During our awesome stay at the Royal Catalonia Bavaro Resort in Punta Cana, Marcel arranged a very special dinner to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. Dinner for two … on the beach. No hoardes of other people. Just the two us! And a Waiter, an Executive Chef and the Food & Beverage Manager.
Dim the lights …

It was a big deal! There was fuss and flurry in reception as we chose our menu 24 hours beforehand. We got the impression this didn’t happen too often and happily paid the bill for this private treat, which wasn’t included in the all-in package. Then we headed back to our deck-chairs to laze in the Caribbean sun and drink Presidente beer.

Just before 7pm the next day, we strolled towards the beach in contrast to other guests streaming inwards to one the many restaurants. We grinned to ourselves, not knowing what to expect, full of anticipation. We were told that if it was bad weather, we’d have exclusive use of the open restaurant on the beach, which is normally used for breakfasts and lunches.

The wind was irreverent to our romantic dinner and we were concerned about being ‘coerced’ into compromising. But as we got to the restaurant, it looked deserted. We moved along to the beach. Almost at water’s edge, a man was standing next to two linen-bedecked chairs under a welcoming thatch. Wowwww.

We introduced ourselves and Hector apologised for the windy conditions. We didn’t care. Wind or no wind, we wanted our dinner on the beach. Nature compensated the hefty breeze with a glistening Caribbean Sea. The full moon danced over the swells, starting at the horizon and rhythmically cavorting its way to the gentle shore. Already it was worth it. We took some video and beamed at each other in disbelief, while Hector poured us a glass of Cerveza (beer) and Vino Tinto (red wine). Shortly after that, the appertisers arrived. Exquisite prawn flavours exploded in my mouth as I watched Marcel neatly carve up his salmon and toast. We moved onto our starters … first a cold carpaccio of salmon and tuna and then a hot dish of stuffed Piquillo peppers. Squid ink is a taste my pallet is still acquiring. More wine was served. Marcel and I jabbered away. Our usual banter on a myriad of subjects. But we couldn’t help reflecting on our 8 years of marital bliss. We ooh-ed and aah-ed fond memories of our wedding at Goblin’s Cove. My word. The time has flown and somehow stood still. WOW. Our favourite word for the evening. And then it changed to “ooh-la-la” when the lobsters were served. DE-LI-CI-OUS! We savoured every morsel.

Hector suprised us with a bottle of Spanish bubbly and offered to take a picture, not knowing it was a video camera. The footage is delightful and shows the mood of the evening. Determined to enjoy our evening to the utmost, I ignored the bumpy goose-flesh riddling my arms, but the wind was not content. Demanding her presence felt and seeking appease for my deliberate ignorance, she blew up a napkin and sent my red wine crashing over the table and onto my lap. Hector was mortified. Marcel grinned at me proudly for “taking one for the team”. To combat the cold stain, I sandwiched my skirt between two linen napkins and kept a stiff upper lip. Even though it was turning a purply-blue. My skirt dried fairly quickly and wasn’t worse for wear. Good call wearing black! The desserts arrived. Wow. I’m not fond of puddings and sweet things, but c’mon … this was made specially for us and carted all the way to the beach. My resistance melted as qently as the chocolate lingering on my tongue. Marcel’s apple pie crumbling with each bite. And then it was over …

We thanked Hector profusely and his mate who had arrived to help him clean up. Giddy from the beverages and overjoyed from the experience, we staggered back to “civilisation”. Averting the masses, we decided to go back to the room. Marcel enjoyed a quiet Dominican cigar on the balcony before joining his wife, who at that stage, was (again) thanking the Sand Man for her dream.