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 Sunday 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.

 

Oh what a week!

 

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1/2/2016 Where do I begin?? Holidays in the tropics are pretty darn amazeballs. Last Thursday was, of course, Christmas Eve. I cooked a Mexican Chicken casserole and made a loaf of beer bread for the party. Alex picked us up in their boat at BJ’s at 4:30 and whisked us off to Carmen and Brett’s who live on Calabash Bight Key. The evening plans were dinner at Carmen and Brett’s, then some boat caroling, then drinks and dessert at Alex and Marilyn’s.

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A few of the boats on Carmen and Brett’s beach, there were also boats tied up to the dock. Only way to get there is by boat.

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Runaway boat, this boat was just drifting past. It belonged to some people east of where we were. Obviously they didn’t tie it up very well.

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so gorgeous

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setting sun

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Night time on the water. I apologize in advance, these photos are shitty. I have not found an easy setting for my camera in these type of light situations. I need to research this issue. Sorry for lack of everything but a little color..

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I seriously don’t think I saw anything that vaguely resembled this. I think my camera was shitfaced.

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A stop at the Reef House, Martina and Alex in the photo.

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Another stop on the bight. Talk about a simple Christmas.

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Divas, Marilyn and Francie. Francie hysterically ad-libs the songs and Marilyn was sick and sang til her voice was gone.

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We got beer @ this stop, thanks Ed and Julie!

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Puden’s (Francie and Franklin’s worker) Mom lives here..

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A night on the bight

When we stopped at BJ’s dock (the place everyone hangs out on Fridays) she and Carmen (her husband) came out and we sang for them. Let me digress here for a second. THEY, not we sang for them. {I can not sing. I have known this for years. Others say they can’t sing but they can, I am physically unable. I wish I could but I can’t so I don’t. You should thank me.} In my mind I was singing, loudly and as on key as Adele. Rosalie recently sent me the words to BJ’s version of Rudolph called AMBROSE THE AMOROUS ANTELOPE:

Ambrose the amorous antelope had a very shiny ass. And if you ever saw it, you would say it was made of glass. All of the other antelope used to laugh and call him names. They wouldn’t let poor Ambrose play in any antelope games. Then one foggy Christmas Eve, Santa came to say, Ambrose with your ass so bright, won’t you be my backup light. Then how the antelope loved him, and they shouted out with glee, Ambrose the glass assed antelope, you’ll go down in history!

That was pretty much the best thing ever! After all the treats for the people were gone we went back to Marilyn and Alex’s. The other 2 boats came and Bill and Brett (they didn’t go caroling) came over from Brett’s also. Marilyn had a variety of desserts and of course, more drinks. FYI: I was at the water point, that’s all I drank. We hung out for awhile and chatted with people. We were the only ones headed west for the night and didn’t want to keep Alex up by having to taxi us home at O dark 30 so we got a ride while he was still up and moving. It was a semi wet, salty for sure, beautiful ride over to BJ’s and our car.

Christmas came and went, not much fanfare here. We talked to the boys and to my parents and wished everyone a Merry Christmas! Around noon we headed down to Sandy Bay to have Christmas dinner with Dave and Trish and Bob and Rosalie. We sat down in Dave and Trish’s new area for drinks, then moved to the dining room for roast chicken, mashed potatoes corn and other goodies. After dinner we had dessert on the front porch. The dessert was pretty spectacular itself, chocolate rum cake. Ohmygosh, decadent. It was a wonderful Christmas day spent with good friends!

Saturday I was back at the airport and it was a freaking zoo. Four major airline flights came in within 30 min. max. It was chaos but we had it controlled so it was all good. Good chaos is the best. I got out of there a little after 2:30.

On Sunday I was brave and took Max and Barrio swimming to Parrot Tree. I did not take Gringo because he had a hot spot on his leg and contrary to what people say, I don’t like open wounds in the sea..too much chance for bacteria. He had to stay home. I was stressed about taking the 2 of them, together they weigh 100# and are strong boys. They were much better than I expected.. I didn’t take beach pics of them because my friend Susan came over and I was chatting with her. These pics are before I turned them loose.

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I was hoping they would jump off the dock but after I unhooked them they didn’t, they ran over the bridge to the other side and went it.

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Barrio in front, Max is the smaller darker one. He’s also the instigator of all bad things.

I stayed for over an hour floating and chatting with Susan while the boys ran all over. They were really good, when they started to go where they shouldn’t, I called to them. Barrio came right away and Max has to push it, he goes for a minute, then he comes. Need to break that habit. I brought them home, bathed the 2 of them, fed all of the dogs and took a shower myself. Susan and her friend Gayle picked me up for lunch. We went to Herbie’s and ate. It gets loud in there on Sundays, a football day. Every football game in the whole world is on one of their hundred TV’s. A loud place to be on game day, we sat outside.

Monday I was going to Monday’s Don’t Suck. I rode out with Trish and Dave. There were only a handful of people along that day and it was so much fun. We ate, drank, swam, floated and played volleyball. I have not played volleyball since high school and despite the fact I can’t run b/c of my knee, I had a blast and wasn’t as totally sucky as I thought I would be. I look forward to playing again!

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Mondays Don’t Suck

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Francie and The Duchess of Camp Bay

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Foggy view from my raft

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Floating our cares away

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Dave and Buck making a Tortuga

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good job guys!

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Dave and Trish. Love these two and no Michelle, she is very sweet and funny and has that kind of beach bod in the dead of winter on a Caribbean island.. I would hate her too but I like her too much.

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Let the games begin

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We play very similar to the hard body VB players on the beaches of Cali, we could be Olympic contenders for beach volleyball.

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Next time I’m wearing a damn hat. One time the ball was coming right at me, I couldn’t really see the ball, all I saw was the sand storm swirling around it.

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After we were finished we washed the millions of grains of sand off our bodies in the warm clear blue sea.

We actually played VBall twice, that’s how GOOD we are. Afterwards we all packed up our stuff and headed home. Dave and Trish dropped me off around 4’ish. I was exhausted from all the fun of the day. Jeanie brought me some new coloring books when she came to the beach earlier so I started coloring that evening to help me relax. I love my coloring books, the new favorite is called Lost Ocean. Right up my alley.

One of the gals who works on Tuesday at the airport was sick so I volunteered to take her Tuesday afternoon gig. There was only one flight coming in, 118 people and it took FOREVER to get the passengers through immigration. I felt sorry for the people in line.

My friend Nancy who has the Balinesian home 4 minutes from us has been bugging me to come over spend the day to meet her friends who are here visiting. I had lots of stuff to do Wed. afternoon so I popped by unannounced in the morning. I met her 2 friends plus Nancy had invited Maggie, Jeanie and Susan too. I only hung out for awhile, I had too many errands to do that day. One of them being the bank and I totally blew it off on Wed. Thursday morning I had no options other than go to the bank, ugh. I got there and there were no lights on but the guard let me in and there were many other people in there. I saw my friend Ven in line so I was talking to her when I realized Carmen was in there too. The bank said they couldn’t give out any $$ so Carmen and I went outside to chat. While standing out there, the lights came back on. Obviously they were having a generator issue..I finally got my money and came on home.

I was trying to decide if I was going to the NY Eve party or not. Bill was opting out because he doesn’t like the house empty so I decided rather than stay home and do nothing, I was going. I got ready and left for Jeanies, who lives on the north shore, around 3. Once I got to her house we gathered our shit and headed back over the mountain to Calabash Bight Resort on the south shore. There were a few people already there but soon after we got there people started to come. For 400 LPS (about 20 bucks) you got roasted pig, chicken and shrimp with many sides for the meal and they had an open bar. I had already decided early in the evening not to drink much so after a glass of wine I hit the wine glass with water thing..We danced and laughed and watched tremendously fabulous fireworks, á la the Christophers. They were some of the best fireworks I’ve ever seen, all out over the water, gorgeous evening with wonderful fun friends!

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Mr. Pyrotechnics himself setting up the display. Excellent job!!

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The ugly venue view.. obviously I’m being facetious, it’s gorgeous there.

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The resort grounds

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Lots of visiting going on.

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The Banditos

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Brett and Carmen.

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Francie’s 91 year old mother Carol dancing; she reminds me of my Mom so much!! Francie and Duchess Jeanie in background.

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Best light show!! Francie and the DOCB Jeanies’ legs were aglow..

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everyone is shimmering

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Trish and Bob all aglow.

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Trish

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Trish, Rosalie and me

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A photo op with the DOCB, Jeanie.

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Tarty poses.. There is actually quite a long story surrounding this photo and because most of you don’t know Jeanie, I won’t go into it. For those of you who do know her, let your imaginations run wild. You’re probably right.

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we even had duppies (ghosts) in the trees

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What can I say about this photo? OK, lets start with the fact that Francie’s dress was brush burning her arms when they were down alongside the rough sequins so she opted to do this. We are inventive intelligent women. Gail is having a party for 1, she was hysterical all night long. Loved her.

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BJ snapping shots

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Francie getting her Mother and her guy pal situated for the fireworks display.

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Francies Mom Carol and Tom

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Who do these legs belong to?

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PARTY ON!!

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If everyone had as much fun as I did then it was a huge success!!

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L to R: Francie, Marilyn and Jeanie, the DOCB

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Marilyn is adjusting the girls..

I have no photos of Martina, the hostess who always goes out of her way to make things pretty damn perfect!! Such a fun party, I’m so glad I went. Amazing shindig Martina, thank you!

What would my blog be without some dog photos. I find it amazing that my dogs match the floor so well. It’s almost like I knew they would and that’s why I have them. In my mind I often rationalize things logically that way. It’s one of my gifts. Singing is not.

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5 dogs in this photo, top to bottom: Barrio, Lola, Max, Highway and Gringo. It’s like a damn minefield.

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Maxillicious

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Gringo the dude.

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The ADHD boss man Highway

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Lola laying down and Barrio

Jeanie had a watchie at her house for NYE so we had to leave at a reasonable time. I went back to her house and crashed there rather than drive another 30 minutes home alone from the eastern boundaries of the rock. I awoke this morning at her fab house to the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks below. What a fantastic sound to hear when you wake up, nothing better. New Years Day I came home, walked ALL 6 dogs, fed them and slept for 3 hours, tomorrow back at the airport for the day. I’m ready for bed, again.

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