Saturday, July 07, 2007


Hi all... I'm finally back home from the DR and in front of my computer where I can freely (actually it's 25 bucks a month) partake of the world wide web. I did a little remote blogging while I was there, so I will post that first. Then later on today I will finish off the final day of my trip... or what I like to call the LONG ROAD BACK!

Take a trip back in time with me as we rejoin our heroes at Miami International Airport where the Pasillas family is in danger of NOT making the flight to Punta Cana....

Okay, I'll save you the suspense (since this was over a week ago)... You’ll be happy to know that Luis and his family DID get on the flight, so we all made it safely to Punta Cana. Unfortunately, our luggage did not. Those bastards at MIA didn’t load any of our luggage onto the plane. That really sucked because there were NO more flights to Punta Cana until the next morning. So day one pretty much ended like this…

It took us 17.5 hours to get to Punta Cana from Los Angeles. That’s 17.5 hours of no sleep (for me) and the SAME CLOTHES. And when we got to the resort we checked out their clothing shop and they wanted 30 bucks for a T-shirt, 60 bucks for men’s swimming trunks, and 80 bucks for a bikini. So needless to say we wore the same clothes for the entire day and I was forced to spend 7 bucks for toothpaste and ONE toothbrush.

Do you wish you were here yet?

Our room turned out to be decent and we have the luxury of 3 beds (one for Paris, one for Pilar and one for Xochil and I). Luis on the other hand ended up with ONE BED for FOUR PEOPLE. And to think, he is a member of the club and is sporting the VIP wristband.

All things considered it was a nice restful day filled with food, sun, alcoholic beverages, and cigars… and I mean a lot of cigars.

The day started with a shower and back into the same clothes (yuck) for the third consecutive day (Wed evening, Thursday travel day, and Friday). There was of course the promise that our bags would be landing in Punta Cana at 11:45 AM and be delivered right to us.

Of course that promise was broken.

First of all, the 8:55 AM flight out of MIA did not leave Miami until 11AM… which got the plane into Punta Cana by 1:30PM. Of course our bags weren’t directly delivered to our hotel. Even after many phone calls and lousy customer service interventions (actually American Airlines customer service could use an intervention), our bags were still M.I.A. The pervading rumor/lie was that they were on some mysterious BUS that was “on its way”. That turned into more unfulfilled promises of our bags getting to the hotel no later than 3pm, 4pm, 5pm… and finally 6pm.

None of that happened.

But let me back up a little and explain the rest of the day. Xochil and I decided to go buy some friggin clothes, so we took the advice of a porter and took a hotel bus to the “shopping center”. I bought an overpriced but undersized T-Shirt and Xochil managed to find a tank top and a sarong type wrap around thing that she wore as a dress. On the way back we decided to get dropped off just outside the hotel grounds, where there was one of those blocks with a bunch of hole in the wall type boutiques/shops. We found clothes much cheaper there, but had spent most of the money I brought along on the bus trip. I had decided to take only 100 bucks and leave the rest of my money and my wallet in my room, so that if were led astray and got jacked, I wouldn’t be losing all my shit.

At this little mom and pop shopping area, we were greeted by an ambitious but friendly shop owner named “Mike”. He gave Xochil and I free good luck necklaces (which hasn’t delivered on that promise yet) and proceeded to sell us coffee beans and cigars.

Xochil and I walked back the 7 minutes to our hotel room and changed into these lovely new clothes…. After our umpteenth showers of course! Xochil felt better, but I was in the same underpants and shorts and starting to feel like a contestant on SURVIVOR… or maybe more like an extra on LOST. Anyway, after having to put on the same underpants for the umpteenth time (after the umpteenth shower) I vowed to retire these draws for good. No washing machine and back onto the front lines… these bad boys were going to get a military funeral and perhaps a memorial of some sort. They served their time well and never complained. God bless those drawers!

Anyway, we all drank a lot and I smoked at least 5 cigars on day two… then we went back to the business of trying to get our luggage. A very helpful employee of the resort was able to get into contact with someone who personally watched them load the luggage into a van… and finally at 6:30PM our luggage was on the way. So I waited outside the hotel until 7:30 PM when the bags finally arrived.

I have never been so happy to get my own stuff. And I’d also like to mention that my entire suitcase was full of new clothes, purchased especially for the trip.

This was the first of five LOVELY vacation days spent doing the same sorts of Caribbean vacation type things: eating, sunning, swimming, reading, writing, drinking, and smoking cigars. The only thing of note that happened to me was that one of the employees of the resort offered to sell me pot, cocaine or any other kind of narcotic that I might have wanted. Too bad for him that I gave up smack for lent.

More eating, sunning, swimming, reading, writing, drinking, and smoking cigars…

Still more eating, sunning, swimming, reading, writing, drinking, and smoking cigars…

Do you see a pattern yet? Lots more resorty Caribbean vacation stuff that is fun to do but not so much fun to blog about.

The same as the other days but with red, white and blue balloons commemorating 231 years of states that are united (not in the Dominican Republic, in America) and free from the clutches of the evil Empire (British, not Star Wars).

Okay... that takes us to July 5th and our LONG TRIP HOME... I'll be back later with tales and photos to astonish...


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