A Day in the Life: Cabarete

Trip Start Sep 29, 2009
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Dominican Republic  , Puerto Plata,
Tuesday, January 19, 2010

After our first week in the Dominican Republic, family and friends started asking, "What do you DO all day?" It was known that we hadn't come here to continue our volunteering, so there was no farm work, no hostel to manage, no animals to feed and rehabilitate. A legitimate question for which we had no answer other than, “You know…not much.”

Now that it’s been nearly 4 weeks, I think I can sufficiently summarize what we “do” all day in a nice, concise timeline that outlines a typical day for us in the Dominican Republic. As you'll see, our past experience in corporate America has led us to keep a tight schedule, even here on vacation.

8:00 AM: Alarm goes off. This is a nice “break” from the hour earlier we had it set in other countries where we had to be “at work” by 8:00.

9:00 AM: Get out of bed and eat breakfast in our room. Breakfast consists of cornflakes with milk or yogurt. Maybe fruit.

10:00 AM: A couple of times a week we head to the beach for a long walk, typically an hour or an hour and a half. Or we may walk to the store that lends books for $1 where we are their best customers. Books are an absolute necessity here, as we don’t have TV and internet is sporadic.

NOTE: Once we went to the beach at 10:00 AM for windsurfing lessons and greatly enjoyed it. We had to return the next day as well to continue the lesson.

11:00 AM: Return from walk. Read. Or go to food store depending on needs. We usually have to go twice a week primarily for vegetables and milk. (BTW they only have whole milk and 2% here. It’s like having cream in our cereal…which isn’t actually a complaint.)

12:30: Make and eat lunch. Lunch can be a little more varied than breakfast. Our typical choices are: peanut butter and jelly sandwich; egg and cheese sandwich; hotdog; pasta salad (if left over from dinner.)

ALTERNATE LUNCH: If our walk has started late or we are out long we may get lunch out which may be rotisserie chicken (our favorite because it’s delish and we have leftovers for a dinner), a hamburger (once) or fried chicken and rice (comida typica.) Lunch is a good meal to eat out because it’s so cheap.

1:00: Read at home. Check internet. Maybe go to the pool (Heather. Charles doesn’t like the pool.)

2:00 or 3:00: Depending on how hot it is, and whether or not we fear we’re losing our tans, we may head to the beach at 2 or 3. We always go to the same spot where there are plenty of palm trees to provide shade, but where we can also be in the sun as needed. It is also conveniently located in front of the restaurant that has the 4:00 happy hour…

On happy hour days:

4:00: Go to Casanova’s for a price drink (2 actually.) If we’re feeling like splurging we’ll also get a price bite to eat -- bruschetta, nachos or pizza. Head home at 6:00 when happy hour ends. OR if that rum punch has gone to our heads, we may go to another happy hour if we see one on the way home.

On non-happy hour days:

5:00: Head home from beach; shower; dress and play cards. We have discovered gin rummy – a game that Charles excels at and I pretend to enjoy. (Just kidding, I don’t mind losing over and over and over again.) We may also have a drink in our room, if we’ve thought ahead and bought rum or beer. (The 2 cheapest forms of alcohol available.)

6:30: Make dinner. Like lunch, our dinner choices aren’t very varied and include: pasta-tuna salad with veggies ; rice, beans and veggies; pasta with sauce; sometimes we’ll have extra chicken from lunch that we have with beans and rice. And a pineapple or mango for dessert.

7:00: Read AND listen to music. Perhaps play cards or do a suduko – who knows? We get nutty at night.

9:00: Complain that there’s “nothing to do” and wonder if we should maybe go out one night. Mention again that we should check out the casino. Continue reading.

9:30: Get ready for bed.

10:00: Lights out. It’s been a long day and we need to rest up for tomorrow!

Aside from the above rigorous schedule, we have also gone windsurfing again; visited the town of Sosua; gone out at night (once); attended a Super Bowl party on the beach; and checked out some condos for sale (for kicks.) We still plan to visit the Cabarete Caves, Encuentro beach to watch the surfers; go to the casino and read more books. So as you can see, we have plenty to do and not a lot of time left to do it!

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Mary Murphy on

I wish that was my office...

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