Come dive with me

 

03/28/2017  I am always making new friends on FB and then meeting the people when they finally come to Roatan. Case in point, Rick and Ruth Bailey from Missouri. I met them quite some time ago online and was waiting until they made their next trip down here to meet up. They came to the island before Teri B left. They were staying for a few days on the east end of the island so they came over and spent a day with us in the pool. After sunning and having a few drinks we all went to Cal’s for dinner.

Ruth and Rick Bailey @ Cal’s Cantina

I used to like the Bailey’s a lot but Rick recently bought Ruth a gorgeous blue Mini Cooper with a racing stripe and I’m a little green with envy. The damn pot holes are so big here that Mini would disappear in one of them, never to be seen again. (Nice wheels Ruth) I can somewhat justify me not having one here. Somewhat….

After Teri left I got an email from my goldsmith in Bellingham’s wife. I started going to Fairhaven Gold in 1995, when we moved to Bellingham. Bill, the owner became my most trusted jeweler. In July of last year I lost 2 gold bracelets he made for me while snorkeling down here. My eagle-eyed son Chance found them in the sand under the water. The next day I called Bill to tell him what happened and that the bracelets were being sent to him for repair. That’s when he told me they were coming down, but he didn’t say when. Their daughter was going back to Utila to live for 4 months. She wanted to see Roatan and her dad, Bill wanted to get certified for scuba. He got his certification at Blue Island Divers and his daughter did some diving with them as well. I picked them up one afternoon and took them for a tour of the eastern end of the island. We went through Oak Ridge and Punta Gorda. After stopping for refreshments, we drove east to the Secret Beach and hung out. It was a gorgeous day, we sat listening to the waves and chatting. After that we stopped back here to tell Bill that we were going to Cal’s for lunch. (see a pattern here?) After that I dropped them off in French Harbor and they got a taxi back to Sandy Bay where they were staying. So nice to see Bill and meet Gina and Mackenzie.
Still dealing with Max being sick put a damper on my life. I needed to get in gear and get ready for my upcoming guests.

I met my friend Abe a long time ago, in a galaxy far away, called Bellingham. Abe used to come to the bank (Bank of America, where I worked) with his Father and sometimes his brothers and or sister. I got to know him through there. I was always impressed by Abe’s Father and by the way all the kids behaved. I transferred to a different department temporarily but when I returned to the branch I saw that Abe had recently applied for a job. I called him for an interview but he was working at another bank, he started there a few weeks ago. I offered him more money and less hours. He said OK and came to work for me. His smarts, personality and his demeanor with people was/is outstanding.

I left BoA in 2005 for another bank. Abe left banking soon after to try a new job with Border Patrol. We always kept in touch. Abe decided the Border Patrol was not for him and moved back to Bellingham. At that time, I needed a Personal Banker where I was working as Customer Service manager so he applied. The personnel office contacted me and said he had worked for them before for a short period of time. I said that he didn’t. They then told me when it was and that he quit to work for BoA. I realized it was because I hired him out from under them and now was hiring him back. They agreed to rehire him and he was very successful there as well. I moved on and he stayed there for a while until he decided to move to So. Calif.

Anyhow, the rest is history, Abe and I have always been in contact with each other, he calls me his American mom. His Mom, Maria is a lovely lady and I know his brothers and sister as well as his father. Great people, love them all.

Flash forward to mid Feb when Abe messages me that he needs a vacation and was thinking about coming to see me. I was very excited to say the least. We chatted about it off and on, talked on the phone and at that point I decided to plant the seed about diving. Abe had never snorkeled, let alone gone scuba diving. He asked if his buddy could come visit too and I said sure. They both wanted to get certified for Open Water Scuba diving. I contacted Eric @ Blue Island Divers and he got them all set up.
I picked them up at the airport on Thursday March 16th, we stopped and got groceries and then came here. They put their groceries away and we ran to Cal’s for food, they were starving. Bill didn’t go, he was getting over a stomach bug and food was not his friend.

The next morning I took the guys to Blue Island Divers in Sandy Bay to start their certification. The weather had been crappy and the north shore was pretty choppy. The guys began their first day long certification and I left, ran errands and came home. (30 min. each way) I went back and picked them up at 3:30, 4 PM and we headed home. They were asleep quite early after a long day of studying. The next morning we were up and back at Blue Island Divers for day two of training. I did the same thing, I went home, then went back to get them. One of the days I stopped by my twin’s house to say hello and get sneak peeks of Miss Juanita, Ann’s new cat.

Day 2, the guys did some open water work with Ernesto.

I met another lady on FB, well, actually she found my blog and PM’d me. She had been here once on a cruise ship and was returning on Sat. for another visit. I was unable to pick her up at the airport as I was running with the guys. Kelly brought down 70 yes, SEVENTY pair of Old Navy flip-flops for the island kids. Customs was not going to let her through with the suitcase. I called my friend Karen who was working that day and she went and talked to them. They needed a letter saying they were being donated. Luckily I was able to get the letter the same day and get it sent to the customs lady. All was well in Roatán.

70 pair of Old Navy flip-flops(zorie’s for Jeanie) , a long-sleeved white shirt from LL Bean for Jessica, undies for Osman and Efraim and bathing suits for them too. Kelly also brought the game Trouble, Jenga and a box of Lego’s to build a fire truck. I really wanted to give them to the boys (Osman and Ephraim) but their wretched horrible mother will sell them and the boys will not get to play with them. She’s a miserable woman. I’ve decided to donate the toys to a school, probably Cattleya.

Kelly knows the way to my heart, she brought me a mermaid bag. She also brought each of the dogs a BeneBone. They are Y shaped and the dogs LOVE them.

The games Kelly brought

The clothes

This little boy is one of many living in the 2 room house in the valley with his grandparents. We gave him school supplies from John and  Lizeth awhile ago.

Two more of the boys. They were chopping with machetes in the woods.

Abe and Paul and I were beaching it at West Bay on Monday so I invited Kelly to come with us. I stopped by Pristine Bay to pick her up and we were off to the beach. It was the only day in the whole week there were no cruise ships in. We sat at Bananarama for the day. The beach was not very crowded but still a good day for people watching. The guys and I walked down the beach to Infinity Bay. We entered the water there and tried to swim out the channel to snorkel but it was so stirred up the visibility was awful. This is what happens when we get winds from the north. Many of the dive boats were on the other side of the island also.

The miserable ugly West Bay beach.

See how sucky the water was? I gave up.

Big brain coral

A parrot fish

While floating in the water with Kelly we met a lady named Vera, who was holding her dog in her arms while she floated. She was telling us her story, all the time Fido was zen in the moment, not moving a muscle, loving the experience. Turns out Vera and her husband are friends of our friends Stefi and Jurgen who moved back to Germany. It was so nice chatting with her, she even says shit just like Stefi did

Vera and Fido

We had lunch on the beach, had a few beers and headed home. I took them to see the south-west shore of the island and then drove through Toxic Hole (Coxen Hole) so they could see the “downtown” area.
On Monday we were all going to Mondays Don’t Suck on the beach on the moon. I picked Kelly up, got the guys and we set off first for La Sirena for some lunch. Imagine my disappointment when they said they didn’t have bread crumbs to make the onion rings. I was looking forward to having them for lunch, especially because I didn’t bring anything to eat at the beach..

Paul and Abe chowing down

On the dock at La Sirena

After we finished at La Sirena we drove down to MDS beach.

Simply gorgeous.

Tres amigos, Abe, Paul and Kelly. This was at the start of MDS, they were not as calm and normal at the end of the day.

Terry and Roger

MDS turned out to be a fabulous day at the beach. The weather was glorious, the waves had settled down and we had the beach to ourselves.

The beach gang

Jeanie AKA The Duchess of Camp Bay, me, Kelly, Paul and Abe

Lowanna wanted shirtless photos of the guys.

They were playing soccer on the beach

Food, drinks, chairs, rafts, towels and people. Really a fabulous day.

Carmen and I wearing our Sargassum Seaweed crowns. We were absolutely the best Sargassum Sirens.

I love this beach.

I had not eaten and I drank almost a bottle of wine. By the time the day had ended and I had to drive home I was on another level. Very thankful that the majority of the road home was dirt and empty. It’s a slow going road anyhow, potholes, speed bumps, cows and horses. I did have to drive a few miles on paved road but there was no traffic. I drove to my house and told Bill he had to take Kelly to Pristine Bay. I knew I couldn’t negotiate the cars and traffic in French Harbor. I went inside, got the pounds of sand out of the unmentionable parts, showered and passed out on the couch. Once Paul and Abe each showered, they came upstairs too and we all watched Bill make us pizza for dinner.  Well, I sort of watched from the couch but when the pizza was ready, I was starving and ready to inhale several pieces. After we ate and cleaned up, I  went to bed and Paul and Abe went down to their bedrooms and crashed too. Tomorrow was the final day of their dive certification.
Amazingly, the three of us made it down to Blue Island Divers again on Tuesday morning. They were doing 3 dives that day and I planned on diving with them their last dive of the day. I dropped them off and came home and laid down for a while. I noticed on FB that it was Ernesto’s birthday (their divemaster) on Tuesday. I stopped and grabbed a birthday cake for him on my way back to the dive shop. I made it back by 1:30 for a 2 PM dive. I chose not to take my camera because I’m still working on getting perfect buoyancy. We had a great dive, only went to 53′ for 49 minutes.

Abe, Ernesto, their divemaster, Paul, Laura and Ismael, also divemasters

Ernesto with his 2 cakes, photo-bombed by Ismael, who is from Chile.

Let them eat cake and drink beer. It was after 5 PM, the rules of the dive shop for the employees consuming anything alcoholic.

Abe and Paul, modeling their newly purchased BID rash guards.

Paul signing his name, OWD certificate is complete.

Abe’s turn

One last shot of Blue Island Divers, they have such an idyllic spot.

On the way home we stopped at the grocery store and Abe and Paul bought some steaks for dinner. Paul was the chef and along with the meat (I don’t eat meat) he made some delicious fried potatoes too.

Abe checking out the food prep

Our chef for the night

Max resting on Gringo’s hip

On Wednesday morning I picked Kelly up @ Pristine Bay. We came back here and she got to meet the dogs and then we all went to Oak Ridge to meet Carmen and Brett @ BJ’s. They were having us over for the day. The sun was shining, the sea was calm and glistening, a perfect day to be on the south shore.
Carmen had a whole spread of food for us and beer and wine and Bloody Mary’s too. The guys went out snorkeling while we sat and talked. When they returned from snorkeling and dried off, we all got in the boat and went for a tour. We cruised Calabash Bight, then out in the open sea to the mangroves. After we circled around the swimming hole we went to Hole in the Wall. It’s a small bar/restaurant that has been around forever.

The snorkelers

Black spiny sea urchins

On the boat

Into the mangroves

Calabash Bight, my friend Kathy lives in the house on the right and the other place will soon be a Pizza Hut. (hah)

The gang

Paul, just a little happy.

Even Charlie enjoyed the ride

Carmen took this because she said I am never in the pics.

So beautiful

The mangroves open up onto this and continue on the other side

Such a beautiful spot.

First stop, Hole in the Wall. Lobster nachos and cheesy fries

Need a new word? Douchenugget seems to be the word of the day.

Everyone signs their name

Quite an interesting place

This is what you do to your toe when you mysteriously trip getting out of the boat. NOTE: I did not spill OR drop my glass of wine.

Captain Ed, this guy has the bluest eyes I have ever seen. He runs the show there.

From there we went to Trico.

Carmen and Charlie

Bar dog

Another one, this one was really pretty.

Swak Creek, WA? Never heard of it.

This is how we do it here.

Our day was done. We were dropped off at BJ’s and I drove back to our house. We washed up and went to Cal’s for dinner again.

Kelly, Abe, my friend Reynaldo, the waiter and Paul.

After a fabulous meal we took Kelly home and headed back to our house to feed the hungry dogs awaiting their food.

Thursday was their last day here on the island. We picked Kelly up and went to Arch’s Iguana Farm.  The guys enjoyed seeing and feeding the iguanas. Afterwards we walked down to the water and looked around, it’s so beautiful down there. Before we left Abe picked up a few things for his daughter Natalya at the gift shop. We planned to go to the Sloth farm but we ran out of time.

Feeding the iguanas

It was a sunny day so there were a lot of them out and about.

Such amazing creatures. I absolutely love them.

After a stop at the gas station for baleadas for breakfast for the guys, I took them all to the airport. They got checked in and were ready to go through security. Kelly had the shortest trip home, Paul the longest, he was going to Seattle. I said good-bye to everyone and made my way home.

It was an eventful and exhausting week but I enjoyed the company of all 3 of them. The guys are already talking about returning and Miss Kelly better get back down here soon too. We really enjoyed Paul and Abe, super nice guys, lots of  fun to hang out with.

Bill volunteered to make 2 bed frames for a family a friend was helping. We delivered them on Thursday before we took Max in to the people hospital to get X-Rays for the vet on Saturday.

This was before the truck broke down.

The adorable little girls and their dog. The frames were for mattresses for these cuties.

There was plywood for the tops of the beds also, just not shown in this pic.

Max got his x-rays Thursday evening, I swear he is the best dog ever. He doesn’t fight us no matter what we do to him.
He went to the vet from Tegus on Saturday morning. He seemed to be feeling better but she did a check-up anyhow. He had a slight temp so we waited 10 minutes and took his temp again, this time  it was higher. She did a blood test and after viewing the results said he has Ehrlichia. Before Doc C said he had Ehrlichia on Feb 15th. Then Dr Diana did a SNAP test for Ehrlichia and Heart worm on 2/24, it was negative. She also checked his blood with a microscope and said he did not have Ehrlichia. Then on 2/28 Dr Bueno drew blood from him and had it checked and said no Ehrlichia. Now on 3/25 Dr Diana says he has it. I’m so pissed off and confused, I don’t even know what to think. I hate to keep giving him medicine but I don’t want to stop in case he does have it. No wonder I’m nuts.
Final photos of the day, Abe left a pair of almost new Reef shoes here for Alexi.  He was so excited with the shoes and they fit. Alexi would have chopped his toes off so they would fit, especially because they were from Abe.

Reef shoes for Alexi

This is one of Trace’s “doodles.” I think he should make some copies of these and sell them.

The detail is freaking amazing.

It’s a nice day, I’ve been typing  all morning and I’m done. The pool is calling my name, sort of like the siren song.

Hasta Manaña Peeps.

 

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.

 

 

Coming into the Holidaze

weird

12/07/2016   It was a dark and pissy 2 months ago yesterday that I fell and hurt my foot and today is also my granddaughter’s 14th birthday, Happy Birthday Alexah!

I am walking but it’s painful, standing, well, forget it. I think my issue is tendinitis but I’m not a Doc so I’m guessing, and being optimistic that there isn’t a fracture. I have not done any diving or snorkeling yet because I enjoy being able to walk and the pain is enough to still be a deterrent to any new aggravation.

Our company arrived on a semi sunny Saturday, Nov 19th. Early that morning we took Gringo to the vets from Tegus who come to Roatan monthly to find out what was going on with his skin. Dr. Diana did a skin scraping and took some blood from him. The skin scraping showed a bacterial infection and I was positive it was fungal. So much for my veterinary degree. After 2 weeks of new meds he is 95% better and we are thrilled with that. We still bathe him often and have decided to keep him on meds for another 2 weeks. Keeping our fingers crossed.

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Mr. Handsome Gringo was not happy about being at the vets

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We had Bill’s truck (the dog food is in my car) so I couldn’t feed this poor dog.

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Talk about long lunches and crazy hours. Lunch is from 12PM to 2 AM and then they work until 5:30PM. Really Honduras?

We took Gringo home and I drove back into the airport to pick up Julie and Robby. Unfortunately 3 planes landed at the same time and it took them FOREVER to get through immigration. They were happy to be here and hungry, it was probably a bad choice to take them to the grocery store after they landed.

On Sunday morning Julie came with me to Mega Paca. We stayed as long as I was still able to stand. Afterwards we met Bill and Robby @ GiLei’s for coffee and food. Not that I drink coffee, nor does Julie and Robby isn’t a huge fan, but Bill is a coffee guy and the food we had was excellent, we’ll be back for sure.

The weather kind of sucked the first week Robby and Julie were here. It’s been an incredibly rainy winter so far. There’s been so much rain it killed some of my flowers that are in pots. Obviously I’m not keeping a very good eye on them either.

Monday Robby wanted to help Bill who’s helping out a friend and I have no clue what Julie and I did. It may have been a decent day and we may have laid in the sun.

The sun made an appearance on Tuesday so I took R&J down to BJ’s where they got a boat over to the Reef House to do some diving. They only did 1 dive and were waiting for me when I got there to pick them up. They said the viz was mediocre at best. Tuesday eve we went to Cal’s for dinner, excellent as always.

On Wednesday we all started prepping for Thanksgiving dinner. Julie and I baked, peeled and chopped most of Wednesday, even Robby was cooking. Carmen and Brett and Jeanie and Roger, and my friend and Divemaster Guru Eric all joined Robby and Julie and Bill and I for dinner. We had way too much food. I had enough damn mashed potatoes for everyone in this valley. Really I did. I suck at estimating how much food. I was worried a 22# turkey wouldn’t be enough. HA freaking HA! Eric stuck around and we chatted about diving for awhile. I sent him home with a box of food (his wife and kids are in the states and due to his dive business here, he had to miss out on family time). If you plan to learn to dive on Roatan, I can highly recommend Blue Island Divers.  Do your SSI course work in the comfort of your own home and then go see Eric and do your water certification. Diving done right.

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Preparation

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Those 2 big pans, full of potatoes.

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Robby, Julie, Roger and The Duchess (Jeanie)

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Carmen

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He has their attention with turkey scraps.

I tried to do the dishes that night and partially succeeded. Friday was another day.

It rained like hell off and on Friday, just gloomy as crap. Sam and Chelsie and Daniel and Stephanie were coming for dinner. When they got here it wasn’t raining but it was absolutely pouring when they left. It’s the first Stephanie and Daniel have been around the dogs. She and I were out on the porch and they were all excited and barking. Daniel asked if the dogs all had their teeth. Umm, yes they do. Sam’s family owns the Iguana farm and Daniel owns the sloth sanctuary, and they are cousins, and Sam’s wife and Daniel’s girlfriend have been friends for 10 years, Chelsie got Stephanie to move down to Roatan, they are both teachers at the Nuna Academy. We had a really nice evening with all of them, Robby and Julie enjoyed seeing Sam and Chelsie again and well, we always enjoy them and just love Daniel and Stephanie.

Saturday it was semi sunny so we hung out around the pool. Our other friends from Oregon arrived yesterday so they came down today to say hello. I was hoping to be able to dive with Robby and Julie and Liza and Mike but not this trip. Next one for sure.

Sam Arch was in a Wahoo fishing tournament over the weekend at Barefoot Cay. On Sunday they were having a BBQ and the prizes were being awarded. I wanted Robby and Julie to see Barefoot so we went down there around 2. As luck would have it, Sam won the Grand Prize for the largest Wahoo and the first place prize for the most amount of fish caught, weight wise. Everyone except me ate lunch/dinner there and had a few beers. Beautiful day by the water and really happy that Sam won.

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The eating area, we sat under a palapa to be out of the sun.

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I was looking for Sam’s boat but he had already taken it home.

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Chelsie and Sam

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Robby and Julie

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Sam, second from L, Haydee (works at Barefoot) Sam’s fishing buddy and Mr Sherman Arch on the R, Sam’s dad.

Monday was a gorgeous day and that only means one thing, MONDAYS DON’T SUCK at the best private beach on the moon. (It’s a secret and I get shit if I mention where it is) FED Duchess. We packed up some chairs, some food and some booze, a few rafts and headed to the moon. What an incredible place filled with friends all looking for the same thing, an uncomplicated day, minus all stress and hassles of life spent with good friends on our little island paradise on the moon.

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Robby and Roger raking

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The group is in the shade, the sun goddesses moved to be in the sun.

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Carmen, Pam, me and Martina and Dan-o and Molly the dogs.

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The Duchess and Molly

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Some people even came by boat and swam in.

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Julie, Pam and Carmen going for a walk on the beach.

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Proudly flying our flags

Since the weather was co-operating on Tuesday, I offered to take Robby and Julie to Blue Island Divers for some diving. Eric wasn’t their DM that day because he was flying home the next day so they dove with Cole. Cole is awesome, I dove with him a few times, he’s a fun Dive Master. While they were diving I went to Nadia and got my hair colored then went and hung out with Ann until it was time to pick them up. The plan that day was to have Alexi and his sisters, brother and nephew come over and swim and have lunch. Bill picked them up and we ran in the store on the way home and got what we needed. When we got home the kids were in the front yard playing with Bill and Alexi. They came inside and went out to the pool and before you knew it, the young boys were in their undies and in the pool.

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Efraim, Alexi’s little brother and Osman on the raft, (Alexi’s sister Juliana’s son)

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Efraim wringing out his undies

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Juliana and Efraim

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Jessica and Osman

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Alexi

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Efraim using Julie’s camera

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Efraim. Notice his shoes, they don’t fit. His nephew Osman is 2 years younger and bigger than he is.

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Juliana and Jessica hanging out the window

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Yep, Max jumped on the truck hood. Lola joined him but I missed that shot.

Bill made his famous infamous pizza on Wednesday night for dinner, it was yummy as usual. Maybe he should open a pizza joint here.

Thursday I took Julie and Robby back to Blue Island for some more diving. While they were diving I ran and got Gringo more meds then went back and sat at the dive shop and talked to Maria and Elton and the new Dive Master teacher from Greece. When they got done diving we went to the Salty Mango and had lunch, then ran down to see my puppies at Lisa’s house. I haven’t seen Bandit and Sable for several months but they remembered me for sure. Man, I love these puppies.

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Bandit looks so much like Barrio I had to do a double take on this photo.

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Sable, the only girl in Frito’s litter and she’s a feisty one.

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Bandit and Sable. They look different from the other pups because their ears stand up straight and they have smaller bodies than my guys do. Gringo weighs double what Sable does. I’m so glad Lisa has them, she loves these two so much.

Robby and Julie and I headed back east after visiting with Lisa and the pups. Little did I know, Julie had chicken and dumplings cooking in the crock pot, nice surprise and another great meal.

On Friday we all went down to the Buccaneer, a place that recently reopened. There are a few small retail shops in there and they are hoping to get more. They said a restaurant and bar will be opening soon, you can have parties there, meetings or go hang out by the water. Bill and Robby had coffee there and they both thought it was excellent and cheap. Me, I don’t give a rip about coffee, now if it had been wine I would have been all over it.

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The natural swimming pool that Julie and I floated in. However, on Sunday I was told not to swim in that water due to the poor disposal of sewage in that area. UGH.

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Nice long pier.

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Floating in the yucky but clear water.

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Huge swim area.

Friday night we went to Cal’s to eat. He was so busy we hurried and got our orders in before the 2 big tables did. When we got home we sat out front and talked and let the dogs play and tire themselves out. Hah, like that ever happens.

Robby and Julie’s flight was scheduled to leave at 1:30 on Saturday but it got delayed, then delayed more and delayed again. I don’t think they actually got out of RTB until close to 3. Since we had so much time to kill we ran to Blue Island Divers so they could buy shirts. Then it was off for a sweets run to Fresh Bakery. I had the banana chocolate chip cake and ohmygosh it was excellent. I decided to take 2 pieces back to Maria and Elton at the dive shop. We then made our way to RTB. The day I was there to pick them up the line for security leaving was all the way through the airport, this day, not so much. I saw Roger and Jeanie, Liza and Mike and a hundred other people I knew while waiting with them. Once they were in the security line and almost through, I left for home. After a quick stoop at the grocery store I came home and jumped on a raft and floated for awhile.

Of course, Sunday morning was Mega Paca day. I meandered through there for what seemed like hours, then ran to Eldon’s to get peanut butter, which I forgot the day before. I was invited by Milesse to Barefoot Cay to meet the new general managers wife Trisha. Milesse served an excellent lunch along with bottomless mimosas. Very nice afternoon and I met some new friends to boot.

I’ve had a quiet week so far, spent most of it hanging with the dogs, floating in the pool and reading. Today we are going to Brett and Carmen’s so Bill can help Brett with some plumbing {ended up unable to reach the pipes to replace the faucets and showerhead without a demo job}. Tomorrow it’s back to Barefoot Cay for a get together for the airport greeters, should be a fun time, I’m going with Cindy and Cathey.

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Marilyn stopped by Carmen’s while we were there, she is making some curtains, then we rode to her house to look at her pool installation that is happening on Honduras time.

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On the way back to Jessie’s dock.

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Marilyn’s dogs

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At the entrance to one of the mangrove cuts

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Going through the mangroves

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Kids fishing

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And playing

Pretty soon we will be having the Because We Care Christmas parties, there will be at least 4 of them, probably more, depends on how many toys we get donated. Stay tuned for us spreading holiday cheer on this gorgeous rock we call home.

 

 

The “after company” let down

13179325_1264685736893509_4469429168352604729_n06/29/2016 Having company is wonderfully amazing, I really enjoy it, but it’s also a lot of work. I always go out of my way to show my guests a good time, making sure they see the highlights of the island, the must sees and must dos. Sometimes, more often than not, I am successful. I previously had company for almost 3 weeks, then they left, I had a 10 day break and then my youngest son and his friend Maureen came for 10 days. To say I was excited to see him is a bit of an understatement. I stood at the doors to the immigration building on high alert, waiting to catch a glimpse. I told Kevin, an airport employee who was at the door with me, that I was waiting for my son and he kept asking did I see him yet (at least I think that’s what he was saying, my Spanish sucks, as does his English)? I said, when you see tears (pointing to my cheeks) you’ll know it’s him. And yep, I cried when I saw him.

Trace and Maureen had traveled all night to get here, leaving Vancouver, BC, to Calgary, Alberta, spent a good part of the night in the Calgary airport, then Houston to Roatan. It was Trace’s second visit, Maureen’s first. Trace came in Jan 2015 and I think it rained almost every damn day he was here. This visit was the opposite. It was H O T. And H U M I D. Crazy humid.

Our plans were to go to West Bay Beach on Sunday to do some snorkeling and beach it for awhile. We got to the beach around 11 and started snorkeling right away. The first things of interest that I saw were some squid, I think there were 7. They are so cool, they change color if they feel threatened and they do a little “posturing.” Trace and Maureen were not very close to me, the squid were in the sandy shallows, Maureen was putting on her fins and it was just enough of a distraction to ruffle their tail feathers. Just a little bit, they didn’t move so they obviously were not threatened, which is good. I don’t make a habit out of threatening anything, in the sea or on land. Except Scorpions.

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They are Caribbean Reef Squid. They change color and camouflage quite well.

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Seriously, I could float there and watch them forEVAH!

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This was only the beginning of a great discovery day.

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A Christmas Tree Worm farm.

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Blue Tang. This is not Dory.

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Always a great find, this stunningly gorgeous French Angelfish. The yellow flecks almost glow.

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Hanging with the Tangs.

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Mr. Lips, Rainbow Parrot Fish

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Banded Butterfly Fish

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Can you find the Scorpion fish? His tail is black and white and his nose is in the middle left of the photo. Yes, poisonous if you step on him. Another damn good reason to keep your feet up and not stand on or kick the coral.

In all my years of snorkeling and the years that I dove, I never saw a Scorpion fish, they are so well camouflaged. And isn’t it odd that at my age I can find something like that WITHOUT corrective lens. The mysteries never end.

After we snorkeled we went to Bananarama Beach and Dive Resort and hung out, had lunch there too.

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Trace and Maureen

Nights were spent on the roof or the porch. We mostly hung out, ate and talked.

Monday eve there was a Full Moon, Summer Solstice party at Wendy and Andrew’s lovely home situated high on a hillside overlooking the azure North shore in Punta Blanca. There was a large crowd there, nice to visit and chat with everyone. They served Greek chicken and pork souvlaki’s. Excellent. There was a huge variety of other foods there and then Wendy made to TO DIE FOR FLAN CAKE. It was about 24″ in diameter and absolutely perfect. Perfect, not a crumb out of place. I could have laid down on the floor and had someone feed me ALL of that FLAN. You know it must have been good because I rarely speak of food. It doesn’t interest me. We had an excellent meal, hung out until we had to leave to come home and feed the dogs. Yes, I’m the one that leaves the party because my dogs are hungry. It’s their dinnertime. No, they can’t wait.

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Wendy and Andrew’s large porch, it’s beautiful. Trace and Maureen in the lower left.

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Marilyn and I, photo by Maureen, I believe.

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Roger, Jeanie’s husband, and Bill.

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Their view and pool. Pretty nice…

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Francie and Franklin sitting down by the pool. Lovebirds.

The next day we went to the Iguana Farm and checked out the lizards. There were lizards everywhere. Sam said it’s still mating season so they haven’t stopped fighting over the women. Some looked rather battle weary.

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This is a Black Spiny Tailed iguana. They are indigenous to Roatan. This one and all the ones they could find were tagged by National Geo, they are studying them. They have a blue chip in their necks. The Roatan spiny tailed lizards are endangered and protected.

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This is a female Iguana. I’m so excited, I can tell which is which. Every time I go there I learn something new about the Iguanas.

After we left there we went to Little French Key. This is somewhere I stopped going for many reasons but I did want Trace and Maureen to enjoy it. I’ll be going again with Chance and the girls. I was obviously un-enthused since I only took 1 photo while there.

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Maureen jumping off the Bottom’s Up Bar ledge.

That evening we went to Isery, the closed nightclub that was owned and financed by a big shot with the Sinaloa drug cartel. We planned on just taking pics but the guard gave us the grand tour. And I mean tour, we saw every inch of that place. A freaking mazing.

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ISERY, the club that never was.

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In the US something like this rigging would never be allowed, especially at a bar. This is an insurance nightmare.

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And it was easy to get to if you wanted to climb it. I could very quickly have accessed it. I didn’t.

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Authentic right down to the portholes

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Mural in one of the several bars

We were given tickets to opening night, which never happened, shot glasses and maybe a turtle.

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a ticket

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I blocked out the guy who gave it to me, don’t want him shot by anyone over a partially rotted turtle. Hence the name is Sinaloa.

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They obviously had a load of fireworks. Good thing they are illegal here.

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Trace

It was really interesting inside of there, I think this place will end up vandalized to the point that it collapses. Maybe that’s wishful thinking. It’s an eyesore.

One morning Trace, Maureen and I walked out on Oak Ridge Bight, the kids walked to the end and I stopped and chatted with Sandy Byrd. After that we went and found Everald for a Mangrove tour.

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen

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Photo by Maureen of our guide Everald.

Wednesday eve we all went to Cal’s for dinner. Haven’t been for a few weeks, although, we stopped earlier that day and I cleaned his cats ears. The view was great, a beautiful night, I am such a slacker lately with photos, I apologize. I think I get burned out.

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My only photo at Cal’s

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Thursday we rode out to La Sirena. Trace and Maureen rode in the back like rednecks on their collapsible chairs. We stopped at Roger and Jeanie’s on the way out. I wanted T & M to see their house, named Hell with a View. It’s so cool! We won’t mention the sunburned tops of their feet from riding in the truck. Their idea. .

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Barbon Beach

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La Sirena, the sign is right. Also, the BEST onion rings.

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T & M

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This beach girl needs some TLC. I planned to go out Monday but we ended up laying low and keeping T & M out of the sun. She is starving and has a sore ear and recently had puppies. She needs spayed desperately.

Friday was BJ’s and the day before my friend Marilyn left the island for 2 months. I had to go to see her before she went to the US. Trace, Maureen and I drove out to Pandytown to see if school was in session, it wasn’t, so we just headed to BJ’s. They had quite a good crowd and as usual, it’s always fun to be there.

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Trace and Maureen taking pics.

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Marilyn

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Selfie by Maureen, love this photo of the two of them.

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Marilyn, Me, Trace and Maureen. Thanks Andrew for taking the pic.

That evening Trace and Maureen had Bill drop them at Cal’s for dinner. They ended up getting their food to go because the flies were so bad and they walked home and ate here. There must have been a hatch, they’re not usually very bad.

Sunday was funday at The Reef House resort. We got to BJ’s around 1 and were waiting for a boat to take us over when John and Debbie passed by. They stopped and picked us up and we were off for a day of fun in the water. I was extremely happy because my partner in crime has returned to the island, the Duchess of Camp Bay is back!

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Franklin, Mike and Francie. Nice legs Francie!!

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If ever there were sirens, we would be them. Francie, Jeanie and me.

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All with matching rafts

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Trace, chilling

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Scotty C (who provided the music for the day) and Jeanie doing yoga with Kathy looking on.

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And we planked, of course. Karen, Barbie, Kathy, me and Jeanie

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Yep, the water is that blue.

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If only I knew what the hell Gail and Francie were doing.

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Serious trouble in the tie dyed shirt with more trouble looking over his shoulder. Kelly and Terry.

Monday was Mondays Don’t Suck but the kids had enough sun and wanted to just hang out here instead of going anywhere. Since it was their last day here, that’s just what we did.

The day guests leave is always a drag. You sit around and wait for the time to take them to the airport. Their flight was at 1 so we got to the airport around 11 and the United line was long, as was the immigration line to leave. Once they were checked in we ran into Coxen Hole to the meat market and got dog meat. Well, meat for the dogs, 3# of heart and liver. That should keep the boys and girl well fed for awhile.

We then took the kids back to the airport and through tears I said good bye. More than anything in the world I hate saying goodbye to my kids. I wish they were here or I was there, I never ever get tired of being with them and miss them so damn much.

We were in Madeyso waiting to buy screws and bolts and stuff when I heard their plane fly over on it’s way back to the USA.

In 2 weeks Chance and his family will be here, I am so excited for that. We can’t wait to see the girls. It will be their first island visit, hopefully the first of many!

I’ll leave with a few pics of the water dogs. Oh my gosh, they LOVE the pool.

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Gringo, Barrio and Max

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Barrio and Max, they fight even when they are swimming.

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If you’re not going in the pool, you have to stay out. Highway loves to swim but has a hard time getting up the steps so he stays out. And whines.

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Otters

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A lucky shot (no skill involved) of Barrio

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Barrio and Gringo

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Barrio

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Fabulous mangoes, thanks Jaw!

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Some dogs sleep with stuffed toys, mine sleep with coconuts.

I’ll leave you with this post I found on VRBO about a house that is for rent here on the island. Seriously? You post this on VRBO? Obviously this homeowner has a serious issue with prostitutes. My question is: How do they determine if someone is a prostitute? Medical exam before you can rent? Police record? I died laughing a few times over this. What if their grandmother WAS a prostitute but stopped hooking, is she allowed to stay there?

Only guests disclosed to us are eligible to stay on the property. If the property is already at the maximum, the guests will be asked to leave by security no exceptions. If the property is not at its maximum, and “additional” guests arrive, the per guest fee changes from $55 to $100/per night per guest. Prostitutes are not allowed to be at the property at any time. No exceptions.

I’ll be back soon, I’ve got more to say about something very ugly.

Bolivia invades Roatan

friends06/10/2016 As I stated in my last post, Olivia (Bolivia to us) arrived on Roa on 5/29. It was not her first time here, it was visit #4. She and I came in 2010 and then she, Teri, Bill and I came in 2011 & 2012. However, it’s been awhile since she has been here. Teri has been here twice since the last time O was so she has seen much more of the island. This time I wanted to make sure Olivia got the grand tour, especially now that I am no longer an island virgin, so to speak.

The day Teri left Olivia and I ran some errands, then stopped at Mega Paca (of course we did) and got some groceries at Eldon’s. Once home we went down to John’s pool to cool off. Gee, I wish I had a POOL.

Wednesday morning we were headed to Barefoot Cay for the day. On the way we stopped at Arch’s Iguana Farm so Olivia could meet my pet dinosaurs. They aren’t actually pets but if you have a big leaf in your hand to feed them, they will follow you anywhere. Preston gave O and I each a leaf, she held it down to the iguanas but when they got close she dropped it and backed up. That was close enough for her. I finally overcame my fear and loathing of them crawling all over my bare feet and just let them have at it. At one point there were two laying on my feet, if felt weird because their bellies were so warm from laying on the concrete sidewalks. I did it though, Gail will be proud of me because she teases me that I have been there so many times, I should be used to the iguanas crawling on me. Is that something people normally get used to??

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Lizard lady in my new Mermaid on Duty top that Olivia brought me.

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They are on my feet

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Taking my pet iguana for a walk (thanks Olivia for the pics)

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Olivia kept her distance.

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Just a few of the 3000+ that live there.

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Coco has her tail wrapped around Olivia’s wrist.

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We saw these guys going at it when we came up from the water. No, it’s not iguana sex..

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It’s two males fighting, it is mating season. You can tell they are males by the large sacs on the sides of their faces. That is muscle used to control their jaws. If one of them wanted to lop off your finger it could, but they aren’t aggressive, except to each other when brawling over a female. I’ve seen them with bloody faces, missing tails, missing toes, rips on their heads. If their tail gets ripped off where it is tan, it grows back all tan, if it gets ripped off in a black area, it grows back black. Easy way to tell if they have lost their tail recently. See, I’m learning about the dinosaurs iguanas.

After the iguana farm we went to Barefoot Cay, a perfectly gorgeous boutique resort that my sweet friend owns. This resort is the ultimate in luxury, every detail has been thought out and planned for. To get to the resort you have to take a barge across a small waterway to the exclusively private and stunningly decorated cay.

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The pool

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The walkway to the palapa, great snorkeling there.

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Olivia getting her gear on

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Sunken vehicle, artificial reef

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Butterfly fish

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Gorgeous creamy white star coral.

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Under the palapa

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Zillions of tiny fishies

I was having a bad goggle day. It seems there was something on my lens, after spitting in it 50 times, I was too frustrated to keep going. I couldn’t see anything. Olivia and I hung out by the pool for awhile and had a yummy lunch at the restaurant. It was a perfect relaxing day on Roatan, surrounded by such beauty, BFC just amazes me.

The next day we headed east to Oak Ridge. I pulled into Lulu’s lot looking for Emerald, the Rasta boat tour guy but he wasn’t around. O and I met another tour guy so he picked us up at BJ’s and took us for an hour long mangrove tour. The mangroves are pretty special here on the island. Many many years ago the waterways were cut in the mangroves by the Paya Indians as a way to travel from place to place without venturing out into the open sea. It’s really beautiful in the mangrove tunnels.

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Leaving BJ’s, the boat tied up there belongs to friends.

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Twitter is everywhere.

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A parrot at a house along the water.

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Czech Village, Jonesville Point

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Through the tunnels we go

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The boat’s roof was like an old psychedelic light show..

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There are 3 different types of Mangroves, red, white and black. Honestly, they all looked the same to me.

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Natures finest swimming pool

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Close to my friend Marcia’s

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Headed back

We were dropped off at the Reef House by the tour guy. Olivia and I had drinks and hung out chatting with Davey and Keith. Then we had some lunch and floated in the water. There is a nice shallow pool there too, lots of little fish and I’ve found a few sea urchin shells there.

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Another beautiful Roatan day spent with friends.

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What a view

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The two white houses in the center of the mountain, (on the ocean) belong to 2 friends. They have spectacular locations.

We had Jimmy take us back to BJ’s around 4:30. Bill and I were going to Alexi’s 1st Q graduation that night. It started at 6 and like everything else here, it didn’t begin on time. We were standing out front with him before it began and I asked if his mom was coming. He said no, she doesn’t care. We told him that wasn’t true, she was just busy. His mom and step dad opened an illegal bar in their home and have drunks hanging around all night long. Not a great environment to have a 4 and a 6 year old kid in. UGH.. Alexi was very excited that we were there to see him recite his poem in English. He had to memorize it and was struggling pronouncing the words. . It was only 4 sentences but that’s a big deal for him. He nailed it. I wanted to jump up on the church pew and yell yeehaw, but I stopped myself from embarrassing him, and Bill.

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The church was beautiful, all white inside, nice big ceiling fans, spotlessly clean. I went up to talk to Alexi’s teacher afterwards and thanked her. I was surprised she remembered my name from passing out TOM’s shoes a few weeks ago.

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Our un-adopted son, far left. He told me on Tuesday that he would rather be here than anywhere else. I said it’s the WiFi isn’t it? He laughed and said “not really”..

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Alexi reciting his lines

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These 3 guys got perfect attendance rewards, Alexi on the R

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Showing his graduation certificate. His report card was really good too, lowest score was 94.

That lasted until 7, luckily it was close to home because we had hungry dogs and we were starving too. I noticed at the ceremony that Alexi needs black socks and a new white shirt. We will be going shopping before school begins again.

Friday is of course BJ’s. I mean where else do you go on a Friday afternoon to see your friends and listen to some music? Olivia and I went to John’s pool in the morning and swam for awhile, it was another blistering warm day on the rock. We left for BJ’s around 1:30. I was bummed that Marilyn wasn’t there, I wanted to introduce Olivia to her. During the band break I asked Alex where she was. He said he would take us over to see her when he was done, we were up for it. Then he decided to quit early so we paid for our drinks and fries and jumped in his boat, bound for the Calabash Bight Yacht Club epicenter.

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View from the Calabash Bight Yacht Club AKA Alex and Marilyn’s home.

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Boat ride to get there, no road, water access only.

Poor Marilyn was not expecting company but she was as gracious as always. We had some wine and chatted with her for awhile before Alex ran us back to BJ’s to get our car and go home.

Bill made pizza on Friday evening, so yummy. I could eat it every week, too bad it’s a pain to make the crust! Luckily we had leftovers for dinner on Saturday night.

Olivia’s time on Roatan was drawing to a close, last full day on the rock. We decided to make it a West Bay day and went to the beach early Saturday morning. There were very few people there. We snorkeled as soon as we got there. I scrubbed my mask before we left with soapy water and got whatever it was off the lens that was clouding it up, visibility was restored. We were amazed at the number of fish in the water. In my 9 years of snorkeling here I have NEVER seen so many fish. {My friend Marcia snorkeled by her house on Sunday and said the same thing, must have been a hatch or bloom of something drawing the fish out} It was like being in a huge aquarium, simply amazing. There was a lot of little stuff in the water, seemed like someone poured a giant can of fish food in the sea. Maybe Amanda’s handsome Irish Colombian knows what it was???

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Barracuda, always think of the song by Heart when I see a Barracuda.

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Christmas Tree worms

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Feather duster

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Spanish Hogfish

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One of my all time favorite fish, Parrotfish

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Sea scene

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Stoplight Parrotfish

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The sea was alive with fish, hundreds everywhere we looked. Lots and lots of tiny fish.

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Each speck is a fish

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My own aquarium

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Blue Tang

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Olivia

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Blurry but lots of fish

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You can see all the particles in the water

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A group of grunts, lower left

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Coral

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Tangs, must have seen 4 schools of them. Note the one with fish lips left center.

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More tangs

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And they are off..

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So awful to have to spend a day here. NOT.

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The crowds were annoying. NOT

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We watched several people on the fly boards. some were good, some sucked..

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O chilling and watching the Parasails and flyboards

We stopped at Rusty Fish art on our way home and Olivia bought some stuff. I thought it was for her but the wall art was for my Rusty Fish wall. Pics to follow soon, Bill still has to hang one on the concrete. Thank you Olivia.

Sunday we hung around here until it was time to take Olivia to the airport. I was sad to see her leave but I didn’t cry like I did when Teri and Frito left..

I forgot to mention that Teri tried to take Frito’s favorite rock with her on the plane. they confiscated it at security. Hysterical! Sure someone could use a rock as a weapon but they could also use a 4″ stiletto. Poor Frito had to fly to Washington state, rock less.

So ended my 3 weeks with good friends. I stopped at Mega Paca on the way home and found a S’well water bottle for $2.00. They normally sell for $40.00. Score.

Monday I cleaned off the shelves in the bedroom, reorganized and re-folded everything. Then Alex and Marilyn came over so I could give Alex some help starting a blog for his Roatan Buyers Agent information. Unfortunately, they brought wine and we somehow drank 2 bottles in no time at all. That could be the reason Alex’s blog link wasn’t working properly.

I was a blogging fool last week, publishing 3 blogs in 3 days and here I am at it again. I had lots to talk about and have been really lousy lately at keeping things up to date.

The construction around here will be done soon. The garage is almost done, patio is poured and pool is in the works. Its been a long grueling 6 months of dirt, trucks, piles of sand, cement dust, cinder blocks, noise, workers {at one point there were 25 men working here} and blocking the dogs off so they don’t terrify the workers. Maybe once it’s done and we get stone in the driveway and then it rains, the dust will be minimized and I will be less stressed because of it. Maybe.

On Thursday Marcia, Jan and I went to Cattleya to help organize books. I totally thought we were doing the books for the kids at school there but what needed done was emptying a store room of books and boxing them. It was rather overwhelming. We pulled all the kids books that we could find and boxed them. I told Connie I would come back and do the rest when she got all the boxes of books out of the room, currently it’s too crowded to even work in there.

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Marcia, me and Jan. Thanks Ladies for your help!

Here it is Friday already. I’m not going to BJ’s, too much happening here and I need to keep an eye on the dogs. I work at the airport tomorrow and again Wed and next Saturday. Trace arrives next Saturday on the last flight. Once he gets in and through immigration we will be on our way home. I’m so excited to see him. A month from today Chance, Alecia and the girls come. It’s going to be so much fun to see them and to show the girls around the island, to take them snorkeling for the first time, I think they are going to love it here!

We have been blessed with so many friends and family visiting us, the icing on the cake is seeing the boys. In August I am going to Maryland to see my folks, looking forward to that too, except for the traveling through San Pedro Sula and El Salvador..Hope you all are enjoying your summer so far, I sure am!

P.S. A shout out to Teri B for replenishing my Damiana Liqueur stock. If you’ve never tried Damiana, go to the liquor store and get it. You’re welcome.

 

It’s a sweet gig

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03/15/2016 My niece’s daughter Jillian and her friend Caeli arrived on Saturday afternoon. Since I was tied to the airport I had Bill pick them up and take them to the grocery store before they came back here. I got home around 5 and de-stressed for a bit before we got the girls some dinner.

Sunday morning we were all awake bright and early for another day of adventure on the Radical Catamaran EXPAT day. There was supposed to be a full boat but approx. 10 people cancelled due to the weather. Both of the girls were really excited and looking forward to the day. I have to say I was very lucky to be able to go two Sundays in a row. We started out sitting outside, enjoying the scenery until just outside of Oak Ridge, it started to rain. And it rained hard for a little while. Most of the people were under cover, eating cookies and muffins. The sea was a little rough then too. As we neared the first snorkel spot the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. I told the girls the guys from the boat would pick up on them right away and as soon as we hit the water, they had personal tour guides.

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Jillian and Caeli at the start of the 7 hour day.

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Snorkeling the cow with the guys from the boat.

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Tube coral, this same shot may be in my last blog too.

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Christmas Tree Worms

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You can see the actual worm in these photos. It’s the flat thing closest to the coral, the trees are appendages on the worms back.

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Intermediate blue tang

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A cluster of feather dusters

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More flamingo tongues. The Flamingo Tongue (Cyphoma gibbosum) grows to an inch (25 mm) long. Its shell is cream-colored, but can only be seen when the animal is disturbed, as under normal circumstances it is covered by a fleshy, yellow-to-orange mantle decorated with numerous irregular, black-edged spots. If the Flamingo Tongue is disturbed or stressed, it withdraws its mantle tissue. Only then does its attractive cream-colored shell become visible. (Coral Magazine)

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weird coral

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Not a clue but I think it was alive..

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Feather dusters, they retreat into the little hollow tubes when disturbed.

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Obsessed.

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Banded Butterfly fish

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urchin

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Coral is so fascinating, I could (and have) snorkeled for hours.

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Sea Rods

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red coral

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A Flamingo tongue on a sea rod. I usually see them on sea fans. This looks like the covering is partially retracted.

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Barrel Sponge, I think??

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A smooth trunkfish, it was so gorgeous!

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Another barrel.

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Spiny blue seastars on the tube coral

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Everyone else was back at the boat, hanging around in the water or on the boat. I was still snorkeling around the south side of the cow and decided to swim out to sea more. I am so glad I did. It was a different world out there. The coral was bigger and more dense, there was a larger variety of fish and I saw this guy lurking about. I started to swim closer to look, not wanting to get too close and he started to move so I moved too, quickly. I knew it wasn’t a green moray, duh, because the damn thing had spots. But I’ve seen spotted morays before and this looked different. Then again, who am I to say, I’m not an expert. It was a gorgeous eel, probably around 2′ long.

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People vacation here. I live here.

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Caeli, about as big as a minute..

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So, story is, when Capt’n Ron comes on the Radical Cat, Ed brings him a nice big chair. Someone (Rob B) changed Ron to Rob. However he used the incorrect color of marker. The evidence was blatant.

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Really Rob?? Too funny!

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It was dark and ominous that morning and again coming back at night. We did get dumped on for a little while but then it stopped, the sun came out and it was gorgeous.

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A fun group of people!

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Caeli

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Jill talking with a group of ladies who came to Jazzercize on the beach, or something like that.

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My friend Kathy

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Rain cells off in the distance

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Didn’t realize how dark the sky was until looking at these photos!

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Coming back into Oak Ridge/Pandytown.

Monday was the day with the least amount of cruise ships on the island so we headed for West Bay Beach. I was able to snag chairs at Bananarama for 1/2 price because I sweet talked the guy. They are all so nice there anyhow. It wasn’t very sunny and we kept hoping for the sun to break through the clouds and bless us with sunshine but that didn’t happen until we were half way home. Jill and I snorkeled, I took her out through the channel and to the deeper water then swam up towards black rock and along it. Great array of fish but what was the best was the huge parrot fish that was almost posing for me.

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Parrot Fish

Parrot Fish are a recycling machine. They turn coral and rock into fine sand in the process of grazing algae from them. This particular one is called a Stoplight Parrotfish.

Gorgeous fish! The colors were brilliant.

Parrot Fish and a blue head.

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Under the sea

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Not sure of the fish here, blue is a blue tang, I think the one with yellow is a spotfin butterfly fish, the other may be a brown chromis.

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Bluestriped grunt

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Stoplight parrotfish in the red phase.

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Squirrelfish

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An elusive Doctorfish

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Needlefish

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Mr Parrotfish showing his denture like teeth, all the better to graze the coral..

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Fishes

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Caeli was exploring the beach while Jill and I snorkeled.

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Lobster

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I think this is a schoolmaster snapper, but not positive..

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Another stoplight parrotfish

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Sergeant majors. These guys nibble on you because the stupid tourists feed them. Fish don’t need fed, they have their own eco-system. Feeding them is not cool.

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Caeli and Jill at Bananarama

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The sea as far as you can see

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Jill’s chilling..

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Bye bye United # 1434

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Perfection in blue

When we were done snorkeling we drove to West End and parked. I wanted to go to the Shawn Jackson Gallery and the girls wanted to do a little shopping. I bought the coveted Faces of Roatan book at Shawn’s gallery. After that I called Lisa and Rob to see if we could stop and see Bandit and Sable on our way back down island.

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Bandit, he’s the swimmer and spends his free time swimming around the pool.

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Bandit

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Getting some loving from Bandit.

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Sable got in on it too. These two pups were meant to be together, they are side by side 24/7. So grateful Rob and Lisa gave them good homes.

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Sable baby!

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Double loving. Bandit is marked like Barrio and Sable looks like Max, except my two have floppy ears and these two have pointy ears.

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I was in dog heaven.

The next day we went to Mega Paca where Caeli scored a Burberry sweater for 28 LPS, about $1.00 and Jill got some cute tops. Then we went to the Iguana Farm. We went down to the water and checked out the huge tarpon and other fish and admired the stunning view of French Cay.

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Big old male

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Enjoying the sunshine.

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Another lizard on the wall of Sam and Chelsie’s house.

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Coco drinking some gatorade.

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Beautiful

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Jillian

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Jill and Caeli

After there we went to Parrot Tree and hung out at the 320′ long pool. It was pretty nice, very few people around at all. We swam, floated, napped and ate there.

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Jillian

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Jill under the waterfall.

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Caeli and Jillian

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Me and Jillian

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I love this pool!

On Wednesday we picked up Nidia and two guys and then met Rosalie and Bob and Bill and Alexi across from the airport. We were taking the new picnic table that Kelly Flowers built for Doña Maria to her. The table he so kindly made will last her for the rest of her life. Until now, she had no table to grind her corn on or to sit and have a cup of coffee.

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The hired muscles practically ran up the path to Doña Maria’s house.

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Nidia and Doña Maria

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Nidia’s brother, one of our muscle guys looking at the food Bob and Rosalie brought for Doña Maria.

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Nidia’s brother, Nidia, Caeli, Jill and Maria

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Showing her the goodies Rosalie and Bob brought her.

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A hug from Rosalie

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Caeli, Maria and Jill

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Baby chicks

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Doña Maria’s one room home. Bob said he wouldn’t spend 1 night there. Me neither.

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Alexi went along in case we needed more muscle. He is teasing the chickens here..

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Bob and Rosalie with Maria. It’s kind of funny, she is always smiling but when you take her photo she’s not..

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The girls and I with Maria. I took photos of her when we took her to get her hair done and this trip I gave her the pictures. She couldn’t stop looking at them, I’m sure they were the first photos of herself that she has ever had.

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Nidia, Abuela (what Nidia calls Maria, it means grandmother) and Nidia’s sweet brother.

What a rewarding day, everyone enjoyed meeting Doña Maria and are all ready to go back and see her. My next visit I am taking corn for the chickens, some chicken meal and of course, cold coca cola. My friend Ann has some chairs and cushions for her so I’ll more than likely get her to go along with me. It’s so sweet how people want to help Maria, she has so little and when we give her things, we benefit more from the giving that she does receiving. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Thank you Kelly for making the table, a perfectly honorable gesture from a pirate like you.

Thursday we were planning to snorkel with Eduardo, my friend the cop. Wednesday evening he messaged me that he was on the mainland and wouldn’t be home until Saturday. The girls and I went to Barefoot Cay anyhow. The plan was to snorkel and float in the calm protected area near the palapa. With the wind blowing, there was NO calm protected water. The winds were howling and the sea was churning. The current was so strong that we would have been swept to West Bay in no time, maybe even off to Utila or Belize. We stayed at the pool the majority of the day, it was so peaceful and relaxing.

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View from the pool, there was a huge boat anchored there too.

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Seating area by pool

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The pool is amazing

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The walk out to the palapa

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So pretty but look at the hammocks! They were upside down from the wind.

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Waves breaking on the reef

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Getting some strong waves

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Fabulous table made with hand made tiles.

Friday was the last full day on the island and we were planning a trip to the school in Pandytown, then going to Camp Bay to eat at La Sirena and ending up at BJ’s of course. We drove out to Pandytown and stopped along the way when we saw little boys playing by the road. I had a full bag of Hot Wheels cars that were brought down by my friends John and Lizeth Fowler. The first place we stopped the boys were sitting along the road. The one looks like he was going to cry but he was happy, honest! Next stop there was a small boy standing on the table while his mother scrubbed clothes in a basin. He was very excited to get a car.

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Spanish Hill going into Oak Ridge

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Cute cute cute!! So cute, he got 2.

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How can these little boys be so darn cute?

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This little boys mother was doing laundry when we stopped. She was really nice, spoke perfect English.

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These 3 came from the blue house in the background.

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The girls at La Sirena

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Caeli eating Jill’s rum punch laden pineapple.

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Wall art

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I really love la Sirena. EXCEPT, I went there for onion rings and they were out of onions. I cried, well almost and the waiter magically got an onion from somewhere!!

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We met this dog is 2012, he was a puppy and looked like Highway did as a pup. His name is Diego and he is much bigger than Highway is now.

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The pristine end of the island

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Another friendly dog

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La Sirena has a new sign

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The girls with Miss Piggy

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We were on the beach when someone said, I’ll take your picture Deb. It was my friend Jill, so thanks Jill for snapping this photo of the 4 of us.

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The turn off to Camp Bay

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We made it to BJ’s while the band was still playing. My sandals broke at a school in Pandy town so I was barefoot the rest of the day which isn’t a big deal except I hate having dirty feet. I think the girls had their fill of Rum Punches, laying on the dock is not a normal adventure for BJ’s. Now planking, that is normal for BJ’s.

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Next thing I know, they are going for a boat ride with Keri and Doug’s neighbor in their boat. Caeli left her sandals on the dock, luckily Evereld picked them up and took them to the bar.

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The Banditos, missing Alex

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Kathy, doing an Irish jig.

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Evereld’s rasta boat.

All in all, I think they had a great time, they met a lot of people, went a lot of places and saw things they have never seen before. We came home Friday evening and miraculously found stuff to eat. The girls did some packing and we all went to be early.

I had to work at the airport again on Saturday so they rode in with Cindy and I. It took them forever to get checked in and by the time they were done I had to go inside to get ready for the first flight. I hugged them both good bye and they were off, until the next time.

Before I close, I met a new friend at the airport, her name is Chris O’Dell. She is not just ANY Chris O’Dell. She used to work for Apple Records in London and personally knows / knew all of the Beatles, Yoko, The Stones, Dylan, Clapton. She sang in the chorus of Hey Jude, she was on the roof for the Beatles last ever concert as a group, she is the real deal. George Harrison even wrote a song about her called Miss O’Dell. She wrote a book by the same name, I am slowly reading it, absorbing and processing every word she utters. I get to see this woman every Saturday. I am in utter awe. Check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/Miss-ODell-Nights-Beatles-Clapton/dp/1416590943/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1458086626&sr=1-1&keywords=miss+odell

Since I have nothing that tops that, I’m outta here..

Dogs, Cats, Iguanas and a Parrot..oh my!

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03/13/016 It’s been a long time, hope I can remember how to do this blog thing. I have been so busy and exhausted when I get home that blogging is the last thing on my mind. Actually, there is nothing on my mind.

Aside of the airport insanity which I won’t bother even discussing because it makes me tired thinking about it, it’s been a busy few weeks.

The vets from Helping Paws Across Borders came on Feb 27th. It was a nightmare at the airport the day they arrived because a vet on the island had their meds confiscated. It took until Monday afternoon to get them back. Sunday I had arranged a day on the Radical Catamaran for the group. It was a beautiful day to be out on the water. Everyone that was here except for the group organizer and her daughter joined in on the fun.

The water wasn’t as clear as it normally was because it had been monsoon season a few days prior to the sail, things were still settling in the sea. Despite that, I got some great photos.

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Just leaving Oak Ridge. Sue, the lady in pink had both of her bags go missing. Luckily my friend Ana found them at the airport and delivered them Sunday evening, a day after they arrived. Better late than never.

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Tube coral

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Finally, a Flamingo Tongue. It’s a snail and I read that the leopard marking (tongue) retracts into the shell if you touch it. Amazing.. 

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Sea Fan

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My addiction, Christmas Tree Worms

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More tube coral

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Banded Butterfly Fish

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Guess I’m addicted to this tube coral too

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More worms

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Sue, Tiffany and Mike

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Sail up

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Donna, what a sweet lady!!

gorgeous sky

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Dr. Adena, Dr. Danny, MC, Rob and Sue

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Donna and Linda, two ladies staying at a friend’s in Parrot Tree. Both Donna and Linda are excellent vet tech’s. They and several other techs monitored the animals as they came out of surger, constantly moving the animals from side to side to make sure they woke soon after their surgery.

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Darrin, Darryl, Dr Adena, MC and Steph. A great bunch of dog loving people.

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Donna, Linda and her husband Mike. They all were staying at Parrot tree. Sue is in pink. I got to know Donna, Linda, Mike and Dr Danny better than the others after driving them around for 4 days. Really awesome people.

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The group enjoying the day.

The next day I picked Dr Danny and Mike up and took them to the iguana farm to look at an older iguana with a lump on his leg. Luckily they found the iguana while we were there, the lizards are not in enclosures, they wander free, thousands of them.

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It is mating season and the males were aggressive towards each other.

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Yes, they climb stairs with ease.

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This is a black spiny tailed iguana. They are indigenous to Roatan. National Geographic did a show at Arch’ s Iguana Farm and also tagged the black spiny tails (turquoise blue on neck) while there to monitor them. This species are meat eaters. Green Iguanas are not.

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Female green iguana and a black spiny tail

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Soaking up the rays

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Iguanas everywhere. The male iguanas have large muscle sacks on the sides of their faces. They enable them to open their jaws up pretty far and if your finger happens to get in the way, well, it won’t be pretty.

A vet and a tech were going to go there and remove the lump from the iguanas leg but the owners decided to allow nature to do it’s thing, especially since he was such an old guy.

The next two days I picked up the gang at Parrot tree and we went to the clinic. They were setting up and we were checking in patients.

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The group setting up

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Paca, a young man who is paid by his neighbors to bring their dogs for treatment. He is holding Flat P for my friends granddaughter.

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Another young cutie holding Flat P.

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HPAB

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TICKS!!!

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When we checked this guy in he had on a t-shirt that said Once a Pirate, Always a Pirate. I jokingly told Douglas to tell him I wanted his shirt. I was in the parking lot giving some dogs water when he approached me. He had gone home and changed his shirt and brought me the pirate shirt. I insisted he allow me to give him some $$ for the shirt. He made my day.

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MC and Dr Danny

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Lou, Donna and Linda doing their angel thing..recovery unit

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Two cuties

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Doggie in a bag

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Polly wanted wormed, they don’t worm birds.

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Part of the crowd.

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cuties

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Dr Adena and a customer

The first day we saw over 70 animals and the 2nd day almost double that. I could only do 2 days, I had company coming Saturday, airport duty Friday and Sat and a cleaning lady only 1 of those days. I cleaned a lot, both levels had to be done and the downstairs had been used as Bill’s workshop storage. It came out looking pretty good. Sat. I got to the airport at 11:30 and guests began arriving at 12:30. My nieces daughter Jillian (her sister Jen was here last June) and her college roommate Caeli arrived for a week. I greeted them at the airport and Bill picked them up so I could continue working until all the flights got in. It was a long day. I got home around 5:30. Once I took some time to chill out we made some dinner for the girls. It was the beginning of an adventure filled week.

Our gate was delivered but there was a miscommunication between Bill and Jose. Bill thought Jose was cutting the concrete for the metal gate track to go in, Jose thought Bill was. Bill cut it in, now we are waiting for Jose to come and install it and we will have a gate.

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They did a really nice job.

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It’s big and not easy to move around.

I’m breaking this in to 2 blogs, a separate one for the week I sent with Jill and Caeli. I’ll leave you with this fabulous story and picture. My friend Jessie and I worked together at Peoples Bank for a few years. She always made me laugh with her craziness. Recently she posted this photo on FB, look at it closely.

Remember that one time we cooked the sink drain with the turkey...... Said only us.

Her caption was Cole cooked a turkey. And then she commented: remember-that-one-time-we-cooked-the-sink-drain-with-the-turkey-said-only-us.

I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at this and cracked up. Only you Jessie, only you!!

I’ll be back soon..