We motor sailed about 130 miles overnight to the Dominican Republic. I was fast asleep on the settee after my night watch when Trent hurriedly woke me up just at sunrise to see a pod of migrating humpback whales. Never have I ever!!!
That afternoon we were on the dock visiting our friends on Aqua Vida when their business partners from town showed up to say hello and talk about being at the right place at the right time, invited us all over for dinner at their beach house, which happened to be around the corner. As tired as we all were, it’s hard to turn down an off-the-boat meal such as BBQ. Red meat, oh my gosh! Then the next day they offered to entertain us at their other home for the night in Puerto Plata. A night off from Pepper sounded too good to be true. Plus, I’m quite fond of the little girl on Aqua Vida who I absolutely adore, Kaylee, because she reminds me of my cousin, Ella, from home. We just have fun together.
Oscar, their driver, picked us up from the Marina the next morning and off we went, swerving around dirt roads and dodging thousands of crazy mitochondria (scooters). Traffic signs are more like suggestions here; everyone drives as they wish. Turks and Caicos did not prepare me for this at all. An hour later I took a deep breath as the SUV finally slowed down to enter the driveway. The gate was electric and the house, which I figured out by now was a mansion, was surrounded by a huge wall so no one could see nor enter the property without permission. It was a fortress and I was thrilled to be so lucky as to be there as a guest.
We were immediately served fresh squeezed frozen lemonades, before we could even set our bags down, by the kitchen staff and encouraged to do as we please by our generous hosts, who we barely knew for 12 hours. And I quote Mauricio as he said, “mi casa es tu casa.” Everyone knows that one, right? The swimming pool was lovely and salt free. We weren’t able to utilize the pool floats until they had been cleaned which happened almost immediately upon a mention of them. At this point I was beginning to feel really guilty. I’ve never had people wait on me like this in a private home. I’m also in the midst of reading The Kitchen House, which didn’t help my feelings towards this. I know the staff probably receives a nice compensation for their services, but still, I felt awkward being “served.” I dashed around and threw away my own trash and did my own things as often as I could as I tried not to be caught by the staff, who wouldn’t allow it.
Mauricio is of Italian descent, therefore, we dined on a partially traditional Italian slash Dominican lunch, complete with appetizers and dessert, with his extended family, who joined us for the afternoon. Beyond that, those of us that live, essentially, on the water, spent the afternoon, yet again, in the water. It’s just laughable. Now get this. Mauricio had his masseuse come to the house and I was the recipient of an hours’ worth of spoiling for about $10. You just can’t beat that! I gave my girl a fat tip. The language barrier wasn’t an issue at all. I just motioned what I liked and didn’t. She was sweet. It was easy and we had lots of laughs between us.
I was good and ready to go to sleep by this point but that evening we were driven to Cabarete for dinner, but it was already 9 pm by the time we loaded up. This is, however, a completely normal routine for those that live in the Dominican Republic. Now keep in mind that we’re on the tail end of Spring break and it’s Holy week so Kite Beach was party central. (Everyone is Catholic; me included. The only day they don’t party hard is Good Friday.) You could have made a meal of the appetizers alone but then the lobster came and we absolutely stuffed ourselves, again. We crashed out at about 1 am in a real bed, and after a proper shower. The authentic Dominican breakfast was my favorite the next morning. We had fried plantain cups filled with a special scrambled egg mix and sides of sausage and fried cheese.
So this is our riches story of the Dominican Republic. I don’t know how we end up in these situations here lately but it just happens and for that, I am grateful because we don’t have the funds for excursions such as these. Now, we have spent some time downtown in Lupron and I will describe our rags story in the next post. Our first few days in the Dominican were just too good to be true.