What happens in the DR, stays in the DR.

Between the pictures I took on my BlackBerry, the pictures I took on my digital camera that only works on occasion since I spilled baby oil in it, the pictures I took on a disposable camera I found from a year ago that I forgot I still had, the pictures that my friends took, and the pictures that the locals took (and sold to me), I should have plenty of pictures to capture this great vacation. And while I can’t share all those pictures with you today because they are spread out in a million different places, I can share with you valuable tips and lessons learned that can help you plan your vacation to the Dominican Republic. I guess not everything that happened in the DR should stay in the DR…

Here are some things that mis dos amigas and I learned while in Punta Cana:

1) When you land at the airport, your hair will probably look like this…

My Little Pony

But it is VERY humid in the DR. By the time you check into your hotel room, your hair will look like this…

Carrot Top

And by the time you unpack, change clothes, and make it to the beach, your hair will look like this…

Don King

Mind you, this could all be within a couple of hours. I resorted to the hairstyle below pretty early on in the trip. But I went through all the stages above so that you wouldn’t have to. 😉

2) The power WILL go out AT LEAST once per day. It just will. It doesn’t matter how nice your hotel is. And there is nothing you can do about it. So be prepared for it and take this opportunity to go back to the beach or pool. You don’t need power out there.

3) Loud, slowwww English DOES NOT translate into Spanish. I know that you thought that it would, but it definitely does not.

4) Loud French also does not translate into Spanish. Yelling out “Arrêtez! Arrêtez!” to the taxi driver is not helpful for you or the driver. Since arrêtez means “stop” IN FRENCH. Those 4 years of French you took in high school and college will come in handy one day…but probably not in the DR.

5) Charades also do not translate into Spanish. Again, I know this seems surprising, but all charades do is give the locals a reason to laugh at you.

6) “Crema Hydrante” does not mean soap. I repeat, it does NOT mean soap. It means lotion. Even when it is in a soap pump and in the spot where the soap dispenser usually is by the sink, it still does not mean soap. You will spend half your vacation standing at the sink wondering why the “soap” isn’t washing away.

7) The cigars really are $20 per cigar…not per box.

8 ) Book an all-inclusive resort. The food and drinks are unlimited!

9) Don’t book an all-inclusive resort. The food and drinks are unlimited! (Please note: Unlimited does not necessarily = good.)

10) If you decide to go horseback riding along the beach at sunset (and I think you should), wear a bra.

11) Try your best to NOT pick the horse that is the most competitive one in the bunch and the one who feels the need to always be in front. Of course, you probably won’t know this about the horse until you’ve already begun your ride. So nevermind.

12)  Shouting “¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! ¡Arriba! ¡Arriba!” Speedy Gonzales-style while riding the horse doesn’t have the effect that you think it will.

13) After you finish your ride, your body will feel like you just left spin class. Only you won’t see the same results because the horse (not you) did all the work.

14) Doing yoga on a boat is super-cool…as long as you’re sitting down. DO NOT try to do any poses standing up. This could end disastrously.

15) At some point during your trip, it is likely that one of the locals will take a cute picture of you, slap it on a bottle of rum, and try to sell it to you for a ridiculous price. And then you’ll negotiate and he’ll lower the price a little and you’ll feel good about yourself thinking that you got a good deal. That is, until he gives you your change back and tells you that “you might not want to spend that…it usually doesn’t work. You might want to keep it as a souvenir.” O_O. You were not the victor in this negotiation.

16) Please remember that if you decide to go off the resort to a different restaurant, the likelihood that they will bring your bill in PESOS rather than DOLLARS is about 100%. So please suppress your initial urge to go THE HELL off when you get the bill.

It would have been helpful for us to look at the arrow and NOT the circle.

I kept this coconut just long enough to pose for this picture.

17) There is a possibility that while you’re at the beach, a small man with a machete-like tool about twice his size will approach you and ask if you would like for him to cut a coconut from a tree. The answer to this question will be a very vigorous and unmistakable YES. No need to think about it. The answer to any question the man with the machete asks you is YES.

18) This will also be the time that you learn that not all coconuts are furry and brown. Some are smooth and green. With gross water inside.

The only thing I wanted to do that I didn’t do was get a Dominican blowout from the Dominicans…while in the Dominican. But based on my experience in #1 listed above, you should save your money unless you plan to get the blowout IN the airport terminal SECONDS before you depart from Punta Cana!

Did you take a vacation this year? If so, where?  What travel tips and lessons learned can you offer? Share your fond (or not-so-fond) memories in the comments section.


About Magnet for Foolishness

Resident of the DMV…and my incessant thoughts. Always hungry. Comedy craver. Ice cream freak. Reality TV show junkie. Slightly opinionated. Rarely wrong. Part Lisa Simpson. Part Sue Sylvester. Part Meredith Grey. Renowned chef and baker…avid gardener…pet lover…sometimes liar. Effortlessly forgetful. Always hungry. Blindly hopeful. Easily embarrassed (NOT). Eerily observant. Searching for something. Disregarding parallelism. Chronically tardy. Ruthlessly impatient. Surprisingly affectionate. Unnecessarily long-winded.
This entry was posted in Comedy, culture, friendship, Funny, humor, Life, Personal, random, thoughts, travel, traveling, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to What happens in the DR, stays in the DR.

  1. John says:

    Actually, many of these tips would work for any trip to an unfamiliar destination!


  2. Sounds like fun! DR is definitely on the list!


  3. Patti Ross says:

    Thanks for the travel tips–they are worth remembering no matter what the destination. But the real trick would be to find fun traveling companions who can see the lessons with some humor!


  4. What – no marriage proposals? Always a guarantee from Caribbean me who think you’re trying to get your groove back and/or need a green card.

    You failed to explain how you got baby oil on the camera. *searches internet for those pics*


    • Well…actually…um…yeah. There were. (That was the part I’d planned to leave in the DR.)

      Sorry, no exciting story about how the baby oil got into the camera. On a past trip, I did some very non-strategic packing and that was the end result.


  5. I love the hair pictures and can relate and tip 10 about horseback riding and bras is priceless. But I bet men wouldn’t agree! A great post! Sounds like you had a fun and educational vacation. 😉


  6. amber says:

    Cute and funny post!


  7. Almeta says:

    I’m heading to Puerto Rico in Dec so I’ll let you know.


  8. cardell says:

    This blog post is too cute / funny. Where do I begin?!!

    1. Bras should we worn at all times except in the following situations (a) taking a shower, and (b)when getting d’d (explicit) down by your man! 🙂

    2. I’ve seen so many AMERICAN TOURIST violate #3. Somehow, we’re wired to think that folks will miraculously be able to understand english if we speak it loudly and slowly.

    3. I’m surprised y’all weren’t offered tricks at least once a day. I’m really not trying to be funny. Almost everyday we were offered both male AND female tricks. Also, i’m convinced the room next to ours was a transaction center for this activity as I witnessed “business deals” going down as I was trying to get into our room.

    4. we totally got sucked into #15. you’ll see that bottle of wine on the bar in our basement when you come over this weekend!

    5. i’m glad you had a great time!!!!


  9. Thanks, Cardell, for your comments and for your pre-trip tips. I am literally ROTFLMAO at your #1!! As for #3, we were very mindful of this possibility while planning the trip. So we did a good job of making sure we avoided these kinds of situations.


  10. totsymae1011 says:

    What a hilarious post. I just returned from Taiwan. When I needed a ride back to the airport, I drew a picture of an airplane. Never got it down on how to say it in Chinese. I made it there in perfect time too. Drawing pictures helps, believe me. \

    As for the hair, humid in Taiwan too. Eventually, I cut it all off. Of course, it was interesting trying to find products that would jibe with African American hair when all the writing was in Chinese. I took my chances and it turned out okay.

    Loved the post!


    • Thanks so much! And drawing pictures is a VERY smart idea; that never occurred to us but makes perfect sense!

      How long were you in Taiwan? And, I wanna make sure I understand your comment correctly….you cut your hair off?!?


      • totsymae1011 says:

        I was in Taiwan for about 4 and a half weeks. Not vacationing though. I worked there and sort of wasn’t crazy about the pollution. Didn’t mixed well with the allergies, which became worse after awhile of being there.

        Yes, I took the scissors to my hair. I was a short style cut anyway. After being there a little while, I didn’t see wanting to stay, so I never sent for the care package of stuff, like hair products, that I’d bought before leaving the states. Well, I didn’t know exactly when I’d end up leaving, so I cut it off, bought what I thought would make it look nice, like a gel and it worked. I’m sportin’ a short natural now. I’m not exactly a hair girl anyway, so it wasn’t the first time I’d done it but there are certain challenges African American women run into when they don’t carry their own products with them when traveling. 🙂


  11. @totsymae1011 – Yes, ma’am. I know all about having to use substitute products! Because I didn’t prepare properly, I had to use the hotel’s shampoo when I was in the DR. Which was a shampoo/conditioner combo. I felt like my hair got clean but it definitely WAS NOT conditioned. But I didn’t resort to the scissors like you did, lol!


  12. Erynn Elizabeth says:

    Is it just me, or does carrot-top have a girly face?


  13. hermitsdoor says:

    I’m a bit behind on the cyber world. The leaves are coming down fast in the mountains and need raking out of the ditches. Anyway, if you travel to Italy, avoid picking up your rental car in Florence. A few years back, my wife and traveled with my parents and her mother (yes, both sets of in-laws). Linda had carefully researched rental cars that would fit 5, and allotted each of us so many cubit feet of trunk space. After taking the train from Milan, touring around Florence for a few days, we took the bus out to the airport to pick up our rental car to tour around Tuscany and Umbria. The line was long and slow. After 45 min. we were next. We found out why every group ahead of us took so long. No matter what you hand ordered, you got a Smart4 (you know those cute little Smart Cars that fit 1 1/2 people. Double that, squish 5 people into it and luggage). The desk people could care less about reservations or complaints. You want a car. You get a Smart4.

    Being flexible travelers, we regrouped. I drove my parents with all the luggage. Linda & her mother took the train to each of our remaining destinations. We actually took a hilarious photo of the 5 of us standing in front of the car. You cannot see the car. Linda had also read that the Florence airport is difficult to find from the highway because of limited signage and some odd U-turns. She printed off instructions from the internet, which I used to return the car (after dropping off everyone plus luggage at the train station). The rental car staff had instructed me to just walk up to the front of the line and hand in the paperwork when I returned the car. I walked up, but waited until the 4 women with huge suitcases finished their transaction. I turned in my keys, turned to the ladies, and handed them the instructions on how to return to the airport. Then I bolted to the bus before they discovered what a Smart4 looked like!


  14. Haha! Thanks for the heads up, Oscar. Ironcially, Italy is the next international trip I was planning. Or maybe a Mediterranean cruise? Hopefully for late summer 2012, but I’ll need to do some more research. This information was definitely helpful. How was it driving on the “wrong” side of the street? Or do they drive on the “right” side like we do in the U.S.?


  15. Loud Mind says:

    I think these tips could work almost any international places. I went to Puerto-Rico during the summer and the amount of money I spent was ridiculous! But overall I had a great time. Will do more and deeper research next time I plan a vacation. It can save one a good couple of bucks.


  16. Sumer says:

    The pictures to illustrate the stages your hair went through had me in tears! Lol!


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