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Showing posts from 2016

No Place for Anything And Nothing In Its Non-Existent Place

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We have almost everything we need furniture wise...except tables, cabinets, storage units,etc. Those things are a bit too pricey to ship and I need to see them to determine if they are the right 'fit' for the house.  Hopefully, the next delivery will be my IKEA sofabed and two PoƤng chairs. If funds allow I will be shopping like a fiend for end tables, night stands, credenza like side boards, and a big linen closet for next to the bathroom to store towels.  We have 12 towels that are always wet due to the humidity which leads me to my next need at the house a substantial clothes line that is not on the pool deck!
We're using every chair inside and out to hold towels, so that we can use the sun shade lines as clothes lines. Still it's fun camping at the casa as we call it. Every time there are a few more luxuries. There's a working TV now, even a PS2, consistent water for flushing toilets and some fans to move around air.  The huge fan you see below uses about one…

"This Is Ponderous, Man...Really Ponderous"

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So another whirlwind visit to the DR is behind me.  I really need to work on 'being present' in my life here in the Midwest...I'm always thinking of my next trip to our casa...  Thomas took his eldest son with him to Cabrera early in August and they were there for about 5 days working on getting us a reliable source of water.  Then they met me and a couple of friends of ours in Puerto Plata for a weekend stay at Lifestyles Holiday Vacation Club in their Presidential Suites. The per night room rate is very cheap, but you will pay the resort $85 per person, per night all-inclusive fee. See my TripAdvisor review here.  Presidential Suites at Lifestyle Holiday Vacation Club



We stayed only 2 nights and then went for 3 nights at our house and then returned to the resort for a stay in a 3 bedroom villa.  My husband and I were really interested in the villas.  We even considered joining the club if it meant friends and family could use Lifestyles in conjunction with our house to …

To Rent or Not To Rent: That IS the question.

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So the April trip came and went.  It's awful waiting and waiting to go to the DR, and then have it woosh by so fast that by the time I'm home and have worked one day, I already need a vacation again!

We arrived at the house after a less than optimal overnight experience in a rental house in Puerto Plata...not going into details about that here...to a house full of boxes ready to be opened!  (I mentioned in an early post that we used CPS shipping. It worked like a charm!) It was like
Christmas except I had picked and purchased and paid for these particular 'presents' to be shipped to our house!  There was a patio set from Wayfair, a queen bedframe for our queen mattress, an indoor/outdoor area rug, a twin bed frame and two twin mattresses (inner coil...but individually wrapped coils, so the mattresses could be rolled up and compressed into impressively small boxes!) kitchen table/island, stools...etc. Every item was perfect and had arrived undamaged. FUN!

Unfortunatel…

Paying your electric bill online...but not being able to get a bill to begin with

Hi, all!  Just posted this on expat.com (definitely recommend that site to anyone who really wants advice on moving/buying in Caribbean)  I thought I'd share the post here since it's germane to my desire to chronicle our adventures buying a vacation home in the Caribbean.

Electricity is a love hate relationship on an island.  You need it.  It costs the most and is basically the only utility bill you will have.  AND it's almost never working!  LOL!  

I was told by many that there was no way to pay your electric bill online in the DR.  I have luckily discovered that's not true.  If you have a xoom account (I've posted before about wiring money to bank accounts and for cash pick up with them before...it has been so far a very positive experience...and has gotten cheaper! ...) AND you have your account number...you can pay instantly online!  It's awesome!  I'm amazed so far at how easy things have been buying a house there.  I LOVE THAT THE BANKS HAVE NO STAKE IN…

Kismet

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So going back to after our Honeymoon but before our first trip to Cabrera, I first discovered some videos on YouTube of a retired couple, Judy and Richard, who had already been living in Cabrera for a couple years as of Spring 2014. They were a wealth of information and seemed like very honest people who had known Barry Soloman right about the time Barry launched DRescapes.com and were prominent characters in Barry's interviews with expats videos. They had purchased an ocean view lot above the city of Cabrera and I remember watching the videos over and over and showing them to Thomas.  I kept thinking, "I want to hang out with them! We would have so much to talk about!" We were avid fans and watchers of all of DRescapes video and no one featured in the videos ever 'spoke' to me like the Judy and Richard. I remember someone on the DRescapes tour with us in Summer 2015 asking about the retired couple and Barry indicated that they were still around, but no, they had…

Shopping in the Dominican Republic and Money Transfers

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La Sirena (the Mermaid) is a chain store much like Walmart. It has fresh produce, groceries, appliances, mattresses, etc. The prices are also very good. There are more La Sirenas around than the other stores mentioned earlier. We were also able to pay by credit card here without any additional charge on goods.  So, that is an option for those not wanting to carry loads of cash. There have been some violent muggings and even murder in the Puerto Plata La Sirena parking lot recently. Thomas has been there three times and I was with him once. There wasn't any parking lot security that I could see, but the lot is barricaded off from the street so there could be security.  I would suggest going there in midday and not carrying obvious amounts of cash. 
Also, owned by the same company as La Sirena is Super Pola.  It's the grocery side of a La Sirena with less of the hardware, appliances, etc. There's one brilliantly located en route from Puerto Plata Airport (which is really cl…

Buying appliances and what kind of stores to expect in Dominican Republic.

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If you go on to IKEA.com you will be surprised (at least I was) to find one country in the Caribbean listed there.  The Dominican Republic!  They actually have one store in Santo Domingo and then 'distribution centers' in the East and one in Santiago which is closest to the North Coast.  Basically, you order online at the SD store and they ship it for free to a distribution center, or ship it to your door for not too much (I have not done this yet...but plan to).  The prices seemed at first to be WAY too high...but, upon further inspection it would seem it depends on the item.  Appliances at IKEA-DR no way!  They are ridiculously expensive...mattresses too...but, some things are about the same. So, we drive down to our IKEA check out some of the items we see available at the Santo Domingo IKEA and then go from there.  The website is great...since you most likely have to order online.

Even BETTER than IKEA there's a PriceSmart in Santiago (and all around the island in the s…