Spring Break 2017: Dominican Republic: Day 4

My mom woke Drew and I up at 7:30 AM because we have to be at the zip lining and monkey jungle place early.  I took my medicine, put on a t-shirt and jean shorts, my socks, my sneakers, and my Polo Junior Club hat (which was the only one that I brought down), and brushed my teeth.  I went downstairs and ate a pancake sandwich (two pancake halves put together with maple syrup in between) for breakfast, and I really liked it.  My grandma was so inventive thinking of that.  Good job!!!!!

After breakfast, I applied sunscreen to myself and fixed my hat, and we started loading everything and everyone onto the bus.  Then, we strapped ourselves in and headed to Monkey Jungle And Zip Line Adventures.

We’re all went to the monkey jungle, no matter who was going zip lining. Bode decided that he didn’t want to do the zip lining anymore, my dad decided that he wanted to go zip lining, and my mom didn’t want to zip line.  For the people that we’re going to zip line, they had to fill out a bunch of waivers and forms, and while everyone was doing that, I went to go check out all the souvenirs.  There were figurines, bracelets, stuffed animals, and even a monkey bag, but my mom and my grandma didn’t really think I would like any of that stuff.  I had way too many bracelets on my wrist already (five), and I definitely wasn’t getting any of the stuffed animals, so I decided to possibly check it out again later.  Apparently, for the people that are zip lining, there are seven zip lines, so you have to do all of them.  Plus, there’s an optional cave drop.  Uncle Rick, Barry, Drew, my dad, Helaine, Lucas, and Mateo are the only ones that were going to zip lining, and the rest of us weren’t, but like I said, when they finished, we were all going to the monkey jungle together.  Those of us who weren’t going to zip line stayed in the main area, and the end of the fourth zip line was right in front of us, so we were going to be able to watch them a little bit.  Heather, Bode, and Cory were checking out the souvenirs, so I went over to join them.  Cory bought a big monkey stuffed animal that she named Flower, and meanwhile, I tried on a sleeveless white shirt that read:

‘Monkey Jungle and Zip Line Adventures Dominican Republic’.

It fit me pretty good, but I wanted a short sleeve one, so I think I’m going to go back later again.  Bode really wanted to buy a small pink monkey stuffed animal, but he didn’t have any money, so Cory was nice enough to use some of the money she had left to buy it for him.  That was so sweet of her!!!!!  Bode named his monkey MJ, short for Mason Junior.

I asked my mom if she could come with me, so I could try on another shirt.  I applied another coat of cream to my bug bites, and my mom and grandma told me that I shouldn’t because they’re too babyish, and I understood, but I told them how it wasn’t just a monkey shirt; it read:

‘Monkey Jungle and Zip Line Adventures Dominican Republic’.

“Oh,” my mom said surprised.

She said it’s okay, but I should go after we see them zip line, and I agreed.

My mom, my Aunt Nina, and my grandma and grandpa were hanging out on a little deck area with wooden chairs, wooden benches, and a wooden table, also near a portion of the fourth zip line.  I went over to hang out there, and Heather stopped by with Cory and Mason for a little bit as well.  Even my Uncle Jerry came by.  We all talked and waited, waiting for the portion of our fellow family of zip liners to zip by us.

We saw them walking up to the fourth zip line, and we were all ready to watch them.  I propped myself up onto the wooden table, so I could get a good view.  We got our phones ready to take videos of everyone zipping across the line.  First was Teo, gripping the line in one hand and his GoPro in the other as he videoed himself.  Next was Lucas, then Drew, my Uncle Rick, Helaine, my dad, and finally, Barry.  It seemed a lot of fun, but, of course, I was too scared.  We walked back, slightly past the end of the fourth zip line because the fifth was right below there, so the zip liners walked down and got their harnesses clipped onto the line, and we were able to watch them go once again.

The sixth zip line was further away from us, but we were able to see everyone zipping in the distance.

We couldn’t even really see the seventh one at all, just like we couldn’t see the first, second, or third, but at least we got to see them zip to some extent.

I walked back to the deck by the fourth zip line, and I asked my mom if I could go get the shirt.  I applied some more sunscreen to my neck my arms, and my legs (I have a million bug bites and a sun rash, too), and we started talking about the monkey jungle.  From what we all heard, they touch a lot of stuff and could take them.  Supposedly, they hang on hoop earrings, and you can’t wear hats or bracelets or bring your purses or your bag or your phone or anything like that.  I think it’s mainly when they feed them, but even then, some of us (partially my grandma, my Aunt Marilyn, and I) aren’t really so sure if we want to go.  My mom, my grandma and grandpa, my Aunt Nina, my Aunt Marilyn, and Bode went to go check out the monkeys through the fence, but I didn’t go with them.  I needed to get out of the sun, and we all went back to the main area to sit in the shade, and I applied more cream to my body.  My mom went with me to go buy a shirt, and after searching through the rack of t-shirts and looking through some of the tank tops on a low shelf, we decided on a blue t-shirt similar to the sleeveless one I tried on earlier.  We went to go ask how much it costed, but the one of the ladies at the desk said that they were just for display.  My mom was relieved because they all had some cat hair on them; the cats there must’ve been playing on them.  The lady did still have those same shirts, but they were on sale.  I said I wanted a black one, and she said she’d bring some out for me to try.  She came back with a pile of shirts in all different colors, and said that she didn’t have some many black ones that were small, and I asked my mom to come to help me with the size.  The black one was too small, but she held the blue one up to me, and it was an adult small.  It fit me, but our zip liners came back, so my mom asked the lady to hold the shirt for us until we got back to pay for it.  And, it was at that time then that we put all our stuff back on the bus.  My dad was getting soda, so my mom asked him to buy my shirt, too, and he did; it was $12.  My bug bites and sun rash was really bad, and they were getting to the point where I just didn’t want to go to the monkey jungle.  A man that worked there noticed that I was scratching all over my body, and luckily, they have lots of aloe plants there, so he grabbed a plant and rubbed the aloe on every single spot where I was itching.  We were all very thankful. After that, we headed to the monkey jungle.

Hailey, the woman that sold me my shirt, was our tour guide.  We saw two types of monkeys.  First up were the squirrel monkeys.  Hailey said that when they eat, they’ll jump on you and stuff, but they’re very playful and friendly.  Additionally, we weren’t allowed to touch the monkeys.  She handed us all plates, so we could feed the monkeys, but my mom and I didn’t want to, so we hung back with Heather and Mason.  They were all over my relatives, and it was kind of funny; we were all smiling and laughing together.  Hailey gave us a whole bunch of information on the monkeys, and it was very interesting.  The other type of monkeys that we saw were the capuchin monkeys.  Hailey said they’re very aggresive; they can bite, and you can’t keep them as pets, so they were kept in a huge cage.  We couldn’t go very near them, so we all stood a certain distance away.  It was mainly a presentation, so Hailey told us a bunch of information the whole time, and once again, I was fascinated.  It was a lot of fun, and I was really glad that we got to go!!!!!  We walked back up to the bus, hopped on, and got driven back to the house.

Before we got back to the house, we decided to check out the beach for a little bit.  The driver dropped us off, and there were a bunch a little shops nearby.  We walked in between two of the shops to get to the beach, found two comfy benches with a table in between, and sat down.  There was a place where you could order food their, so we all looked at the menu, and I decided to get the leaf spring salad.  It contained spinach, arugula, pear, feta cheese, and walnuts and had no dressing.  It came with two pieces of garlic bread that I happily enjoyed, and also drank a glass of orange juice, my usual here in the D.R.  It was more fun than I thought it would be, and I was easily able to stay in the shade, so that was good for me.  The bus driver picked us up, and we went back to the house after our little snack/lunch in Cabarete.

Back at the house, I tried some of the beans that the chefs had made, and it was really good!!!!!  Maybe now that we don’t have any more Seders to do, I can make Sophie’s Spiced Flourless Double Chocolate-Dulce De Leche Mug Cakes With for dessert one night, but I think I’ll just have to wait, and see.

I was really tired after lunch, and I ended up passing out on the couch in the living room (falling asleep, not actually passing out).  I woke up and went outside to sit with my family as we watched the kids and some of the adults in the pool, and then, I went inside and walked into the kitchen.

Both Josés were in the kitchen.  The one not in the hat was finishing up a crudité platter and brought it out to my family.  Then, Rosula came in and started talking to the other José, the one in the hat.  After that, I talked to Rosula, and she asked me to sit down on the couch next to her to talk more, so I did, and we did, and it was very nice.  She showed me pictures of her children and grandchildren, and I showed her pictures of me, my friends, and my food, and I started to relax a little more, which is exactly what I should be doing on vacation.  Rosula had to go do something for a few minutes, so she left, and when she came back, she got back to cooking and asked me to help her by cutting plantains after she peeled them, so I did, and as always, I had a good time.  After that, I asked if there was anything else for me to do, and she said that for now, no, so I left and went back outside to join my family.

I decided that I’m going to make the mug cakes when I get back to New York because they don’t have a microwave here, and they don’t have measuring cups here, and last night was pretty hectic for my mom when she had to help me, and my mom just thinks that mainly, I should be helping the chefs with whatever they need me to do cooking-wise and that I shouldn’t really be making my own stuff here because the chefs have other plans, and I agree.

I showered and got dressed into my pajamas, my white sweatshirt (that I kept unzipped) that I wore the other night, my socks, and my sneakers; I didn’t want to get bitten up more than I already was or make my sun rash worse than it already was (I mean, the aloe definitely helped, but still).  Additionally, because I really liked the yuca last night, I decided that I’m going to create a recipe with it, and make it back in NY; I think whatever I choose to make is going to be really good.

My paella recipe is now going to be Dominican-inspired as opposed to Dominican-style.  I mean, same diff, but I don’t think I’m going to end up making the dish until I get back to New York, so…yeah.

I helped fry up some plantains with Rosula, and I’m so glad because they’re serving the yuca and red onions tonight again.  Yay!!!!!  I always wanted to make pickled red onions at home, and now, I know the secret to making them extra good is to caramelized them, too, and I love caramelized onions of any color, so I know this is the yuca dish that I’m going to make back at home; I’m going to recreate the one from here, maybe we my own spin or two on it.  I’m going to call it Sophie’s Dominican-Inspired Boiled Yuca With Pickled, Caramelized Red Onions.  Wooooo!!!!!

For dinner, I ate some mac and cheese and some of the yuca and onions, and it was sooooo good!!!!!

Helaine took Cory, Bode, and I all the way up to the top of the house to get a see the full moon.  My grandpa and Drew were already there, staring at it, just as mesmerized as we were when we saw it.  It was beautiful!!!!!  We never see stars like we did up there back in New York.  I mean, it really was magical, and for once, I was glad not to be staring down at the screen of my phone.  Helaine took a picture of all of us, and then, I went back downstairs, thinking back to that time when I looked up above to see the full moon in the Dominican Republic with my part of my family and wasn’t on my phone.

I helped Heather read Miss Nelson is Missing! to Cory, and then, I went with them into their room.  Cory always watches a movie before she goes to bed, and tonight, she decided to watch Trolls.  A part of me wanted to see that movie, so I watched it with them, and Cory fell asleep pretty fast, but I kept watching anyway because I wanted to.  My mom came in and told me that I can watch the rest tomorrow because I had to go to bed, so I agreed, and I went to take my medicine and brush my teeth.  After that, I went to my room, took off my sweatshirt, shoes, and socks, and hopped into bed.

Today was a great day, and I hope tomorrow will be just as good!!!!!

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