Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 8 Las Vegas to St. George

I arranged with the hotel a later checkout so Morena could sleep more. We left at a little after noon and stopped at a Smiths to get food. Then we stopped at the Valley of Fire to get gas and had trouble getting the car to start. When it finally started we headed home but after about 10 minutes a warning light came on letting us know that our fluid was low. We stopped in Mesquite to buy anti-freeze and called Eric. He said check the reservoir and if its empty he wouldn't drive the car. It was empty so I filled it and watched it leak out very fast. So I called the insurance and they had a tow truck come and take us to St. George and drop the car off to Eric so he can fix it. After that Eric lent us his car and we drove home. And thus our great summer adventure ended.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dominican Republic Day 7 the Trip Home

A Random Caribbean Island From 36,000 Feet
Dominican Republic From 10,000 Feet
Our Sandals Spend One Last Moment on the Beach
Morena Bidding Farewell to the Caribbean
The Caribbean
Clear Water
Bye Bye Caribbean


We got up early and took a walk on the beach and Morena went in to say goodbye to the Caribbean. Such calm clear water. Our ride came at 10:15AM and we arrived at the airport at 10:50AM. We got our tickets and went through all the security checks. We forgot the Vanilla that we bought so I had to go back out and check that luggage and come back through security. It took a while because there was now a long line where the luggage gets checked in. Then we had one last Dominican meal got on the plane and left. Flying over the Caribbean was nice. All the different shades of blue that the water took on. All the small and bigger islands. Then we arrived in Miami about 2 hours later. We had 4 hours until our flight to Las Vegas but it took about 1.5 hours to clear customs then get our checked luggage then clear customs again. Our flight to Vegas took off on time and was about 5 hours. We had a little turbulence some of which was bad enough to cause more than a few people to say Whoa! But not too bad and it didn't last very long. We arrived in Las Vegas caught a shuttle to long term parking to get our car. Next we went to In and Out Burger and got some food that we brought to Excaliber Hotel where we had a room for the night. Morena is starting to get sick. We didn't get to sleep until about 1:30AM.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dominican Republic Day 6

Sugar Cane
Paul & Morena with Guide Dominic
Morena and Paul in Truck

Rolling a Cigar


Morena Buys this Boy an Egg

Beauty Salon

Food at Outside Market

Today we went on a Safari (Dominican Lifestyle). We went to see how the locals live. We first stopped and had some sugarcane in Hato Viejo 2. While doing this we were offered the "National Vitamin" which is Cola and Rum (Ron). We of course just had the Cola for the toast. Our guide, who I think is Jamaican, was happy to take our share of Ron. Then we stopped at a place to use the restroom and buy things (of course). We had children come in and beg for money but the owner chased them out telling them they would have to do that outside. We bought some lollipops called BonBon. We were told we could throw them to the local children who would run out and wave to us as we rode by. Next we stopped at an outdoor market in Bayaguana. We had a little boy follow us. We gave him some candy but he continued with us as we walked through the market. As we were getting ready to get back in the vehicle Morena heard the boy trying to buy a hard boiled egg for 5 pesos but the lady wanted 6 pesos and wouldn't lower the price even when the boy said how hungry. Morena offered to pay but before she could check to see if she had the money the kid was eating the egg. Morena had American change but the lady wanted nothing to do with it it. She finally found some pesos and paid for the egg and gave the change to the little boy. After this we saw two beautiful baseball fields in the middle of nowhere. They belong to the Florida Marlins and the New York Mets. Then we headed up the mountain. Seeing the housing you see how spoiled we are in America. Little children would run out and wave and we would throw them candy. We stopped and got a tour of a typical home. We also tasted Coco before its dried and ground and ground coffee in a hollowed out log. The others drank the coffee but we did not. The place where we did this is called Conatillo. Next we went to this beautiful Waterfall and went under it and showered. There were more people trying to sell us stuff. On the way out I ended up with this big gray spider on my arm. I have no idea if it was poisonous or not. After leaving the waterfall we at lunch. It was good. We headed home. We were covered in dust. Morena wore white that was now brown but she washed it at the waterfall and hung it up to dry while we ate. On the way back to the hotel it started to rain very hard. Thunder and lightning, it was cool. It cooled things off and knocked down the dust. We made it to the hotel in about 2.5 hours. We ate at El Fogon and went to the big show after not realizing that one night a week the audience was the big show. We ended up on stage learning and dancing the Salsa. After we tried emailing Barry but Morenas laptop was not working so we paid to use a computer there. $5 for an hour. It didnt work too well but I nursed it through and was able to get a short email off to Barry. Then we did most of our packing and got to bed late.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dominican Republic Day 5

Morena and Paul on their way to Catalina Island off the Coast of the Dominican Republic
The "Bebo off the side of our boat.

Catalina Island

Morena getting shuttled to Catalina Island on the "Bebo"

Clear blue waters off of Catalina

Catalina Island

Port we left from

Morena heading to boat.

Our ride to Ramona and the boat
We started of with breakfast, fresh fruits, potatoes, juice, sausage, bacon, eggs... Our ride came to get us at 8AM. It was a 45 minute ride to where the boat was located. From there it took about an hour to reach Catalina Island. We first stopped at a place on one side of the Island for snorkling. The water was crystal clear and about 10 feet deep. There is a coral reef there with all kinds of fish. It was beautiful. The crew of the boat were fishing while we were snorkling and caught quite a few fish. After snorkling for about 30 minutes we went to the other side of the Island to lounge on the beach. It was a beautiful beach with crystal clear waters. It was very hot and there were these huge horseflies that wanted us for lunch. We put on insect repellent but they apparently thrive on DEET. Then we had this guy come and try to sell us something by giving us a gift and only asking us to stop by his store before we left. We did but he wouldn't come down on price so another local salesman gets taken to task by Morena. We went to the Fogon for dinner again. They serve local Dominican cuisine. We had a musician come to our table and sing Gema for Morena. Then we of course watched the big show they do every night.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Dominican Republic Day 4

We tried to get an excursion set up for today but couldn't so we set one up for tomorrow(Saturday) to Catalina Island with a representative of the agency here. His name is Pedro and after we set up the trip we had a long conversation with Pedro and a rep from another company whose name is Moises. They asked where I learned Spanish and Morena told them that I learned while serving an LDS mission. They said they repected the Mormons and were impressed at how quickly they can learn a foriegn language. We talked about many things and nearly had all the worlds problems solve but it was almost lunch time so we had to eat. We went to the beach after lunch and just chilled for about 4 hours. Its a weekend so there are more people but still not to bad. We had several people trying to sell us stuff. How many times do you have to tell someone that you don't smoke so you don't need any cigars? We went to dinner at the Italian restaurant again and it was good. Then we went to the show they have each night. Since it was Friday the show was done on the beach. They set up a stage, a bar and a dance floor. They had a live band. The weather was perfect. At some point they started a bonfire on the beach. It was a good relaxing day. Tomorrow we go to Catalina Island to lounge and snorkle.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dominican Republic Day 3

Tex Mex Restaurant
Cataraman From Saona Island

Speed Boat to Cataraman From Saona Island

Morena Toying With Another Salesman

Morena in A Hammock Hung Between Two Coconut Trees

Fresh Coconut Juice!

The Whole Carribean at My Feet.

The day started off early with fresh fruit for breakfast then a 1.5 hour ride to get to the cataraman we took to Saona Island. On the way we stopped at what they called a natural pool in the Carribean. It was several hundred yards from shore and the water was 3 to 4 feet deep and the bottom was white sand. We saw several large starfish and held them. That was cool. Then to Saona Island. It was beautiful as you can see in the photos. Then the long ride home with some loud but funny guy from Puerto Rico. After cleaning up we went to the Tex Mex Restaurant where I had some chicken mole and Morena had Mahi Mahi. After dinner we saw a show and are now trying to arrange some snorkling tomorrow. A fun day. They even got me to dance on the catamaran. That must have been quite a site for all watching. But I had fun.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Dominican Republic Day 2

Morena lounging by our room.
We are ready for the World Cup!

This guy tried to get Morena to buy something. The poor fellow didn't know who he was messing with.

Morena in the shade of a palm tree just a few feet from the carribean-a dream come true.

Morena under her palm tree.

The beach

Another nice day. It started with us going to bed at 2:30AM and then Morena getting hungry at 5:30 and making just enough noise to wake me up. We went down to breakfast at 6:30 then lounged on the beach for a few hours. At 9:30 we met with a rep from the company taking us to Saona Island tomorrow. Then Morena was hungry again so we ate and then went to our room at about 12:30 for a nap. We were up and out at 2:30 and had a bite to eat at Los Mangos. Then a skyp conversation with Janice and Kaylee where we gave them a tour of the resort, at least until we got to the end of the internet signal. Morena arranged for a taxi ride to take us to the pharmacy to buy dramamine for our ocean adventure tomorrow. 400 pesos for the taxi ride! We just returned from Riggaleto an Italian restaurant. It was an awsome place to eat. Now we are waiting for a live show to start in about 45 minutes. I think they may try to teach me to dance the Merengue. The will probably have as much luck with that as that poor salesman on the beach had trying to sell Morena something. The guy was good but she made him look like a rank amature.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Dominican Rupublic Day 1

Talk about a long day. We leave St. George yesterday at 9:00PM to catcha 12:40AM flight. We get to Las Vegas 2.5 hours before our flight but miss the turn for the Economy parking and have to circle around. While we are doing this, we decided to take a bathroom break at a McDonalds. By the time we get back to the car have under 2 hours until our flight-the car won't start! Click, click, click is all we hear. After what seemed like an eternity the car finally started and we head to the economy parking lot. This time we found the right turn, sigh. There was a shuttle vehicle there and he pointed to a spot for us to park, grabbed our luggage and we were off. By the time we checked in and got to the gate there was under an hour until our departure time. The first leg of the flight got us to Dallas/Fort Worth Texas. We got there at 5AM. Our connecting flight had a departure time of 5:45AM and the gate was a ways away. We got there just in time to board! Next is Miami. We get there late and had to walk about a mile to our gate, 15 minutes at a fast walking pace. We immediately try to board, but Morena was stopped because she looked suspicious... Just kidding. They did some random carry on thing and made her check her carry on. They also told her she couldn't get anything out of the bag. Well when we got on the plane Morena realized that all her meds were in that bag, so she talked to the pilot and got them to allow her to get her meds. They also brought her bag on the plane so we didn't need to check it in after all. The flight left late. We flew over the Carribbean seeing a lot of islands along the way. We landed in the Dominican Republic about 20 minutes late. We cleared customs and looked for the representative from the tour company. Well, we had some guy try to lead us away but the lady from the tour group saw us and started yelling, Hey, this way! So the guy circled around and brought us to her. She was kind of a confusing person but we evetually got our ride to the resort. By now we were starving because we had no time in between flights to stop and get a drink of water let alone food. At the resort we were waiting to check in but this kids in front of us were taking forever! Then after about 10 minutes a lady came and had me come over to a desk to check us in. We were thankful becuase that other group went on and on. She asked how things were and I said good except we were hungry because everything was so rushed we didn't have time to eat. She stopped, put these pink bands on our wrists and said "go eat and we will finish this after." So we did. The food was very good especially the fruit and especially the pineapple. WOW! Morena took a bite and exhaled and said wow! this is better than... You fill in rest. : ) Needless to say the fresh fruit was great! After the meal we finished checking in, went to our room and crashed for 4 hours. The room was nice and cold-a heavenly break from the hot moisture. We woke up showered and went out for dinner. You can see what we had in the photos. It was all excellent. Some guys came in and seranaded us while we were eating. It was a romantic event to start off our paradise vacation. Then we found out that internet is free in the lobby- if you have your own laptop, which we do. Halleluja! How sweet is that. So here we are filling you in. We will do this most nights, maybe.