Section 1 – Field Trip Basics is a must for every teacher planning to bring students to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This section covers essential logistical and fee waiver information. 3 Section 2 – Just the Facts contains background information sheets on a variety of park themes. Field Trip Teach the Masses The students will start by making a nature documentary. Have a Royal Red Flower. Have a Parasaurolophus Fossil. 5400 XP 30000 coins 1 dollar 47 Extra Credit Field Trip More students are coming over! I'll need a dedicated classroom! Collect from the Museum. Collect 2,000 from the Security Towers. 5400 XP 30000 coins 1. What did this trip teach me? Well, obviously, the point number one in the list above – complain, insist and ask to change the accommodation BEFORE going on a trip. If I was more insistent 2 days before the trip (when I got my hotel confirmation) and actually asked to move me, my experience in Bucharest would have been entirely different!
Meta Smith is on Facebook. Join Facebook to connect with Meta Smith and others you may know. Facebook gives people the power to share and makes the world more open and connected. Suppose, some school decided to take the children for a field trip. Teach kids all about nature and wildlife. That way, maybe, they will become responsible, nature-loving citizens when they grow-up.
We leave late in the afternoon to travel to JFK and Park Sleep Fly. Our flight is at 6:30am tomorrow morning. We try out our new camera on the way there.
The morning came too quick – we probably would have been better off not going to bed. We get to the airport at 4:00am and check in quicker than we thought. Finally 6am arrives and we board and fly.
We arrive in POP at 9:30 am, begin vacation!
On our way to pick up our luggage, a band and scantily clothed women greet us, trying to take our picture and then take our money. Lo siento!
Once we get our bags, we walk out to the street and see Chris and Cherrie waiting for us – they are so happy to have us and we are so happy to see them! Next, we meet Carols – he picks us up in his guagua, specially arranged for us by Chris and Cherrie. We take the scenic route through Puerto Plata, seeing the street next to the beach. Our resort looks classy as we quickly drive by. We see the teleferico, an old fort, ocean world, and the “city”. Then we go up to Imbert. Chris and Cherrie live at the TOP of a hill – will we make it walking? Carlos doesn’t let us see if we can.
He takes us right to the front door! Their apartment is perfect – perfect size, beautiful, and so homey.
The bathroom brings a whole new meaning to the use of the term closet.
The fruit trees outside the bedroom window make it like any view of paradise.
We nap. A sister stops by (Josefa) – her husband’s eyes are bad and they have no money for the medicine.
Despite this, she is happy. Then two brothers stop by – one helps the other move his items from Chris and Cherrie’s junk room. He is a special pioneer who was recently reassigned to Imbert (Rolando and Yuta).
Chris teaches us to play Dominoes with Imbert rules.
Later in the evening Keenan invites us and others in the congregation over to welcome the new pioneers and say goodbye to another who was here for 6 months (Dayyen). We have fun meeting most of the friends in the congregation and watch them play Dominoes.
We meet Josefa’s daughter, Julia, who is a local pioneer. On the way back from the party, we stop at Josepha’s for some helado – frozen flavored ice cream / ice pop. We tried the coconut flavor – YUM! Later we had the tamarindo flavor – it is a fruit (on the far tree outside Chris and Cherrie’s bedroom) in a seed pod, kinda like a prune. Jenny likes the flavor but Brian wasn’t too keen on it.
We sleep in until 9am-ish and get ready for company at noon – Matt and Debra, Mike, Corey and Eric (from NH). After some great bread (kinda like Angel Food cake but not as sweet – maybe more like a croissant) and a macaroni pasta bake with cheese on top, we play games. Mmmmmmm, how could I not mention in addition to the pasta, Cherrie made some orange drink and a super chocolate cake with peanut butter flavored icing. Corey got a piece that was more icing than cake and he could barely finish it! Brian also had his dose of sugar previous to the company’s arrival – he ate a quadruple decker whoopie pie.
Chris and Cherrie make them to sell to the local markets.
After eating and playing Mafia, the boys decide we need to go to the beach. We went to a private beach in Luperon – Matt and Debra drove us in Debra’s father’s car and the rest rode their motors (motorcycles).
We stopped at Matt and Debra’s place for a bit – very nice. We also drove by much of Debra’s family’s homes. We saw her mama at their shop. On the way back from the beach we saw her father walking for exercise. He caught up with us after we were back in town.
Dinner time came and we went to the infamous Pica Pollo place in Luperon, where Matt’s dad Kurt is known well.
We ate fried chicken and yucca and onions in oil and vinegar. WOW yum. $5 for both Jenny and Brian and we brought home leftovers. Wow that was good. The best in the area!
It is time to travel to the capital for our visit to la zona colonial and Bethel. We took two busses – one to Santiago and then another from there to Santo Domingo. We got to see the beautiful mountains on the way.
We arrived a little after 1pm. Our hotel Europa was muy bonita. Chris and Cherrie said they must have redone it because it did not look like that the last time they were there! The staff said 3 months ago they had finished the renovations.
They also redid the fourth floor too, where we would eat breakfast the next day (included in the price of our stay).
After dropping off our things, we walked the colonial zone.
The buildings were stunning. We saw Christopher Columbus’ son’s second house. Then we went to the old fort where Jehovah’s Witnesses were imprisoned. We were able to explore it on our own – inside and out. The views were spectacular. We even saw the ocean and a lighthouse. Brian learned how to avoid kids washing his shoes – he has one slightly clean now!
On the way back around, we went through a street full of shopping. We were able to buy a few souvenirs and gifts for our family. Cherrie found a pair of shoes and Christopher bought a belt. We saw some beautiful paintings – on the street they cost 5500 pesos but in a mall a lady went down to 1000 pesos. We thought we’d find one for our kitchen wall, but we couldn’t find one we liked.
After a pizza buffet, we looked at some jewelry and go Yogifruit – frozen yogurt blended with our three choices of fruit toppings (I got Oreo in mine plus strawberry – YUM). While eating, we went back to the park to watch the lights come on as the sun set. We saw this baby Chihuahua being carried by the arms by a little girl. Then she’d place him down and all the kids would run around with him. Poor thing. More kids came to try to wash our shoes. They said they didn’t speak Spanish and Chris said something to them in Creole. They conversed in Spanish for a bit and the boys left.
The lights at night were even more stunning. After a bit, we went back to the hotel and sat on the roof. They had some music on so we danced a bit.
The next morning we packed up and headed to Bethel after eating breakfast on the roof, of course. Bethel in Santo Domingo is beautiful. As everyone said, we loved the coral accents – random rocks in the grass, door and window molding and archways, and the front desk was laden with it.
The first question we were asked on our tour was, “Are you thinking of serving here?” They had some impressive things to say. There were 4 groups that, just this week, were turned into congregations! So now there are 11 groups and 19 congregations in Santo Domingo. They said they are ready to make a new circuit because of all the increase. They said in the entire organization, 1 in 4 Jehovah’s Witnesses speak Spanish. What are we waiting for?
They have about 70 serving in this Bethel but the number needs to be reduced. The DR is also maxed out with the number of special pioneers, but there is still a great need. This is why the need greaters are highly appreciated. They can serve like special pioneers but they support themselves.
The tour guide also told us that soon Wallkil will not be making the Watchtower and Awake magazines – that will be moving to Canada (it was announced in the beginning of June). The residence halls are being renovated – no more carpet or wallpaper – easier to clean. The gardens are also changing to less maintenance. Even Bethel is simplifying things! How easy they make it for us to imitate their fine example.
Also, the Bethelites only eat breakfast and lunch together. Dinner is prepared but the friends eat it in their own rooms on their own plates and clean up after themselves. Also on weekends, the Bethelites do their own thing, whether it be leftovers from before or they make their own in their own tiny kitchen. We saw an “A” room – it has a kitchen, bathroom, eating area and bedroom plus a walk in closet. They are building some “C” rooms – smaller.
We ate lunch with the Bethelites and the PO even mentioned the Cooks and Shooks in his closing prayer. How special! You too brutus malayalam full movie free download hd.
Then we ventured into the city to find Curves. Jenny was able to work out in 30 minutes. This Curves had a shower area too – how refreshing! We got some YogiFruit again and went to the bus station. We saw the mountains again.
Upon arrival, Cherrie went to bring dinner to a family whose father was sick and in the hospital. The hospital here does not provide bedding, clothes, or food. Chris came back to the house to get a pillow and he met Cherrie there to visit for a while. Brian and Jenny were back at the house. When he returned, Chris set up the mosquito net for us – Jenny got bit on the eyelid as usual and it swelled. Brian’s feet were the main target for the biting bugs. Ouchy!
Cherrie went early to bring breakfast to the family with the member in the hospital. Chris started laundry and baking. Brian and Jenny slept in til 9:30am. Thursday is a home day; chores and relaxing, and of course, preparing for the meeting tonight. We spoke with Chris about anything and nothing while getting laundry done. Jenny was trying to learn how to work their washing machine.
Here’s how it goes:
Fill buckets with water from the shower (cold only… there is no hot water). 2 buckets later, add the buckets to the left wash bay, add soap and presorted clothes.
The wash cycle lasts 15 minutes. Then the clothes are moved to the right bay – spin dry. After 2 minutes of spinning, put clothes into the first bucket (both were filled again).
This is the first rinse – swish and swash well because if you do not do it now, the clothes will not smell nice. After the first rinse bucket, ring clothes and put them into the 2nd. Swish again.
After the second rinse, clothes go back into the right spin bay for a final spin. Then hang the clothes on the line to dry.
The longest process is filling the buckets and lifting them to the washer. Actually, it can take longer to wait for the clothes to dry (pray it does not rain – but pray for it to rain so you can get free water).
The only problem is if the light goes out (electricity), which, of course, happened to Jenny while she was doing her wash, twice. We figured it was because there are people outside adding new power poles and running new wires (we usually have 6 hrs of light, 6 hrs off not 20 minutes on, 4 hours off).
The meeting starts at 6:30 – we walked down at quarter to six and opened things up. All the friends wanted to know where we are from. Men greet with a hand shake, sisters touch cheeks after embracing hands and end in a hug. Opposing genders shake. Also, instead of saying Buenos dias, they say buen dia – no “s” in either word. The meeting went well. Chris and Keenan had parts. We received the invitations for the district convention – exciting! Brian and Jenny were able to comment with Cherrie’s help before the meeting. We are hermanos Shook.
We associated with the friends until we were the last ones there after the meeting. Some of them speak English so we talked up a storm. Upon arrival at home, we tried to finish laundry – the light went out in the middle again. Then we watched Madagascar 2 together on Chris and Cherrie’s laptop.
Fridays are long service days. We meet with the group at 8:45am, prepared with water, a snack, an umbrella (el paraguas), and our Spanish and Creole literature. When we arrived at the KH, we were also given some invitations for the convention. Brian and Chris rode the motor, Cherrie was in one car group and Jenny was in the other. We went to the country – 15 minutes away.
Jenny worked with Julia – she had a different presentation for each person we / she spoke with. Amazing! We had one not at home the entire morning. At one house, we started speaking with a woman while her two young daughters stayed on the porch. Everyone always gave us a place to sit. Soon, her husband joined in. We shared Matt 24:3, 7, 8. Then another man came – he wanted his own invitation. He said he has spoken with Jehovah’s Witnesses before all the while smiling from ear to ear. Next we met a man and his granddaughter. He has had several sicknesses, going to the hospital in Puerto Plata (silver port) but the doctors say there is nothing we can do. I read Isa 30:24 �? About sickness ending. He doesn’t read so we could not give him any literature.
We went next door to a relative’s house, a woman who is Catholic. I read Ps 37:9, 10. She took the truth tract and an invitation. Next we found a girl sitting on the porch reading the Bible! Julia commended her and her mother for having a spiritual background. I am not sure on this one, but I think the mother thinks all religions that use the Bible lead to the same place because they all use the Bible. Julia stressed the importance of checking what is said with the Scriptures. The woman took a tract and invitation but I am not sure she was happy with the literature. The next home we came to was nice as far as the area is concerned. It was next to a church. Inside, they had a huge ceiling fan, and the woman of the house had enough makeup on to model for Avon. The woman also had a Bible handy so I read a verse in Daniel to her. I stumbled over one of the words – Julia kindly corrected me three times until I got it right. The woman was appreciative, and she took a bh book, the invitation to the convention and a handbill with the meeting schedule. She then called her son in to get some pesos for us – a donation! Chris later told us that the people here, although poor compared to people in the US, still give the same amount for donations – most of them giving all they have for the day (50 cents or $1 US).
Along the way we saw a hen with her baby chicks, many dogs, and some cattle moving down the path. We were in the way so the boy herding them patiently waited for Julia, Jenny, Chris and Brian to move. We also saw a bridge crossing the river – the same river Mike crosses to get to his KH. Crossing that bridge takes you to a different territory.
The last family we spoke with had a daughter who wanted to show us she knew how to read – everything we gave to her older siblings she had to hold and look at. They took an invitation. We did not share a scripture with them. At this point the people were distracted with the new police officer of the area. He was cracking down on motors that were not properly registered. The people were protesting. We walked back to the car. Julia and Jenny were dropped back off in town to stop by a Bible student’s place of work – an auto shop. She had two bags for Julia. Jenny walked back to Julia’s house with the bags. Then back to Chris and Cherrie’s for lunch. Yes, that was just the morning!
After lunch and a nap, we went back out. Cherrie had a study so Chris took Jenny and Cherrie on the motor – yes three people – and went to the outskirts of Imbert. Cherrie said that area is so beautiful. If they had the money, they’d like to buy land there (5000 pesos?). Cherrie shared the day’s text and meeting information with her. She told us to check out the next house down – horseback riding for foreigners. We did – they are open 3 days a week and you pay by the hour – less than $5 an hour! They go back through the mountain. The area was so beautiful.
Cherrie and Jenny walked back into town (20 minutes) to visit two people in the hospital. The hospital was not as bad as Jenny expected. 4 people to a room. The people down here have time to sit with those being treated all day long. They just sit and visit. Of course, they also have to make food for the sick one, and change their bed and clothes as needed. Each room had a big ceiling fan but it was still impressively hot.
We walked back to the house for supper – leftovers are better in the evening in case there is no light. There are fewer pots to clean and it is hard to clean with no light.
Field Tripteach To Be Happy Birthday
Brian worked with Chris on the motorcycle all day (here’s his story):
Now this is the way to do it, on a motorcycle amongst the beautiful tropical mountains. The very first call we take a stone path back to a cemetery. Exploring is half of field service down here. Anyway there was one casa we were warmly greeted and had a lengthy conversation with 5 women. We ended up leaving a couple of tracts, a bible teach book, and invitation to the assembly. Our first door was a success, as were many more to follow. Everyone whom we talked to took the invitation. Some were even reading there bible on their front porches as we approached. If that wasn’t enough for me to handle this territory had an Indiana Jones bridge 20 ft. across the river… fortunately I didn’t have to work the other side. The momma chicken and her chickees and the herd of cows coming down the main road, and the riot at the police station over moto-taxi permits added further flavor to the experience. Whew! After all that it was time for siesta. Cherrie prepared a zesty rice dish for us and I took a little nap.
Afternoon witnessing is devoted to return visits and studies. Chris took me half way to Luperon to study with Antonia in the Bible teach book. She was in a wheelchair and had her granddaughters helping her with chores; the oldest of which decided to participate in the study, woohoo. The weirdest part was the chicken pecking at my chair while we studied – it gave my butt a weird sensation. Next up Chris’s Haitian study in a Haitian community. Very interesting; the community is just a row of concrete rooms which house 5 to 6… it felt like Africa. Very cordial people, we got to speak to a few even though his study was not home. The funnest part about this experience was our ride through the mud puddle on the moto, okay maybe small pond was more like it, pick up those pant legs. Finally we head back into town and talk to a few of his RVs one of which was in the hinterlands of Imbert. We had to watch out for the goose gang, they’re everywhere. The hinterlands was fascinating because of how people lived with so little, but were so content. Thus caps the best day of field service of my life, an absolutely wonderful experience.
Cherrie had more studies in the evening and Brian and Chris went to play basketball. Jenny stayed home and organized her clean laundry. She also had time for a longer shower. Not longer in the water, but longer to scrub / shave legs, etc. Here’s the best way to conserve water when showering:
Wet hair, body and washcloth. Shampoo hair. Lather washcloth and wash body. Turn on water and rinse. Done!
Brain and Chris returned, well exercised – phew! They showered immediately. Brian got a hold of Matt and made plans to visit Luperon Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening when there will be a bigger basketball game in Puerto Plata.
A little before 9, Cherrie arrived home. We all were exhausted so by 9:30pm we were in bed.
Brian and Jenny slept in while Chris and Cherrie went to support their local group for the field service. Brian and Jenny got organized and studied their Watchtowers for the meeting tonight. We may also go Sunday morning with Mike to his meeting with the El Estrecho congregation. But who knows, as this whole trip has taught us to be flexible because we never know how things will work out. Despite this, they always seem to work out. When Chris and Cherrie returned, Brian and Jenny asked for help translating their desired comments.
Brian and Jenny packed their things to go to Luperon and after another wonderful lunch – this time Chris and Cherrie bought take out; chicken in salsa or steak and rice with a bean mix on top, mmmmm so good – we bid our farewells and Chris took us on the motor to catch a taxi. 2 people were already in the back of the four door pickup taxi and another three stuffed in the front but Brian and Jenny were squeezed in the back, luggage in tow, and went to Luperon.
Matt was waiting for us in the park in the center of Luperon; right across the street from his place. Brian and Jenny were already there earlier this week so we recognized the area. We went straight up to the roof to see pretty much the entire city area of Luperon. Matt said they like to come up at night and dance to the music from the bar across the street. Luperon differs from Imbert in that Imbert has steep streets since it resides up a mountain whereas the heart of Luperon is flat.
When we went inside their home, Debra was just getting up from her afternoon nap (the taxi ride was our nap – hah). We chatted at the dining room table because there is a huge fan above it. Even if the power goes out in Luperon, Matt and Debra can maintain electricity because they have an inverter. After chatting for a bit, we studied our Watchtowers together, practicing what Cherrie helped us say in Spanish. Then we all got ready for the meeting and walked to Debra’s grandmother’s home. Debra came into the truth because of her grandmother – they are the only two in the entire family who are baptized (besides Debra’s mother and father, her family includes her siblings, many aunts and uncles and cousins too). Debra’s father came to the memorial this year (first time I think). Debra’s grandfather was sick all day, so her grandmother decided its best to stay home with him. We still got to use their SUV to get to the hall! On the way we saw the sister who speaks Creole walking to the hall, so we picked her up.
The KH was familiar because of pictures of Matt and Debra’s wedding. This hall was designed and build by the society, not like the structure in Imbert which was previously some other building renovated. The first thing the friends did when they arrived was clean up. They swept the floor and tidied up the restrooms. The meeting started. Matt was on sound, attendant duty, and he was the reader for the Watchtower. He also coordinated the talk. Half of the attendees were studies. The Watchtower was lively, with a study’s son commenting on the other name for a gecko (instead of salamander, which is what the conductor was looking for) by saying “Jesus”. The entire hall giggled with joy. Matt was happy too because his student commented twice – his first two comments ever. Jenny didn’t get called on even though she tried three times. There were too many ninos to compete with! Three boys sitting in front of us were amazed that Brian was singing in Spanish for the closing song – they kept turning around to watch him. We didn’t mind sticking out though. It was such a pleasure to be there.
After the meeting we went to dinner on the pier. I think the mosquitoes ate more than we did. Matt really wanted a cheeseburger. Brian and Jenny has seafood – freshest we’ve ever tasted! Then we returned our sweet ride and after returning it, walked back home. Matt and Debra taught us a new card game called casino. With four cards in our hands and four on the table, we worked in teams to make pairs by adding cards to the table to match the numbers in our hand. Then Brian and Jenny taught them a card game; ERS. We all stayed up playing ERS until 1am. We were thankful that when we called Mike about the meeting Sunday, he was flexible and decided to have us over afterwards. The rain makes the river a little dangerous so crossing is more hairy than pleasant.
Field Tripteach To Be Happy Birthday Wishes
Matt was up early to cook breakfast, but Brian and Jenny stayed in bed until 10am. Matt also had to take out the group in service – talk about last minute changes. It was a good thing we didn’t go to El Estretcho for the meeting so Matt could support his own congregation.
After a late breakfast, some sisters in field service stopped by. We all looked at some pictures/movies on the computer (Mavryk dancing in his car seat). Then Matt took Brian and Jenny around the streets of Luperon, showing us his and Chris’ old place above the bar, Steve’s Place (non-bar type bar where Doug and Sharon frequented), and the house where Mike’s head always bumped the light on the porch so that they finally moved the socket location. Matt took Brian to the store to get water, hoping that Brian being with him would help them get back sooner rather than later; everyone knows Matt and they love to chat. Debra bakes oatmeal cookies to make cookie whoopee pies. She made some oatmeal peanut butter ones for Matt, Brian and Jenny to enjoy. Then we head out to El Estretcho.
Mike gave us the grand tour. They had no food or internet so we sat for a while doing nothing. Brian and Mike went to cross the river to see if we could purchase the items Cherrie requested to no avail. When they returned, we left for basketball in Puerto Plata. The Luperon congregation has their own team and they play against another team of brothers from Puerto Plata. Basketball DR style is different; half court game with no take-outs. Once the ball is rebounded, either team can take a shot. This took some getting used to. Of course, our first problem was the rain. The first court we went to received the downpour twice. We did get to see a double rainbow and Mike and Eric had some sweet cake from a store down the block. Finally the brothers from Puerto Plata arrived; they were late because they had their assembly today, in Santiago, so they changed at the assembly hall and drove back. They let us follow them to a court across town where it did not rain (and we thought only Central PA had weird weather).
At the second court, there were some locals who joined the game; 3 on 3. They beat us bad. In addition to them shouting at us “gringos” there were some prostitutes who figured they were going to make some money on the foreigners. Poor Debra had to listen to their banter the entire time. We left for another court where it would be only brothers playing brothers. There Debra told Jenny about how relieved she was to not have to hear them talking. Then she was like,”Oh, and the one thought your eyes were big and beautiful.” Lovely; they liked my husband because he has money (the general assumption is that all foreigners do) and me for my eyes. Gross. Debra and Jenny toughed it out as the boys played 6 more games. Then we got to go back to Imbert – Matt and Debra drove Brian and Jenny right to the steps up to the front door of Chris and Cherrie’s place. It was sad to leave since we spent so little time with them.
Chris and Cherrie were just starting to watch Mystery Men on their laptop. Cherrie also had just finished baking sticky buns. Brian showered and we all watched the end of the movie together. Mike txted Chris asking if we’d like to go to the Luperon beach Monday for a lunch cook out. Great!
Another great day to sleep in, Monday morning was nice and slow. Chris put in the Hunt for Red October and made us scrambled eggs with tomatoes and salami. We got ready for the beach and Chris took Cherrie and Jenny to the taxi. They rode in a guagua while Brian and Chris took the motor. We met in Luperon at a store; Mike was already there getting hot dogs, charcoal and buns. Jenny rode with him to the beach and was dropped off with the goods. Mike went back for Cherrie, dropped her off, and so on. When mostly everyone was there – Chris, Cherrie, Brian, Jenny, Mike, Corey, Eric, Jennifer, Indiana, and some other local brothers – Mike started the fire and made us hotdogs.
Meanwhile, some horses and goats are roaming the area. Brian gets to pet one of the horses. We all go swimming, play Frisbee and baseball. Finally Debra and Matt arrive (their fridge was being repaired) with some cold beverages. Then thunder interrupts our plan. As it starts to sprinkle, Brian and Chris hop on the motor and Cherrie and Jenny get a ride to Imbert with a brother from Santiago (he used to be in Cherrie’s old hall, went to MTS, and was assigned to a hall in Santiago where all but one elder were disfellowshipped so the friends in that hall had a hard time trusting the elders. When he arrived there three months prior, there was only one elder handling everything. 6 weeks into it all (16 judicial cases going on), the elder got very sick from stress. This brother is very thankful that Jehovah is able to use him to help the congregation. He can see the friends responding well. He was also speaking about one local pioneer who was encouraging others to go in field service by knocking on their doors in the am to get them to join him in the ministry. After his efforts, they had more than 20 new pioneers ranging from those fresh out of public school who have yet to find work to housewives who were used to staying at home. He also said they now have 6 elders and the congregation is ready to split). The growth is phenomenal.
Field Tripteach To Be Happy Meme
Sadly, it started to downpour en route. Cherrie and Jenny caught up to Brian and Chris. Cherrie was hoping that Chris remembered where the potholes were because when it rains, the street fills with water so the holes are hard to see. Chris stayed close behind a red mazda who would dodge the big holes first, showing Chris the way. The boys were soaked. Cherrie and Jenny were dropped off at the bottom of town. Chris would bring Brian up to the house and then come back for the girls. Meanwhile, the girls had dinner on mind, so they crossed the main street, which had its own ankle deep river from the downpour (brrrrrr), and went to the local pizza stop; Tonny’s Pizza. Unfortunately Cherrie had the keys, so Brian had to wait outside for the three to return. With the pizza ordered, Chris took the girls back up to the house. We found Brian in the neighbor’s porch – they entertained him while he waited. The youngest girl kept bringing him cats to pet. She was so cute!
We got on dry clothes and Chris went back for the pizza. We started talking about movies and Napoleon Dynamite was what we ended up watching. After, we planned Tuesday which would be our last day together.
We woke up at a decent time to get ready to go horseback riding in the mountains. Cherrie’s back had been bothering her, but she said she was up to it. Chris took us there in shifts and we rode for a beautiful hour. En route, we saw a hill with other horses grazing on top, random cows and beautiful views. The horses listened to our tour guide, a young boy no older than 10 years. We strolled, trotted and galloped through the picturesque scenery. Our guide’s horse missed his step and the poor nino fell off. We got his horse controlled and he continued unscathed. The ride was so beautiful, did I say that already?
Chris took us back in shifts again and Brian and Jenny started packing things up. Carlos would take us through Puerto Plata to the teleferico and then to our hotel. We ate a quick lunch and were on our way. It looked clear when we arrived at the cable car that goes up the big mountain in Puerto Plata, but while riding up, a storm approached from the other side of the mountain. The site was still impressive. After walking around on top of the mountain, between lightning strikes and thunder booms, we visited the gift shop and went back down in the cable car.
Next Carlos took us to some shops in Puerto Plata. Finally we went to la Playa Dorada where our resort is located. We bid our farewells and entered the lobby. Brian and Jenny were now on their own with only Jenny’s limited Spanish speaking ability. The guys at the desk were hard to understand. They swiped our credit card three times and then took it back to enter it into the computer to print out yet another receipt. It was shocking to see the price in $RD seeing as we reserved it online in $US. The rate changes every day, but has been averaging $10 US = $350 RD.
Brian and Jenny take it easy for the evening, walking around the area to which we belonged. We ate dinner at the main buffet area (we arrived too late to make reservations for the nice dinner places, but we also didn’t meet the dress code for them anyway) – yum. The fruit tastes so much sweeter.
Field Tripteach To Be Happy Hour
We slept in and barely made it to breakfast before it turned into brunch. Next we decided what we wanted to do for our remaining 2 days. At the attractions desk, we arranged to visit Ocean World the next day and enjoy a dolphin encounter plus the day’s admission. Next we went to the mall to finalize our gift shopping. The locals are very annoying – please come to my shop, it is cheapy cheapy, or, visit my friend’s shop; he will make you a good deal. Even if they don’t nag you, they follow you around the entire shop. Eeek!
Then we returned for lunch. After eating at the buffet area again, we went back to our room to change for the beach. La playa dorada es muy bonita. Our resort has these bay-like areas for the beach that barely have waves. The water is crystal clear and between 80 and 90 degrees F – amazing. First there is sand / coral, then grasses, then live coral, sponges, plants and fish. We swam for a bit, then napped in the shade, then went ocean kayaking (yaking). We went right over the coral, seeing everything through the water with our bare eyes. Some parts of the coral were so close to the water level we could touch it; but we knew better. We saw the coral that looks like grass, brains, suction cups and vines. Brian saw a big black fish and a half purple half yellow one just like in the HUB at PSU. Jenny saw it too, among a school of brown fish, two all yellow fish, and two black and white striped fish. How breathtaking.
After yaking, we went back to swimming in the shallow waters. Brian is getting more comfortable with the water – almost floating and definitely mobile in the water. Then we left to get ready for our dinner reservation at the Ocean Grill. We were ready too soon for our 7pm reservation so we took pictures of the area. We also had drinks at the bar; non-alcoholic of course. Brian got OJ and Jenny had a slushy. After more pictures of the beach, a salamander and some crane type bird, we were ready to eat. Dinner is nice – Brian has the meat sampler and Jenny orders the fish sampler and we share. Since our camera was charging, we happily did not fit in with the rest of the crowd – it was like a lightning storm with all the camera flashes inside the grass roofed hut. After dinner, we returned to the room to watch ABC’s Wipe out, soccer, Yankees vs Braves and I survived a Japanese Game Show. I suppose no TV for over 1 week took its toll on our old habits.
Two words: Ocean World.
The bus to pick us up was running late, but as our bus tour guide (Coca-cola) says, “In the DR no one is ever late!” After stopping at a few other resorts, the bus is full. During the trip we hear about extra dolphin and sea lion shows, and Brian decides we should add a Sea Lion Encounter to our package. I am so glad we did!
When we get there, we stow our things in a locker and watch the sea lion show. Next we catch the extra dolphin show. A cute little boy is included in the show, being carried across the pool by the dolphins, and then has his picture taken with them and the trainer. Later, he is too scared to have a dolphin encounter (less interaction) and his family is bewildered. We thought it was cute.
Then we make our way over to the bird cages. We are so surprised that we get to walk into the cages and feed the love birds. Brian went first and the trainer put food in his hand and the birds landed there, on his shoulder and on his head. Then they went to Jenny and did the same thing. The trainer gives Jenny food on top of her head for some more laughs. Next we see parrots and toucans.
After that, we walk by the sharks and sting rays – we could have had an encounter with them, but as Coca-Cola put it – we are not crazy and want to arrive home alive. He is such a jokester. Next we go in the tiger pool. Thankfully there is a glass wall separating us from the tigers. The orange color tiger is pacing the entire time we are there but the white tiger is napping. Jenny gets to swim under a waterfall – something she has wanted to do since her honeymoon!
Since we are already wet, we decide to swim in the coral reef. It’s real salt water, real coral, and real fish swimming around and underneath you. Amazing! We finish with a little time to spare for lunch before our dolphin swim. Swimming with the dolphins is more interactive than we remember from Marathon. We get to feed, hug and kiss the dolphins, and do the meringue with them. Next we get to be pulled by their dorsal fins. Then the others in our party get their turns while we are greeted with the comedy dolphin on the other side of the dock. She spits at us and laughs at us. Then she does a few more tricks before it is time for the heel push. Jenny volunteered to go first. She learned from last time – keep your knees locked straight and legs together tight and the dolphins push your heels. It feels like flying like Superman! Then we all got to feel the skin as the dolphin swims by. When asked what it feels like, Jenny recalled a statement from Marathon. “It feels like a wet hot dog!” and everyone laughs.
We finish in time for the end of the bird show (parrots can add). Next we are to meet 30 minutes before our Sea Lion encounter at the Sea Lion show, but we already saw it. We politely asked a staff member if we needed to watch it again before our encounter time and he told us the encounter was canceled! We promptly left for management. Canceled? No – he was just joking with us!
The sea lion encounter is breathtaking. We start by learning the difference between a sea lion and a seal. The ears, neck, and fins are different for each. Next we sit at the edge of the pool with our feet in and a sea lion swims by us, stopping in front of us with his flipper on our lap. We get to touch his flipper and body for a good 30 seconds before he moves on and the next one comes, with his back flippers on our lap – they feel rubbery. The neck area of a sea lion is like fur, very soft. The rest feels like a wet suit. They have nails on their back flippers that are very ouchy. We get to feed them, pet them some more, and play catch (they are really good at catching and returning the ball). Next we get out of the pool and each take turns on a special platform so we can receive a hug and a kiss from the sea lion! Then they bring us back to the pool edge for a few more tricks, a wave goodbye, and a final splash! We left with a deep appreciation for Jehovah’s creation.
With a little less than an hour left, we caught the end of the shark show and ordered our pictures from the dolphin swim (no cameras allowed for that one). We changed into our dry clothes and walked through the gift shop before it was time to meet Coca-cola at the bus. The bus is early so we barely get back to the resort in time to turn in our towels without penalty and change for our dinner reservations at the Italian place.
Jenny read online that the Italian restaurant on the resort is worth going to, but Brian and Jenny did not feel the atmosphere or the food met the expectations the online review caused Jenny to have. The Ocean Grill is so much better!
We packed up and left for the airport. Checking out was so much easier than checking in. In 5 minutes, a guagua is ready to take us to the airport. Our bags go through an initial security check, then get weighed. Jenny was nervous because she had no scale at the resort to check the weight (it must be under 50lbs or you cannot bring it) but both pieces were about 40lbs – safe! Next the security check point. Jenny had a full water bottle and that is not allowed. The lady said, “Drink it!” and drink we did…. then we went to the rest room. We filled out our tourist cards, declaired nothing, and went to the boarding area. It felt like we traveled back in time. When it was time to board the plane, there was no announcement, just one person who opened a door and started taking tickets. Upon take off, Jenny sheds tears because we have to leave. an hour before landing at JFK we get direct tv and catch up on US news, mostly about Michael Jackson’s death the day before. It was nice to understand every word that is being said. We felt the same way going through customs and picking up our bags – we can understand and converse with anyone! If only we knew more Spanish.
After getting our bags we were struck with our first test of patience – we can see the hotel where our car is parked just across an 8 lane highway, but the bus for that hotel is not there to pick us up. There are 3 other people waiting for it. We see every other bus for every other hotel come and go. 30 minutes later there are 12 of us waiting. One man has called the hotel at least 5 times, another lady wants to try to cross the highway to get there. 20 minutes later Brian said his DR patience is leaving him and we start to wonder about the bus. So much for keeping the laid back attitude of our vacation! Finally the bus arrives, we find the Malibu and head for RTs 95 and 80. We average 30mph until we are 20 miles away from PA. Although our patience was wearing thin, we did not have to turn on the AC. The 85 degree weather in bumper to bumper traffic was not hot to us by any means! We laughed about it a few times. “Do you want the AC on?” “No, I’m fine with the windows.” (The average daily temperature in the DR while we were there was in the 90s-100s with a heat index of 120 degrees F). We made it home by 11pm and realized there was one thing that we really missed while we were away – our bed.