FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Lovely Tropical Autumn

by Yasser Ogando

Nov 17, 2023

The last time I wrote to you I was en route to my home away from home in the Dominican Republic. Two celebrations of love brought my fiancé, Nathan, and me back to the island as two of my cousins got married a week apart. Talk about two birds, one stone, right?

We planned to arrive mid-week, giving ourselves some days before the first wedding to do some planning for our own. This also gave us the opportunity to catch up with family and sync into the excitement of all being together for these occasions. It truly felt like the holidays — people flying in from all over and families and cultures merging and blending with a common purpose: celebrating the people we love.

Dominican Republic

Lunch at Adrian Tropical upon arrival at Santo Domingo.

We wanted summer days, and, boy, did we get them! On average, it was 92 degrees almost every day, only partially cooling down in the evening to high 70s, low 80s. Not the kind of weather you want to sit in traffic in, but traffic was almost all we found. Judging from the hustle and bustle encountered all over, Santo Domingo is doing well. In the days leading up to the wedding we found ourselves contributing to the city’s economy with stops all over and many errand runs — admittedly, they were almost all my errands. The preparation leading to each event was, well, busy! You see, in Dominican culture, there’s no such thing as “simple” in a formal dress code. Think ballgown, red carpet … can you see it?

Dominican Republic

Nathan and Yasser enjoying the weather

Dominican Republic

One of my favorite things about my aunts and uncles getting married was the preparation leading up to the event … nail appointments, the perfect opportunity to introduce a new hair color or style, my cousins and I thinking we were grown up because we got to wear adult perfume and cologne. Now that it’s my cousins and friends I’m celebrating and we’re all adults, my favorite thing is just being able to be around everyone. Yes, thankfully, we are able to stay in touch and stay connected with each other so easily now, but to actually be present with my family and share that love face to face is irreplaceable.

And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good wedding? And what a wedding we started with! My cousin Brendha’s was held at Dominican Air Force Chapel and the reception at Renaissance Santa Domingo Hotel Jaragua — a beautiful property located across the street from the coastline and a pathway leading directly to El Malecón and eventually Zona Colonial. They chose to have a Catholic ceremony, and after Mass, we kicked off the festivities with a cocktail hour around 6 p.m. and partied until the hotel staff turned the lights on around 2 a.m. — an all-day affair for me since I was part of the bride’s getting-ready crew. A good time was had!

Dominican Republic

Getting ready at Renaissance Hotel Jaragua.

Dominican Republic

A good time was had!

Dominican Republic

Yasser on the dance floor with the bride and groom.

Nathan and I decided to be real tourists and stayed a couple extra days at Jaragua to be closer to everyone staying for the weekend. After relaxing by the pool and resting during the day, we met part of the family for dinner and spent the rest of the night sharing photos and videos and recapping the night.Dominican Republic

We left the hotel on Monday and drove straight to Playa Esmeralda in Juan Dolio for a sunset bath in the Caribbean Sea. A perfect way to close out the festive weekend. I’ll tell you all about this gem in my next blog.

Until next time,

— Yasser Ogando, advertising & production manager

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