In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Domingo Walking Street
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
Map of Santo Domingo, the Colonial part of
the city, and the Ozama River
The history of Santo Domingo goes back to
1496 when the brother of Christopher Columbus, Bartolome, left his ship and
claimed this land for Spain. It is the oldest European city in the Americas.
Today, it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Known as "Zona
Colonial" this area of the city is located on the west bank of the Ozama River
which bisects the city.
Paved walking street with stores on both
Rather like an open air mall, Santo Domingo's
walking street has countless stores lining the walkway.
Santo Domingo is in
perpetual summer climate
There are benches to sit
down and take a rest after walking and shopping, but because Santo Domingo is in
a perpetual summer climate, it is warm! Shaded seats are hard to find.
Paintings of all sizes
Flamboyant and colorful, hand painted
canvases of all sizes are for sale up and down the walk way.
Colonial style architecture
Archways, flower boxes and wrought iron make
this white colonial style building stand out. The main Plaza, or Parque Colon,
is located down the center of the photo. This tree-filled square is where you
can meet people of all walks of life, stroll around and relax.
The Spaniards used the settlement of Santo
Domingo as the first point from which they conquered other Caribbean islands and
much of the American mainland. This city was initially the political and
cultural hub of Spanish presence in the New World.
In 2010, Santo Domingo was chosen as the
Cultural Capital of the Americas. This prestigious nomination is comparable to
being selected to host the World Expo or Olympic Games.
There are many bars and cafes to choose from
on this walking street. This one is WiFi connected and beckons to have you "pasatiempo"
or pass some time here.
Another small, more modern bar
People like to come in out of the heat and
grab a beer, maybe check their email and, when playing, watch the soccer games
on TV. It's a great place for social interaction and a break from baking in the
Restaurants advertise their specialties of
the day. This one has a couple of pasta dishes, a cheeseburger and a selection
of chicken entrees including baked chicken.
It is very Latin to wear a hat and men look
dashing, women look glamorous. This sombrero store sells various styles of hats
including the Panama hat, made in
Store owner in a Panama hat
Did I say dashing?
Panama hats are finely
hand woven and then formed on a hot mold. Called Panama hats even though they
are made in Ecuador, they have maintained popularity and style for many years.
Cesar, our guide, wearing a short, tight
Besides being stylish, wearing a hat in this
heat is a terrific idea!
This menu advertises it's
Daily Special - either chicken or meatballs - for 165 Pesos, under $4USD.
They also serve pastas,
fish, beef, chicken breast, pastries and more.
Emotional, wild dancing
The Dominican Republic is credited for
creating the Merengue dance, which is both passionate and sensual.
This couple looks like they know what they
Waitresses wearing native
costume call customers inside for this restaurant's daily special.
Bright, clean, and boasting
colorful murals and paintings on the walls.
Cafe in the Museum of Chocolate
The history of chocolate begins in
Mesoamerica, a region that stretches from central Mexico through Guatemala,
Belize, Honduras and El Salvador. This area of the world is very diverse
geographically, biologically and culturally and gave rise to societies such as
the Olmec, the Aztecs and the Maya.
Dark chocolate, milk
chocolate and white chocolate selections
Dark chocolate contains at
least 35% chocolate liquor, plus cocoa butter and sugar. Milk chocolate has at
least 10% chocolate liquor, plus cocoa butter, sugar and at least 12% milk.
White chocolate is not technically one of the types of chocolate because it does
not contain any chocolate liquor. It must have at least 20% cocoa butter, 14%
milk plus sugar.
We enjoyed the samples available. They were
Chocolate is the fermented, roasted and
ground bean of the cacao plant. Chocolate beverages have dated back to 1900 BC.
The Aztecs believed the cacao seeds were the gift from the God of Wisdom and the
seeds had so much value that they were used as a form of currency.
Lots of variety
Originally only prepared as a drink, not as
bars we enjoy today, chocolate was served bitter and frothy, mixed with spices,
wine or corn puree. It was believed to have aphrodisiac powers and to give the
Zorro, a Mexican restaurant
There were lots of choices of places to relax
and have a bite. Dominican food is a combination of Spanish and African styles
and usually served without any hot chili or spice. Mexican food with its
moles, chiles and tortillas offers a contrast.
Billy, ever the flirt
Billy made a friend with this reserved but
amicable police woman, and of course, had to have his photo take with her.
Tourist train driver
Not to be outdone by Billy, this young man
obliged me in having my photo taken with him. Speaking a bit of English, we
talked about the favorite past time of the Dominican Republic - baseball! Over
800,000 children play organized baseball in the DR, and people here love the
sport. Currently, U.S. professional baseball leagues have more than 100 players
on their rosters who originated from this Caribbean Island.
The Tourist Train
This is the train that our
friend in the above photo drives throughout the city. It's free, and the train
takes you all around town, which in hot weather like it is in Santo Domingo, is
a welcomed treat!
Another angle of the walking street
Lots of decorative wrought iron on windows,
gates, and balconies give this street its charm. Old fashioned street lights run
down the center and benches provide a rest stop from all the shopping.
It's hard to imagine today that this city was
destroyed by an earthquake in 1562, was burned down in 1586 by Sir Francis
Drake, and that the city has survived pirate attacks and invasions.
For more stories and photos
of the Dominican Republic,
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.
Retire Early Lifestyle Blog
About Billy & Akaisha