Category Archives: Caribbean

Discovering the cozier side of RIU Palace St. Martin

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I’ve talked a lot about growing up spending most of my weekends as a teen in all-inclusive resorts because of my father’s job in the hospitality industry in the Dominican Republic. There isn’t a lot about these types of resorts that I don’t know.

As a mother of three, I have come to appreciate them more because of the flexibility they offer family travelers, of those traveling on a budget or not wanting to worry about managing one, and of those just wanting to relax.

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Photographing The People of Samaná

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Recently I returned to Samaná, a small fisherman’s town in the northeastern part of the Dominican Republic where I had spent a couple of my teenage years.

A lot about the area has changed. What was once a sleepy town is now a growing tourist destination. Roads that didn’t exist now provide easier access to what was once one of the most secluded areas of the island. It’s bittersweet, the whole change thing. You want to know that more people are able to reach one of the most beautiful destinations in the world and that it serves to give jobs and opportunities for the people living there. But at the same time, you want to be able to keep what once was, as it was, because part of the solitude and isolation was in great part what made so much of it so beautiful.

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Eating My Way Through Anguilla

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Even though, for the moment, I am more than happy with the chilly weather in New York City, it won’t be long before I start wanting to escape to the beach again.

My list of favorite beach destinations is getting longer and recently I added another favorite: Anguilla.

Anguilla is a British island in the Caribbean. With a population of a little over 15,000, this is the kind of place where people really know each other, and if you visit enough times, will really get to know you as well. It is friendly and welcoming. During my visit, I had the opportunity to really experience the people, but most importantly, the food.

I did my best to eat as much as I could while in Anguilla (because, you know, research) and discovered some pretty great spots along the way. Because it’s not a very big island, with enough planning you too can eat you way through Anguilla and see why it has become one of the most celebrated culinary destinations in the Caribbean.

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Happy Days at The One Happy Island of Aruba

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This post brought to you by Aruba Tourism Authority. All opinions are 100% mine.

Before I made it out to Aruba, I had heard so many great things from those who have visited often. As a matter of fact, it seems that those who spoke about their visits always returned. Since being invited to discover the island as a guest of Aruba and the Zimmerman Agency, I have been planning my return to the one happy island with its clear skies, turquoise beaches, friendly people, and white sands.

If you haven’t been to Aruba yet, there are so many reasons to consider and a list of must-do’s.

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A NYC Evening of Tastes, Sounds and Colors of Aruba

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Recently, during one of New York City’s cool, rainy days I made my way to The Kitchen NYC which had been converted to resemble a tropical, inviting environment, a lot warmer than what the weather outside was delivering. Taste of Aruba was a wonderful night where travelers and food lovers came together to be inspired by some of the best that this beautiful Caribbean island has to offer. Otmar Oduber, Minister of Tourism, Transportation and Labor Affairs helped to paint the picture in my mind as he described the beauty of his country and the pride he felt for the heritage and diversity of the island’s people.

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The History of Mangú, Los Tres Golpes, and Other Dominican Treats

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On my last visit to the Dominican Republic I was shocked that on my first morning visit to the all-inclusive dining hall they did not have mangú.

Mangú is a Dominican staple, made of mashed green plantains (platanos verdes) that have been peeled, cut and boiled in salt (much like you would a potato) and then mashed (while using some of the water that it was boiled in) and served with red onions quickly sauteed in olive oil and vinegar (more oil, less vinegar).

Tip: when serving the mangú, take note that it will cool off and become dry and hard in the process. Always save a bit of the water from the pot in which the plantains were boiled, as heating that up and then mixing it hot with the plantains will return the mash to its warmer, more softer consistency.

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Food and Adventures from The U.S. Virgin Islands

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Though I would agree that it hasn’t been as cold as it normally is this time of year in the East Coast, it has been cold long enough for me to start longing for some sand between my toes and warm ocean water at my feet. So it’s no surprise that when the tourism team for U.S. Virgin Islands invited me for a taste of the U.S.V.I., I jumped at the chance.

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The Wine Tasting, The Dominican Fish Market, The Coconut, & The Chef – Porto of Balcones del Atlantico

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I can’t talk about a visit to the Dominican Republic without talking about the food. Chances are that this article won’t be the last time I mention the food I had there when visiting Las Terrenas.

I already shared with you what I loved about Balcones del Atlántico as a resort, now I have to share with you what I loved about Porto, the resort’s restaurant and its chef.

But first, let me describe what is standard in most resort restaurants anywhere. Normally when you visit a resort, they have the basic fare. The buffet morning, afternoon, and night. If you are staying in an all-inclusive, chances are you will eat at the buffet more than once during your stay, and maybe – just maybe – treat yourself to the more luxurious restaurant (not included in your package) one night during your visit. If you are lucky, on that evening – and that evening alone – you will get to taste something that is indicative of the cuisine traditional to the country you are visiting. Otherwise, not so much.

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