Thursday 30 November 2017

Trip to the Dominican Republic 5: Tuesday

Tuesday Nov. 21

 Note to hubby: 
The girls are having a blast. Caitlin said yesterday she was happy I came along, it really makes a difference with different activity choices, and supervision time!
I've found six different bird species, even though we are in a gated community , which is really safe.
Time for coffee # Two!
The skies were amazing at 6:30 a.m., I did another walkabout.

The bamboo trees had fallen over in the night, along the well-groomed paths.

In the photo (above), you can see the gate behind me in the inset. They were very strict and had guards on the gate all the time. The inset photo is a feature of my videocamera, which takes very nice photos!

Below is the stage. Thursday night there was a circus show, which we didn't attend. We were in bed early every night!

If you look carefully, you can see the flickers. They were difficult to photograph, on the palm tree. To view all the critters I spotted: Flora and Fauna. I'm still working on an anole ID!

It was a well-maintained pool, the one behind our room. They tested it daily.

I went into the lobby to send hubby an email. This woman proceeded to sit at my table-for-two, plunking down her water bottles, and loudly make a phone call. Then, the rest of her party joined her, all on cell phones. I just wanted peace and quiet! I took a photo. I was so surprised!

Breakfasts involved lots of fruit, as well as the rest of the buffet. It was interesting, as the fruit section had line-ups, but some people just butted in. Different cultures have different standards, methinks. A tourist-eat-tourist world. sigh.

Back to our room to get into swim wear. Izzy had blisters from her flip-flops. Momma gave her a ride.

My cover-ups were too hot, they are polyester. Lesson learned. The girls loved them, though. My pink one was cotton, as well as my red dragonfly wrap.

Mommy set the timer on my camera, but two seconds wasn't enough.
We had a good laugh as the 10-second timer worked for her.

Down to the beautiful beach. It was well-groomed. Every night they'd pull the loungers back up to the top of the beach, in the morning they'd rake it. There were posted rules about not reserving a chair with your towel ALL DAY, but people were quite selfish. We were hard-pressed to find a spot for our stuff.

There were two people in front of me (see below), both older women, with dark tans. They pulled their loungers into the sun. Then, one put her bra on her lounger and retreated to the shade behind me. I couldn't believe it! There were times when we couldn't find a spot for us. These two had four loungers between them.

Here they were (inset below), sitting in the precious shade of the umbrella. Woman's inhumanity towards humanity. This is why I loathe crowds.

We were blessed with clouds the first few days, I got a bit of a tan. Caitlin was vigilant with sunscreen for the girls. They also wore special shirts that keep out the sun's harmful rays. The clouds were amazing. The girls found a friend, Kenzie.

The day wore on, we got ready for dinner. The transportation was excellent within the gated community.

Dinner was yummy. The bread sticks were a hit, not to mention the desserts. We were so active, that we needed the calories. Desserts were yummy, although, I don't normally eat them!

On the Friday we arrived, they fumigated. They drove a car all along the pathways. I have no idea what it was. The truck's logo was Fumicentre, as I recall. A bit scary. It's no wonder I didn't see many insect.

They liked the cartoon app on my iPad.

Wednesday 29 November 2017

Trip to the Dominican Republic 4: Monday

Monday, Nov. 20

Awake at 6:26! 
I am so sore! We are swimming All .The. Time!
Having a grand time, all told. 
Yesterday, I gave Josee my hankie to use as a hat. Suddenly there was sun. They ended up with mild sunburn in their parts between their braids. 

When they awoke, I did a reprise. This photo I took back in 2011, on vacation with the kids at Bondi Village. Here they are, again! Isn't that fun?!

After another hardy breakfast, back to the room for swimsuits. Izzy thought about it, and after originally being against it, Izzy had her hair braided, whilst Josee and I went to the pool behind our room. Sleepy girls! Humid and foggy. On the pathway, you can see Izzy running, and the bamboo tree arcing over the path. Only Izzy and I noticed it. It was cleaned up very quickly.

Breakfast is serious business. Isabelle had a whole wheat bun every meal. Good fibre!

 It was a small pool behind our room, in a grouping of three buildings, with a bar. Josee had limonada, and I had cerveza, once I figured out how to pronounce it!
 We were there for hours. Finally, Momma and Izzy turned up, hair nicely braided. More swimming while gramma sketched.

This is the pool bar. Staff rotate, but it must be pretty boring some days. Most of the tourists are jolly, respectful, and having fun. Staff always address us in Spanish first, then lapse into what ever language we speak. Bar staff are more fluent in  more languages.

They clean out the ashtrays, then stamp them with a pattern. It's a well-groomed facility.

Weary Josee!

This dude, Andrew (from the UK), fancied himself an expert. He did tell me these are palmchats. My Facebook team recognized bananaquits for me. Andrew, from Britain told me about the birds, I saw more swallowtails, kingbirds, palmchats, flickers. A muscovy duck.  Below is a palmchatm indigenous to the island.

Off to the beach, for a change of pace. These robes were perfect for the girls.

Back to Las Olas for lunch. There it is on the left, Izzy walking. 

On my Facebook ads I keep seeing these. Look familiar?!

There was a dog chasing a cat, as well as three house sparrows! In the dining areas there were strict dress codes: no shirt, no shoes, clothing, no service!

The air conditioner goes off if either our room door, or balcony patio doors, are open in our room!
After lunch, showers or a bath, then a siesta in our room. Mommy read to Josee, Izzy and I read to ourselves. Isabelle, Mommy and I took turns reading Wonder, the movie that just came out. It is an amazing book.

This is the pool for the kiddies. There is a lifeguard up top, he was marvellous with the kids, some of whom were running like demons, throwing plastic cups around towards one another.

This is my Tilley hat. It was raining the whole time here, and still warm. The hat kept my glasses dry.
Josee wouldn't let me wear this hat after Monday. She thought my blue one cuter. She is a fashionista.

We played bocci ball under the palm tree tents as the rain really began to fall.  I said I'd meet them at our restaurant for our reservation at 7 p.m. Then, I said, "I don't have a watch."
 'Look on your computer, Gramma," Josee told me wisely.  Sigh. She's nearly 10.

Off to dinner at the beach restaurant, Las Olas. This was part of our 4 sit-down dinner dates.

Dinner began with a treat, a Brazilian cocktail: caipirhina. Josee ordered her meal in Spanish: espaguetis et papas fritas (french fries). They brought the rice, and veggies, corn on the corner of the plates! Then the meat came on big swords, which they took table-to-table. Pork, chicken, beef. We had a card, held by Izzy (above) and if you were still looking for food you turned it to the green side. If you were full, turn the card over to red.

You could hear the surf on the beach.
You can see my tan, after days on the beach with clouds.

Back to our room through the compound; we heard tree frogs and critters in the dark! No images, I never did see a frog, but the sound was amazing.

As requested by Jean, while we were on the beach my son-in-law was on a cruise to Antarctica with  buddy, Mark. (It took 2 1/2 weeks!) This is why I had the joy of travelling on the girls' trip. (Actually, I invited myself!) As I process my trip photos and memories, JL is uploading his when he can. He is home, as of Tuesday, but was off-line and not able to post too much. He posts to a family album on iPhoto, where we can see where he has been. I will make him a book of these photos for posterity, for Christmas!