Spring Break 2017: Dominican Republic: Day 6

I woke up at about 9:30 AM, and I sneaked out of my room to avoid waking Drew. I came downstairs and said good morning to everyone. Some people were outside on the front porch, some people were in the living room, and some people were outside by the pool. You know, the kids actually woke me up, I think. I could hear them downstairs from my room, but I didn’t care that I woke up because of it; it’s not like I was getting up any later than usual, or at least for vacation, that is.

I went outside to the front porch to talk to Bode and Cory for a little bit (they were sitting out there with Helaine), and then, I went to go eat breakfast.

For breakfast, I was so happy to discover that they had yuca, and I ate some of that, and for my drink, I had my usual here in the D.R.: a glass of orange juice.

I went upstairs, took my medicine, got dressed into my pink sundress, my socks, and my sneakers, and brushed myself.

I came back downstairs, sat on the couch in the living room, and relaxed.

Some of us went to the store at the gas station to buy ice cream and candy and stuff like that.  My mom, Drew, and Lucas rode bikes there, and Barry drove some of us in the golf cart.  Mateo sat next to him in the front, and I kept Cory safe in the back.  It was really fun!!!!!  (By the way, today’s picture is of Cory and I sitting in the back of the golf cart during this very drive.)

When we got to the store at the gas station, Barry parked the golf cart in front of it, and my mom, Drew, and Lucas leaned the bikes against the front of the store.  We walked in, and I saw that there was more than just candy and ice cream: there were also chips and cold drinks, and I even saw some bags and flip flops and hats and sunglasses hanging up.  I bought caramel apple filled hard candies because if I can’t make Sophie’s Hard Caramel Sucking Candy “Brittle”, then I might as well buy the individual candies; they didn’t have the plain old hard candies, so I figured caramel apple filled was the next best thing because the flavors and caramel and apple together are my favorite.  There were little tables to sit at and colorful orange and green chairs and a napkin dispenser at each.  Everyone ate at least one their treats at the store as my mom and Barry paid, but I’m going to save mine for when we get back to the house.  The cashier bagged up the snacks that we didn’t eat yet, my mom grabbed the bags and the change that she received in pesos, and we headed out.  Barry put the bags into the golf cart, and we got ready to go.  On the way back, Mateo biked, and Lucas rode in the golf cart with us.  Lucas even asked Barry if he could drive for a little bit, and he said yes, so when we were in our development, almost back at the house, Lucas and Barry switched places, and Lucas drove us the rest of the way back to the house.

When we got back, my first instinct was to go into the kitchen, and see if I could help, so that’s exactly what I did.  I got to help with the salad by mixing up the lettuce, green cabbage, purple cabbage, and I think spinach and or kale (I’m not completely sure about those two) that Anna had cut with my hands, grating a carrot over the mixture, and mixing it in.  I wet it with water and strained it, and then, I helped pour it into a pretty platter, and arrange it.  Anna did something really cool: she held a tomato in her hand, and cut it in a way that created two flowers.  She cut triangles on the bottom, and each one started from the previous one, almost like a fence made out of right side up and upside down triangles, and then, after she twisted the two tomato halves apart to reveal the flowers, she took a knife, and cut off the skin in that same triangular way so that it would stay intact with the tomato, and add something almost like another layer to the flower.  Anyway, Anna took one of the flowers and used it to decorate the salad by placing it on top of the middle of the salad, and she also placed two springs of parsley inside it.  She cut up an orange bell pepper in the way that she cut up the tomato, but she didn’t use it for the salad.  Even then, it still looked really pretty.  I also washed half of a red bell pepper, half of an orange bell pepper, and a tomato, and I diced up a red onion.  After that, my work was done for the time being.  Additionally, while I was cooking, my Uncle Rick came in to tell me that him and my Aunt Nina played tennis this morning with an instructor named Jairo, and he told him that his niece (me) likes to play, and Jairo asked if I wanted to hit with him (in other words, take a lesson with him).  My Uncle Rick told me that he told him that I can’t really be out in the sun for too long, so he said we could play around 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM tonight, after sundown, and my Uncle Rick told me to ask my mom if I could play, so I did, and before I asked her, I let him know that I’m not sure because I’ve been having pain in my right hamstring (basically, there’s an extra tight spot in the already tight muscle, and after break, I have to start going back to rehab for it (the place I went after my leg surgery last year)), but I still wanted to play, so I asked her.  My mom said that it’s fine with my leg (it hasn’t been hurting me this week), and as long as I apply a lot of bug spray, I can play.  We agreed that if my leg starts to hurt, I’ll stop playing.  Also, I said hi to Stuie over FaceTime (Barry and Helaine’s brother).  Anna told me that she was going to teach me how to make the beans tonight.  And, some of us are going horseback riding on a trail tomorrow morning for an hour and a half, and I’m really excited!!!!!

For lunch, I ate the potato-carrot salad with parsley, and I paired it with the garlic dressing (the clear-colored vinaigrette/salsa that I told you about that I now realize isn’t actually clear-colored; I think from what I tasted, it consists of olive oil, maybe onion (possibly red onion, but I’m not completely sure), garlic, vinegar, and parsley, but I’m it completely sure), and it turns out that the potatoes are actually yuca.  Additionally, the salad has sliced, cooked onions in it, and I don’t like the carrots, so I didn’t eat them.  I also ate corn kernels that I cut off the cob and some mac and cheese.

After lunch, I relaxed on the couch outside by the pool with my family.  We contributed answers to my grandma’s Family Feud game, and then, we just talked.

My mom wanted me to make Sophie’s Beet And a Potato Salad With Beet Juice Vinaigrette, so I asked Anna, and she let me.  I did most of it by myself, barely needing any help, and even though I had to substitute some ingredients for what they had (the vinegars I use for the vinegar(s) they had, the honey for sugar, etc.), and I couldn’t use everything I needed because they didn’t have it (the beet juice (for the base of the dressing; the beets sometimes come submerged in their juices, but this time, they didn’t, but still gave off the juice, though, so that kind of supplemented for the amount of beet juice that I usually use), the lemon pepper, etc.), it still came out just as it should; the flavors were perfect, and the salad was sooooo good!!!!!  From now on, the onion that I use in the salad is going to be red onion, and I’m going to start adding feta cheese, so I’m going to put those in the recipe.

I went upstairs to put sweatpants on under my dress, so I’d be ready for my tennis lesson later and to make sure I wouldn’t get bitten up by bugs.

I went into the kitchen and poured myself a glass of orange juice because I was thirsty.

Anna showed me how to make the beans, and she said she’s write it down on a piece of paper for me.

My tennis lesson went great!!!!!  It was more for fun; we just hit and rallied, and that was pretty much it.

For dinner, I ate mashed potatoes and grilled chicken with the garlic vinaigrette and a glass of orange juice, and it was sooooo good!!!!!

I hung out in the living room with my family until I had to get ready for bed.  We even played Family Feud for a little bit.

After that, I went upstairs and got ready for bed.  I took my medicine, got into my pajamas, brushed my teeth, and hopped into bed.

I can’t believe I only have one more day here!!!!!  I’m going to make my last day the best day!!!!!

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