As you recall when we last left the Cractpot family, Mrs Cractpot was getting acquainted with her Captain (Morgan) and dreaming of turquoise water and a little pampering.
And now, the continuing story of a Cractpot gone to Punta Cana
As we disembarked, the humidity weighed on our chests and almost immediately made itself comfortable in my hair. Thankfully, our ride to the resort was air conditioned and promised free wifi that my daughter spent the entire 45 minute trip trying to access without luck. On the bright side, the view she missed was obstructed with rain and clouds anyway and when we arrived at the resort it had started to pour in earnest. Undaunted, we checked in and discovered that our group had been assigned rooms in different areas of the complex with no availability to switch until the following day. Trying to be accommodating, we thanked the front desk staff, tipped the baggage porter and made the mad dash to our room through the open air pathways that linked up the villas. Very quickly we discovered the ceramic tile used throughout the resort reacted with rain to improve our core muscles, as we struggled to maintain our balance and stay upright. The youngest Cractpot darted ahead as visions of expensive international medical bills danced in my head, so I shouted “Don’t run” unaware as of yet, this would be my most used phrase for the rest of the vacation.
At first glance the room was disappointing, but I tried to shrug it off with a pep talk. Nothing looks appealing in the damp and grey lighting of a storm. At second glance, I noticed the bath tub looked as if it had been recently used to dispose of a body and no amount of sunshine was going to disguise the water damage to the door that caused it to swell until it almost wouldn’t shut. The sofa bed was more of a futon and used the cushions (that had slight musty smell) as a mattress. There were no extra sheets provided but I was already calculating how 5 people were going to sleep in two double beds (that I was pretty sure were suppose to be queens). With an extra pillow we could survive for a night, but tomorrow, we were camping out in the lobby until they found us different rooms. We decided to head to the front with our demands before grabbing something to eat.
My daughter waited in line for a hamburger as the rest of us explored the buffet options. We knew the food was not going to be the same calibre as on the cruise ships but when she returned to the table with her burger I was legitimately concerned at the bright pink colour and worried that it hadn’t been properly cooked. Upon further investigation, we realized the problem was more of a misunderstanding; the Dominicans had quite literally translated the word HAM-burger to mean made with ham and in case you’re wondering that should never be a thing. Still there were lots of other options and I teased that there were worst things than becoming vegetarians for a week (although Mr. Cractpot begged to differ) but my mother added that even vegetables when washed in non-potable water can make you sick if not properly cooked, so salads were struck off the safe list as well. Maybe LOTS of options was a bit optimistic. Still, we managed to find a few things but as we sat down to eat, we realized the food wasn’t even hot! Pushed to my “make the most of it” limit, I politely mentioned to my server that everything was cold but she cheerfully pointed out a microwave provided for guests to heat their meals to their individual specifications.
It had been a very long day so I bit my tongue and decided to retire to the room and just start fresh in the morning.
Our pillow had still not arrived so we called the front desk again to explain that the pull out hadn’t come with any sheets, just in case they thought we were being greedy. While we waited, we tried pushing the beds together to create one large family style sleeping arrangement but moving the furniture revealed a collection of bug corpses that had obviously been missed by housekeeping. Apparently, we were lucky because across the resort, unbeknownst to us, my mother was curled up in the fetal position on the bottom half of their bed, as her bamboo headboard crawled with tiny little insects.
We were ready to call it a night after finally finding pyjamas in highly disorganized suitcases (thanks to our game of musical luggage at the airport), but the pillow had still not arrived. My husband offered to run to the front to try to find someone, but sending him out in the dark during a storm didn’t seem like a good idea, especially in a foreign country that might or might not utilize treacherous ceramic tiles not only as flooring, but as a self defense mechanism against pillow hoarders. Instead we all cuddled together, sharing resources, hoping that day 2 could only get better.
When we arrived bright and early at the front desk we were told that when the current guests checked out we would be provided accommodation that
a) was clean
b) fulfilled an acceptable pillow to guest ratio and
c) did not include roommates from the insect family (living or dead).
We synchronized our watches, and set out to enjoy the beach while the sun was shining. The sand was lovely and soft and the water was warm, although the weather had churned up the ocean leaving it murky and not quite the turquoise that the travel site had promised. We introduced ourselves to the bartender who helped us systematically sample their selection of frosty concoctions and started to try to relax. When the scheduled meeting time arrived, the men were sent off with firm instructions to not take no for an answer, while the rest of us stayed by the water and took turns catching up on the sleep we ‘d lost the night before.
After several hours and no update, we began to worry that the way the hotel managed to achieve a 4.5 rating was by quietly disposing of anyone who complained. I decided to venture up to the front desk to see if anyone needed a witness.
As I approached the main pathway I could see my husband in the distance enthusiastically shaking hands and conversing with another couple who was staying at the resort. My husband was speaking with a Spanish accent, which incidentally meant adding an “a” to the end of every other word. I knew this because he was shouting to make up for the language barrier, “HOWA ARE YOUA? I META YOUA AT THE BARA? IMA SORRY, I DON’TA SPEAKA SPANISH” When the couple responded in Russian, I could feel the colour rise to my cheeks and I quickened my step to extricate my husband and avoid an international incident . When I reached him and pulled him away, he waved goodbye to his new friends with a sloppy smile as I harshly whispered, “Are you Drunk?!?” .
“Don’t even start” he slurred, “I’ve been taking care of your father for the last few hours. He’s drunk”
“Where is he?”
“He’s passed out on the floor of his room”
“Wait….which room?” Because some of us still had our wits about us and knew what our priorities were, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
We had forgotten to change our watches to Dominican time so when the guys arrived for their meeting, they were an hour early. They decided to kill time at the bar and find themselves some Irish courage to harden their nerve for the negotiations ahead. Unfortunately, we had already spent the morning imbibing at the beach. Add some salt air and a little sun and you have a dangerous situation that apparently ends with one person insulting both the Spanish and the Russians simultaneously and another person passed out on the bathroom floor. As my husband led me back to our old rooms, he assured me he had fixed the situation, he just needed a credit card to pay for the upgrade. At this point I was not above throwing money at the problem but I wanted to check on my father first.
As we entered the darkened room we could hear moaning from the bathroom. Sure enough, my father was hugging the bowl and mumbling incoherently so I quickly fetched a bottle of water and a cool cloth to try to sober him up. When I returned, my husband was explaining that for 45 dollars a day, we could upgrade our room, so times that by 6 days we were looking at $270 before adding in the American exchange rate.
I could barely get my father to hold his head up and my husband was trying to get him to do math?
“Just put it on our card and we’ll square up when he’s sober”
After hastily packing our things (and helping my mother pack her things, one of them being 190 pounds of pickled husband) we moved across the resort to our new digs. A king size bed in one room, and an actual double pull out bed plus a cot in the other, awaited us in our new lodgings situated right off the beach. In hindsight I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I allowed my head to be turned over little more than adequate sleeping arrangements, but at the time, I was pleased as punch and excited to actually unpack our bags. As well, the concierge had thrown in reservations for one of the a la carte restaurants, so our food that evening was not only hot, but tasted like what it was suppose to. Things were definitely looking up. I floated back to the room on cloud 9.
Tune in next week for (what I hope will be) the thrilling conclusion of Cractpots take Punta Cana. For my faithful readers, I know there were promises made in the last post that I have yet to fulfill, but I figured 1700 words was enough for one day. Stick around and I guarantee, all will be revealed.
There’s a book that tells you where you should go on your vacation. It’s called your checkbook~ Unknown