Finding the Positive when a Vacation Goes Wrong

by Amelia Old
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It’s hard to believe a week ago today I was headed to Punta Cana. I was full of excitement that I finally had some down time to spend with my husband. As I sat on the plane headed back home to Charlotte once my holiday had ended, I felt the eggplant parmesan I had just eaten was one of the best meals I’ve ever had. Of course that’s an exaggeration and I was only gone for 6 days and 5 nights (but whose counting!?) .

I’d like to say it was the best holiday ever but I wouldn’t be telling the complete truth if you can’t gather that so far. In fact, I felt as though I was in the midst of my own installment of the ‘Vacation’ movies. One of those where everything goes wrong and at the end it just becomes laughable because you honestly feel as though there’s a hidden camera catching your reaction.

I suppose I could focus on the negative-that was the majority of the trip. From day one when an employee tried to pull a scam on us to day two where I ended up with major food poisoning. That was the beginning of it and it never seemed to get better with one thing after another happening.  This resort was far from the 5 star advertised but that’s not what this post is about.

I don’t want to focus on the negative. While we will never visit the all inclusive resort we were at again…or any other all inclusive for that matter….there are some positive takeaways.


Me on Day 1…calm before the storm…

First……the view in Punta Cana. This is one calming thing we had each day. The beauty of God’s creation. This took my breath away and I literally spent hours staring at it embracing what was in front of me.



A Storm Rolling In….

Second…the staff…..ok so we had an AWFUL experience the first day where an employee attempted to pull a scam on us. Thankfully we were very aware of what was happening unlike others who may have given in. While he left a bad taste in our mouth, the rest of the staff (particularly the beach staff) were a pleasure. I was quite interested to hear that many of the staff had been there for years….we’re talking 11 years for someone who is barely 30 years old. My husband and I tried to focus on the opportunity to work at a major resort was a big deal for some in Punta Cana. It provides a paycheck and benefits which isn’t found at many places of business-from what we were told.

Me with Ernestina

Each day Danny and Ernestina put a smile on our face with drinks, jokes, and lots of singing. I called Danny my ‘Dominican Crush’ . He serenaded us each day with such joy as he was thrilled to be where he was. Ernestina also seemed to be happy each day even when Danny constantly (playfully) teased her. She just swatted him away with an eye roll but even she soon would be dancing away from behind the bar. With the music, they just couldn’t seem to help themselves.


Me with Danny

Here is Danny singing the song I loved the most while there. Ok, maybe I don’t know all the words because I am not fluent in the language but it’s still catchy! You can see Danny laughing throughout the ‘performance’ because he was watching my husband showing off his ‘dance moves’.

Ok, so our experience wasn’t great and maybe the resort wasn’t our cup of tea but this place is their occupation. This is their life. This is how they care for their families-how can we possibly want to steer people away from that. The staff worked hard at this resort. You can’t blame them for things management or the owners should be responsible for-like upkeep of the rooms, food quality, among many other things.

Finally, our time together. My husband and I don’t see each other as much as I’d like. He travels a great deal. That’s part of his job. He’s working hard to care for his family and for that I am forever grateful. Any time with him is special to me because other times it seems as though we are just ships passing in the night. Even with the pain of food poisoning or the sarcasm of something else going wrong…we still tried to find laughter thru this. We laughed at the fact that we pretty much only ate Pringles for 4 days and that we tried all sorts of new flavors. I don’t know if I want another Pringle for a really long time. My hair brush even randomly broke within the first couple of days of our trip and the resort store only had a comb. My husband spent forever combing out my hair while I laughed and cried at the same time.

There are times our patience is meant to be tested and this was one of those times. We both hit a point on this trip where we were angry, annoyed, and frustrated but we tried hard to just make it work. This has been a tough year for us for lots of reasons and we both entered what we thought would be a 5 star paradise to a 2 star ‘let’s just get thru the next couple of days’. We did it! What we learned is no matter the good or the bad-there is no one else we’d rather go thru it with. There’s a reason we said ‘I Do’. It’s not always going to be perfect but it’s important to just work together to get thru the situation-no matter what that may be. That’s what marriage is all about.

So, as we arrived home….even with upset stomachs…….we can still appreciate the extra sleep we had, the laughter over our circumstances, and most importantly our time together.

And as my husband said ‘as we enter the minute clinic…we are stronger together than we were when we left for this trip.” That’s right friends….we both came home sick.

Thankfully our trip to Punta Cana was my last holiday disaster. Although, I’m sure we may have another in the future. That’s life. Right?

Early in 2018, we had a fabulous trip to Paris. Read about it HERE.

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