Punta Cana 2003 — Wendy's report
This article was written by Wendy.
The gang all returned to Punta Cana this October for a reunion trip. For two couples it was their 1st year anniversary trip. For one, a more-years-than-that anniversary trip. And for Andrew and Wendy, just a chance to soak in some sun with good friends. We failed to do any sort of journal this time, so there won’t be a detailed day-by-day rundown of the trip, but here’s the summary.
We arrived on Saturday October 18, 2003 along with Michelle and Rodney, who were kind enough to handle our reservations and booking. On the busride in from the airport we met Jerry, Judy, her mom Edna and friend Lena. We refer to them as “The Oldies” in the kindest way. Over the week we got to be pretty good buddies with these folks, culminating in an end-of-the-week gallop down the beach for Wendy, Jerry, and Judy (and Morita, Anita, and Bobo, our trusty mounts). On Sunday Max and Marie arrived from the frozen North (Ottawa).
In the casino we met new friends Bob and Tracy Patel from Annapolis, who were enjoying a relaxing trip without their 5-month old son Dylan (who was home being spoiled rotten by grandma). They left us on Wednesday, but in those few days together we found a good fit, and hope to travel with them again (many are called, few are chosen for the PC gang). We were also treated to a great example of why the rest of the world hates us in the casino that first night in the form of a crotchety old man who kept yelling “Speak English” to the unamused Dominican blackjack dealers. Sometimes we like to pretend we’re Canadian.
Monday saw the arrival of Ray and Belinda making the PC gang complete. Rodney and Michelle “discovered” scuba diving and were a little freaked out… guess all that talk of lung-popping, nitrogen-bubble escaping, out-of-air emergency ascent scenarios wasn’t reassuring. A few of the boys had a bout with Montezuma over the course of the week and we learned that over-the-counter Metronidazole is the most civilized medicine ever.
Tuesday was “hang out at the beach” day, and on Wednesday the whole team trekked 2 arduous hours cross-country on a bus to La Romana, where we boarded a boat to Catalina Island. It seems to be inhabited only by the ubiquitous larimar-and-T-shirt salesmen. Andrew and I dove a wonderful wall teeming with life and a crab as big as my head. We bottomed out at 102 feet, and got to experience nitrogen narcosis for the first time (come on, Rodney and Michelle… this is FUN!). After a lunch of strangely crispy rice and pork (we hope), our second dive found the WHOLE GROUP underwater, at least for a few minutes. Max had ear trouble and couldn’t descend, so Wendy and Marie partnered for the rest of the dive. Rodney and Michelle began to realize what it is that calls us down and down again on this lovely 40 foot dive on a vivid coral reef. The bus ride home was LONG and we were hungry tired campers that night.
Thursday was overcast, and Friday we bid farewell to Ray and Belinda, who only stayed 4 nights as they worry about being gone from their ancient dog Cody, who is known in the dog world as “Demon-breath-with-monsterous-left-testicle”. Saturday dawned bright and clear, and saw us safely home to Dayton International Airport where we were welcomed home with drenching icy rain. We can only hope we stored up enough Dominican sun to last us until next year!