close to our hotel where we normally just ate breakfast. This allowed us a bit more flexibility with how we spent our evening, so we were able to eat a bit earlier and then enjoy some “family time” that night playing cards and hanging out, getting a little more relaxation in.
Wednesday was our last full day in the Dominican Republic, so we generally stayed close to the beach. Nothing too interesting to report from that day, though “the kids” sent Mark and Diana to the spa for a few hours in the afternoon, something I think they enjoyed.
After a long day out in the sun, we went out to dinner at a Japanese restaurant which, in my opinion, was the best meal we had the entire time down there. It was a “teppanyaki“-style restaurant, where the food is cooked in front of a group of patrons and you choose what you want to eat. Needless to say, I was pretty full after eating just about every meat imaginable, as well as a healthy portion of rice and soup.
The next morning, we all said our “goodbyes” to the country in our separate ways: some walking on the beach, some getting up early to read, some swimming in the pool. We checked out late-morning and headed back to the airport, where we waited for a 3:00 pm flight (thankfully, there was a Wendy’s). The flight back was mostly uneventful, aside from some turbulence. Frontier was kind enough to provide 25 channels of cable TV once we crossed into US airspace, so that was a big plus. We were on the ground by 7:00 pm and, somehow, made it through Customs in about 15 min, which shocked me to a sufficient degree.
All in all, it was a memorable, great vacation! Thanks again to Mark and Diana for taking us all along with them, and to my parents for watching Meg and Edie while we were out of the country. And Stu for taking care of the chickens and Sam. Can’t forget that. :-)