DR TRAVELOGUE | PART 6 | THE RESORT
By Led Black
The next morning I woke up fully rested to the sounds of roosters crowing in the backyard and my mom singing in the kitchen while she cooked. I felt rejuvenated and ready to avenge my disgraceful losses in Dominos. The day could not have started off better; it was a typical beautiful Dominican morning with the smell of my mom’s cooking wafting into my room making me salivate. My mom made one of her signatures dishes, salchichon guisao and mangu with Chinola juice (my favorite) and Dominican coffee as accompaniment. As soon as that was over, I sat down to play Dominos with my mom and some of my nieces and nephews. I don’t mean to brag but I did pretty damn good. I thought I was ready for my uncle and his cohorts.
Around noon, the men started to arrive and we got down to business. Can you say ass whipping? It was worse than the day before because being sober I realized how I just wasn’t on their level. These men were pros and I was just a minor leaguer. There would be times when the game would end and I still had like all my fichas in my hand. It got to the point where I just quit and ending up being the dude that tallied the player’s points and kept their cups filled with Brugal and Coke.
I wasn’t too stressed about it though because today was the day that my cousin Uri would drive us to Puerto Plata to spend a few days at the Mariel Coral Hilton all-inclusive Resort. Prior to coming to DR, I practically went crazy researching online which resort to stay in. I really wanted to see the beaches of Bavaro in the southeast but because of distance we settled for Puerto Plata in the north coast, which is about an hour and a half drive from my mom’s house in Esperanza.
The first time I ever went to a resort was in 1996. That year we stayed in a small resort in one of my favorite places in DR, Samana. What I love about Samana is that it is still very pristine and undeveloped in terms of tourism. Its natural beauty and charm is not marred by resort after resort like some other places on the island. Being that this was a smaller more intimate resort it was almost like we had the place to ourselves.
The first night there, I got completely shit-faced drinking Barcelo 151 over-proof rum. At one point, I misjudged my dive into the pool and almost broke my head in the process. My whole face was covered in blood. The next morning I woke up with a gash on my forehead the size of a peseta. Needless to say, I ended up going to a little hole in the wall clinic where they promptly gave me 7 stitches and a tetanus shot with a needle about as long as a harpoon. To make matters worse, they had to bandage up the top part of my forehead. When I finally took off the bandage a few days later, my forehead was two-toned. The bottom half was crazy dark from all the sun and the top half was mad pale from being all covered up. Again, say it with me now, Que humo!