Our good friends Nekki (with monkey on shoulder) and Francie contacted Randy at Travel Unlimited who made the arrangements for Pretty and me to celebrate not only our birthdays but also our vaccinated selves with a little rest and relaxation in the Dominican Republic which is adjacent to Haiti on the island of Hispaniola – in case anyone is interested in geography.
In July, 2014 Pretty and I flew from South Carolina to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. The trip was a mixed bag of fun and frustration for me for several reasons: tropical heat with few air conditioners for very spoiled gringos, hills within the city that seemed higher to climb every day, the realization that my knees were beginning to rebel as I tried to keep up with Pretty who is one of the world’s foremost explorers in foreign lands – and is fourteen years younger than I am. We met wonderful people, though, and brought home a new game for us called Mexican Train that we both loved. Thankfully, it’s played with dominoes and can be played while seated.
What neither Pretty nor I realized at the time was we wouldn’t be taking another trip that required jet planes until May, 2021. This past week we visited Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, yet another tropical climate more than 1,300 miles from our home in South Carolina, a place where the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet. My laptop didn’t make the trip with me, the weather was perfect and, although I didn’t try parasailing, I was entertained by those who did.
breakfast, beach, discussing lunch, margaritas, lunch,
pool, discussing dinner, Presidente cerveza and margaritas,
dinner, wine, sequence, spades —- repeat the next day
Pretty made friends with margaritas again –
as Nekki supervised pool recreation
I was amazed at the warmth, the genuine friendliness, the kindness of the people we met at the all-inclusive resort. I, too, was cynical and skeptical of their care for us at first as being more concerned with our American dollars than for our having a memorable visit to their country. I know that tourism is very important to the Dominican economy. Yet, I felt the culture’s respect for their elders – my white hair was treated with a dignity I don’t receive here at home where senior citizens may be ignored or considered a liability while youth is celebrated with a fervent passion.
When we came home to South Carolina this week, the news stories were very much as we left them with the exception of the Republican Party’s removal of a woman who had served as Chair of the House Republican Conference in the 116th. Congress. Representative Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) was removed for her unwillingness to participate in the “war against the Constitution…and the unraveling of democracy” which took place when the Party refused to accept the 2020 election results. I have never been a fan of anyone whose last name is Cheney, but I admire her for her truth telling which has come with a remarkably high price.
As one of the vicissitudes of life that my daddy claimed would intervene in the best laid plans of mice and men, I had traveled in a jet plane without incident to another country only to have a rough landing on the asphalt of a road near our home as I walked my dog Charly on Friday, the 14th. Not even the 13th.
As I bent to be a good neighbor to retrieve Charly’s deposit onto the grass of a very pristine yard we walked pass every day, Charly noticed a car passing by and jerked the leash from my hands which, in turn, jerked me to the pavement. High drama ensued, but two Good Samaritan women in separate cars stopped to rescue me. They called 911, an EMS vehicle picked me up and took me to the ER of our Lexington County Hospital. One of the women took Charly, who was horrified by my inability to get up and continue our walk, home. The other woman sat down next to me on the grass of the pristine yard. We had a lovely chat.
All’s well that ends well, right? The cat scan in the hospital revealed no fractures or bleeding, released me on my own recognizance with a list of instructions for the elderly in how to prevent falls. I have now read the instructions and find no mention of being careful when retrieving dog poop.
My face resembles Rocky’s face after a boxing match, my bionic knees are now blue with a tinge of black, but my good spirits refreshed by my vacation remain. And the concern of my granddaughter for my “boo-boo?” moved me to tears. I am the luckiest Nana today.
Stay safe, stay sane, get vaccinated and please stay tuned.
P.S. One of the women who rescued me stopped by our home that night of my accident and brought us a lovely plant in a gorgeous pot. I was touched twice by her kindness that day.