Friday, December 30, 2016

Dominican Baseball and Los Tres Ojos

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When we got back into the city after our cave adventure the afternoon of the 21st we were starving and our taxi driver dropped us off right at our favorite restaurant, Hermanos Villar. After getting nice and full we walked back to the hotel to jump in the pool for a bit. During our time in Santo Domingo it rained briefly every afternoon. It was a bit cooler this day so we didn't last long and we decided that for our last day at the hotel (the next day) we would head to the pool first and then go out exploring.
One of the things we really wanted to try and do while in the DR this time was get to a Dominican baseball game. Mike is such a baseball fan and it was something he had never been able to do during all his time in the country. It was actually quite interesting when we flew in and were waiting in the customs line every other white person in the line was an older man with some sort of baseball apparel on. Lots of scouts from the US come to the DR, where there is so much baseball talent. At our hotel we spotted quite a few as well.
The night before had been a big game between the two home team rivals but we opted to go with the 2nd night's game between the Santo Domingo team Leones del Escogido and the Aguilas Cibaenas. Mike happened to buy a hat on the conde for the Aguilas team a couple days before too which was a perfect coincidence. We hopped in a taxi to head to the game that started at 7:15pm and luckily we left early because the traffic was crazy at that time. We ended up at the stadium with perfect timing to get some food and get to our seats before it started. The kids were ecstatic when we let them get pizza hut at the stadium :-). I was impressed with the stadium overall; you can definitely tell baseball is what they love. We were surprised at how empty it was though. I was totally expecting a packed, crazy crowd and even though it continued filling up as the game went on, it was still much less than I thought it would be. The Leones aren't very good this year though and maybe everyone went to the game the night before? In any case, it was a fun night. We left after about an hour to get home to the hotel before it was too late.
The next day, the 22nd, was our last full day in Santo Domingo and we really wanted to enjoy time at the nice hotel before venturing into the unknown for the next 3 weeks :-). We had a chill morning letting the kids watch TV, hitting the gym, getting breakfast and then heading to the pool. Mike and I took our bags of dirty clothes on a gua gua to a laundromat he had found not too far from the Conde. With trying to pack lightly, getting things clean is definitely a necessity and this place could even DRY your clothes! That afternoon we caught a taxi to go check out one more site on my to-do list for the city, Los Tres Ojos.
Los Tres Ojos (the three eyes) are three...really 4...lagoons inside and connected by stalactite filled passages. The caves were created by limestone sinkholes and carved by water erosion over thousands of years. We lucked out with our timing and it was pretty empty when we were walking through. We took up a guide on his offer to lead us through when we arrived since it included the boat and it allowed the kids a couple special opportunities they would have missed out on otherwise like feeding the fish and walking around in some of the water. It was a quick visit but definitely a pretty place worth a stop, especially since it was so easy to get to. Also, something to note were two random guys from India who asked to take pictures with our family. It was so weird. Maybe we will show up on the internet somewhere haha.
We had the taxi on the way home drop us off at the Conde and we were all excited to eat dinner at the same place we had stopped for lunch when we explored the colonial zone but when we got there we found out they only do the buffet in the afternoon, such a bummer. Instead we walked over to pick up our laundry. I tried to slyly video the walk with the GoPro just to capture some of the scenes we were constantly walking by :-). There was an ancient wall by the laundromat that Mike looked up later and found it is called "Puerta de la Misericordia." It was built in 1543 and was the first entrance to the city of Santo Domingo. So much fun history everywhere you turn!
That night we got to eat at Hermanos Villar one last time, the kids got some last TV time and we got everything packed and ready for the next leg of our adventure! It was both exciting and scary to have no idea what to expect for the next day!
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Pool pic
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can you spot everyone way down there?
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the roots from trees above hang way down and look like vines
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on the boat ride back towards the entry
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