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.

 

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06/06/2016 Obviously my absence indicates that I’ve been busy living the island lifestyle. And, oh what a life it is. I am so happy I figured out how to live this life I have been blessed with.

My BFF from WA. arrived the 19th, it is her 5th trip here with us. I went to Nadia’s in Sandy Bay to do something about my wretched roots (I went brown with blonde highlights, we’ll see what this looks like when it grows out) and when I was done there I had a meeting at the airport and was there to meet Teri when she arrived. We made a few stops before we got home. Teri was tired so we hung out here and just chilled. She had not see the house yet so we had a few (sic) drinks and caught up on life.

Teri is a cancer survivor and a tough lady. I have not seen her since her diagnosis and surgeries. She has been through a lot in the last 2 years and I feel bad I wasn’t closer so I could have been there for her. She does have a great family and lots of friends so she didn’t go through the cancer and surgery alone. Still. She is now cancer free so this trip was a celebration for sure. Celebrating seeing her and the fact that she is cancer free. Like I said, tough lady. A survivor.

Teri was staying in our downstairs condo for guests and along with the condo you got a dog for a companion. Frito was living downstairs because she wanted to rip Lola’s face off. Frito is a survivor too, pregnant, found by me and rescued, leg amputated and 1 month later has 7 healthy puppies. Survivor to the max. They bonded instantly and Bam! Frito was sleeping with Teri. OK, back to the other story, this one will be competed in another blog. (you know you’ll have to see what happens)

On Friday morning as soon as Alexi got here we went to the soccer field at Froylan Turcios, a school in our area. We had 2 sets of soccer jerseys to pass out to the kids there. We had been in touch with the coach and he was very eager to have them. Many thanks to Dave and Trish Symons for ALWAYS bringing things to the island for the kids and the clinics. They have brought (and given to me to distribute) so many soccer uniforms, many of the island kids have been blessed with their gifts. They also gave me some soccer balls, almost new. Brand new compared to what these kids have.

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Their eyes got huge when Alexi kicked the new ball onto the field.

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Starting to pass out the uniforms.

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Teri B with the kids

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Me passing out goodies.

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These kids were so excited, I got several hugs.

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HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY

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The 2 teams, nice kids, very appreciative.

We took Alexi with us because the coach doesn’t speak English, always nice to have an interpreter. The coach was extremely grateful for the uniforms and said that he would keep them in his possession and only pass them out at games. There was even a coach’s uniform for him, I doubt he has ever had one. Thank you Trish and Dave!

I am a firm believer that if kids are involved in extra-curricular activities, such as soccer, they are less likely to go down the wrong path that seems to be the easiest path on this island to follow. We are keeping a close eye on Alexi, the 17 year old who has adopted us. He would much rather be here than home (I tell myself it’s not just because of the wi-fi) and has told us that many times. I am always buying him clothes at Mega Paca and he is very grateful for anything we give him. We spend time with him, encourage him, support him in his school endeavors and tell him all the time that he must learn to read and write English (that’s what he is going to school for.) He speaks English and Spanish but can barely read or write Spanish and has no English reading or writing skills, he is another lost soul due to the inadequate education the island kids receive. What the hell will these kids do when they finish school? Where will they ever find a job? Manual labor is their only option, we want more for Alexi. We are encouraging him to learn to read and write English in the hopes he can get a job on a cruise ship and do some traveling. It’s much better than the job situation here and the only way he will ever get off of this island.

Recently my car horn has begun randomly beeping. It happens mostly when I’m coming up our driveway. The other day there was a good sized Monkey LaLa lizard running up the drive and I stopped so I wouldn’t hit it. Every time I started to go, my horn honked. I felt like the damn road runner, beep beep beep beep. By the time Teri and I made it home we were laughing our butts off. Bill can disconnect the fuse but then I won’t have a horn and driving on Roatan requires a horn, turn signals and brake lights are optional.

Friday afternoon Teri and I made our way to BJ’s, of course. Marilyn’s daughter was there and she was singing with the band. She was very good! We hung out there for a few hours and visited and danced. Well, I danced but I didn’t take any pictures.

We got home in time for Teri to go to Cal’s Cantina with Mr. John. Bill and I stayed home because the pool was being delivered and I didn’t want to miss another grand island ingenuity episode. I was not disappointed.

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The truck arrives. I see it, I see my pool.

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The other one is for our neighbor’s, they got the same as us. They backed this big truck up to the base of our steep hill.

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How many men does it take to lift a 1000# pool?

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A lot of muscle.

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They flipped it over onto the bottom so they could drag it up the hill.

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Heave ho!

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Really, this happened. The guy in the orange shirt is Leo Arch, cousin of my friends at the Iguana Farm. He is the boss.

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And this is where it hung out for a few days which on the island equals mañana.

Yes, we are the only people on the whole damn island with a 20′ pool tied to a stump on our hillside. Really, that sets us apart from the others. No slouches here, we go for the opposite of ordinary.

Saturday Teri and I were meeting my friends Mike and Liza at their rental in West Bay and spending the day together. We snorkeled and then went to Bananarama for lunch and snorkeling. It was a gorgeous sunny day in West Bay and the beach was empty.

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When you stick your head in the water and see this. Awesome, love starfish.

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Tangs galore

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French Angelfish swimming with the Tangs

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One of the most amazing fish

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Teri B taking it all in

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well hello Mr. Fish

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fish lips

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Lloyd Bridges aka Mike Clark

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I think this is a coney fish??

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Parrot fish eating algae and coral and then they poop sand.

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French Angelfish

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Beautiful living coral

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Neon gobey on brain coral

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My favorite, a Christmas Tree worm.

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Beautiful Bananarama

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Teri B chilling

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This dude on the flyboard was amazing. He must have been a rep for the company or something because I’ve never seen anyone that good before.

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Mr. GQ. (Mike)

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Teri and Mike floating at West Bay beach

We had a great day with them and didn’t get home until dinner time.  I had planned to take Teri to Mega Paca on Sunday morning but she was sick, as was Liza and they both had the same dipping sauce with their meals at Bananarama. Not pointing fingers, just saying. Teri was pretty much down and out on Sunday. I messaged my friend who is a nurse and she said to start her on Zithromax, which I had on hand. She felt better in the morning. Liza was sick too and she was traveling. UGH…

We spent another one of our days at Parrot Tree pool and got eaten alive by the bugs there, it was as bad as being at their lagoon. It was still a good day because a day in the water is better than anything else.

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Still beautiful despite the bugs

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Teri floating

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Under the falls

I’ve been trying to help Nidia finish the TOM’s shoe deliveries. Teri and I went to Alexi’s English school in Politilly and I measured the kids there. We also got the list of sizes needed at El Higuero, a kinder near me and I measured all the kids at Miss Norma’s school in Jonesville.

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This is the kinder in El Higuero.

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We donated the blue desks a little over a year ago, thanks to Linda Edwards, who bought them.

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The kids in Jonesville at Norma’s school.

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Then we had to go to where Nidia and Live Again Ministries were fitting shoes in Barrio Los Fuertes. This is the school where I rescued Frito March 10, 2015. This is also where I got the name for Barrio.

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They had a supply of shoes there so we took what we needed but still had to go to the storage unit to get the rest.

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Luckily my friend Dave from Live Again Ministries went with us because neither Teri nor I could have opened this door.

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I brought all the shoes home and separated them so they could be distributed to the 3 schools.

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Checking my list..And when I was done, I went down to John’s pool.

Teri and I spent a lot of time in her future pool (Mr. John’s, the neighbor), it felt so good and immediately lowered our scorching body temperatures. I think we were in there almost daily because the temps have been HOT! In between dips we delivered the shoes to the kinder and to Alexi’s school. Marcia and Dennis picked up the ones for Jonesville and delivered them since they live out that way.

Teri and I got a little pre-occupied the last few days before Olivia came, in fact Wed. and Friday mornings we were taking care of business. (to be disclosed later) Once business was done we went to BJ’s again Friday and visited with the gang and ate some french fries, yums. There was a good crowd there and we danced a little bit and got a little crazy.

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Jonna on the left, then Casey, Tara and Marilyn. Casey and Tara are Marilyn’s kids.

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Marilyn and family (and Jonna)

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Gail giving her husband Mike (second from L) his birthday cake.

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Terry’s shirt

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BJ giving a little speech and thanking people.

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Kids sitting next door waiting for a boat ride home.

Sunday Olivia arrived so Teri and I headed to the airport to pick her up. We took Frito with us. She was the center of attention and she ate up every second of it. She is such a good dog and is so easy to have around. Frito was great at the airport, very well behaved, she let a few kids pet her and even some adults wanted to visit with her. She is an attention monger for sure.

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Frito getting some head pats from this cute little girl.

It was nice to have Olivia join us, it’s the third time the 3 of us have been together on Roatan. Never a dull moment.

Olivia, Teri and I headed to West Bay beach on Monday so we could have a beach day together. We parked ourselves at Bananarama again but this time, no dipping sauce for anyone.

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Our chairs at Bananarama

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Beautiful beach, beautiful day

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The water was so warm and the beach was deserted. Just the way I like it.

While at the beach we saw the crowd of people out on the boats watching the Caribbean Cup Freediving Championship. After West Bay we stopped in West End so Teri could do a little shopping before she went home the next day. We even made a stop in Shawn Jackson’s gallery, always a pleasure.

After we got home and washed the sand and salt water off of our bodies we had dinner and sat on the roof talking and thinking of fun things to have on up there. Like an ejector bar seat that would catapult you into the pool, unless we didn’t like you, then it would set you down on the main road to get a taxi. I need this in my life.

On Tuesday Olivia and I took Teri and her companion (not telling you yet) to the airport and said a tearful good-bye. After that we ran some errands, stopped at Mega Paca and then came home and floated in John’s pool. Again.

It is absurd to me that I have a pool that can’t be used. It’s like a big freaking tease.

After hammering out 2 blogs in a few days, I’m going to go chill and watch them hook up the pipes for the drains and skimmers and jets on the pool. It’s getting closer, I can’t wait to be the first one in.

 

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..

Maxillicious takes West Bay

 

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09/08/2015 It seems like it’s still August with the weather as hot as it is and not a freaking drop of rain. The lack of any measurable precipitation makes me very thankful for the well we share. We don’t get well water very often but when it’s this dry for a long period, we appreciate the fact that it is available as needed.

Sunday the pups had another beach day. We took them to Paya Bay beach (don’t hate on me Jeanie, I gave them the finger). I’ve been there before and seen the beach but never swam there. We met our friends (and Tank’s parents) around 11. Tank is my boys brother, he is such a love. Paya Bay is a good 25 minutes from home down a hellishly bad dirt and dust laden road. Gringo had crawled up on my lap and fallen asleep. We were almost there when I once again felt a warm trickle down the inside of my thigh. Yep. Gringo peed on my lap for the 3rd time. I think he has a fetish.

Claire and I took the boys in right away. It was a first for mine to swim in waves and initially they ran from them. Once they realized the waves were’t going to swallow them up they put their adventurous faces on and swam into them. Remember, they are at face level with the pups, calf level for me. Much more traumatizing for them.

Gringo attacks the waves

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Bill & Kevin, solving all the world’s problems in one short afternoon. Pups left to right, back row, Tank and Barrio, front row, Gringo and Max. I know my Beach Boys.

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Tank, Max and Gringo. Not sure why the water isn’t clear along the shore. It must have something to do with the sand on the bottom or the waves. It was clear a little further out.

Paya Bay Beach Resort. You can see the water clears up just off shore.

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Deserted beach

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My friend’s place on the left (you can barely see it)

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Look how handsome Tank is..followed by Max and Gringo

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Even closer..love these boys

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6 boys on a beach, only 4 of them listen.

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My Maxillicious

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L to R: Barrio, Tank, Max and Gringo

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And he says he doesn’t like the dog..sharing a kiss (French nonetheless) with Tank..

The pups had a blast until some locals came with small kids. Bill and Kevin put them on leashes. Soon after that Claire and I decided to exit our warm bath in the ocean, got our stuff together and headed for home. The boys were passed out soon afterwards.

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3 on the floor

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Max is awake. You can still see the scar under his left eye from the fight he and Barrio had.

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Barrio fighting sleep. Notice the claw mark on my arm?

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He gave in

We came home, they all got baths, I fed them, showered and we all slept…

Monday morning Maxillicious and I picked Brenda and Toni up in Oak Ridge at BJ’s. We were headed for a day of R&R at West Bay Beach, it was Max’s first time at a civilized beach. We once again chose Bananarama because, well, it’s my spot. After 8 years I just don’t go elsewhere.

Brenda and Toni are moving back to Germany in less than 2 weeks. I’m sad but happy for them. Brenda and I met at the first vet clinic I worked at for Helping Paws Across Borders and we really got along well. We also worked together at the last one and have been doing some dog stuff together too. We plan to do one last clinic before she leaves. Insert super sad face. Toni is her German boyfriend and he is an uber sweetheart, instant love. It was great to spend a day with them and Max at the beach.  It was very empty, just a light sprinkling of people minus the annoying, “Wanna massage ladeeee?” NO. I ACTUALLY DON’T. We floated and ate and had a few drinks and floated some more. After 4 hours we decided it was time to make the trek back to the other end of the island. I have to brag. Max was a perfect angel. While he and I were floating, (well, he was on the raft) a lady and man were nearby. They asked me if he liked to swim.

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Can this get any cuter??

I said, “he loves it.” They then said, “You’re the lady from the airport.” Yep…that is me. Small island. Small world.

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Yes, I know my life sucks.

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My spot, Bananarama

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Crystal clear water

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The guy and his ultra cool drone

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DRONE

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Mr. Sandman

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My fav spot

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Brenda and her new man, Max. I had him wear a harness instead of a collar in case I needed to grab him, the harness is much more grab friendly. Plus it matches the water..

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Brenda w/ Max and Toni is floating in the background.

While we were eating Max started digging in the sand, which was fine, he likes to dig. However, he was digging with his nose. Check out the video HERE.  He was really “digging it”.

He fell asleep on the ride home. Once I dropped those 2 off at BJ’s he got whiney and cried the whole way home. I fed him because he wouldn’t eat at the beach and afterwards he just chilled out. Max was the only dog still inside at bedtime, he didn’t want to go out with the other ones. Later that evening I went to lay down on the bed and I carried him in and flopped him down with me. He jumped down a few times and wandered around, terrorizing the cat and finally jumped back up and laid down. And that is where he slept until 6 AM. He didn’t move except when I moved him because he was hogging half the bed. Bill had his feet hanging off the side because Max was in his foot spot. He didn’t pee, thankfully..and he didn’t eat all the cat litter. However, Emmy hates me and has done nothing besides lunge out after my bare ankles as I walk by the bed and bitten me. Several times. She rules the roost, or at least she thinks she does.

I recently wrote a little piece for a fellow blogger about living in a small place. You can read it hereThanks Clara for having me, check out her blog at http://www.expatpartnersurvival.com.

Facebook has several local Roatan pages, things for sale, cars, looking for advice, etc. I peruse them once in awhile, mostly for the entertainment value. Take this one (copied verbatim) for instance:

I am selling. A Nissan. Altima rims 2001. Tourism Air Conditioning. With papers. In rule. Interested. Can talk to the 9770-xxxx. With XXXXXX (don’t want to use their name or number). The car. He is. On Gipson quite west end Roatan.

No price, no condition, no mileage..that’s how we do it here on Roatan.

I worked at theairport again this past Saturday and had a woman approach me as I wove me way through the immigration lines chatting to people. She said, “You’re the blogger aren’t you”? So much fun meeting people who are following my blog. Check out Angie’s blog here.

Find the frog..2 days in a row

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gross..

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HMM, counter height now.

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Yes, this is a Kangaroo scrotum bottle opener. Thank you KP, it is well used..

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Sharing a supposedly indestructible Nylabone tree trunk. They will destroy it.

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BANANAS, home grown from a tree we planted 2 years ago. We have several trees but what happens when you grow BANANAS is, the whole stalk ripens at the same time so you have a shitload of BANANAS. Too bad I don’t live closer to the BANANA DONUT man.

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A big bowl of apple BANANAS, I froze enough to make many loaves of bread and to make treats for the dogs.

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This is only part of the bunch that we left on the counter to eat. The dogs love them frozen. These are smaller than regular BANANAS and some people say they taste like apples, we think they taste like strawberries.

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After dinner wrestling, 5 tails, 5 butts and 20 legs

I have mentioned my friend Sam Arch and his Dad before. They run Arch’s Iguana farm and Sam is the one who takes me snorkeling with Frank the Barracuda and, he took my friends and I to Pigeon Key. Anyhow, this is a great write up about the Arch family. I’m proud to call them friends. You can read the article by clicking here.

It’s bedtime again and Max is curled up on our bed. I don’t know if this will cause an issue with him and the other dogs or not. Do dogs get pissed off about that stuff? Preferential treatment and all?

I’m off to snuggle with my furry little boy.. (Not Bill)

 

It’s been awhile

vit sea06/22/2015 Our much anticipated guests have come and gone, we wish they had stayed longer than a week. We had semi decent weather while they were here so that was a bonus. Their flight was delayed arriving, then all 3 flights landed {American, Delta and United} within minutes of each other which turns the small immigration room into a virtual circus. Luckily Kathy was old enough to get in the resident line and she took Jen with her; then my friends at the airport grabbed them and put them in the front of the line. Perks…

We, unfortunately had to take a puppy with us to the airport. Max was sick all day Friday with a variety of symptoms. I managed to get in touch with some vets who came from Tegus for a weekend to set up shop here. We had an 11:30 appointment. Max was sick beyond sick on Friday all day and into the night but we gave him a little Pepto Bismol and in about 45 minutes he rallied. We still planned to go to the vet to get to the bottom of this. They were busy and behind schedule and with the plane being late and 3 planes arriving at once we made it to the airport in time to see them get taken to the front of the line. Our friends Kevin and Claire were there. Claire has wanted to see the pups for weeks but Kevin kept saying no more dogs. He saw me with Max, grabbed him and went down to where Claire was standing. When he came back he asked if Max was the biggest, we said no Tank is at home. He said we’ll probably take him. Happy, but so sad.

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These are all that are left 😦

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Before Tank left

We came back here and got Jen and Kathy situated then went up on the roof for awhile. After dinner it was early to bed for everyone.

Sunday morning looked ugly, it rained, then cleared then rained some more. We had planned to have Alexi dog sit while we were entertaining our company so Bill went to get him. I’m not sure what good it is even having him here because all he does is surf the web on the Kindle I gave him. This too confuses me because he barely can read or write..

We left for Camp Bay around noon, final destination La Sirena. Right before we left we got a call from a friend who wanted to give us some mangoes. We stopped by on the way and got a BOX of yummy fragrant delicious fresh picked mangoes.

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OMY OHMYYUMMY

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I also was given a loofah filled with seeds. I shook the seeds out, peeled off the rind and have 2 new shower sponges.

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So big I cut it in half! Can’t get more natural than that.

After that we made a detour through Punta Gorda and then to Oak Ridge where we pointed out the highlights on the way. We then headed to Heaven. Well, that’s what the sign says and I think we’ve been there many times.

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If there’s a sign, it must be close by

Jen and Kathy could not believe the condition of “the road” to get to Camp Bay. I guess I’m just used to deplorable roads. We had a great time at La Sirena, had some lunch and the waiter thought I ordered a Port Royal AND a rum punch so I didn’t want to hurt his feelings and drank both.

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La Sirena

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On the dock, we should have planked.

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Bill and his sister Kathy

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Me and Jen, love this girl. She is studying for her Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

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Such a sweetheart

Jimmy was there so we talked to him for quite awhile, always interesting conversation.  By the time we got home everyone was tired and not hungry for a big dinner. We picked at food, ate some mangoes and went to bed.

Monday was a semi sunny day and I thought we should head west, all the way west, to West Bay beach. We took the scenic route through Coxen Hole and made it to West Bay in under 40 minutes, not bad. We settled ourselves at Banarama and went in the water to float on the rafts. It felt so good and has been too long. DAMMIT, I live here…

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So stunningly gorgeous

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Jen and Kathy

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beautiful

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Jen

Jen and I walked down past Infinity Bay  to snorkel. She said she was cool with deep water so we went for a swim and saw some pretty cool stuff.

white sea urchin

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Brain coral with polyps of some sort

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Ribbon coral??

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Yellowtail Damselfish Intermediate

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Parrotfish

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First time snorkeling for Jen, this girl has no qualms, no fears, just, “let’s do it.”

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Some kind of coral

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More Christmas tree worms

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Jen the fish

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Lunch @ Banarama

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Swinging on the beach

After lunch we floated for a bit more, then headed home. Bill was making pizza tonight so I had to get veggies cut up. That night we gorged ourselves on grilled pizzas. It was (and has been) so windy it blew the pepperoni right off the pizza into the waiting mouths of 8 dogs. Luckily we had more pepperoni, damn wind.

The pizza was yummy as usual and we were stuffed. Being at the beach in the fresh air, water and wind PLUS snorkeling for awhile is tiring stuff. I think we watched some “Whose Line is it Anyway” and went to bed.

We realized on Tuesday that Max was sick again, same symptoms but getting worse. He was throwing up but there was nothing there, just stomach bile. I messaged my friend to see if Doc was coming on the ferry that evening. She said he was and I said we would pick him up at the ferry for an emergency visit Tuesday eve. Normally he doesn’t start work here until Wed. morn.

Earlier in the day Kathy, Jen and I went to Parrot Tree to float in the pool for awhile. It was empty, we were the only people there. I came home a few times to check on Max so Bill went and picked up Kathy and Jen around 4.

We left for the ferry terminal at 5:30 to pick Doc up and take him to his clinic. Bethany was there waiting to help and translate for us. Max was so dehydrated they couldn’t find a vein for the IV. After about half a dozen times I was pleading saying I could make him drink, don’t stick him anymore. Just about that time they got a vein, they taped it to keep it in place and then administered some shots via the IV. We let him get a good bit of the fluid and then left to take Doc to Brick Bay where he stays while on island. After we dropped him off we had to get gas and realized that Max had gotten the full amount so we took the IV needle out at the gas station.

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IV to go

Only in Honduras. We took Bethany home and got back to the house around 8. Kathy and Jen had to fend for themselves but made out just fine. Max seemed lively and he was hungry again so we fed him a light meal. He had to be on Metronidazol for 2 more days.

Wednesday was deemed a West End shopping day. We got a good start on the day and sauntered around West End, checking all my usual haunts. When we were done there we were off to Umbul Umbul, it’s just somewhere I always take company. For lunch we were going to the Beach Grill to see Lisa and Rob and of course my babies, Sable and Bandit. When Lisa and Rob pulled up I couldn’t wait, I had to go see the pups. Lisa said they are doing really good, they are spoiled and sleep on the couch and they even get in the shower on their own when Lisa is in there.

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Bandit and Sable

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View from Beach Grill, Blue Bahia

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She wasn’t sure of me but then she recognized my smell and gave me kisses galore.

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Oh I love this sweet boy. Sable and Bandit really get around. They go with Lisa and Rob to Tranquil Seas on music night..

After we left there we went to the Iguana Farm to see all of the iguana’s. They were surprised that there were so many running loose..

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They are everywhere

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Jen feeding them

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In the trees

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close up

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Mani/pedi anyone??

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Amazing creatures

We were going to Cal’s that night for dinner and we were hungry!! Cal’s wasn’t too busy, food was fabulous as always.

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Group shot at Cal’s

I’ll finish this post another day, too many more photos to post and my mind is fried. I drove into Coxen Hole today to inquire about my NON EXISTANT license plate for my car. Three weeks ago I was told 2 weeks and THEY WOULD CALL ME. hahahahahahaha! Today they told me to “keep checking back.” Sure I will, it’s real convenient to drive all the way to Coxen Hole and try to find a spot to park, just makes my day. So, no license plate yet, it was made May 19th, why the hell it hasn’t gotten here yet from the mainland 36 miles away I’ll never know.

One thing I do know is that come hell or high water I am going to go to the beach at least once a week from now on, I NEED IT..It does wonders for my soul..

Vitamin Sea, I love you….