Where to start…

“Gringos Welcome” Sign
Ahh, yes, the next day in Luperon. Well, from the looks of everyone and the moans and groans it was a great night out in Luperon. And I say this because my father, Harold, who hasn’t touched a drink in 30 something years was right beside the rest of us, shielding his weary eyes from the sun, in the morning light of the DR. The best advice I can give you all is don’t be afraid to look like a fool trying to get your point across with a language you can’t speak. A gesture speaks a thousand words. As you all know, we started our night at JR’s with Scott’s great tuna catch, which was a big hit. You could just say “We had them at sushi! “

One of the DR’s favorite past times
We started the night sharing movies and music that we had on our hard drive with Manny, our Dominican friend who grew up in Boston. Ya, I know, the Boston accent is already something to talk about, but mixed with a little Dominican is a whole different tub of butter. We did get some great music out of it, which is definitely the international language. The first local insight is that it is cheaper to buy a whole bottle of rum then just keep getting rum and cokes. MMM, you see where this is going now. So, after the movies and music were copied and dinner was finished, I started to wonder where Dad may be. Mom said that last she saw him, he was walking up the street with a cigar in hand, and not to worry, just another burst of mid-life crisis.

“The mid life crisis was passed mucho year-o ago. Now it is the on-going reality that all that was said of life in the ‘70s is true. After trying to listen to five different conversations and decipher the inane music on the satellite tv, I departed with cigar in mouth seeking culture other than American bar head- games and worn out stories of times no longer relevant. Sure enough I found it on the village green, in the center of which was a bandstand, clustered with local music makers – a real, live band that actually played Latin music! People got up and danced the Samba and Meringue, and danced till the sweat dropped from their brows. Young, old, even teens with hip hair doos. Such fever – I was so impressed and excited I called out with joy, “come on guys lets join in…they will love it!” So we did and most everyone got a great laugh at Nancy and I attempting to emulate the locals, who had all the moves, and I had none.
At least Nancy was smooth. Me? I was somewhat like Ellen on the Jerry Seinfeld show.

Our Taxi to the Big City
Harold and Danny
So, when you arrive in Luperon, make sure it is on a weekend so you can catch the great orchestra of local folks and local music. As for the cigars, well, be cautious buying them. I was told the bigger the better.

Our teenaged guide, Danny, arrived the next morning promptly at 8am to ferry us into the big city. Most of the drive was spent watching the countryside flash by with cows, horses, and goats. There were also many, many people on scooters or motorbikes, balancing large things on their shoulders, or three people crammed on one scooter speeding along the mountain road dodging on-coming traffic. What a ride.”

My Dad is sure right about that, and I have had many of a gua gua ride in the local van. But, I can’t remember ever going 70 mph down a mountainside that twists and turns with only the horn to inform anyone or anything that we were coming around the corner! Heck, even if there was something, there in no way would we be able to stop. So, with Cath white knuckled and fear in her eyes, we shot through the mountainside, finally the big city showed to be more crazy then the ride, but we did learn the three essential horns: hello, go head, and move it -I’m coming.

First Big Supermarket since Florida


The local hardware store rivaled any in the States, as did the grocery store. I don’t think they have seen provisioning like that ever! After the DR and Puerto Rico, it all gets expensive, so we try to stock up on the goodies. With our great guide, Danny, we were able to find most everything.

Dad made Danny’s day by getting him a basketball. His eyes were as big as saucers when Dad gave it to him. After that, “Jefe” was the man. Danny looked at Dad as “boss man” so, “Jefe” has now stuck.
After we did all of our provisioning, we prepared for the theme park ride home, especially Cath. I told her next time to bring the Valium!

Main Street in Luperon
After meeting up with Scotto back in Luperon, who had his own fun getting a tooth pulled at the local dentist, it was time for some food. Every one swapped their stories of the day, sitting at the sidewalk table, eating a nice hot pizza, and we weren’t the only ones who thought pizza was a good idea. Once again, us Gringos got suckered by two kids on their horses, as they rode right up to our table and asked for a piece. I don’t know who was more surprised, us by having horses at eye level, or the kids when we actually gave them a piece! And then they asked for another! Which of course we gave them, after all they did ride up in style. One thing we are learning on this trip… asking never hurts.

Three words you want to see… “Good Cold Beer”

So, ending our night with some very happy kids, we made our way back to Jo-Jo
(our nickname for Joana).

The next day we cleared the boat out with the General, which unfortunately for Scott, meant one less bottle of rum! We aren’t in Kansas anymore…

The Sun is up and the crew is ready…off we go to Puerto Rico!