Kitesurfing in Cabarete: Our Dominican Getaway

Life with two toddlers is… well, pretty crazy. With Alice approaching two years old, I feel she has already precociously entered the ‘terrible twos’, while Henry can be most definitely classified as a ‘threenager’. In the throws of Alice and Henry’s cognitive development, our household is at the centre of constant meltdowns, defiant food refusal, sweaty snowsuit wrestling matches (why, oh why is it so darn hard to get those squirmy alligators into their winter gear!!) and downright, utter resistance at almost every step of the way throughout the day.

They can be so deceivingly sweet sometimes…!
Reading together
Henry reading to Alice

Grocery shopping with these two monkeys! One in the cart, the other on my back 🙂 

My dear friend Meghan most eloquently summed up these challenges by simply stating, “Toddlers are a$$holes!” after watching me struggle to feed Alice dinner, all the while dodging thrown forks, cucumbers and noodles.  Of course this is all part in parcel of the normal and glorious adventures in parenting little humans, but man is it ever exhausting some days.

Just over a year ago now, we ventured to sunny Costa Rica in pursuit of wind, rest and relaxation. As a family, in accompaniment with our beloved babysitter, Blythe, we spent a blissful stint down south learning how to kitesurf. We came back to Canada hooked on the sport and eager to continue our yearly kitesurfing vacations.

What a difference a year makes!

As we planned our next Vitamin D-filled respite from the relentlessly long northwestern Ontario winters, one obvious conundrum presented itself. With Blythe having moved onto university, the void she had left remained unfilled. Could it be possible to travel with two little ones under 3 and still have the time to kitesurf together? Feeling brave, we decided to give it a go.

All I can say in retrospect is, boy did we miss you Blythe!

Blythe & Henry in Costa Rica

Of course, we can’t complain as we so very fortunately were able to spend ten days in the town of Cabarete, a well-known kitesurfing destination. Our resort was located just steps from the kitesurfing action on the beach with promises of daily kiting lessons while the kids napped with a local babysitter. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t quite cooperate and we had daily rain and cloud, calm waters and not a lick of wind. Poor us! We had to sit on the beach every afternoon with drinks in hand waiting for the wind! I know, I know. Your sympathies are accepted.

While waiting for the kiting conditions improve, we spent almost every morning at the pool or on the beach with the kids. They were happy to simply splash around in the kiddie pool. We ventured off resort a few times to check out Cabarete, to go to a monkey sanctuary and to go scubadiving (my first crack at this sport – it was shockingly very panic-inducing!). Every afternoon, our babysitter, Iris would come to give Blake and I a chance to hopefully kitesurf. We’d put the kids down for naps then head to the beach to wait for the wind. We did get out one afternoon which was amazing and was definitely better than being totally skunked.

As we stayed at a (very budget) all-inclusive resort for simplicity sake with the kids, we ate most of our meals together as a family there, yet Blake and I managed to get away after putting the kids to bed to gorge on seafood during candlelit dinners on the beach. So romantic! 🙂

All in all, we had a fantastic vacation with lots of quality family time together. The toddler drama definitely continued, but at least we were fighting the good fight beneath palm trees in our bathing suits!

Next year, we’ll be putting a call out to potential babysitter recruits – so if you’re an interested candidate, we’ll keep you posted 🙂

In the car, all ready for the trip to Thunder Bay where we overnighted before our flight to the DR

Henry snuggled in with his fleeces

Alice chillin’
At the hotel in Thunder Bay. Here, Alice, like usual, is tormenting Henry by banging his head with the hotel lotion. Thankfully, Henry is generally very tolerant of this behaviour!

Bedtime shenanigans! 
Early morning flight out of Thunder Bay 
En route to Toronto, then onto the DR

Happy still! Alice, as always, didn’t sleep a wink! She was up from 5am until about 7:30pm! 
Arriving in the DR. It was HOT!
At the airport, waiting for our ride to the resort 
Excited to get into the pool, despite the rain
Swimming in the rain!
Swimming fun!

On the beach!

The kids chilling out 
More rain! At least it’s still warm and we don’t have to worry about getting a burn!
Morning coffee on the beach
A refreshing coconut for an afternoon treat
Back at the pool
Post-nap chill-out
Alice! Hahah, they were being crazy and jumping off these rocks while we were waiting for dinner
Every night, we would bribe Henry with the plethora of cakes so that he would eat his dinner 🙂 
We tried to take a picture every night, this one was my favourite as Henry’s stuffed otter is photobombing 🙂 
Ahhh, quiet mornings!
Henry told me in this picture that he was ‘just relaxing’

Alice’s newfound love for bananas

More afternoon rain swimming
We went on a little trip to a near-by monkey sanctuary one morning

At first, Henry wasn’t too keen about the monkeys that would come out of nowhere and jump on your head!

But he soon was ok with it!
Alice, on the other hand, was NOT ok with the monkeys!

Such cuties!

Family photos w/ the monkeys
One afternoon while the kids napped, Blake and I went scuba diving together. Blake is an experienced diver, but hadn’t been in quite some time. It was my first time, and I was surprised at how clausterphobic I felt. It was still a pretty neat experience and a chance to see some coral reefs. 

Playing on the beach

Back at the pool!

Blake playing volleyball with some new buddies
Alice loving her banana smoothie
Happy face 🙂 
The kids endlessly playing in the kiddie pool. Made life easy for us!
Hanging out on the beach while the kids sleep with the babysitter 

Alice on the run!

At breakfast while the boys still snooze
This was at a nearby coffeeshop which was a refuge from the rain!

Thankfully, they had lots of toys for the kids
Alice and I soaking up the sun 

Family photo! 

Poor Henry had an upset tummy one morning, so he spent the morning 
An evening on the beach before bed

Blake and I escaping the resort for a evening dinner on the beach in Cabarete

Blake was pretty excited for the banana flambe. Can’t you tell by his excited face? 🙂
Alice painting at the kids club

Alice was really gaining confidence with the water
Hanging out on the beach waiting for the wind
Finally, a little bit of kitesurfing action. Unfortunately, not enough wind for us to get out, but enough for these foil boards and kites to ride
Hanging out at the kitesurfing school waiting for the wind to pick up
Our last night out in Cabarete! We went all out and drank quite a bit of pina colada! I think we ended up at at least 3 bars…!

Our last morning at the resort
Alice is pretty happy in the kiddie pool 
Alice jumping to Blake!
Mid-morning smoothie break!
All packed up and ready to go back to the airport to go home!
At the airport in Puerto Plata 
Our flight home was late in the afternoon and was basically empty. Alice and I had a whole row to ourselves but unfortunately, she was full of beans as usual and was climbing all over the place. She didn’t sleep at all despite my best efforts as well as a good dose of Gravol. She was pretty tired out by the time we landed in Thunder Bay close to midnight. 
At our layover in Toronto at dinnertime. I can’t tell you how many people stopped to ask us if they were twins on this trip. I guess I can see it a little bit here, but they are so so different developmentally that it’s hard for me to think they could possibly be considered as twins!

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