Have you ever watched lightning strike in a place that you’re not? Weird question, I know. Tonight I watch a storm cloud over a mysterious island as we drift by. The lightning illuminates the clouds above the island and I watch the surreal sky as we sit on our ship out at sea, where the weather is warm and cool and no storm cloud overhead. But, let’s back it up to the beginning of the day………
Amber Cove, Dominican Republic
The day started as I looked out at a mountainous island that I didn’t recognize. It turned out to be Hispaniola, which includes Haiti and the Dominican Republic. We docked up in Amber Cove and had breakfast before heading into port. The people were friendly (mostly), some said “hola” when they saw you walking into the doors of their shops. Others just smiled.
We were able to find our traditional painting at the open market. Though, I doubt it was painted by the local we bought it from. When we asked, he said his brother painted it, but I doubt he understood what we were saying. And that is not me being condescending or insensitive to the local merchant.
- We asked him where his brother was that painted it and he pointed up to a sky deck that sat at the top of the cruise port. Then, we asked if he could get his brother, the artist to sign our names on the canvas, to which he proceeded to get a pen and write our names on the canvas himself.
- We saw similar paintings at another of our cruise stops. We didn’t have the painting with us to match it up to see if they were exactly alike. But trust me it was very close. And we recognized other pictures that were definitely the same exact picture being hawked from two different islands as local art.
We’ve always had our oil paintings signed by the artists when we buy them in port. We started this tradition when we went on out first Western cruise. When he proceeded to write our names on the plaque with a pen, we weren’t even mad. We just took our paintings and left it at that. (It wasn’t until later on during the trip that we realized that it wasn’t a local painting at all — see # 2 above.)
The souvenirs were cool and inexpensive if you shopped around before purchasing. We got some dual nail clipper/bottle openers for friends back home. I got a coffee/tea mug for myself (see pics).
In the first store that we had to walk through to get to/from the cruise port I got some local chocolate. I’ll let you know how it taste once I try it. My husband bought some cigars for coworkers and other knick knacks. My mother bought met the local pandora charm Dominican Republic charm to add to my bracelet.
Overall, Amber Cove wasn’t too bad. We had already decided to not venture too far from port, with all the previous news reports about Americans dying after drinking on the island. We hadn’t planned to drink, but better safe than sorry.
After strolling back to the ship, we ate lunch, crashed, then watched Men In Black International under the stars at the Dive In Theatre. And now this evening, I watch an island in the distance clouded with a lightning storm while I sit far away under the stars.
Where to next?
Tomorrow, is my hometown, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. I can’t wait to meet my family there when we dock. We get into port late (11:45ish), or what I consider a late start to the day, but more to come tomorrow on our next port visit. Missed Day 2, click here.
Have you ever been to the DR? Let me know what is was like for you outside the port in the comments below. Maybe one day, I’ll venture back. But in my Aragon voice, today is not that day.