The good, the bad and the ugly.

awesome

01/31/2017 When the weather has been crappy for so long and then it gets nice, $hit starts happening and it gets downright exciting here on the rock. We had Francie and Franklin over for Bill’s signature pizza, which he had made the day before while I was running around with Jason and Alex. We sat by the pool and sipped wine for awhile, then went up to the porch to have salads and pizza. As usual, the pizza was the bomb, there were only 2 small pieces left from 2 big pizza’s. Old Kentucky Bourbon chocolates from our Kentucky friends were dessert. Thank you John and Lizeth for the yummies. I am eating the last one right now. And Francie and Franklin, you are missed already. {They took off last week to spend some time on their new boat  yacht. They’ll be cruising around wherever they want to for the next year or so.}

I met Jason (IL) at Barefoot Cay on Thursday morning for a tour with my wonderful friend Milesse. Milesse is one of the founding owners of this exquisite small boutique resort on it’s own private cay.  We started with a tour of the resort. Having been there many times before, I thought I knew the resort rather well, I didn’t. Milesse pointed out so many things, took us into the rooms, behind the closed doors, laundry, food storage, into the villas and into the condos above the dive shop. I wrongly assumed the places above the dive shop were nice, clean little rooms for divers. So wrong. They are elegant condos overlooking the water that separates the dive shop from the cay. There is nothing plain about any of the rentals. They all emanate subdued elegance.

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From there we went over to the palapa where you can enter the water to snorkel or lay on the hammocks and swing in the breeze.

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The color of this water is why I moved to Roatan.

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Not sure what this is.

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Very nice villa with a kitchen, 2 nice bedrooms w/ AC and baths, and this porch, overlooking the 3 steps to the beach. Paradise.

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Your private beach!

We walked all around the cay and saw where they will do a few more rentals. They won’t overpopulate or change the atmosphere of the resort, they have a lot of unused land. BFC has become Barefoot Luxury and will seek out new locations in the Caribbean to open dive shops or a new boutique resort or both.

When we were finished with our tour we went to the second level of the restaurant and had watermelon smoothies. They were extremely refreshing! It’s always pleasant spending time with Milesse,  getting to do it at the resort is like icing on the cake.

From BFC Jason and I went to French Cay to Arch’s Iguana and Marine Preserve. My friends own the iguana park and I am blessed to have become family with the Arch’s.  They are a very cool, well known and respected island family. The Arch family patrols the Marine Park Reserve which is right off of their docks, 24/7. It’s all protected waters with no fishing allowed and people still poach at night, stealing small conch and baby lobsters. It’s a never ending thankless job. People that do this stuff either don’t care or don’t understand that they are ruining the future of these sea critters. Kill the babies and you’ll have no adults. such bad behavior.

Jason and I got to visit with the iguanas, see the babies and let the big guys crawl across our feet.

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So many baby iguanas. They are caged until they are around 18 months old. If they weren’t caged, the chickens and birds and black spiny tailed iguanas (carnivorous) would eat them, few would survive.

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Yep, I allow warm iguana bellies on my feet.

Just as we were finished looking at the babies, Sam came. He took us out on his boat (that he and his father built) Miss French Cay. We were in the area that he protects, down to Fantasy Island, CocoView and back. It was simply gorgeous on the shimmering sea.

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Some of the boats in the cay. The water in the cay is protected by the reef,  many boats safely anchor there.

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CoCo View. The most returned to dive resort in the Caribbean. My friend Andrea is the nurse there.

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Under the bridge

We left there and drove straight to our house. I wanted to show Jason the view from our roof, which is amazeballs. We, along with all 5 dogs, went up there, he took some photos and then we left for the quick drive to Cal’s for lunch.

When we got there I told Carl (owner of Cal’s) who I was with. He actually smiled. If you know Carl, a smile is a big deal. Jason and I had a great meal, I saw some friends there and we also saw Paul, a gringo who Jason interviewed on Tuesday. When we went to pay, Reynaldo said Carl got the bill. Super nice of him, not necessary, but appreciated.

Feeling satiated, we went straight to Daniel Johnson’s Sloth and Monkey Hang-out. Daniel wasn’t there when we got there, they said he was just at lunch. Stephanie (Daniel’s GF) had our name on the sheet and we were given a guide and taken in. It was later in the day so the sloth’s were sleeping in the trees but we could easily see them. Some of the monkeys were running helter skelter on the roof, sounding like rhinoceros. The monkeys all get 2 hours a day out of their cages (in pairs, not all at once). The guide took us in the cages with the huge Macaws. These birds are magnificent. Now, let me say, I’m not a bird person. I used to lock myself in the bathroom when my mother let her damn parakeets out to fly around the kitchen. Here I am in a cage with birds bigger than my head. Just then Daniel came and he stepped into the cage with us. They held a sunflower seed over my head and the freaking bird landed on my head, 2 TIMES. I ask Daniel if it was going to poop on me and he said, you never know. Great, thanks.

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Monkeys climbing high

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Beautiful bird

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The colors are brilliant

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These birds were all rescued

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Jason holding one of the macaws

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Not what I imagined doing that day

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Walk like an Egyptian

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A sleeping sloth

Daniel talked to us about his next project which is to make his cages much larger and taller than they currently are and to move a few things around. He has a nice operation and he takes impeccable care of the animals. He is Sam Arch’s cousin, small island.

Jason had another appointment in West End at 3ish and I had volunteered to drive him back to the other end of the island. Once I dropped him off I called my friend Ann and ran up and said hello, she’s my twin, in case you didn’t know that.

On Saturday Jeanie and Roger came here and we all rode together to Trish and Dave’s home in Sandy Bay. Trish and Dave were headed back to Canada the 23rd. We had a nice dinner, enjoying the amazing view. Once it started to get dark, we left for home. I never had the tint removed from my windshield, it’s pretty dark and makes a night drive similar to driving at night with almost dead flashlights. Plus, the Duchess and husband still had to drive to Hell with a View in Camp Bay.

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We ate dinner out here, gazing over the north shore

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Beautiful

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Never ending beauty

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The Duchess having a chat with Santiago, her watchie man.

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My twin Ann’s house is partially visible from Trish’s deck. She lives the next hill to the east.

This is part of the mess we came home to. Barrio and Highway were left inside. Aside from the bottle of Black Seed Oil that Barrio chewed up on top of the ottoman, he also destroyed a styrofoam egg carton. This really isn’t a big deal, but I never buy eggs in styrofoam, only in a cardboard flat of 30. I then transfer them to the styrofoam containers because they fit in my fridge so much easier.

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I found the GLASS dropper from this 2 days later. So happy he didn’t get hurt but not sure how he got the screw top lid off.

Sunday was a day at home. I did go to Mega Paca in the morning but then stayed here all day, we had several workers so I stuck around and made sure things I wanted done were getting done.

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Alexi finishing the barbed wire top of the fence. he also wrapped the rubber tree branches in barbed wire, it will thwart any would be thieves for sure.

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One of the things Bill and Miguel did was put the top forms on the concrete gate posts. Now to get them finished. The gate does open with a remote now, no more getting out of the car and opening or closing it. SO MUCH BETTER.

The school bells are once again ringing for the island kids, they are on break Nov-Feb. This year Alexi will be going to a different school, one he needs to go to for the Bomberos (fire fighters) that is held every Sunday in Punta Gorda. He needs new school shoes, we are taking some of his pay every week and holding it for him so he has some money to buy things he needs. If he has money, his mother “borrows” it and never repays him, of course. We are going to open a bank account once he gets ID. He has never had any because it requires his mother to actually do something to get it. Jessica, his younger sister is going to go to the English school that Alexi went to the last 2 years. She needs everything for school except undershirts and socks which Julie and Robby brought for her already. Alexi’s brother and nephew both need school clothes also. I don’t know if it’s me and my attitude or what but it pisses me off that Alexi’s lazy assed “mother” will not spend one penny for her kids to go to school. If someone else doesn’t cough up the money, so sad, too bad, they don’t go. This will be Jessica’s first year back to school after not going for a couple years because her mother wouldn’t buy the uniforms and supplies that she needed. In her defense (and believe me, the last thing I would ever do is stick up for the lousiest mother of the year award winner) the uniforms are expensive. We spent $100 USD on 2 pair of dark blue pants, 2 white short sleeved shirts, a pleated skirt for Jessica and a pair of slip on black shoes for her and socks for the boys. We also got them each writing notebooks that they needed. $100.00. A hundred dollars to get kids almost ready for back to school is nothing for people who have a little money but for the majority of people on the island, it is a LOT of money. Now remember, many families have MANY children (hello birth control?) and they can’t afford the uniforms so the kids don’t go to school. In a country with such an overpopulation of children and extreme poverty in the majority of the communities, why the hell do they have to wear uniforms? How does that change their  learning capabilities?

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Jessica and Efraim, he’s trying on a shirt for school.

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Bill bought the boys each a bag of peanuts.

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Osman on the L and Efraim on the R. Efraim is Alexi’s brother to a different father and Osman is Juliana’s 5 year old son.

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We bought local and went to Oak Ridge to Clifford’s store. he is the Vice Mayor of Santos Guardiola and a really nice man. He helps Nidia out a lot.

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A motorcycle coming down the hill and 3 guys on horses. It’s the wild wild west.

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Efraim

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Osman

We dropped Juliana and the boys off at a seamstress in Politilly. The boys both needed their pants shortened and tucks put into the waist. Hopefully they will get 2 years out of the pants. We didn’t buy them big on purpose, they were the 2 smallest pair they had.

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This door is on the second story of a house by the seamstress.

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Jessica and a friend’s baby.

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Efraim and Osman on the porch where the seamstress lives.

When we were leaving Politilly we had to slow down to go around a motorcycle on the road. When we got right up to it Bill said, “well, look who it is.” It was Alexi’s poor excuse of a mother and her boyfriend who beat Alexi. She probably knew the kids were with us and that we were buying them school clothes but she never even said thank you. We should have knocked them over. Or run them over. I turned my head, I was afraid of what I would say. If she cared at all, just one tiny little speck of care, I wouldn’t feel so upset by her, but she doesn’t. She just does not give one $hit about the kids she brought into this world.

It’s all about the good, the bad and the ugly. I’m trying to make peace with it, I struggle.

 

 

They came to see what I was doing down here.

phone

Whoever said “Time flies when you’re having fun” knows their shit! I can’t believe a week has flown by and Cicily and Cheryl are on their way home. I hated to see them go. We were very busy the whole time they were here, so much so that I’m whooped!

Their flight was two hours late arriving in Roatan due to mechanical problems. I always check flight tracker so I was aware and watching the flight online. I arrived at RTB moments after the plane landed. They got through immigration pretty fast and we were on our way. First stop, Eldon’s for groceries. After that we went back to the Bulk Gourmet for a few things and headed home.

Once they got settled we went down to our neighbor John’s pool for a dip. It felt fantastic and the water was nice and clear. (unfortunately not always the case) We floated for a while and then came back up to the house. Bill was making pizza for dinner with fresh pineapples and mozzarella and provolone cheeses. Yummy stuff!

The plan was to hit West Bay Beach early on Friday. There were no cruise ships in either port and the insanity surrounding Semana Santa hadn’t quite kicked in. We got there before ten and went snorkeling right away. Cicily has snorkeled recently but it’s been years for Cheryl. It didn’t take long for them to get their sea legs. Cicily has a messed up snorkel so we were going to get a new one on the way home. After snorkeling we put that stuff in the car, got our rafts and plopped on the chairs at Banarama.

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Sea fan

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Christmas Tree worms

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Fishies, big one is a Yellow Goatfish

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Squirrel fish

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Blue tangs

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Coral

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close up of elliptical star coral

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tiny sea urchin shell

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Parrot fish

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French Angelfish

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school of tangs

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A most gorgeous fish, Stoplight Parrotfish

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Stoplight Parrotfish, fabulous markings

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Yellowtail juvenile damselfish, it was neon.

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Not sure what kind of fish this is, anyone know??

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Cheryl, getting ready to get her float on.

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West Bay beach

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yes, it’s that perfect.

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Paradise

The three of us floated on the rafts for a while with some cold cervezas. It’s all great floating until your beer is empty and you need another. They seriously need surf delivery. We ate some lunch there then decided to call it a day. On the way home the car miraculously drove itself to Umbul Umbul. So funny how it does that, talk about auto pilot!! I was pissed because I forgot to bring a check and I only had a little cash with me, which fortunately limited my spending. Probably a good thing. Cis and Cheryl were having a blast and each bought some cool things. We hit Barefoot Key on the way home for a new snorkel for Cis and came back to the house. Bill had supper cooking for us when we arrived.

Bill got the roof furniture finished while we were at the beach and carried the 4 chairs up to the roof. He just built the table today. We spent many nights on the roof looking at the view and the sky and all the junglish beauty that surrounds us.

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These will NOT blow off the roof for sure!

On Friday evening I got a message from my friend Sam Arch about going to Pigeon Key on Saturday. We were worried about the weather and I said to Sam in a message, “if the weather is bad we can always turn around.” His response was that he never turns around, he always goes where he is headed. Gulp, OK, calling for thunderstorms but, we’ll trust Sam. We met him at 8 AM at the Iguana farm. Most of the iguanas were still in the trees sleeping but there were still quite a few wandering about. Once he got the boat ready, the 5 of us were off. Sam brought his girlfriend Chelsie along for the day. I’m so glad he did and we got to meet her, she is such a sweetie and they are the epitome of young love. So much fun to be around them. Sam was born and raised in the waters around Roatan, he reads, writes and speaks perfect English and Spanish and he knows these waters. I was totally confident in his boating skills and we were in the new boat he and his dad built, Miss French Key. We left French Key a little after 8 and went to Los Fuertes to get gas. On the way east after filling up the sky got darker and darker.

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French Harbor

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love the building in the rear

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Nice boat name

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Ominous dark clouds

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The cow and the calf

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Helene

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dark spot is our destination

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really, it is that color!

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So in love with these hues

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Pigeon Key, takes about 4 minutes to circumnavigate on foot

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weird pods and flowers

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conch wall

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stunning beauty in every direction

Near Calabash it really started raining. Chelsie was chilling in the bow of the boat so the 3 of us stood out of the rain in the cabin with Sam. We went through the mangrove cut and came out at Rocky Point, going right past my friend Perry’s house. Once we cleared Rocky Point the sky started to clear up and the sun came out. Sam was right, it was going to be a beautiful day on Pigeon Key.

We wandered around the island and met some people who came in a boat right after us. They were from Canada, turns out they were relatives of our friend Francis, small island, small world. We found this out the next day at La Sirena.

Sam was going to show us the snorkel area so the 4 of us set off. It was easy swimming going with the current and once we got there it was magical. Really, like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was a huge underwater garden of every kind of coral you could think of with a vast amount of unusual fish swimming in and out of the huge coral heads. At one point Cicily motioned for me to go up and when I did she said, “I think this is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.” It was ahhhhmmmaazzing. Many thanks to Sam Arch and Arch’s Aquatic Adventures.

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This is my friend Sam. I’m so happy I met him (and Chelsie) they are 2 of my favorites for sure. Sam is a fish in the water, he can hold his breath for what seems like 20 minutes and he always spots cool stuff.

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Blue Tangs and Sergeant Majors

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Elkhorn coral

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Maybe Pillar coral???

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under the sea

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Elkhorn

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Coral

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Elkhorn coral

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underwater garden

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Corals and seafans

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Sam grabbed my camera and got this shot and the next one of the Queen Angelfish

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Queen Angelfish

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Black Durgon

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Coral

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Rock beauty, Sam took these two photos

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Rock beauty fish lips Photo Sam Arch

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Reef squid, Cicily spotted these

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So cool!

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Elkhorn

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Sam took this also, this is unusual to see a Porkfish

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awesome coral

It was really hard swimming back to the boat because we were swimming into the current but we made it, exhausted but excited over what we had just seen.

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Cheryl chilling on the boat.

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really, this is in my backyard, so to speak???

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This is one of the reasons I love living here, the colors of the water.

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Bye Bye Pigeon Key, we’ll be back.

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Our intrepid guide/captain and his fabulously gorgeous girlfriend Chelsie!

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Enjoying the trip

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Can we move there tomorrow??

I’m going to end this post after only two days. It’s already long and I’m tired and want to eat and go watch The Voice.

I was supposed to go to a pool party today at Llyn and Wendy’s and I had every intention of going. Until I got home from the airport and grocery shopping and made the mistake of laying down on the bed. That was all it took. I think I need a few days at home for R & R and to assemble my thoughts for the rest of the post of Cicily and Cheryl’s visit to Roatan. I hope they enjoyed being here as much as I enjoyed having them!