Larina and I closed out 2012 engaged in one of other year’s frequent activities: showing people around this beautiful island. To no one’s surprise, we hosted another Bologna classmate. This time it was Katya and her significant other, Mark. Katya and I shared a house in Bologna with four other people, and the not-insignificant age difference between us added to what has become our sibling-like relationship. She and Mark have been together a while and it’s fun to see her with someone who is as scary smart as she is and who has one of the driest sense of humor I’ve ever seen. Each appears to keep the other on their toes, and interchange that’s fun to watch.
The four of us rang in the new year on the north coast in the town of Las Terrenas. We rented an apartment for a few days stocked up on food, wine, and board games, all of which came in handy as we dodged some unseasonable rain. This is the dry season, often the best time of year to be here. Rain is typically delayed for the months of May through October. Although, in these times of global warming, no one expects traditional weather patterns to hold anymore. Fortunately, the rain held off on New Year’s Eve and we welcomed 2013 on the beach with a bonfire taller than me. I don’t remember what we did to celebrate the start of 2012, but this was definitely better.
We replicated our tranquil pace once back in Santo Domingo. Long, leisurely strolls around the streets of the Zona Colonial inevitably led to afternoon snacks and beverages in the Plaza de España. Not a bad way to spend a few days, especially if it sets the tone for the coming 12 months.
As it is with most visits, it was over almost as quickly as it began. We packed them off and sent them off you to see them back in Washington upon our return around this time next year.
In the meantime, Happy New Year. Stay tuned to this space for more stories. We already have a few items on the calendar in the months ahead, and we look forward to sharing them with you.