Tag Archives: dominican republic

Wanderings: If I could have planned my snow week

If you’re a travelin’ fool like me bound by three weeks vacation, you’ll understand how much it bothered me to be handed an entire week off from work with nowhere to go. Once Wednesday came around with another foot of snow, I knew I wouldn’t be required at work until Monday. We started looking at local ski mountains. I started thinking about going to New York. I wanted to substitute my snow shovel for a coconut with a straw sticking out of it and steel drums in the background on some beach.

If I could have planned my snow week with one day’s notice – say, last Thursday they said: by the way, this storm coming your way is going to shut you in for the rest of the week. What would I have done? Here’s my wish list.

Grand Canyon. I would have packed up my little Civic with our camping gear and bags of Trader Joe’s groceries and headed west, young man. I did it before in that little car and I would have tried again. Jon and I missed the Grand Canyon on our last roadtrip across the country (though I have been twice already on separate trips) and this would have been a perfect time to head out to explore, when the crowds are few. We would have hit a few other sites along the way, possibly Canyonlands, Arches, Zion, and wherever else that wouldn’t involve much snow. Four days driving roundtrip, leaving 5-6 days of exploring.

Colorado. Again, packing up the car with snowboarding gear and attempting to drive it through the snowy mountains of Colorado to experience some fresh powder. Yay! Again, four days of driving roundtrip, leaving 5-6 days of snow fun.

Hawaii. I would have hopped on a last-minute ticket flight to Hawaii, no matter how many times we had to change planes, and gone hiking through volcanoes, surfing on giant surfboards, wearing scenty leis and gotten a tan.

Paris. Flights to Europe are cheap in winter. So why not catch the next flight to one of my most favorite cities in the world? Wander through some smaller art galleries I missed last time, eat macarons, check out the latest fashions at Le Printemps, pick out some tres chic items for our house at BHV.

Dominican Republic. The country’s tourism is hurting because of Haiti’s earthquake. An ideal situation would be to sit on the beach, perhaps away from all the other tourists in Punta Cana, and maybe hike around the tropical forests, and then spend some time volunteering to help Haiti. Portions possible to write-off on taxes, too.

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Now Boarding: Deals to Paradise

My California friends like to give me grief about moving back East, particularly now that it’s cold, gray and threatening to rain ice so much that Virginia schools closed today for… an otherwise sunny day. ? Nice excuse by the superintendent who probably got some super saver flight to the Caribbean departing today.

However, I think I could use a sunny vacation right about now. Between buying a house, painting, moving, and all the other adventures I’ve been unfortunate to experience, getting away with nothing but a swimsuit and a good book sounds just about right. To top it off, Jon is ditching me to go to some bachelor party in Tahoe this weekend, which just received several inches of fresh powder. If I act quickly, I could be on a beach by the weekend. Here are some deals I found.

TODAY ONLY: a “Fare Crusher” sale of $18 and up to the Caribbean on Spirit Airlines. Of course, the catch is that if you live in Ft. Lauderdale, you get a wealth of paradise options at hand. However, if you live elsewhere, you can fly to Ft. Lauderdale for $9 (yes, NINE dollars) and then catch another flight to somewhere like the Bahamas or Jamaica. It may take a little detective work and coordinating the scheduling, but who wouldn’t want a $36 vacation??

ENDS TOMORROW: Airtran has some lovely low flights going to the Caribbean from around the U.S. For example: Chicago Midway to Aruba for $169 one-way. New York to Montego Bay, Jamaica for $129 one-way. San Francisco to Cancun for $124 one-way (although I never liked Cancun – the key is to leave Cancun as soon as possible and get to one of its neighboring secluded islands, like Isla Mujeras, away from the obnoxious partying 50-year-old Americans with their footlong beers.)

Latin America: For $278 roundtrip from Washington, D.C., I can jet off to Punta Cana on Lan Airlines before December 30. Never heard of the airline, but it gets me to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and then somehow I make my way to the beachy shores.  

Need more ideas? Keep checking back! It’s a bad economy out there, which makes it great vacation time. Happy sunshine!

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