Monday March 31

We woke up ready to head out on our adventure. I got Shmuppie rolling along relatively easily and we were ready by 7:15 when my father arrived. RDU was relatively sane; although Delta’s international check-in could have been smoother. And, by smoother, I mean; staffed.

Through security, we got Shmuppie 2nd breakfast and we waited to board. We boarded on time and I was at ease. No mean people tried to take our under the seat space and the overhead bins were mostly empty. We had scheduled only a 1-hour layover in ATL, and I knew we’d have to traverse nearly the whole airport. But, we were on time.

Wrong.

We sat for about 20 minutes while they waited for ATL to clear out. I was starting to get nervous. We took off and Shmuppie immediately began to fidget. Great…we only had 5+ more hours of travel to do!

On initial approach, we were told that ATL was busy and we’d have to circle. I started twitching a bit. My only saving grace was that if we could not land, it was likely that our plane for the next flight also could not land. We landed at the end of the T Gates at ATL. We had to go from the T terminal to the E terminal (the sequence is T,A,B,C,D,E). Naturally, we were at the 2nd to last E gate. Basically, we had to go about as far as one possibly can and still be in the airport.

I had called my father when we landed and he told us the flight to Puerto Plata (POP) was delayed and that we had time. We got to our gate and saw that we were delayed further. All was good.

We got on the plane for POP and the flight was highly uneventful. We landed and started our adventure. We stopped at some disgusting bathrooms, where according to JewelrySlut, someone had recently pissed on the floor. Naturally, Shmuppie’s pants got soaked in OPU (Other People’s Urine). We changed her in the hallway and pressed onward.

We stopped to pay a man $10 each to get something called a Tourist Card.
10 feet later, we handed the 3 cards to another man. He shredded them.

We got to Immigration and got passports stamped:
Me: Hola.
Man: Hola.
Shmuppie: Hola
Man: Do you speak Spanish?
Shmuppie: Una mas cerveza por favor.
Me: (Prays that they have a sense of humor)

We got our bags.
We did the Customs thing
A man in an official-type shirt grabbed our gags (That set me back $3 from the giant wad of singles we had with us)
He handed the bags to another man. ($3)
We found our bus to the hotel ($3)
We rode the shuttle bus through the 3rd World to the Riu Bachata.
We exited the bus ($3)
We tried to check in. They had no record of us. They found us. I handed the bags off yet again ($3)

We got beer.

We got lost finding the room. The resort is somewhat large and spread out. The rooms are all in 3-story buildings with maybe 50-60 rooms in each one. So, there are about 12 buildings of rooms and all we had was a poorly marked map. Having hit the ocean, we decided we were in the wrong place. We wandered along the beach (lugging 3 backpacks and a rolling carry-on) until we found stairs. We went up. Wrong staircase.

We found our building and our room. We had more beer.

The bag arrived ($3), we unpacked, we put on bathing suits and stepped outside…into cloudy weather.

Not to be deterred, we went to the pool. We got rum drinks and Shmuppie swam. We got snacks…mmm…Sausages of Pig.

See, the hotel caters to more of a European clientele. So, signs at the resort or at the buffets are in Spanish first, then German and then poorly-translated English. Here in the USA, we call it a hot dog. At the Bachata; Sausage of Pig.

We changed for dinner and headed back to the main building. I was more than exhausted and barely ate anything. I did perk up a bit after a glass or 3 of wine. We followed the masses to the outdoor theater area where some sort of children’s dance party was in full swing. Shmuppie joined in the fun and we soaked in the room. Canadians and Europeans for as far as the eye could see…and the 3 of us. Everyone else was heavily tattooed and smoking.

Then, things took a turn for the surreal. I hope to be able to load the vacation videos to YouTube because words can’t explain what happened next.

The hotel has what they call an “Animation Team”. These are your entertainment people. They’re a lively bunch of 6-8 locals who run the pool games and stuff. They also run the pre-show.

Picture, if you will, the tackiest looking stage set you can. It’s under a roof, but in open air. Tables fan out around it. On the stage, you see the aforementioned Animation Team. Their leader is speaking in to a microphone in a language that may be English but may be something else. Every now and then, she finishes speaking and music starts. But, the music sounds like a record being played at 78RPM instead of 33. Then, the team dances for like 10 seconds. Then, they stop and the leader starts talking again. She says things like “Peeeng Pong” and “Seepy seepy”

This sequence went on for 20 minutes. They handed out certificates and sang “We Are The Champions”.

We were confused.

The main show started after this little thing wrapped up. It was apparently Africa Night at the Happy Fun Time Showtime Theater. The official resort dance crew came out dressed in loin cloths and other similar garments. The dancers were splendidly awful. They were horrific. We loved it. They were fat and uncoordinated, but damn were they trying. When they got to what we called the “rape scene”, we decided to brave the rain and head to the room.

We passed out from exhaustion soon thereafter.

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