I have decided to skip the part of the story that details my troubles negotiating wedding details in Spanish (try describing non-Crayola colors in a foreign tongue), signature forgings, and begging and pleading with officers at the Dominican Consulate for concessions. Those stories I’m saving to be published in my memoirs in a chapter titled “Why God. Why?”
At the time of our departure (Wednesday), Jaimi was convinced that we were spending 5 days in Cuba. The original story was that we were going for three days, but I was forced to tell her the night before that we were going for 5, to ensure that she would pack enough clothes.
Why Cuba? Well you can travel to most Caribbean destinations on a birth certificate alone. In order to be married, however, the participants must have Passports. I needed to convince Jaimi to apply for a US Passport without raising suspicion.
So, 4:30 AM we were at the airport for a 7:00 AM flight. I knew that I had to tell her at some point that we are not just flying through the DR, but rather it was our final destination. Our flight was late, and didn’t leave until 9:00, causing us to miss our connection in San Juan, Puerto Rico to DR. We caught the next flight, but rather than continuing on to Cuba, we decided to stay for one night at a hotel in DR (conveniently and easily arranged on the spot by yours truly. Way too much detail required explaining this one. Sorry).
So we hopped the shuttle to the hotel. After 30 minutes passing through “average island living” we arrived at what could have been Saddam Hussein’s palace. The lobby was large, and immaculate. On the way to our room, passing the peacocks, flamingos, and geese, Jaimi commented, “maybe we can stay an extra day before we head to Cuba.”