Whale Watching in Samana Bay, Dominican Republic

Spring break may be in April this year  in The Dominican Republic, but spring flings have been happening here for awhile. Every January-March humpback whales go rogue—migrating to Samana from Greenland and Iceland over 3000 miles away.   Dr. Ken De Pree, author of Whales of Samana, likens their mating behavior in Dominican waters of Samana…

A Wedding, the United Nations, and Disney

A wedding. Two unique people become one. A mystery and a marvel. Until recently I’d never attended a January wedding, but starting a new year with a couple committing to share the rest of their lives felt right. And kind of Disney. Weddings renew hope, reminding us that there is happy-ever-after, not only for the…

Pat’s Palo for a Front Row Seat to the Real Santo Domingo

Like I said, Santo Domingo takes salsa seriously from Sunday night dancing-in-the-street in the Old Town to Saturday night shaking-in-the-courtyard in the New City.  According to health experts and dance studios, such as Arthur Murray, salsa and merengue burn an average of 400 calories per hour.  Good to know for those who love the pulled…

Piantini Pleasures…Good Eats in Santo Domingo

We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.–David Mamet I am not a glutton.  I am an explorer of food.–Erma Bombeck Santo Domingo has surprised me with its wealth of food choices– from mega groceries full of imports to familiar chains and international cuisine.  While many coworkers have cooks…

Salsa in the City: Santo Domingo Rises from Ruins

Dance first. Think later. It’s the natural order. – Samuel Beckett For those wanting the ultimate Dominican experience, check out Las Ruinas in Santo Domingo where every Sunday night locals gather to dance merengue, bachata (both invented here) and salsa—the world dance popular from Asia to Africa to Australia. I love hearing Latin music played…

Road Trip to Samana Province: Day One

I understand now why local friends kept saying they love  vacationing in Samana.  While Punta Cana on the easternmost tip of The Dominican Republic is better known by tourists for mammoth all-inclusive resorts, Samana on the north shore is more a Mom and Pop kind of place–pristine and private.    The beach above, Caylo Levanto,…

Santo Domingo: Oldest European City in the New World

The Colonial Zone is the most magical part of Santo Domingo. Last weekend I had 3 wishes, so I asked the area to grant them: #1 Take me back to Europe. #2 Give me rest. #3 Help me remember again why I moved to the DR. Like a genie, it did. A huge perk of…

10 Must Dos When Going Solo To a Caribbean Resort

1) LET YOURSELF GO… Long before Pinterest prodded us to create virtual vision boards, Instagram insisted we share in-the-moment bliss, and Facebook fostered travel posts of happy places far, far away, I cut out and saved a magazine photo of a couple walking in the surf of the Caribbean Sea. I was single again, sad,…

Of Seeing and Believing: The Three Eyes

Yesterday I went spelunking. I was excited when my friends, Sana and Steve, invited me to join.  Though newlyweds, their kindness and inclusiveness from the day we met blessed Taylor and me.  Trusting them as history teachers and adventurers, I did no research but quickly scanned a few photos online and took off.  As I’d…

First Two Weeks in The Dominican Republic

It has been awhile, too long since I’ve been able to write.  Summer was a six-week cyclone spent in the US–(to be read aloud in one breath) half of the time spent getting medical appointments, fingerprints, birth certificates, and other pieces of a 39-page work visa document stamped by government and federal authorities sent to…