Seeing how I was vacationing on an island that was hit by a tropical storm that killed over 150 people, it is nice to see that my friends and family are so concerned for my welfare.
Ethan and I had messages all on our phones and email from concerned coworkers who were convinced that we had been killed. It was kinda funny--we had to call in to work and notify the engineering department that Ethan wasn't dead.
Tropical storm Noel was not particularly big or violent, it just decided that it liked Hispaniola and sat there for 7 days swirling. Imagine sitting beneath a giant toilet that is flushing for a solid week! We were on the north part of the island so we just got a ton of rain, minor flooding and some wind. The southern part of the island was hard hit and had massive flooding and mudslides and damage and destruction. The worst thing that happened for us was that our snorkelling trip was cancelled and we never got to go. Other than that, it was a good trip.
THe one tour we were able to do despite the rain was the city tour--we got to go to the Brugal rum factory and watch the bottling process. Pretty cool! It is the third largest rum factory in the world, and a cool experience. We also went to the Amber museum where they have the chunk of amber from Jurassic Park with a mosquito trapped in it (you know, the amber on the staff of the kooky guy who made the park??). Pretty neat. We learned a bit about the history of the DR and Puerto Plata, toured around town a bit, had a nice lunch and headed back to our hotel.
Most of our time was spent in and around the pool nearest our room--the one with a swim up bar. If you are in a pool, does it matter when it is raining?? The rain wasn't all nonstop, and often was pretty light so we toughed it out. After all, we ARE from Seattle.......