Boca Chica

La Chiveria in San Cristobal

I was going to take Jared's mom to Kura Door which is a Japanese spa in Salt Lake City. They didn't have any openings for those days she was here, so I went by myself the next week. Don't we all need some pampering?

A friend of mine kept insisting on going out to lunch, and I suggested we dine at The Laurel, a restaurant inside the Grand America hotel. However, she didn't show up due to car trouble. Since I was already there, I decided to treat myself to a delicious pricey lunch alone. I genuinely enjoy my own company.

Meanwhile, Jared purchased a Cybertruck for himself. When I found out the price tag for the Cybertruck, I felt a bit annoyed. I wanted something of equal value for myself. That's when I expressed to Jared my desire to own an apartment in the Dominican Republic, just because. So, I promptly got myself a ticket and contacted a realtor to make it happen.

Jared surprised me with a card that grants me access to all airport lounges, making my travels a little smoother. Yes, I was flying with Spirit, which is often likened to the public bus of airlines. During my flight, I happened to meet a lady from Villa Mella, where I grew up, and we instantly clicked.

Upon arrival, I encountered a long line at immigration, which could have been avoided if I had my Dominican passport, which unfortunately I didn't possess at the time. To make future travels easier, I will obtain one.

My realtor Loli Fernandez

My search criteria were clear: I wanted a property close to both the airport and the beach. While I already had a cabin, I don't have a beachfront apartment. However, my budget constraints initially limited my options. Jared, however, advocated for something very close to the beach, which essentially doubled my budget.

After careful consideration, I narrowed down my choices to two locations: Boca Chica and Juan Dolio. Apartments in Juan Dolio offered more space, fewer crowds, and tended to attract upper-middle-class Dominicans. However, the downside was its distance from amenities, quiet atmosphere, and limited restaurant options, and I would have to get a car.

On the other hand, Boca Chica boasted a more local vibe with a plethora of activities. There were numerous restaurants, everything was within walking distance, and I particularly enjoyed paying local prices rather than tourist rates. This preference is why I refrained from purchasing property in Punta Cana, La Romana, or Las Terrenas. I want my children to experience the authentic Dominican culture rather than the tourist-oriented offerings.

My realtor recommend to take a few days off to consider the best option for me. I took her advice and went to the west side of the island. The west side of the island is more local, less tourist. I got myself a driver and took off for three days. I still don't feel comfortable driving there.

This place was La Toma de San Cristobal.

We stopped at La Chiveria which is a farm in San Cristobal. It was so beautiful and had a petting zoo.

I was eager to visit Barahona, specifically Los Patos de Barahona. If you Google it, you'll see it's a stunning location nestled in the middle of nowhere. I made reservations to stay at a hotel called Loro Tuerto (One-eyed Parrot). In hindsight, I should have known better. It didn't meet my expectations, so I promptly checked out and found another hotel called El Quemaito. It was fantastic; everything about it resembled a scene from Greece.

Playa Azul beach at night time.

I also went to El Lago Enriquillo and swam in sulfur water with the locals. I also met the Police Chief of Dominican Republic. I went to Bani, Azua, and didn't die.

After my tour of the south, I went to my aunt Angela's house to celebrate Victor's birthday. Victor is my cousin.

I booked a facial and massage for my dad and I. One hour before the massage my dad cancelled on me. I was really annoyed with him but he always does that. I went to the Geography Museum and saw exhibits of the flag and the many presidents.

Later I went to eat at the mall with my friend Manuel, his wife Heidy, and their children. The same night I went to the temple, did some temple sealings and initiatories.

The same day, I met with my high school girlfriends. I haven't seen them in 20 years!

Afterward, we went to another bar. The airbnb apartment I stayed at was right in front of the temple in the city. The next morning, I left for Boca Chica and walked around and toured the two apartments I liked the most. I didn't take photos, only videos.

I called Jared to discuss my options. He favored one apartment that was just 40 steps from the beach, despite the fact that it didn't come furnished, lacked air conditioning, yet still had remarkable features. However, I wasn't entirely thrilled with the price and the potential monthly upkeep costs.

My second option was a bit farther from the beach (just a 3-minute walk away), but it was a penthouse boasting three bedrooms, furnished, and a private rooftop.

I picked the second one. I am signing papers this week and I am soooo excited. I am also very proud of myself because I packed everything in one backpack and I didn't look like I was a backpacker.

Jenny Hobbs

Jenny Hobbs

Salt Lake City, UT