Friday, March 04, 2016

Winter Beach Wedding

Recently Sean and I decided to leave our child at home and went to the Dominican Republic for a wedding.  We were like, what, he's six, he can totally take care of himself! Plus someone has to take care of the cat. But then my mom volunteered to take them both so we did that instead.  It was weird to leave him. I felt nervous. But, we knew Julian would be with him so we felt better--HAHA.  Seriously though.  The longest we've left Julian was about four days when Sean and I were driving from NY to UT. So what we did was hurry and get life insurance which didn't quite remove the unsettling feeling.  Especially to needle-fearing Sean when the health guy came over the day before we left to give us our physical.  Boy let me tell you. Two thumbs up for at-home medical visits. Can we please bring back traveling physicians? Puhleeeease?  This guy was very friendly too and we chatted and laughed when he was drawing my blood (Sean vanished into thin air) and i told the guy Sean had had nightmares about him the night before. He said that was a first.  And then when it was Sean's turn he drew the blood first to get it over with and proceeded to take the blood pressure by saying,  "Whoops, better take it from your other arm though so we don't spring a leak" which i thought was a good joke but just about did Sean in. 

The flights there were fine, just fine. Except that because i can't sleep on a plane, Sean shouldn't be able to either and i make him play games with me.  I tell him i'm doing a favor because everyone knows you feel worse if you sleep on a plane.  I knew he'd see it my way. The problem was the airport didn't have any of my favorite magazines so we had nothing. Actually we had some trivia cards that we busted out. But also we decided to do the skymall crossword puzzle.  The last time I did it was a year ago when i was flying solo and sat by a stranger and we worked on it together and were both laughing the whole time; it was so fun. This time was no different. It was hard, I'm not going to lie. We worked FOR-EV-ER and actually completed the whole thing with only 2 peeks at the answers.   My favorite crossword moment, after it had been a hundred hours and our eyes and brains were buggin':

"To work (4 letters).  answer: Atit.  A tit? A tit?? Oh, at it."  

Dang, there were like a million funny crossword moments and i only wrote that one down. 

One other highlight of the airports was going into the swatch watch store where we walked up to a display and the challenge was to each take turns examining the watches and then to choose each other's favorite.  We both nailed it. Sean correctly chose the brightly colored weird one that said funny words and i chose the boring austere gray and black one. 

I didn't take many pictures. I'm a little bit anti, lately.  Before the trip a friend asked me to show her all my pictures and then said, "or, i'll just see them on instagram!"  "yeah, we'll see," was my reply.  I don't need everyone to know my life. It was a fun trip. Kind of short. Kind of weird at some moments.  But nice too.  I'll draw up a list here of highlights and lowlights with the 10 pictures I took.


  • Landing at the small airport and my skin taking a gigantic breath of humid air. It was glorious! Curse this dry climate.  I just soaked it all up. Felt so nice.

  •  Seeing the lovely bride and groom, particularly the groom as he watched the bride come down the sand aisle on the sand isle. Pretty great. Not great was that the bride had contracted food poisoning and had apparently been puking her guts out just before--yaaay.  That'll be a good story... someday? But she looked AMAZING and not at all pukey.

  • The reception boat afterward was pretty magical. Dinner of fish and rice and lobster and a setting sun and music. Plus I got a hat made out of palm leaves. Pretty great.  Except the bride was still sick but she held on like a beautiful sick champ. I even saw her throw up atop the boat and she did it so elegantly. Sort of in a bridal way, you know?
  • Swimming in the ocean is fun. I forget this. Particularly a warm ocean. Bobbing in the waves is all i ever want to do, whenever i remember that i love it.
  • Getting a frosty beverage at any old time.  This was also weird though. Like, how many glasses of punch do I need to be drinking throughout the course of the day? Obviously they were meant to have alcohol of which I do not partake but still.  It felt a little excessive, but expected, and I suppose kept me hydrated, which would come in handy later.(foreshadowing)

  • Anytime o' clock room service which we used about six times.
  • When Sean's sweet younger brother said, "Sorry for fondling your lobster, Jen."
  • Walking on the beach baaaack and forth. Baaaack and forth.  My favorite thing about this was, since it was so crowded, walking in people's footsteps and trying their gait on for size.  Some people walk so weirdly! And quite duck-footedly.  I wondered how i walked so we experimented. And some people have tiny tiny stumpy feet and some are sasquatches.  This was my favorite activity.
  • Running sand races.  I made Sean race me three times on the beach and i lost THREE times. We'd pick a spot to race to and go. I was ahead for a few seconds and i just couldn't keep it going. I have no staying power. Arrgh, it was so frustrating.  Also it just about gave us both heart attacks to suddenly plunge into high impact heart activity for no good reason at all.  I hate exercising, but I do like to race. If I'm going to run, it's going to be for my life. But i hate to lose.  i'm going to blame holding onto my palm hat which acted as a wind breaker.  Also, is it funny that a windbreaker jacket is essentially named a "fart jacket"? Oo, get me one of those.
  • This reminds me of a funny moment the other day when Julian and i were sitting by each other. Suddenly a little boy stink infested the air and it lingered for far too long. Even he was overcome by it and said "oh boy that is a smelly one."   "Whew, yes it is!" I said. And then he said, so simply and thoughtfully "but... i enjoy it."  That's great.  
  • Another high point was meeting/seeing relatives and chatting.  This trip did very well for the family bonding.  The couple had about 55 guests which was a mixture of family from near and quite far and friends.

  • Going to a big resort is always kind of strange, particularly because we got next to none of the local flavor, you know? All the resorty-ness and buffets and random restaurants. Though we did have fun and were very happy to be there, it's not quite my thing. It could have been a beach anywhere. And to my understanding it's quite an impoverished country. And the staff kept harassing us to buy things and all of this combined makes me feel really uncomfortable. Like, I just came to your country so I could be fenced in with a billion other people and a nondescript bit of ocean with booze and parties in every direction. I did learn some spanish though.  Pare! Por favor! Dejame solo! 
  • Speaking of, being in a foreign country always makes me want to speak the language, immediately, whatever it is. Not that I've traveled extensively of late. (weeping emoji)  There was quite a variety of tongues spoken here too which is so wonderful and made us feel quite at home.  Sean and I decided (or just I did) that we are international folks and i will not yet give up my dream of living abroad.    There were two things that helped me with the harassment of the employees:  1) the male dominant culture made it so they basically only talked to Sean because he's the man and in charge and knows things. Normally i'd be a bit up in arms about this but this time, I gladly kept silent. Sure, fine, he's the man in charge. But then when they'd talk to me I'd just pretend I didn't speak any of the languages they guessed.  English? Shoulder shrug + smile.  French? Smile + questioning look. And then we were out the door.
  • I, too, contracted the food poison.  It was pretty horrific.  We ate at a japanese teppanyaki restaurant one night where they cook in front of you and balance eggs on their heads and things like such as. It was all entertaining and delicious all the way up until I expelled it violently hours later.  I learned something on this trip. When you hurt so bad in your guts, all you want to do is curl up next to the toilet. There is nothing more comforting, am i right? Other than not feeling like you might die?  But i couldn't because the floors were all hard and dirty hotel floors. So i'd stagger from bed to bathroom 185 times carrying my bucket. Whew.  I did a lot of running that night. And I do mean RUN-NING.  I ran a freakin' marathon. And I WON. Or lost. I don't know which. No, let's say I won because i was still feeling the sting from races earlier that day. This analogy has taken a stupid turn.   After the immediate poison left me, I laid in a heap of body aches and fever all the next day. It was so lame.  I made Sean go out and sit in the sun for us.  So we missed our boat excursion that day. :(  So sad, so sad.  I'm starting to think it's not a question of if but when, in latin america.  2/2 so far.  I didn't even brush my teeth with the tap water this time! Who knows how it came about.  Maybe the teppanyaki tuna.  Whatever it was, here's a link to the time before. The pictures are busted but there are still some funny moments from our trip to Belize and Squatemala.
  • The flight home was such a bugger. I know having traveled with a kid (let alone several which i can't even imagine), I can never ever complain about flying again when it's sans kid but STILL.  It's still the pits.  We had a sort of red eye home..well no, not really a red eye. More like a late eye.  We landed in UT at midnight which was 3am DR time.   The thing about red or late eyes is that everyone settles in for bed and fake sleeps (I KNOW it must be fake. Nice try, everyone. how could anyone sleep??) so you feel bad if you talk or turn your light on. This time I let Sean fake sleep. Usually i end up staring at nothing as time stands still, getting more uncomfortable and gradually, one by one, losing my faculties and the feeling in my legs.  Well, add a TERRIBLE movie that was the only video entertainment available up on the periodic aisle screens up above. (I am now one of those non-contributing zeros who complain about things on planes because they are used to modern technology. What?! No screen on the seat in front of me?!  This is the WORST!  Click here.)   The movie that they forced me to watch? Which added to the strange nightmare'ish sensation that already exists on a late-eye flight?  The Good Dinosaur.  Now, I would pop the head phones in and out as I went bat-crap crazy. Take them out, close my eyes, put them back in again to save me from my thoughts, stare up at the screen with a headache and total confusion until I couldn't stand it any longer.  One day I'll have to watch the movie again, maybe. Just to see if it was the movie or the flight.  But from what i could tell it was some messed up stuff. Southern farmer dinosaurs? Where one gets lost and befriends a wild ape child? Was that it? Was I dreaming? It looked like such an epic failure. Like, everything that happened made me have this look on my face. I'm going to re-enact it for you and I'm even going to put my ear buds in to give you the full effect.
    First, confusion. Wh-what is happening? What IS that??

    Second, disgust and utter contempt. I HATE this! I hate you!!

  • Third, inability to discern from reality and not. Little bit of resignation, little bit of self-loathing.

    It was bad. And then we landed and went through the disorderly, unorganized affair of "entering the USA," eventually, at long last, making it to our second flight (which was actually the late eye flight) and meeting up with Sean's sister and family where we were like, did that just happen? Was that real?  Anyway, I'll stop complaining now. Really, it was a lot of fun except for the horrible things.

    I've now decided to insert my pics to close this out.  Happy wedding to the happy new marrieds. 

    First we have Sean cleaning my glasses with the complimentary Skyy vodka.  I tried to instagram this pic (as what would have been my only instagrammed pic from the whole trip) with the hashtag #Skyyvodka #goodforsomething.  But the pic went berserk every time I tried.

    At one point we returned to our room to find the bed cloth(?) in this arrangement with our wedding favor sunglasses decorated thusly, which we thought was really, really weird. Like they took our stuff and made up the bed with it, as a sort of artistic bed centerpiece sculpture? Eh?

    Every time we ordered the room service we got fruit and some of it was interesting, like this green orange rind.  Again: eh? Also, we ate passion fruit in its raw, natural form. EHH? That stuff is weird! All stretchy and gloppy, seeds encased like little frogs eggs (gross). Tasted good but i now see why it's always mixed into something.
    Not the prettiest.


     We saw some bright-beaked, green-footed birds on a walk. They were cool. Seriously, you guys. Ten pictures, I took. Some of these I borrowed.
    This is me and Sean.

    The bride and groom on their marital gazebo that, according to Jared, burnt his feet as if to be standing on the thousand faces of a thousand suns.  Sean's dad officiated by saying some really nice things and it was really quite lovely of which I remember 0%.

    "Here, Sean. Let's snap a pic."

    "Quick, now let's turn around and take the exact same one with the ocean."

    The Brothers Morello on the reception boat. For some reason I love when the boys all get together. I have a lot of love for each one of them. Each so different.

    On the boat. 


    Ignorantly enjoying the teppenyaki.  Later on in the night, I sent a FB message to everyone asking if anyone else was sick and i was the only one. What gives?

    I took some sick pics of myself. Selfie sick. Sickie? I called this one
    "Brain Explosion Fever Face"

    Jen cautiously ventures out after her traumatic events.  Sadly I was not up for swimming this day. Nooo sudden movements. I felt very unstable. I was able to beach walk though, and footprint-find.

    The End.

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