Adventures in the Dominican Republic

As you know, I spent five glorious days in the Dominican Republic over Thanksgiving weekend with the lovely and amazing PR guru, Ann Layton, and some incredible media pros, Si Si Penaloza, Marianne Wisenthal, Yale Breslin, Doug O’Neill and Jeffrey Fisher. An excellent bunch that made me laugh hard, many times. I will miss our beach-side meals and serenades!

I’ll be writing about my adventures in greater detail for the Calgary Herald’s Travel section, but not for a little while. I’ll let you know when it comes out! Till then, let me tell you about three things I learned on the trip:

  1. Always pack the basics in your carry-on. I did not, so was none too thrilled when, after a long day of travel from Toronto to Miami to Punta Cana, my suitcase did not arrive. I spent the next day wearing the little dress and chambray shirt I wore to travel, with no face wash, deodorant, makeup remover or makeup to save me. This is the second time in a year that my suitcase hasn’t shown up on my travels and I’ve finally learned my lesson: from now on, I will always bring the essentials in my carry-on. I do solemnly swear.
  2. Dominican coffee is delicious. I am terrible at pottery. Those are not connected but I thought I’d throw in something positive. The coffee really is amazing, so I brought home some beans to enjoy in Calgary. As for the pottery, welllllll…….You’d think that having a grandmother who’s a pottery wizard would help me out somehow. But, no. At the insanely luxurious Casa de Campo, where we spent the first three nights, we all took a pottery class and attempted to make little leaf-shaped bowls. Behold, my masterpiece:
  3. Dominican Republic is gorgeous and has some stunning resorts. The aforementioned Casa de Campo is like the most high-end summer camp for adults and puts to rest any notion that there’s nothing to do in Dominican than sit on a beach and drink rum and Cokes (although, the rum is delicious). Casa offers everything from horseback riding and skeet shooting to tennis classes on clay courts. You also get to zip around the stunning resort in your own red golf cart. When you’re tired from all the fun, you can relax at the spa, head to the beach or hit the pool area.

It’s amazing we survived all those golf cart rides. As Ann, the photog behind the shot below of me wedged in between Yale and Jeff pointed out, it appears our driver is asleep at the wheel.

We also checked out the stunning Oscar de la Renta-designed Tortuga Bay resort and ooh’ed and aah’ed over the beach, the spa and the goods in the Oscar de la Renta store.

I’d love to go back and stay at either spot. Perhaps in early 2013. I may take a pottery class before then, so as not to embarrass myself further.

~Michelle

P.S. Our guide for part of the trip, Carlos, was a Vin Diesel lookalike. A little bit, right?

Vin Diesel photo via here.