A year ago

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

In Caberette  - Dominican.

Dinner at an Italian Restaurant in Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Last year at this time I was in the Dominican Republic with two of my brothers and one of my sisters.  I wish I had gone again this year.  Instead  I sit here, frozen and longing for the Pina Colada I had there, made with off the tree, fresh pineapple.  Mmmm.Pina Colada

At the Russian Resort - Dominican

Dinner at the Russian Resort, Dominican Republic

 

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Moving on: – The Villa – Dominican Republic

Between Sosua and Cabarete – up the hills ‘they’ call mountains and we moved to my brother’s villa in the Dominican.  It was an exciting time.  I was looking forward to seeing the local life-styles.  The villa was beautiful with enough bedrooms, each with a bathroom and a private patio, we could all have our privacy, but be together.

It was wonderful to get up early in the morning.  There was always a breeze to sit by the pool with my coffee. It was here we had many lively discussions, some heated as siblings are apt to do and also shared many memories of our childhood days.  From my upstairs patio I could see glimpses of the ocean through the palms and foliage.   Villa View from back bedroom Villa View from front bedroom

Pat's Villa - front Pat's villa swimming pool Pat's villa back of house Pat's villa living room Pat's Villa - back shaded patio

From the Villa – Sosua

The town of Sosua was larger and this is where we went grocery shopping.  The stores were different than what we are used to.  Each store is individual and sells specific items. There are no department stores.  There are no fast-food services. We soon learned milk as we know it cannot be purchased in the Dominican.  Milk is like our canned milk there. The lovely real-estate lady, Marchina, suggested we contact a local farmer to get our dairy products.

There appears to be only one highway – loaded with traffic and especially small bikes (like mo-peds) everywhere.  These bikes are mostly rickety and falling apart and they seem to go and do as they please. Most of the cars were in no better shape.  The trucks were small – somewhat like our dump-trucks and ruled the road. So it amazed me there weren’t more accidents, but there wasn’t.  I rarely saw the police and never saw an accident.

The side streets that go anywhere but to villa’s or areas of town are rare. As we were driving along exploring we went down a street and discovered we were on a narrow, busy street filled with shops and people.  We were in downtown Sosua and there appeared to be no way out.  So we wound, turned and stopped on the side to let vehicles pass.  Finally after miles of driving it seemed we managed to get back on the main, only highway. Downtown was again like nothing I’d ever seen either.  We went to downtown Sosua to a small casino one night.  It was nothing like I expected either.  After spending hundreds and hundreds of pesos in the few machines they had – I discovered I lost $10.00. In the Dominican prostitution is legal and signs of this are all around in the downtown area.

I didn’t see many homes or shops being torn down.  They mainly appeared abandoned then something built beside it.  I assumed it was the ‘new’ shop.  I never found out if that’s the case.

Sosua - downtown Sosua - downtown Sosua - downtown Sosua - downtown #4 Sosua - downtown #10 Sosua - downtown Sosua - downtown
Downtown Sosua

From the Villa – Down the Highway

One day we went miles down the highway to go to  Playa Grande – Grand Beach which is a world famous beach.  On the beach, listening to huge waves crashing, I enjoyed a pina colada in real fresh pineapple.  It is the best pina colada I ever had.  My sister has a drink in a coconut.  We played in the waves, letting them wash over us and push us to the shore.  It was a wonderful day.

My grandson asked me to bring him back sea-shells.  On all the beaches I saw there were no sea-shells to be found.  Then I noticed all the unique, cute jewelry and understood.  The sea-shells are used for making jewelry.

Playa Grande - Grand Beach Playa Grande - Grand Beach #1 Playa Grande - Grand Beach

From the Villa – The Russian Resort

Just outside Sosua is a beautiful place called the Russian Resort.  We went there a few times as the dining was wonderful and the view was out of this world.  There were villa’s, houses, hotels and playgrounds for the children.  It was beautiful and surreal.  There was an infinity pool and private cove beaches.   beach outside Sousa Russian Resort - Dining over the ocean. Russian Resort - Dining over the ocean. Russian resort beach by Russian resort

From the Villa – A PGA Golf Course

My sister wanted to get a golf-shirt for her husband.  So we stopped for lunch at a Golf Course, which often hosts PGA tournaments.

The food was good, the coffee was excellent and as always in the Dominican Republic – the service was outstanding.  Thank you for a wonderful holiday.

PGA Golf Course PGA Golf course - Nola PGA Golf Course #2

From the Villa – Shopping

In one little shop in Cabarete I met an interesting young girl.  She sold unique jewelry and leather purses.  The shop was called Los hermanos Gift Shop.  Then I noticed a book – Sanky Panky Pirate.  When I asked it turned out she writes young-adult books.  She goes by the pen-name KuroKoneko Kamen.  It was very interesting to talk to her.  She is originally from the States and moved to the Dominican to enjoy the weather all year round. Good luck Bella Cara Sophia on both your delightful shop and your writing.  Sanky Panky Pirate

From the Villa – Shopping in Cabarete

The day we went shopping for our grandchildren we discovered a whole new Cabarete. Again my brother’s wonderful Real-Estate lady told us where to go.  Between the main highway shops and stores are little pathways – filled with shops of all sorts.  They all lead to the beach filled with bars and restaurants.  It was an exciting discovery, so much fun and so different.

My brother, who travels all over the world all the time, wasn’t interested in shopping so he sat and waited in the most unique, funniest pub – Jose O’Shay’s Irish Pub.  They had money and licence plates from all over the world hanging above the huge square bar, including Canadian Tire money.  It was so funny.

In the ocean the waters are loaded with kite surfers.  There is even a beach called Kite Beach.

Jose O'Shay's Cabarete - Kite Surfing Jose O'Shay's Irish Pub Cabarete - Beach

From the Villa – Cabarete

A few miles on the other side of the Villa – is a beautiful little town – Cabarete.  When driving through on the highway it is cleaner than Sosua and the road (highway) is wider. The same ‘specialty’ shops are available (pharmacy to garages) but there is no large grocery store.  We noticed there are some nice restaurants along the highways.  We went to one our second night out.  It was along the ocean and the food was excellent – Italian. Who doesn’t like Italian food.

One time we stopped in a gas station for water.  I watched the guy ahead of me as the clerk carefully wrapped his four beer bottles with napkins.  I tried to ask why but no one seemed to understand me. When my brother came I realized I should have said serviettes, not napkins.  It turns out it’s so you don’t hurt your fingers when you twist the cap off.  Talk about service.

Cabarete - Ocean Cabarete - Ocean #7 Nola in Cabarete cafe by the ocean Cabarete ocean - #2

Barcelo Resort – Dominican Republic – #6

We were at the resort for a week.  It was wonderful to be pampered and special.  There was a number of restaurants and we tried them all – from Italian, Chinese, Mexican, Brazilian, Sea Food on the beach and a Buffet. It was one of the most relaxing vacations I ever experienced. There were a number of bars to sit and relax in the sun, including a pool bar.  There was shopping as well.  Nola and I enjoyed a massage by the beach. People walked around with parrots and monkeys to have your pictures taken with.

A special thanks to all the wonderful staff at the Barcelo Resort in the Dominican Republic for making our vacation a wonderful experience.

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