They arrived in Santiago late last Thursday. I took them for a spin around the Monument (the only truly touristic place in Santiago) and a lovely Dominican meal of pinchos, casabe, and yucca, and then sent them to bed so that we could get up bright and early to tour the city on Friday.
Our Friday city tour started off with a walk into the city center to do a little Larimar shopping (the famous blue stone that's only found here in the Dominican Republic), and ended with a nice meal at Square One (my favorite lunch time spot) and a tour of the PUCMM campus. Then it was back home (by concho, of course. I couldn´t let them leave without experiencing the Dominican Republic´s infamous transportation system) to pack our bags and catch a taxi to Javilla tours for a $3 bus ride to our all-inclusive resort in Puerto Plata.
Not a bad way to spend a couple days if I do say so myself.
But there also happened to be a casino located just outside the resort, which kept me well and entertained for a night. I had never gambled at a casino before, but I managed to turn my Dad's $20 into $45! Apparently I was having a little beginner's luck at the black jack table. $25 dollars worth of winnings was plenty for me though. And not coincidentally, it was exactly enough to pay for 25 hours worth of internet at the resort (yes, the all-inclusive resort charged for internet, isn't that ridiculous?!). But in any case, I left feeling pretty proud of myself.
As it turns out...two and a half days at a resort is just the right amount of time for me. Don't get me wrong, the resort we stayed in was lovely, but after a few days, I start itching to get off and explore the local culture. Not to mention I love cooking my own meals or trying new things from local restaurants, so generic buffet style food loses its appeal for me after a day or two. If you are looking for a hands-free, relaxation vacation, an all-inclusive is perfect; but if you're more of an adventurous soul, it's probably not the right route for you.
Sunday night I left my padres at the resort for the rest of the week while I caught a bus back to Santiago in order to head back to work in the morning. Overall, I was thrilled to spend some quality one-on-one time with my parents and just wish I could have spent more of it with them!