Posted by: beachchairandabook | July 24, 2014

Santo Domingo with the Obama Family

April 7, 2014 couldn’t get here fast enough. After the winter that wore out its welcome, I was so ready to take my Kindle to a chair on the beach in Punta Cana that I began packing in March.

Punta Cana Beach Beds

What I’d heard about the Punta Cana beach was true. The water was every shade of blue imaginable. If i hadn’t seen the curving stretch of fine white sand fringed by miles and miles of coconut palms, or taken the photos myself, I would swear they had been Photo-shopped. From my beach bed on the sand, I imagined the reaction of Columbus and his men at their first sight of the “new world.” After more than five months of confinement in ships on the Atlantic, they probably jumped overboard, swam ashore through chest-deep water and kissed the sand.

I am no fan of the Admiral of the Ocean Sea. His “discovery” set in motion events that fell throughout the world like a global set of dominoes. As a history lover, however, I wanted to see where part of this history began and still stood – the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, whose construction began in 1514, the The Alcázar de Colón, home of Columbus’ son Diego, the fort on the Ozama River and the Calle de las Damas.

At the start of the tour, before dispensing with the necessary rules and regulations, our Dominican guide told us a little about himself. He didn’t talk about his credentials or his fluency in many languages (which we discovered later) . “I’ve been told I look like Denzel Washington, Nelson Mandela and President Obama,” he told us. And so, for purposes of group identity through Santo Domingo’s Colonial zone,  our group of 40+ American and German tourists was given a green sticker and named the Obama Family. We couldn’t get lost if we wanted to. People on the street recognized our leader and the green sticker – if someone lagged behind, they heard “Obama Family! That way!”

Thanks to our guide, it  was one of the best tours I’ve taken. Enjoy a few of the sights from my trip to Santo Domingo with the Obama Family.



  1. When I saw this, I thought the President was going. Heard he was going on vacation. This is very good. I am going to forward to Gwen & Geri. And Carroll. 


    • Thanks! I had intended to write this long ago. When I looked at my pictures, it was a reminder of how much I enjoyed the trip and what a good guide we had.

  2. Sister, you are so good at what you do! I was right there with your tour group. The photos are amazing. You are a travel journalist for sure!

    • Thank you, Idrissa! What a compliment, especially coming from you:) Until someone will pay me to travel and write about it, I’ll keep doing it my way!

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