We started the trip by meeting outside Academic Hall. Hayley was there first with only one small bag! I was so nervous I had over packed! Mark arrived and surely everyone else strolled out to awaiting van … except Emily.
We put our bags into the van with little trouble. Mark thought the 15 passenger van would fit everyone and the luggage, but alas, the back seat did not fold down. With some grunt work and geometric loading skills, we were able to make all the bags fit. Alas, though, we were still waiting for Emily. It was around 1:45 when Maria called Emily a second time so Mark could talk to her. She said, “two mins!” And, it was.
When Emily arrived we finished loading and were on our way to BWI. Tim and Justin were playing music in the back — some Disney songs. Very silly. Mark asked who would act as secretary for the week. No one eagerly volunteered, he asked Athan if he’d do it. He said, “ummm I don’t think I’m best for the job, I can’t hear everything going on.” Mark said that’s perfect, it’ll force us to sign more!
When we got to BWI we had to put tags on our bags, and get our boarding passes. We were all booming with excitement. We went through security, then some of us wanted food. We ate and chatted, then waited some more at the gate.
We began the flight to Miami. It was a tight fit. Some people slept. Casey, Maria and Sydney drew and the boys listened music. Nathan and Mark just relaxed. Hayley, Emily and I did the same.
When arriving in Miami we went to the restrooms, called our families and explored to find food. Justin, Maria and I picked Cuban … an interesting choice. Casey and Tim got pizza, Emily had spaghetti, and, Athan and Mark had Italian. Hayley had some fruit. How does she do that? Oh, and, today is Hayley’s birthday! She is 20 today!
We were called for our flight (#2067) to the Dominican Republic. We got ready an proceeded on board. I handed the gentleman the wrong boarding pass. I gave him the pass for BWI to Miami. Opps! So silly.
When we got on the flight, we all went to our assigned seats, but there were only about 50 people on the plane. We were able to move around, spread out and pick our own seats. How nice! At first, Joe, Tim and Justin sat still together. They just love each other so much! The flight took off and unfortunately the same shows played on TV. Ugh. Casey and I read, Maria and Sydney looked at magazines and I think other people listened to music and watched TV.
The flight only took a little over an hour and a half. Our flight attendant tried to teach us some Spanish. When we landed we went through customs. Completing the debarkation papers were a bit confusing. Where did we embarque from? Where is disembarque? We were all asking Mark questions. We turned in our papers, found our luggage and left the airport in search of our driver, who spoke very little English. It was so muggy when we got off the plane! Very different from 50 degrees in MD.
We started driving toward the hotel. The ride was a little different. Not following lane signs, signals or stop signs. We passed many dogs and Christopher Columbus’ house. We will visit that tomorrow.
We arrived at the hotel after seeing a lot of signs for casinos. We had some gentlemen help with our luggage, and we checked in. We waited for the rooms to be ready and we changed our money over to Dominican pesos. We were all taking pictures of our $1,000 bills. That is definitely a first.
We went to our rooms and settled in at 1:30 am. Maria and I went to the business room and on our way back to our room we saw several folks heading tot he casino. We were all curious as to what the casino scene was like. There was live music so we did do a little bit of dancing. Casey danced with a Dominican woman while we watched. Then, we watched Athan and Joe win some money! Athan won over 1,000 pesos and Joe 300! Ended up in bed around 4:00am. Need to meet Mark at 11:00am for a grocery trip.
Beds are hard, but I think we’re all ready to sleep!