I temporarily transported myself back to Punta Cana last night with this coco loco cocktail. There are many ways to make a coco loco---some being more creamy, and some being more fruity. I opted to go for one being more alcohol-y.
This drink is a drank. It's not to be toyed with! So, I'm going to do one last recap of Punta Cana while I finish my delicioso Coco Loco.
But First: The Coco Loco Recipe (Serves 1)
1 ounce dark rum 1 ounce light rum 1/2 ounce vodka 1/2 ounce creme de bananes (banana liquer) 1 ounce pineapple juice 1/2 ounce cream of coconut
Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Shake well, and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and cherry. Enjoy!
I blogged about the wedding. I blogged about our adventures off of our Punta Cana Resort: From Downtown Punta Cana and Playa Macao, to Playa Boca Chica and Santo Domingo. What I haven't yet talked about was our actual resort, the Melia Caribe Tropicale, and most importantly, how great it was to spend time with my Somerville Family (friends from USC). With each sip I take, I find myself becoming more sentimental, so watch out!
The last post left off with us all falling asleep in the back of a van for our 3-hour journey back to Punta Cana from Santo Domingo. And good thing we did, because most of us did not get more than one or two hours of sleep that night. Words can not express how much we all fully embraced the turn down for what?! motto over the course of 5 days. I didn't know we could still hang. Not that hard. And not five days in a row.
We pulled into the hotel around 10:30 p.m. Food is technically "available" 24 hours a day. BUT, whether or not that food is something that you actually want to eat... well, that's a whole 'nother story. It was near the cut-off time for pretty much every decent restaurant, so I jetted out of the van and followed a couple of my friends to the VIP section of the hotel, and their exclusive restaurant, Gabbi.
Gabbi is by far the nicest restaurant at the Melia Caribe Tropicale. We were greeted with immediate suspicion as they suspected that we weren't all actually staying in the VIP section. Although this was accurate, they guessed wrongly and focused their energy on harassing two of the guys (one was VIP and one was mid-tier). Me and my friend artfully hid our wristbands and assumed that they would leave us girls alone---which they did. We ordered whole lobsters, ribs, and beef. Champagne. And we feasted! And it was by far the best meal I had at the resort. My beef even came with a delicious mushroom rissotto. It wasn't exactly authentic Dominican food---but we didn't care. We were hungry, and we avoided the "late night food."
For the first time all week, I turned in early. I was the only one. If my room were in closer proximity to the rest of the goings on at the hotel, I'm sure I would have made it out. One of the more tame things happening was the bride having one final chat with us girls, giving us pointers for our weddings:
- Make sure you have tissue handy to wipe the lipstick off of the groom's face after you kiss him. - Make sure your engagement ring and wedding band compliment one another.
I woke up early and met up with a few friends for a leisurely breakfast. We shared our favorite moments of the trip, but we had a difficult time pinpointing just one since there were so many. I had a good cry about how crazy it was that this used to be our lives---sharing every breakfast, dinner, and late night meal together in the dorm during our freshman year of college. This trip was definitely a reunion of sorts.
I thought back to night one in Punta Cana, and how happy everyone was to see each other and just spend time together. We spent countless hours just chillin at the beach, by the pool, and having meals together. And unlike my high school reunion, where things began to fizzle day two, there was no such fizzling! Yes, we were college friends. And yes, we have many other things going on in our lives and many of us live far away from each other. But many of us are intrinsically involved in one another's lives. In a bestie/like-a-sister kind of way. Ten years later, some of us are still roommates. Many of us are best friends. And we proved that we can all come together and support one another (and have a good time!)
After a very contemplative breakfast, we headed to the beach. Well, they headed to the beach, and I went on a hunt for coconuts. Coconut trees are everywhere. Fruit-bearing trees with carefully-husked spherical jugs of earthly elixir coconut water. Getting a fresh coconut on the grounds of the hotel was as easy as finding one of the many machete-carrying groundsman to chop one off the tree and get it for you. The groundsman I found was a Haitian native, so we immediately hit it off, and continued our conversation in French. This man then proclaimed that I should start every morning with a coconut and fresh coconut water. I couldn't agree more except that it was my last day in Punta Cana, and I'm fairly certain that the snow that DC has been receiving will not be a suitable climate for a coconut tree.
I then made my way to the beach and shared my bounty (3 freshly-macheted coconuts!) with my friends. It was gloriously sunny, so we abandoned our comfy resort lounge chairs for the gentle waves of the Caribbean Sea. Everyone was feeling the pressure to soak up as much sun and waves before our imminent departure.
Finally, the clock struck 12. Noon. Our carriage didn't turn into a pumpkin, but a shuttle was waiting for us to transport us to the airport. Quickly to our rooms we went to shower away the sand, sun block, and last few moments in vacation paradise.