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6/365 – All By Our Lonesomes
© 2011 Timmy Tamisiea. All rights reserved. Yeah, honey, you keep fighting the ocean.  I'm going to drink the pina colata Carlos walked miles in the sun to make with fresh coconuts he harvested himself and alcohol he's been fermenting in the village down the street.

6/365 – All By Our Lonesomes

ALL BY OUR LONESOMES

An old friend and college teacher was helping me recover from a nasty fever and cold before a big audition.  I kept telling her that I didn’t need to be waited on.  She replied, “Sometimes you need to let go and just let people serve you.”

Oh, okay. Fine. For crying out loud. Serve me if it makes you happy.

Which leads me to our honeymoon Resort.  The Palace at Playa Grande.  Megan and I arrive around 12:30pm and its absolutely beautiful.  Its was designed as a home for a affluent Indian heart surgeon living in Rodchester, NY.  It’s now a resort for 30-40 travelers looking for top notch service, food and drinks in the beautiful Dominican North Coast.  So, why the anecdote above?  I always held onto that lesson.  I’ve even said it to Megan when she’s been sick and needed my help.  But, today, in The Dominican Republic, this is ridiculous.  When Megan and I arrived at The Palace, we found that there was 6 or 7 other people there.  None of them guests.  Yeah – we’re here by ourselves.  Every sweep of a broom, every pour of a drink, every move made by the staff is for our benefit.  I’m all for good service, but WOW.  It’s strange.  Let me give you the top 5 average resort normalities made weird by solitude . . .

#1  Turning Down Your Room

You mean turn UP the room!

Megan and I entered our room and BOOM!  Flowers everywhere.  And I mean everywhere . . . .

A swan! On our bed! With flowers!

On the sink!

On the shower towels!

On the hand towels!

On the coffee table!

 

On our mini-fridge!

They even had flowers on the extra rolls of toilet papers.  Unfortunately, Megan took those pictures.  The thing is, this happened everyday, not just at check-in.  Flowers all over the room.  In different arrangements.  carefully placed to make our stay pleasant.  If there had been other guests, I would gather that this would have been a check-on only deal.  But because of the complexity and amount of flowers, we felt special.  this was as if some maid with artistic dreams was given the chance to spend more time making beautiful flower arrangements than she would had if there were more guests.

And the thing is, when I’m at a hotel, I’m generally clean.  Comparitively.  I don’t make the bed or hand all my towels up.  The maid will take care of that.  But when the maid is ONLY cleaning your room, you begin to feel like a slob.

 

#2 The Swim Up Bar

Yeah. I can pee anywhere in there and no one is the wiser!

I may be lame.  There’s lots to do in a beautiful Caribbean island nation.  Beautiful beaches.  Exotic dining.  Exotic beaches.  Beautiful dining.   Beautiful exotic dining beaches.  But the #1 thing on my list was enjoying drinks at a swim up bar.  It’s all I talked about on the way to the resort.  Megan: Timmy, how many Dominican pesos do you have?  Timmy: What should I order first at the swim up bar?  Megan: Seriously, we need to tip the driver.  Timmy: I think I’ll get a pina colata and then a pina colata.  Megan: Timmy!  We’re almost there, do you had 500 pesos?  Timmy: You think I could just pee right there to make room for another Pina Colata?

Well, the answer to that last question – yes.  I can.  Because I’m the only one there!  There’s not even a bartender.  Just me, a stone stool submerged in the water and a guy named Filepe who will bring me a drink from the bar in the kitchen.  So, yeah, I did pee in the pool.  Which was awesome and disgusting.  Sigh.

But it was sorta lonely too.  The swim up bar, for me, was a chance to slide up with some stingers and start a conversation.  I mean you combine liquor, unruly body hair and not so glamourous body fat and that’s a recipe for ice breakers.  But, instead, I’m drinking solo while Felipe waits for my glass to empty.  It was sorta strange.

 

 

#3 The Beach

Yeah, honey, you keep fighting the ocean. I'm going to drink the pina colata Carlos walked miles in the sun to make with fresh coconuts he harvested himself and alcohol he's been fermenting in the village down the street.

The Palace has a private beach.  Yeah . . . PRIVATE.  Which Megan and I would later find is actually unbelievable when it comes to tanning in the Dominican Republic (See tomorrow’s post.).  But, again, everything is done for you.  If you go to the resort’s beach and a group of fellow guests are there, ordering a drink or having s a staff member pull out a beach chair is no big deal.  But, when it’s just you and your wife, you feel lazy.  At least I did.  Carlos, our staff assistant, from 2-10pm asked if I wanted a drink.  YEAH I DO – A pina colatta.  Then I realized he had to go up the four flights of stairs to the main building and make it in the kitchen and bring it back down.  I mean, that’s awesome, bit still, I felt like an ass.

 

 

#4 Meals

A table for two.

The staff chef prepares these unbelievable meals made from local produce, poultry, fish and beef.  Literally, a guy in a motorcycle will drive to the gate with his catch of the day and they purchase what they need.  Juan Carlos, the manager, said they go to a local farm, point out a chicken and he become our meal.  Yeah, take that Purdue!  I mean, the avocados are huge and so fresh!  the chef then takes inventory and make s options for a 3 course meal.  Normally, you need to order the day before, but because we’re the only occupants – we get to order whenever.  usually there’s 2-3 choices for salad, 2-3 for main and 2 for desert.

But when we come down for dinner, there’s one lonesome table with candles and wine glasses et out overlooking the ocean.  Very – VERY romantic.  In fact, this didn’t bother me all that much being alone for meals.  But there was that weird feeling when you look back and Carlos is waiting to give you another glass of wine.

 

#5 Night Time Drinking and Activities

Everytime I drink at night, everyone disappears. My wife. My friends. Guests. Bartenders. Where am I? Oh, The Dominican Republic.

In my mind, after dinner, Megan and I would traverse the resort grounds, hand in hand.  Mingle with strangers.  Meet a new couple at the bar.  Maybe an older married couple who revisit the Dominican Republic every year.  A couple with sage advice for newlyweds.  Maybe we’d do shooters with some fellow travelers who goat us into going out to a local disco or a bodega for a Presidente (the local beer).

Rum shooters for everyone who's still alive!

Rum shooters for everyone who's still alive!

Nope.  We are alone.  And this is great as Megan is my best friend.  I can’t think of a better person to be in solitude with.  BUT, the solitude of The Palace is not more evident than at night.  We’d have a beer and play monopoly or dangle our feet in the pool.  We took at least 35 pictures of the swim up pool using the Hipstomatic app on our iPhones just to test out the different lenses and flashes.  Again, this is not bad, but it took getting used to.  Megan and I are generally a 50/50 split when it comes to socializing.  But in this case, it was a 100/0 split.  We ended up going to bed pretty early – which gave us an early rise the next day.

I do want to preface this, again, by stating that this solitude was NOT bad.  It was just unexpected and took some getting used to.  October is the off season for tourism in the DR, so Megan and I had the whole place to ourselves and we eventually got very comfortable with that.

"Dude, what time is it?" "No, its' 'Que hora es?' Timmy"

PS – I kicked Megan’s ass in Monopoly!

 

2 Comments


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