Sunday, July 02, 2006

Lazy Sunday

There’s a warm tropical wind blowing through right now. J’s still in bed. Elena is upstairs showering. I’m drinking a Perrier and working on my laptop as I sit on the veranda overlooking the pool. Our pool. In which we went swimming in the middle of the night.

Yeah, life is rough sometimes. When you’re at an all-inclusive resort, reality gets distorted. You have food and drink at your beck and call. You have the beach nearby. Activities. More swimming pools. More drinks. Last night, the treatment came in the form of a set dinner at the Blue Lagoon. Salad with tuna, ceviche, lobster bisque, and this huge platter of grilled seafood. This was all fantastic, but sometimes you need to escape the coddling and the luxury.

So it was off to nearby Sosua by taxi. Not that far away as the crow flies, Dominican roads aren’t exactly like American superhighways. 45 minutes, $30, and several drunken naps later, we were there, and we secured our ride back by paying our driver another 30 bones. But hey, there’s no nightlife at the compound, and Sosua’s a happenin’ place.

Perhaps not this Saturday night. In fact, it was pretty dead everywhere we went. There were tons of bars open, with gaudy neon lights to attract the non-existent masses of revelers. No matter. We went to Voodoo Lounge, where the German-speaking bartender made a mean Cuba libre and the bathrooms were clean. This latter point is important, especially after gorging yourself on seafood and taking a long, windy road trip in the back of a Toyota minivan. Just so you know.

Our next stop was the Checkpoint, where we’d meet up with my friend Brooke from TravelPunk. She was tending bar in all her Canadian finery to celebrate her country’s big day. Umm, that’d be Canada Day, eh.

Brooke whipped us up a batch of specialty drinks, some involving a blender, and we taught her a few of our own. Somehow, we always end up with a night like this. Around the bar were a couple from Boston… no, make that Bahstun – accents in full effect! As well as a 20 year-old from Tennessee, accompanied by his 34 year old friend. Before you ask the question, J already did. What was a dude in his 30’s doing hanging out with a kid who just turned 20? We never found out…

The Checkpoint eventually had to close, which is probably good since we had a waiting cab. And J’s skin was breaking out something fierce. Elena wasn’t far behind. Damn the seafood! At least we could have a nice, cooling swim when we got back.

We made our way back to Cofresi. Along the way, the driver offered to take us around Puerto Plata on Monday, so he could show us the shopping, the amber museum, the cigar factory, etc. Well now, we weren’t going to turn down adding a driver into this whole mix, were we? I negotiated a time in my so-so Spanish, and as he dropped us off, it was agreed: Lunes a las cuatro. That means Monday at 4. Or so I hope.

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