On the go again

 

summer

01/26/2017 I’ve been so busy having fun that I forgot about this blog. Not really, but I’m good at putting it in the back of my mind while there is partying to do. And there was partying.

I went to a great party in Port Royal at the lovely property owned by Mel and John. They have put so much hard labor into this piece of property, in the year since the last time I was there, the changes are amazing. This was an undeveloped piece of land situated right at the water’s edge. They have built a large boat dock there and they are still living in their boat while building and working on their land. They have a bodega with a living roof and an awesome casita called Casita Lisa, named for Mel’s BFF. There is a beautiful hand laid stone path winding down from the casita  towards the water. The spot for their home is ready and waiting to be built on. I rode out with Francie and Franklin, it’s a long drive on some rough road. We went to the landing in Port Royal and got a ride with Maggie and Norm on their boat, along with Deanna and Roger and Jeanie. It was a great day with wonderful friends.

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A real cow skull on the front of the living roof.

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Fabulous old canoe, think this was given to them by Franklin and Francie

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This is the roof of the bodega (storage building)

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The crowd and the food table

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Jeanie, Francie and I sat on this bench for awhile and chatted about..life.

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The amazing trees next to their property. I hope nobody ever cuts these down. I was told that pirates used to seek out these trees because they could find “sweetwater” near them.  I think they are some type of cypress tree.

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Francie and Jeanie

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This says it all

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Roger and Jeanie on the boat

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Francie, Me, Roger and Jeanie with Heather in the back

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The boathouse next to the dock we tied up to.

They had BBQ beef and pork and even though I don’t eat meat, I did and loved it. We left late afternoon for the loooong drive home.

On Friday the 13th I decided to push my luck and go diving with my friends Eric and Carly who own Blue Island Divers in Sandy Bay. I have not gone diving since I hurt my foot on Oct. 6th. It was time. After the 5 shots to the ankle it was feeling pretty darn good. I had my friend Carmen’s dive gear to use. She has company for the forseeable future and then they head back to the states so she decided I may as well use it. I got to the dive shop and Eric checked out my gear, got everything ready and we left in the boat. There were 3 other divers with us besides Eric, Carly and I. One was the new DM, Pauli, and a couple and another guy. We got to the spot and fell overboard, waiting for everyone to get in the water before descending. I have used the same mask since the end of Feb 2008. I bought it then while in Curacao with Olivia. It cost $40.00. The last time I dove with it the mask was fine, no fog, no leak. Perfect.

I was having difficulty equalizing and had to ascend a bit before I could clear my ears. Plus, my mask was filling with water. I got my ears equalized and descended with Eric. My mask was like a funnel, I must have cleared the damn thing a dozen times. As soon as I would get it cleared, it filled up again. It reminded me of a situation when we were getting certified. I had a mask with a big profile, it held a LOT of water. We found this out while doing the mask clearing part of our certification. I took my mask off underwater, put it back on, cleared it but couldn’t get all of the water out so I sat on the bottom of the YMCA pool w/ a regulator in my mouth and my mask filled with water. I was fine, just chilling, waiting for the instructor to make his rounds. He came to me and gave me the “up” signal. He asked what I was doing and I told him I couldn’t get all the water out and he said, “so you’re going to sit there with a mask full of water?” Yep, I was. He gave me a different mask, I went back underwater and cleared it immediately. This is what happened diving this time. After clearing it so many times I said, screw it, just dive. So I finished the dive with my mask 1/2 full of water. My dive kind of sucked, had to keep my head in a certain position and didn’t want to go to the surface because, well, I just didn’t. I was pissed. And I had a major head full of snot. UGH! New mask is on the horizon.

After my dive I went up to Ann’s house. I’m so glad she lives close to Blue Island because I may not get to see her very much if she didn’t. We ran and grabbed lunch, I took her home and made the drive east myself. Not bad driving east at days end, you don’t have to fight the blinding sun like you do when you drive west.

Bill and I went to Chuck and Nancy’s house for drinks and dinner one evening. They live 4 minutes away. We were joined by Lynda and Dave and Don and Janice. (thank you for the CD Lynda)

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Nancy, me, Lynda and Janice (Lynda’s photo)

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Drinks on the deck overlooking Milton Bight

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Drinks, see my Mermaid cups? One for wine and one for water. {Thanks to Julie Bennett. }

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The view

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The tree in the center of their circle

Earlier in the month I was contacted by my friend Amanda Walkins who used to live in Scotland but she and her Irish Colombian husband recently moved to Ireland. Amanda has a boring life. NOT. This girl travels and she writes. This is sort of how we met. Anyhow, she emailed me and asked if I would be interested in meeting Jason Holland. Jason is the Latin American editor for International Living (IL). Jason was going to be visiting Roatan in the near future.

I said of course I would. I asked my friend Alex Poirier to join us. Alex is a Buyer’s Agent and has been here for a long time, he has a boat and is a buyers agent for the realtors on the island. Jason wanted a tour of Port Royal and the waterways surrounding and Alex was going to do that.

Alex and his wife (and my partner in crime) Marilyn and I picked Jason up a few days after he arrived. We showed him some properties for sale, showed him Pristine Bay, Havana Beach, went to Eldon’s, to new areas being developed and we showed him a home for sale. After that we went to the dock, jumped in their boat and went to Alex and Marilyn’s house for a drink.

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Jason and Marilyn. It was so windy his shirt was filled with air!

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CBYC Calabash Bight Yacht Club, AKA Alex and Marilyn’s home

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Alex, Jason and I at CBYC

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Their miserable view. (it’s gorgeous) The house on the hill to the right of the mast is my friend Kathy’s. Rumor has it there is also a Pizza Hut (sic) somewhere on that mountain side.

After that Alex, Jason and I did a tour in the boat. We would have gone down to Port Royal but the ocean was rather pissy that day, it was blowing hard with good sized waves.

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Calabash Bight

Alex would need to stay inside the reef and you can’t do that to go where we wanted to. So we went back to the car and drove there. On the way to the landing in Port Royal, we stopped at Martina’s restaurant and B&B. O M G. Martina makes these curly fries from potatoes she spiral slices very thin. Again, O M G. We also had Jerk Chicken Tenders that were absolutely delicious. If you are ever on the road to Port Royal or in Camp Bay, go to Martina’s, yummy stuff. Or spend some time there, the rooms are nice, she cooks for you and it’s a very tranquil setting.

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The view from Martina’s deck

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Beautiful shrubbery surrounds the property

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The dining area

With full bellies we left Martina’s for the boat landing. There we grabbed her skiff and went to Port Royal the short way. We were headed to Kim and Joe Wonder’s house on the water.

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Martina’s boat. From here we could reach our destination and still remain inside the reef.

Kim and Joe live totally off the grid. They have their own electric and water and with boat access only, they have become very adept shoppers. So unlike me who forgets so much shit that I sometimes travel to the store a few times a day or I talk Bill into going for me. Their home is very nicely done, amazing bathrooms (main home and guest house) it’s well taken care of, everything looks new. Honestly, the view literally takes your breath away. AND, it’s for sale. They want to go out on their big boat and do some live aboard traveling. Here is the link to this gorgeous home: http://www.islandrealestate.com/view/roatan-home-4354/  Check it out and spread the word.

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Their home, guest house to the R in the photo.

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It’s a very nice home, I could easily live there.

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This is their boat, Sea Song. They will be traveling in her when they leave.

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Seriously. This is their view. How stunning is that, looking right at the cow and the calf. Excellent snorkeling right in their front yard.

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Some of the Yabba Ding Ding Kim and Joe have found over the years. Left over from the pirate days.

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Glistening water

After we did the Port Royal tour we drove Jason out by La Sirena in Camp Bay and then turned around to make the long, into the sun, drive west.

I hope Jason had a good time. There were still a few things I wanted to show him so we made arrangements to meet on Thursday morning for a little tour of my favorite places. Unfortunately, we did not make it to my favorite place on the east end, the beach on the moon. Maybe another time.

Wrapping this up because I need sleep. These past few parties (in the next blog) have worn me out.

Come back soon.

I’m growing a tail

 

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08/09/2016 I’m recovered from company and have been in chill mode for many weeks, nothing I have to do except enjoy my life on the island. We spent a few days waiting for Hurricane Earl, who, at the last minute changed paths and headed straight for Belize. They got hit, we just got rain and wind. Very thankful we were spared and sad for the people in BZE.

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This is what we could have been hit with.

A few weeks ago Nidia was contacted by Carnival cruise lines that their employees had taken it upon themselves to organize a food drive for the elderly on Roatan. We met Nidia and Mac at Mahogany Bay at noon to pick up the cruise ship employees and take them and their 60 bags of food to the East End of the island. Due to some snafu, it took longer to pick them up than planned but we got them and were on our way to Pandytown. The people were waiting when we got there.

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Alexi helping load the stuff on to Mac’s truck

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We had the 2 on the right and the girl 3rd from the left riding with us. Two of them were from South Africa and the other from the states.

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I of course, found dogs. I was pulling ticks off this little girl when the owner approached me and said I could have her. I said, Thank you but no. He said her name was Lola. One Lola is all I can handle. She was adorable.

Next stop was Punta Caliente but when we got there a few crew members had to be back on the ship so we left and took them back to Mahogany Bay.

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These are the folks from Punta Caliente coming to meet us. The employees would like to do this monthly, which is pretty awesome!

On July 30th Because We Care did a breakfast for the people in Hottest Sparrow, a community many times forgotten. I got there around 6:45AM and didn’t really do much until the ladies cooking the food were finished, then I helped serve, made chocolate milk for the kids, passed out drinks, some soccer balls donated by Trish and Dave Symons and then helped pass out toys and gifts and clean up. It was a fun morning.

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The kitchen. My friend Carly from Blue Island Divers graciously helped with the cooking.

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Plates of food, eggs, bacon, sausage, tortillas, cheese, beans and juice and milk.

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Lots of hungry kids

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I love the older sibling holding their younger brother/sister.

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Sweet brothers

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There is not much in the way of fruits or vegetables in their diets.

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Of course, I was feeding the dogs all the left overs.

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These kids got some donated soccer balls, some from Trish and Dave and someone else donated a few larger ones as well.

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The school director with the ones I gave him, I also gave him a ball pump from Trish and Dave.

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Little girls with their Barbie (sic) dolls.

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Your guess is as good as mine.

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They passed out balls and were a few short so we gave this guy a soccer ball, he was thrilled.

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What’s a party without a Piñata?

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Nidia was throwing the candy

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Nidia and her box of mystery gifts

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Tom’s shoes

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He was so funny with the ball in his shirt

We were fortunate enough to meet some new friends from California via Alex. Kevin and Pam bought some land near us and plan on building on it. They had never been to the East End of the island so we took them to La Sirena, our favorite place.

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The end of the world.

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We stopped along the way and gave these boys a soccer ball (again, thank you Trish and Dave)

On the way home we stopped at the pirate ship and our friend the guard was there. He gave us another tour and some more wooden stuff, like a Seahorse statue that I am in love with.

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I finally got a decent photo of the chandelier. It’s stunning, as far as chandeliers go.

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And Pam got to hold onto an M 16!

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The mast and rigging on the closed down nightclub

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Oh yes, I got a reserved sign too.

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Rooftop view

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Really. 5 dogs!

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Such a pretty sky

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Barrio and Max swimming

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Maxiedoodle

We have had so many people over for dinner lately and that is always fun, especially when it’s a nice day and we can be in the pool.

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Dave, Trish and Jeanie

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The stunning Duchess of Camp Bay. There is only one.

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Roger and some dogs..

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They love each other.

I picked up my twinnie Ann and we went snorkeling at West Bay again and then had some drinks (of course) at Grand Roatan.

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Neon Goby on coral

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Ann in the swim

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Parrot fish. I love their lips.

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Lots of small Chromis.

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Love the coral

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I see you!

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More cool coral

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Sucks that we live somewhere so ugly.

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My favorite beach

This past week I did something I’ve wanted to do for a long long long time. I got my dive refresher and went diving. Thanks to Eric White of Blue Island Divers, he made my dreams come true once again. It’s been over 12 years since I dove and I really wanted and needed a refresher. Diving is dangerous, it’s good to go over these things. Eric was excellent and made me feel very comfortable. I’m looking forward to diving again with him as soon as I return. Thank you Eric! (his wife and I are friends and she cooked at the community breakfast, great people)

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We did a 62′ deep dive, the water was 80 degrees. I was able to dive in my swimsuit. I had my Ariel moment and will be doing it as often as possible now. There is nothing like being down there and looking at the vast world under the sea. Fish are so lucky.

Speaking of Mermaids, Robby and Julie brought me this mug. It keeps water cold and ice stays ice for 12 hours. It’s an Ozark Mtn. mug.

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Love this mug.

All was fabulous with the mug until yesterday when I took my mermaid cup to our friends Dave and Trish’s for a party.

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Trish in the “pink hat.” That’s another story for another time.

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Dave (Trish’s husband) and David on the raft

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The guys

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The sky, part way down their road.

The ice stayed ice, just had to refill the water several times while there. (in between glasses of wine) Even after the cup sat along the pool in the sun, the outside was warm, inside ice cold. I filled it again before I left our friends. We got home, put things away, fed the dogs and I laid down to watch some Netflix. I filled my cup w/ more water when we got home and had the cup sitting on the floor while I was on the couch. Around 9 I got up to go to bed and wanted to put more ice in the cup, I took the lid off and there was a small 1′ long Gecko floating belly up in my cup. I FREAKED OUT! Needless to say, I was over the top out of my mind thinking I might have sucked it up in the straw. OMG. I am going to devise something to keep the hole small enough that nothing can crawl in it ever again. Never ever ever again.

Today we delivered the clothes that Robby and Julie brought for Alexi’s brother, nephew and sisters. It was a success because everything fit. They were very appreciative and said thank you very much. I also gave Efraim and Osman a soccer ball donated by Dave and Trish. Earlier I took Alexi to Mega Paca and bought him 2 long sleeve white shirts for school, 3 pair of long pants, 2 black, 1 navy, some underwear, a few pairs of athletic pants and a couple t-shirts. Then we went to LST and bought him a brand new pair of black shoes for school. This is just the beginning of helping him. Thanks to Liza and Mike, Karl, Christy, Brenda and Sean. Thanks also to Tarra for the Old Navy flip-flops. They fit Alexi and he was thrilled to have a few pairs of new shoes. We’re going to take care of a few months of school for him also ($15.00/mo). I’ll keep you posted. Thank you all so much. The little boys and the girls were so excited with all of their new things and Alexi is looking forward to starting school with new clothes! 

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Alexi and his Mega Paca haul.

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New kicks

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Alexi’s younger sister Jessica, she is a beautiful young girl. She said that her step dad won’t allow her to talk to any boys and he hits her if she does. He’s a sick man.

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Alexi’s 19 year old sister Julianna. She has a 4 year old son, Osman.

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Osman

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Bill with Alexi’s 7 year old brother. He is the same size as his 4 year old nephew.

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Bill and Osman

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This kid is adorable

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Mother and son

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Max and Efraim, Alexi’s little brother

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Alexi and Juliana hauling their load of clothes home. They were so excited.

That’s it, I’m off to bed. I just wanted to get this stuff out of my mind because I’ll be gone 2 weeks and won’t have time to do any blogging then. Mom and Dad have finally said they would move closer to my sister Missy in Olney, MD. They will be 5 minutes away instead of 90+. So much easier. I plan to help them go through stuff, donate and pack, should be an interesting visit.

I’ll post this mañana, I’m off to fill up my water mug (and check for geckos) and then going to bed.

 

 

Friends make the world go round

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11/18/2015 Life is strange. It’s strange the way we meet people in our lives and what influences or doesn’t influence that a friendship ensues. What traits do we look for in a friend, is that how we do it, looking for “traits”? I don’t think I look for traits or tendencies, like oooh, are they OCD like me or not? Do they eat peanut butter with a spoon? If my friends were like me I would not like them much.

Last Monday I rode with Marilyn and Alex to Barbon beach for Mondays Don’t Suck. shortly after we got there it rained, then the rain stopped and it was semi sunny. Only a few people showed up but it was fun nonetheless. The women floated for awhile on our matching rafts and the men prepared the fire for lunch.

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Marilyn’s wine glass

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Perfection

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Boaters

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Norm and Jeanie

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The story behind this is hysterical. This is Bob and this is what his wife Rosalie posted on the pic I took. “Last Monday I neglected to actually look at Bob until we were shopping at Bay Island Electric. Yes he dressed himself. I had to apologize to the gang at the beach for his attire. Note to self…never let him leave the house without giving him the once over. I softened the insult by telling him that I was sure he wasn’t the worst dressed man on the island that day!”

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Beach gang

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Marilyn and Bob

It was a fabulous day on the beach. The next day I was meeting my friend Milesse at the resort she owns, Barefoot Cay. As soon as I got there the sky opened up and it poured. I had to take a barge across to the Cay, so I waited until the rain let up a little bit before I crossed. We went to Milesse’s house and ordered lunch from the restaurant menu. Let me just say this: Milesse has a fabulous home and Barefoot Cay is amazing. The grounds are spotless, the bungalows are decorated elegantly, it’s really an amazing small boutique resort. and you are very catered to when you stay there.

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from the palapa over the water

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The water is so clear

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Stunning pool

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Serenity

I had a great time with Milesse, we discussed the airport gig and what needs to be done to make it an even better experience for the arriving guests. {Milesse is the one who started the volunteer greeter program at Roatan airport}. After a great lunch I got a tour of the resort, it really is a beautiful place away from the hustle and bustle of the popular beaches.

Friday found us back at BJ’s, of course. Out of nowhere and after a few glasses of wine, Jeanie said, “lets plank here.” So I grabbed Marilyn and Bill and my camera and we planked. It’s funny but nobody really pays any attention when you are being crazy. It’s obvious that insanity is what I look for in my friends.

I go right for the craziness, the impulsivity, the we’re ready for whatever attitude. They are the people I like to hang out with. The adventurous ones. I like true friends, people who you can hang with so comfortably that they feel like home. What blows my mind is the life situation that we have on this island that gives us this type of friends. The people we are friends with here are ready to go to the beach with 7 puppies, tie up a kayak and snorkel to the reef, take a boat to Helene for the day, eat dinner standing around our kitchen island when we had to come home because our dogs were barking so much. There are women who will plank with me and those who will spend all day passing out shoes or an afternoon downtown providing fun for the kids. And their men look and watch without passing judgement. We are expressing ourselves.

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Jeanie in front, me in pink, Marilyn, in black and white. Planking BJ’s!

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Then Jeanie says, “Take our picture” to Bill, “DO SOMETHING” to Marilyn and I. So Marilyn and I cracked up!

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ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!! Marilyn in her throne.

Actually, Bill made the chair for Santa Claus’ arrival at the Christmas party in Fiddlers Bight next month. Marilyn was taking the chair home to paint it. She may have it permanently affixed to the boat because she looks pretty freaking regal sitting there. Get that lady a crown.

My fabulous lady friends and I are going to start having Adult Coloring sessions. I got a few books online and I told Jeanie to buy one also. We plan to get together and color and drink wine and solve every issue in our little island world. During these times we may also vote people off the island..You know, like Survivor but without money. These are the coloring books that I bought.

Friends. I love my old friends, the group of people we partied with in the states. So many years with those people and so many memories. I love my new friends too. We are making memories here every day. Crazy fun memories. My good friend just returned home last Saturday, back to her island home. I was so happy to see her walking into the immigration building I wanted to turn cartwheels across the tarmac. I refrained because they would frown on that and I’d more than likely kill myself with a cartwheel. Faceplant much? However, I would like to try one. Just to see, without anyone else seeing.

I find it very interesting that people from my previous life are now a part of my current life because of FB. People that I used to hang out with when I got out of High School or after my sporadic college career {that spanned way too many years) and resulted in nothing being learned except life lessons. Hard taught life lessons. I haven’t seen some of these people for 25+ years. Some WAAAYYY longer than that. Friends I’ve know since 4th grade.  Friends from my past, from the life I led before I became a Mom. Even after having the boys many of these people stayed in my life. Some went in other directions, some I haven’t really “talked” to in decades but we are in touch via Facebook. I love that I am able to be a part of my friends lives, to be able to see photos of their children/grandchildren growing up, to know what they are doing and to comment on each others daily happenings. It’s a good thing.

My friend Dolli just posted this photo of me on Facebook. I think it’s 1968?

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Umm, yeah, I was a Hippie chick! I’m top left, with a cig in my hand. This photo is amazing..

One of my friends, Keri, from Snohomish, WA., sort of started the Pastafarian religion on Roatan. When a few of our friends went to visit Keri, they wore colanders on their heads. This article tells about a girl who is allowed to wear a colander for her drivers license photo because it is part of her religious headwear.  My friend Llyn has to get her license renewed here on the island and I’m going along for the ride because she is going to wear a colander on her head. I’m going to take pictures and laugh my ass off.

Sunday we picked up Nancy and Chuck and they rode along with us to deliver Jeanie’s new cupboard to Camp Bay.

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Dog toys come in handy

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getting it in place

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Ready to mount

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We didn’t take the doors because there wasn’t any room for them to travel safely, they will go this week and Bill will then mount and adjust them.

Once Bill and Roger got the cupboard hung we all went to La Sirena and had lunch and rum punches. Always fun to hang out there and Jeanie and I even planked, again. This time it was my idea.

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We planked on the overwater table.

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Very odd for the water to be so muddy, all the rain and resulting runoff makes it like this.

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Jeanie Bill and Jimmy. Jimmy owns La Sirena

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Not much to look at but fabulous food and the view is the best!

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The end of the world

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Jeanie Jimmy and Roger, Jeanie’s husband

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The place is covered with signed money

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Bill, Nancy, Jeanie and Roger

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Chuck, Nancy’s husband, surveying the property

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Porky

We got home late afternoon and hung out with the dogs for the evening. At around 1 AM I woke sick to my stomach and spent most of the night awake and feeling like shit. It wasn’t the food from La Sirena, but some turkey breast I made a sandwich out of. I know this for sure because Bill had a sandwich Monday night and was sick all night long. When I woke Monday morning I had a headache, fever and was coughing, the start of a mysterious island illness. This is day 3 and I am beginning to feel human again, although I think Bill may be getting it now. Time will tell.

The guys are here fiberglassing the roof, finally we have had some dry weather so they can get this done. Sam said it will take about 4 days to do and then we will be waterproofed.

I have given up fixing dog toys and resigned myself to the fact they can not have stuffed toys period. The only toys they don”t decimate are Kongs, Nylabone and Skineeze.

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This toy lasted 2 hours.

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The pain these critters endure

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I have become quite the surgeon

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Stuffing be damned.

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A blast from the past for all of my Seafirst/BOA friends.

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My new couch!!

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One of our critters that Alexi caught. We of course let him go unscathed after talking to Alexi about not killing them. Iguanas are so beautiful!

The pups are seven months old and weigh: Gringo, 49#, Barrio 45# and Maxillicious 39# and Lola who is 1 year old weighs 44#. Highway will be 3 Dec 1 and weighs 51#. I’m thinking Gringo is going to be our hefty one..He is solid as a bull..I bought bananas for the dogs, sliced them and put Xylitol free peanut butter on the slices for them. They love them. Then they stole 2 whole bananas from the counter, they ate 1 banana, skin and all. I only found a part of the other banana peel. Nice healthy fiber. Damn them. They eat everything. I did not take a picture of their latest destruction because I was disturbed that they did what they did. They ATE the heavy wooden cistern cover. Yes. No joke. You could see down into the cistern. Really, honestly, they were that DAMN bored that they ate the cistern lid. Needless to say, this did not make Bill’s day. I’m sure it was all 3 boys and Lola. I think Highway watched with dismay. Dogs, man’s best friend.

I haven’t mentioned this next thing because I didn’t want to jinx it but these people are coming to visit us this summer.

chance fam

Our oldest son Chance and his wife Alecia and the girls. I am BEYOND excited to see them and am already planning lots of fun things to do while they are here. Neither of the girls have flown before and Alecia doesn’t like to fly so I really appreciate her willingness to put her fears aside and come to the island.

Alexah

Alexah’s school pic. What I love most about this photo (aside from the fact it’s of Alexah) is that she isn’t afraid to smile with her braces on. She is a gorgeous girl!

Chloee

Chloee, another beauty, she is growing up so fast. They both have their mother’s beautiful blue eyes!!

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Chance and his girls being goofy

One last thing, I am also helping out with the kids Christmas Party in Fiddlers Bight, a community accessed by boat. Last year Bill and I bought toys for the party and I helped wrap the gifts one day at BJ’s. We also went along with Santa to the bight for the festivities. This year Bill made a sturdy new chair for Santa which he desperately needs because so many women want to sit on his lap AT THE KIDS CHRISTMAS PARTY. This group is different from Because We Care. This is a smaller group of children, but still kids in need. If anyone wants to donate, $10.00 gives an island child a Christmas gift. Believe me when I say it’s the only gift they will get. You can donate for free to my PayPal account, just be sure to mark the money as a GIFT. I promise, 100% goes to the kids..my email for PayPal is ledfutt@gmail.com

And, I am off to bed, this cold/flu has kicked my butt. I really do not have time to be sick!

A quickie before I go

smile06/05/2015 Our fourth July 4th spent on Roatan. We were very low key. All the dogs watched except Lucky, he barked. The pups sat on the steps staring at the sky, I’m glad we were here for their first night of explosions. Bill worked at home all day and I did my airport gig all day. I was also a greeter last Saturday and while making my way through the lines chatting to people someone said my name and then said, “you’re Mermaid On a Raft.” I have NEVER BEEN SO FLATTERED IN MY LIFE. She introduced herself as Lizeth so I kind of followed them through the line and chatted with them (her husband and friends) for a bit. Yesterday as I was getting ready to go into the immigration area I saw them again, they were heading home. Then I recently got a comment on an older blog post from a gal that we met at La Sirena. Her husband just happened to find my blog and remembered talking to us at Jimmy’s. A few of them had on Akumal shirts and we have been to Akumal so naturally conversation ensued. Strong rum punches also encourage conversation..Liza and I have been in touch by email recently and are making plans to get together when they return this fall. Liza, hope you are recovering! (bicycle crash)

It sure is a small damn world.

Being a greeter at the airport is tiring but I LOVE IT! I especially love that I finally got to see my boy Tank yesterday. Kevin and Claire have made him the Blue Reef Properties official mascot and greeter. I saw Kevin come in the airport and he pointed over his shoulder to Claire and Tank in the parking lot. I went right out to see him and once he smelled me he knew exactly who I was. I was so happy to see him that Claire said to me, “are you crying?” Yep!! so happy Tank has a good home, they really adore him, which makes me feel good. I got to see him a second time during our break waiting for the 2:45 United flight to arrive. Sure love that boy!

I really enjoy welcoming all the people coming to the island and talking with them about their visit, answering questions and meeting the whole family. A girl asked me yesterday how I got the gig and did it pay well. I told her I volunteered and no it doesn’t pay at all. It’s just a good thing that we are doing and according to the feedback we get, people really like being greeted by someone with a big smile on their face saying, Welcome To Roatan!

And YAY, Lizeth (from the airport) just friended me on FB!! Thank you so much for introducing yourself, look forward to meeting up with you next time!

I met Nidia from Because We Care again this past week in Pandy Town. She was wood burning names on the backs of the desks and I went to take photos and for moral support. There are 2 classrooms but only 1 teacher showed up. The room next to us was being loud so Nidia went in and had a chat with them. I followed her in with my camera and that instigated a whole other experience. I started taking photos and they got crazy funny laughing at their pics..I’m getting them developed and taking them back to the students when I return from my escapade in the states.

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Shy or silly

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Brilliant smile

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making faces

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cutie

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Her hair must have taken hours. She is so pretty.

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Another beauty

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Camera shy

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She was too

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such pretty young girls

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He kind of loves the camera

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pretty pretty

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Not my picture, then he got hysterical when he saw it

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This was pretty funny too. Hope I can recognize him by the back of his head to give him this picture

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Nidia, AKA Wonder Woman, etching the names into the backs of the desks.

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Schoolyard dog, thankfully he wasn’t injured..

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recess and time to eat some mango

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or drink some sugar syrup stuff, like Kool Aid but probably worse.

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Playing hopscotch, it was drawn in the dirt.

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This little boy was adorable. Instead of tossing a stone, they were using a piece of glass. No joke.

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glass

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This is the snack bar at the school

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He asked me to take his picture

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So did these sweet girls. There was a man and a young boy at the school when I arrived. They were in the other room passing out school supplies and stuffed animals to everyone.

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Had to photograph these 2 also!

I leave on Wednesday for the US for 5 days + 2 days of travel.  I SUCK at packing. I totally am the worst packer ever.  I am physically and mentally incapable of packing  just a few things. My issue is, I can’t just “assign” outfits for a day b/c I may not be in the mood for the outfit of the day and I may not want to wear that option EVER AGAIN. I just put 1 more skirt and 2 more tops in the travel bag and am going to try my damnest to not add  another frigging thing. I am however, taking 2 huge bags and a huge duffle.  Actually, one big suitcase is for my 2 complete headlight assemblies for my car. The ones that were in it were the wrong ones and incorrect voltage. When I  put new bulbs in they exploded, seriously, into little pieces. An electrician here told us in 5 min. time what the problem was and by damn, he was right. We have spent the last 2.5 months trying to get ones here and gave up. I’ll transport them home and I will FINALLY be able to drive after dark! So, I’ll have a few (sic) clothes, ALL THE STUFF I’VE ORDERED ON AMAZON and my headlights and anything I buy to lug home. Yay for shopping in the USA. Happy it doesn’t happen often.

Today we ran down to the Beach Grill to get some stuff from Rob and then went to Rob and Lisa’s homes to see our former puppies, Bandit and Sable.  We took Barrio with us. He puked once all over the floor mat, then I stupidly gave him some water and he puked again. Lola used to get carsick too, guess he needs to travel more. Bandit and Sable remembered both of us but Barrio was a little apprehensive. I actually think it was mostly because he had been car sick. I let him off his leash and he started running around and playing with them.

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Driving on the beach from the Beach Grill

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It is a road. Sort of.

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Dock at Tranquil Seas

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Sandy Bay

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Cool plant but I didn’t really get to examine it so I’m confused..

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Barrio meets his brother Bandit (R) again

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Sable and Bandit both checking out Barrio

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Is Bandit not adorable??

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Sable and Barrio, she was the only female pup so she is a tough one!!

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You can tell Barrio and Bandit are brothers

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Lisa and Rob’s cat

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Sable chewing Barrio’s ear

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Little Miss Feisty

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The neighbor dog w/ Bandit and Sable

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Barrio was very timid

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Standing on the dock on the bay. His feet were going between the boards, he didn’t like that.

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Rob and Lisa’s restaurant, The Beach Grill. A really good restaurant with a gorgeous view!

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Sacked out on my foot until I gave him the last little bite of Bill’s burger, he was hungry after throwing up all of his breakfast.

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Just a quick pose, first restaurant visit.

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Beach Grill is attached to the Blue Bahia resort, separate owners. Olivia and I stayed at Blue Bahia in 2010.

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Boys fishing

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It really is a sucky place for a hammock…NOT.

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My 3 boys sit until I put their food down. I don’t even have to say a word, they know.

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They are still sharing out of the lasagna pan. Maybe it will teach them not to fight over food.

Handsome Highway..he and Lola guard the dish while the boys eat. Never know when a piece will find it’s way into their mouths!

This morning while cleaning up the kitchen I threw something in the trash can. EEWWW. There was a good sized dead lizard in there. I asked Bill, “why is there a dead lizard in the trash.” His response, was, “I didn’t think you would want it laying on the floor.”  My cat does not eat them, only slays them. Although, that statement doesn’t explain the gross lizard tail in my last post.

Life in the jungle.

P.S. I lied when I said this was a quickie..once I start talking, well, you know.

****Thanks Lizeth and Liza for reaching out, hope to see you on the island again soon.****

 

Final note, I promise. We changed Brindles’ name (Bill hated it) to Gringo..

 

And they called it puppy love….

bacation from05/04/2015  Click here if you want to listen to Paul Anka croon Puppy Love while you read. Thanks Marilyn for the blog title.

We are living in Puppy Central. It’s a special kind of neighborhood, one where you don’t get shit done all day long because all you do is PUPPY STARE. Yes, we sit for hours and watch these little creatures develop before our very eyes. Their eyes opened and they are all a milky blue color, they really can’t see very well yet but that is coming. Cuteness abounds in this household, so does puppy pee and poop. We have lots of both!

My friend KP arrived on Sunday, she had been bumped to first class so she was off the plane immediately and in line. It only took her about 5 minutes in immigration, a record for anyone I’ve picked up at the airport! We haven’t seen each other for at least 20 years but once together, there was no time space. We went to our house, unloaded suitcases, visited puppies then went to Parrot Tree to float in the lagoon and drink some beer.

It was an oppressively hot few days with the “real feel” temp well over 100 degrees. The sweat was abundant on every square inch of the body. We didn’t get out of the water except to get more beers. Bill had dinner ready when we got home and we had drinks on the roof.

The next morning we got up early and waited for Nidia’s call. We were headed to Pandy Town to deliver desks and school supplies. We met the crew at 8 and followed them down into Pandy Town. School wasn’t in session but they had the students from Pandy Town and Calabash Bight waiting for us to arrive. This is the school we went to the first day I helped with the TOM’s shoe delivery. The classrooms are in bad shape, there were desks with sharp pieces of rusted metal sticking up in the air still being used! Desks were very needed here. There were only 6 in a room that has 23 students.

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Kids reciting things in Spanish and English for us.

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Nidia telling the students about the Desk Drive and about the people who generously donate the desks. She also always tells them that they have to respect the desks and take care of them or they won’t get any more.

 

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The desks in the school

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twisted rusted metal

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They are in bad shape

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students sitting outside on their new desks

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school doorknob

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Happy students. The chairs were taken inside after Nidia told them about taking care of them. We were all done passing out school stuff when a teacher came out with a little boy. He had been in the classroom taking care of his desk.

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Getting toothbrushes and school supplies. Karen (KP) in pink.

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I remembered several of the students from fitting shoes

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Nidia with the students

This was the last time I was going to see Addy, Brian and Nancy before they headed back to Canada after being here 3 months working in the schools and the clinic. Actually those 3 worked almost every day of their 3 months here. So happy we became friends, hope to see them again!

Later on Monday, KP and I went to Lady Lee and bought some toys to take to the kinder. We got a set of big Lego blocks, a few puzzles and a small interactive toy set. That evening we made cupcakes for the students in El Higuero, we were going there Tuesday afternoon.

On Tuesday we went to Big French Key for a few hours. There were several cruise ship people there but it wasn’t too crowded. We spent the majority of our time there on rafts in the water. It was just too dam hot to get out.

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Looking towards LFK from Big French Key. I prefer BFK because they respect and protect the reef.

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There was an Asian guy snorkeling while wearing his FLIP FLOPS. The red is the sandals.

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No, BFK isn’t as fancy as LFK but it’s better for me, and it’s the same water..

We got home about 2 PM and Bill and Alexi loaded the desk and the whiteboard up, we grabbed the cupcakes and the juice packs KP bought, the school supplies and toys and TOMs shoes and went down in the valley. The teacher was in the midst of a lesson but was very happy to be interrupted by us. The students were excited to get new shoes. One of the little boys needed a smaller shoe and we didn’t have any but luckily I had a pack of new socks and put a pair on him and the shoes were fine. There was no way we could leave one little boy without new shoes. KP brought little Koala pins from Australia for all of the students, They loved them and were excited when she clipped them onto their shirts. We had Alexi tell the teacher about the donations, (she doesn’t speak any English) who paid for the whiteboard and toys and they showed the teacher which markers to use on the whiteboard and how to flip it over. When we left the kids were digging into the cupcakes and juice. These students are so sweet and it felt really good to give something to this (pregnant) teacher who volunteers her time. Thank you again Walt and Judy Kaiser, I still have lots of $$ left to spend, just finding the biggest needs.

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The students getting ready to be fit for new shoes!

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This little girl is so cute, I have a photo of her carrying her new desk in the day we delivered them.

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The whiteboard in the background. They had to move some things to make room for it and the desk.

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The little boy in the blue shirt is the one I had to use socks to make his new shoes fit.

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KP fitting shoes

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Finally, socks and they fit!!!

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cupcakes

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This is the classroom. Really, it is. There were chickens and dogs running all over.

When we got home we rushed around getting showers before Dave and Lynda came for dinner. They were leaving on Thursday and we wanted to get together one more time. I’m so happy we finally got to meet them!

 

On Tuesday afternoon I got a FB message from a friend. She and her husband have the Free Radical catamaran that I’ve been on a few times. They had 28 backpacks and several bags stuffed full of school supplies and needed to get it out of their boat. I said I would come and get it so Wednesday morning KP and I met them at BJ’s. They were not kidding when the said they had A LOT OF STUFF. OMG!! It’s like an office supply store in the downstairs living room.

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A bag of pencil sharpeners

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Leaning tower of crayons

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Pencils, notebooks, rulers, erasers

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Colored pencils

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new backpacks

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Construction paper and water colors, toothbrushes, kleenex

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over 50 glue sticks

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We emptied the backpacks, sorted the stuff, then put one of pretty much everything in each pack. We had so much stuff left over that will be given to teachers.

That was a hot sweaty job that required wine and lots of fans. It’s so exciting to get all of this stuff for the kids. Thanks so much to all the teachers who took the time to buy and transport this to Roatan and thanks to Ed and Julie for storing it.

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KP and I also checked out the clothing store in Los Fuertes. I was amazed at how much stuff they had. I’ve found somewhere to buy clothes!! I got 3 tops and a skirt for $13.00. Only problem was it was so hot in there that I couldn’t get some things on because I was a sweat ball. Next time I’ll go on a cooler day.

Wednesday eve we went to Cal’s for dinner. Fabulous meal as always, never disappointed there!

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Headed to Heaven, AKA La Sirena

On Thursday it was raining and gray, not much to do outside so we headed to Camp Bay for lunch. It was drizzling on and off, not pouring by any means. There were 6 people there when we arrived, Joe and his brother were 2 of them. We had a good lunch, talked to the other people and Joe and Pete. We always run in to interesting people at La Sirena.

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Our friend Joe and his brother Pete at La Sirena.

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Me and KP

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Leaving La Sirena

Friday KP and I were beach bound, gloomy or not. It was Labor Day here on the island which meant that a lot of places were closed and there was a big riot  parade in Los Fuertes. We knew before we left that traffic would be ugly and that we would have to take the Bahia road. It was ugly on the Bahia road but we really didn’t have to wait all that long.

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House on the Bahia road. The water/shoreline is not very far behind these homes.

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Store

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Brightly painted buildings

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traffic jam on the Bahia Rd.

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Traffic jam headed east into Las Fuertes, glad we were going the other way.

KP wanted to do some shopping so we went to West End, hoping that the stores would be open. There weren’t many people in West End, not like there usually are. We wandered around, went in a few stores. I bought some things for the house (downstairs.)

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3 more metal sea creatures for the wall

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And additional hanging space for the small bedroom, (thanks Cheryl for the idea)

When Cis and Cheryl were here we were looking for a place called Eataly in West End to grab lunch. We walked way down the road, but not far enough. Today KP and I found it and we fell in love. Their pasta is home made, sauce is too and it was a delicious and filling lunch!

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Pasta with sauce and black olives, $8.00. It was A LOT of food.

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Definitely going back.

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Looks out over West End road and the water.

After our stomachs were full we went to West Bay beach and parked our butts on chairs at Banarama and drank beer while watching people on the Jet Boards. Looks like fun but extremely hard work to actually stand up.  We made a quick grocery stop on the way home. KP had to pack tonight as she was leaving on Saturday.

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Dude on a Jet Board, $75.00 for 15 minutes.

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The beach was empty and the water was rough. Usually this beach is smooth and calm but there was a storm headed our way.

Saturday I took KP to the airport for her 1 PM flight on United to Houston. I left the airport and went home to get Bill, we were doing free skin cancer checks at Barefoot Key. We got there @ 1, left around 2:30, got groceries and came home. I started making my breakfast for the week, got that all cleaned up, washed all the dishes and decided to sit down and relax. Just as I did I noticed a message from KP, she was STILL at the airport, flight canceled. I put my bra back on and drove as fast as I could to the airport. We left there at 5:30 after realizing it would be easier and faster to call United from the house and get the flight re-booked. Plus, it was going to get dark soon and I have NO HEADLIGHTS still. She got booked on Avianca, leaving Roa @ 11AM on Sunday. Bill was going to have to take her to the airport because I was headed to Helene with Nidia and Because We Care.

The Helene trip will be another post because this is too long and I don’t even have any puppy photos, so here we go. PUPPY CENTRAL! You may want to play Puppy Love again, just saying…

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Bandit in the middle, Sable on top of him

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KP brought the dogs chew sticks. We didn’t think about how hard it would be for Frito to hold hers in her front PAW so KP held it for awhile, then I did. Frito thoroughly enjoyed it. She also enjoyed the beef jerky she stole out of KP’s suitcase. Damn potlicker dogs!

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2 week old acrobats, Sable and Bandit

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Unfortunately their poop blends in nicely with the floor

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Lots of puppy breath too

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It seems like these two are always together, it’s really cool because they are going to be together when they get adopted.

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I covered them up, so sweet!

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poser

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Convention at the boobs

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Highway meeting his Niece and Nephews

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Lola decides to climb on in

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Frito didn’t even care. I thought she would rip their lips off.

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Eyes are open but they still can’t see.

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smelling each other

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Mosh pit

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busting out

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We love this guy, a little too much.

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Rob holding Bandit. They came to visit and kept switching puppies.

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I think Lisa dressed to match Sable.

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Bandit in his daddy’s arms.

So there you have it, cutest puppies ever. Funny, none of them look like Frito and they don’t all look alike.

Before the wench got drenched.

Pirate

04/05/2015 Happy Easter everyone. Thanks Cheryl for the blog title. I’m going to attempt to finish the adventures of Cicily, Cheryl and I in this post. One thing I forgot to mention was that Friday evening, after a day on the beach we went to Cal’s Cantina for dinner. Not only is it right down the road from us, it is also the BEST food and restaurant view on the island. I had to add that because what kind of hosts would we be if we didn’t take our guests to Cal’s?

OK, back to the adventures. Sunday was an off and on rainy day. We decided to go for it and headed east. So far the girls had only been west of our house, except for the boat trip with Sam and Chelsie. We stopped at the store in Oak Ridge for drinks and munchies then did a road tour of Oak Ridge and stopped by to see Miguel and Winston.

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Narrow road past BJ’s and on the way to the taxi stand.

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Boat in the harbor

From there we headed east to Camp Bay and Roger and Jeanie’s house. It cleared up on the way and turned out to be a nice day. We visited with Roger and Jeanie for awhile, ooohhed and aaahed over their view and the sounds of the waves crashing on the rocks. Bill discussed some cabinets that Jeanie wants for the kitchen and took some measurements of the wall space.

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Roger and Jeanie

After that we went further east to La Sirena, AKA Jimmy’s. Just as we got there we saw our friends Francis and Karen. We stopped to chat with them and I recognized the one guy from the previous day at Pigeon Key. Turns out he is Francis’ brother. Small world, small island. We had rum punches and lunch at La Sirena.

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Good food, cold beer

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Fish lunch. I had Onion Rings!!!

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Cis and Cheryl @ La Sirena

We covered new ground by driving the road over the mountain (sic, this is Roatan, they are big hills compared to where I come from) to Port Royal. It was a really pretty drive, during parts of it you forgot you were on an island, it looked like any other forest. Sort of.

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It is, after all a National Park

Next stop was Punta Gorda, actually, we just drove through there to show them the area.

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Punta Gorda

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These columns were very intricately carved. The road alongside them leads back to one of the schools we did the TOMS show drive.

We made our way home and went down to John’s pool for a late afternoon dip. The pool water felt great, not cold at all.

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On John’s deck

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The sunset was stunning.

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Cheryl

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Cicily

On Monday morning we drove down to Sandy Bay to check out Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum. This is the place that hydroponically grows the fabulous lettuce that we eat here on Roatan. They also grow a variety of herbs that are also sold in the grocery store. FROM THEIR WEBSITE:  “Welcome to Blue Harbor Tropical Arboretum, Roatan’s working ”Tropical Eden” covering over 160 eco-friendly acres.  Here you will find uniquely spectacular tropical displayed gardens, seasonal fruit and nut orchards, the only tropical botanical “Conservatory” with a 12 ft waterfall in the Caribbean and over 70,000 heads of lettuce and herbs in a working hydroponic produce and herb farm.” We did the self guided tour and it was amazing. You can take your own tour by clicking HERE.

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Heliconia’s

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Noni fruit is known to be used for a variety of illnesses, including cancer and Dengue.

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Close up of Heliconia’s

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Ornamental Pineapple

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Inside the conservatory

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Shell Ginger

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Colors and textures

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Orchid

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Inside the conservatory

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Cheryl, me and Cicily, at the fruit tasting

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First we were served a plate with 7 different types of fruit on it. We all liked the brown fig looking one of the left the best.

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Then we were given this and told to each eat a lime slice first, then put the seed of the Miracle Fruit in our mouth and clean all of the stuff off of the seed until all you had left was the black seed itself. Then we were to each eat a slice of lime again. The first slice of lime was bitter as hell, normal for a lime. However, after eating the Miracle Fruit, the second slice of lime was sweet. It wasn’t tart at all. That sensations stayed in your mouth for about 20 minutes. We each bought some cashews and other stuff and were on our way to West End to do some shopping.

West End wasn’t very crowded, people were just starting to make their way to the island for the Semana Santa festivities/craziness. We shopped for a few hours and on the way home stopped at the Bulk Gourmet for lunch, which was delicious as always! Once we got home I gave Nancy a call to see if they would be home. They had just gotten there and she said to come on over. I really wanted them to see their house.

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View from the great room deck. The pool isn’t fiinshed but once it is it will be gorgeous.

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From the bedroom looking out over the property to the entertainment building.

We had a nice visit with them, toured their gardens and looked at the awesome flowers and plants they have. I’m going over once Sebastian returns and get some cuttings!!

The next day was the Pirate Party out in Calabash Bight. We were making rum balls in the morning to take, seemed fitting for a Pirate Party. This is the link for the Rum Balls, they were a huge hit. I made a sign and amazingly even had little pirate swords to stick in them. The sign got wet along with everything else on the ride to the party. Nothing like being at a party with a soaking wet ass. Oh well, once I got some Bandit in me (and yes Nathan and Scott,) I was drinking out of the BOX, I forgot I was wet.

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They were so good

We got to BJ’s around 11;45 for a ride to the party. The first boat came and went, we said we would wait for the next one, big mistake. BIG BIG mistake. Pudens son came soon after the first boat left and we climbed aboard. Part way to Big Rock the sky opened up and it freaking POURED BUCKETS!!

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I am the wench who got drenched!!

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The party in full swing. Photo by Cindy Darby Macy

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Brenda and I chatting, Marilyn and Alex next to me. Photo by Cindy Darby Macy (I think)

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The fabulous hosts Francie and Franklin Chrstopher. Note the Pirate Flag flying in the background!

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Cheryl and Llyn and ?? Photo by Cindy Darby Macy

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The outdoor kitchen

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Awesome wooden fish

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Franklin’s Pirate Pizza menu

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The pizza oven

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Their luxurious guest casitas

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The food pavilion

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Looking up to the Casita from the food pavilion

They made so many different kinds of pizzas and they were all fabulous. There were other foods too that people brought, it was all delicious! I took a box of Bandit wine with me. Jeanie noticed that it perfectly matched my ZORIES. (AKA sandals)

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Yes, Jeanie calls them ZORIES. It’s a fine name but to me they are flip flops..

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Did I mention the girls brought me BANDIT???

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Jeanie took this photo of Cheryl, me and Cicily as we were waiting for the boat to take us home.

The boat ride home was mesmerizing. At least it mesmerized the 3 of us into a trance like state, which was fine except I had to still drive from Oak Ridge home. It was interesting for sure and a whole lot calmer and drier going home. I think we all went home and passed out.

Their next to last day here we were going to Little French Key. Before we went there I gave them a tour of Parrot Tree Plantation, such a beautiful spot on the island.

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Cheryl posing on one of the beds around the pool

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Gorgeous flower

I had told Cicily and Cheryl (and everyone else) so much about Little French Key that I held good on my promise to take them there. Personally, I will not go there anymore, too many things bother me and I won’t get in to them on my blog but it’s not someplace I will visit again. It was overly crowded on Tuesday, crazy busy and the prices were jacked up, even for local admittance. Enough said, I won’t go on and on but I could easily.

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The Jaguar enclosure, this is a new structure.

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Such a gorgeous animal, too bad it is in captivity.

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It rained a little early in the day but cleared up and the sun was out the rest of the time there.

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From the 2nd floor of the new building

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Assessing the situation

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A swing in the water by the one bar

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Cis chilling

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Nice swing but it was all slimey, grossed me out.

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floating

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looking pretty comfy

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Cheryl, drink in hand

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Watching some young girls jump off of the Bottom’s Up bar.

We wrapped up out day at LFK and headed for home and a last dinner at Cal’s Cantina. Once again, we were not disappointed in our meals, it was superb!

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Notice Cheryl has on her Umbul Umbul dress.

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WE are so lucky Cal’s is less than 5 minutes from our house!

The next morning the girls were packing up their stuff to get ready to head to the airport for their trip back to the land of the cold.

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The dogs were hanging out, even Frito bean. Lola and Frito on the bench, Lucky and Highway on the ground. Frito is a little FAT.

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Bad but pretty, Lola, TUQ

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We could see the mainland.

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nose to nose

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I sure hope Cicily and Cheryl come back, I still have places to show them!!!

They made it home but it was not uneventful. Cheryl decided to wander around in Houston and ended up missing her flight to Newark. Cicily was on the plane, Cheryl was not in sight. They were arriving in Newark late so they planned to stay overnight at a hotel and drive back to PA in the morning. Cheryl was lucky enough to get on the next flight and made it to the hotel at 2:30 AM. Crazy girls!! They are now back in Pa, freezing their butts off and both wishing they were still here.

Life in the ‘HOOD.

 

breathe

11/6/2014  After a rainy rainy week we finally are getting some sunshine. Normally I could tell you how much rain we got but our weather station reset itself the beginning of November. Who knew? Speaking of November. How the hell did that happen? It was just July wasn’t it? Of course, here on the rock, seasons are insignificant. December, May, August, February, all interchangeable. Well, in certain respects. We do have a rainy season, enter November; however that is not to say we don’t have rainy spells during the year. This is NOT a desert island, it’s a veritable jungle. It’s green for as far as the eye can see and from our house, that’s pretty far. GREEN GREEN and BLUE. I’ll take it. This is my breakfast view.

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South

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North

Our residency cards must be renewed yearly and to do this you have to go to Tegucigalpa. It is a ridiculous pain in the ass so I contacted Cristiana (our lawyer) to see if she could do it for us. She planned to go there on Wed. so on Monday Bill and I drove down to her house and dropped off our cards and the fee. This has to be done yearly for 5 years and after that once every 5 years. It’s so much easier and cheaper to have her do it that it’s insane to even bother to attempt to do it ourselves. We got our new cards yesterday, good for another year.

This house needed cleaned, not downstairs since Bill is using that once again as a workshop (constant UGH) but upstairs was dirty and dusty. With the rains the dogs were inside and 3 good sized shedding dogs make a huge hair mess. Add to that the sawdust that blows upstairs and comes firmly attached to Bill’s clothes and socks and shoes and you have a pig sty. I dusted, swept and mopped. All clean but it doesn’t last long. It is incredibly dusty down here, the screens and window tracks are covered with dust at all times. Oh well, I really try not to let it bother me and I am 50% successful 50% of the time.

On Tuesday Jeanie stopped by. I haven’t seen her since our trip to La Sirena. She and her husband were back at their home in Atlanta for a few months and just returned. Always enjoy her company. Later on that evening Cleo came over to visit us, so nice having them as neighbors, I just wish they were permanently our neighbors and not moving out to the other end of the world. It will be OK though because I like boat rides and we’ll find out soon enough if all 3 dogs do too. Craig is getting a special boat that is dog friendly so we can come out and stay for extended periods of time at the ranch. Thanks Craig, what a guy you are when not wearing garbage bags.

I met a new friend on Facebook and she finally moved to the island. Welcome to the island Jen, so nice to finally meet you! As luck would have it, a malnourished little kitten found her in Coxen Hole. Animals know who to go to, like Highway getting hit by the truck in front of me..She was taking the cat to Dr. Calderone on Wednesday so I said I would meet her at the vet office. The little kitty was adorable but she couldn’t keep it, she can’t have pets where she is temporarily living. She was lucky enough to find a good home for it. I took her to Carniagro and then to the mall to go to Tigo. Tigo was closed just like the banks were, for the rest of the week. Nice way they decide to change holidays and group them all together, on a whim. Nice vacation for the Hondurans. We went in to Roatan Motorsports, what a great store. The first time I was in they didn’t have much stuff, now they do! Lots of fishing and snorkeling gear and rafts!! Many different types of rafts, nice rafts too!! Anybody looking for a raft, check there.

On Wednesday afternoon Don and Janice came by for some wine and a visit. Always a pleasure visiting with these two.

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afternoon snacks, cheese, grapes, almonds and starfruit

Thursday Bill and I did some running around, had to get groceries and wine because Stef and Jurgen were coming over for dinner. We have seen Jurgen recently but not Stefi since she had been sick, so it was fabulous to see her once again. After dinner Craig and Cleo came up and joined us for drinks. The pleasures of ‘Hood living.

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It was a stormy night off and on so we hung out inside.

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We even ate inside, that was a first.

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Yes, I use a plastic wine glass. Crappy hand grip, nice glasses and concrete do not mix well.

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Bill was making pizza, his new specialty. He makes the dough from scratch and cooks it on the grill.

Friday we were planning to go to BJ’s with Craig and Cleo but the weather was so nasty we decided against it. For our dose of Halloween we were going to watch Beetlejuice and Craig and Cleo were going to join us, except only Cleo came. We sat down to watch the movie and were half way through it when we heard Craig at the door. Bill went down to let him in and when Craig walked up the steps I lost it. We have a standing joke that our neighborhood is PWT, Poor White Trash. We have gone back and forth with ordinances, safety meetings, steering committee, rules and regulations for living in a PWT hood. Well, I’ll spare you the photos since I haven’t asked for or gotten permission to post them and I’m not even sure they are acceptable to be posted online; BUT, picture this. A man in his undies and white trash bags with trash stuffed in the bags. BEST HALLOWEEN COSTUME EVER. I’m still snorting over it.

Saturday was a soul drenching day. It POURED and then some all freaking day. You couldn’t see the horizon, let alone the water on the south side!

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South side of island looking towards the mainland of Central America. You can’t even see Neverstain Bight.

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So misty, foggy, whatever you want to call it, it felt good. The air was cool and crisp and the sound of the rain was soothing. I loved it. This is the eastern view of the north shore.

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Raining men, women, children AND cats and dogs.. Our 3 were inside sleeping soundly all day. Since it was such a cool day I baked. FOR THE DOGS. I made doggie cookies. I always double the recipe but this time I doubled the doubled recipe and made a crap load of dog treats. I also made some pill pockets things for Dooce’s daily pills, sure beats dirtying a knife everyday to get peanut butter to cover her pill. I’m lazy, I know.

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These are human grade but rather bland and cardboard tasting. The dogs LOVE them though & that’s all that matters!

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Using my fancy peanut butter jar lid cookie cutter.

Sunday was a gorgeous day. It was sunny and only semi cloudy. We hung around here, I sat on the patio with the boys and read and actually got some sun. My tan is fading..

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I got my bag out again on Sunday. It is my favorite thing ever and I have used it constantly since my BFF Andee sent it to me.

It is made by a company called thirty one. They have lots of cute stuff. I have my Contigo water bottle, my tablet, my phone and my camera along with my sun hat all tucked neatly into the bags and it’s myriad pockets. I love this bag.

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Along with the stormy weather came some pretty strong wind. It was so strong it blew the toilet paper off the stand, out of the bathroom and off of the roll on to the floor. Notice the caps for the bolts on the toilet have not been put on yet. I guess the bolts are too long and need cut so the caps will fit. I had to order the caps on Amazon, toilets here don’t always come with them.

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We had a hatch of these damn bugs the other night. They were everywhere. In the morning there were wings inside and out. Bill took the shop vac to all the window tracks in the house. I have yet to go through and clean them. I don’t think this is a wise time of year to waste my energy doing that. I mean, I don’t want to be hasty.

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Beautiful sky

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ever changing color

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Emmy has been sitting on the table looking out the window the past few mornings so I slid the screen back to see what she would do. She jumped out the window onto the patio table

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And stared at me.

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She likes to go out and lay under the steps but she doesn’t like when Highway nips her in the butt. You can see Neverstain Bight in this photo, it’s the tiny body of water to the right of Emmy’s ears.

Bill has been busy making these wooden lounge chairs. He made them many years ago when we lived in Pa and thought they would be nice to have down here, hoping also that he can sell a few of them. He was given a chair pad from a friend, makes a nice comfy place to lay in the sun.

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He also hung the last light in the kitchen. I recently brought it home with me. Thanks so much Teri B for getting it for me.

I was out on the deck with Lucky the other day and he was laying under the corner table. I watched this lizard run under my chair, under the bench and jump on Lucky’s paw, his leg, his shoulder and then onto the wood post behind Luck. It all happened so fast I couldn’t get a pic and Luck couldn’t even react.

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This guy is not afraid of dogs or he didn’t even realize Luck was alive.

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Luck is either under my chair or in the corner in the shade. OR, out in the bright sunshine working on his tan.

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They all love yogurt. Lucky licked this container clean. I think he looks so funny with it on his lips and nose.

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This is where Highway spends his days. He rests his head in the same opening and watches the driveway and the yard, waiting for something to bark at. Car, bird, lizard, leaf…

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This damn dog…..

Tuesday I went to my first ladies lunch. I’ve been invited for a long time but really didn’t have the desire to go.  Jeanie messaged me a day after she was here and asked me to go with her. I didn’t know if it was just a small group or the big ladies lunch and I must have been off kilter at the moment, because I said yes. I was going. Crap. I am not much for lunch or for large groups of people, I much prefer small groups. It was being held at Blue Bahia, where Olivia and I stayed in 2010 and also where we ate Thanksgiving last year with some friends. Tuesday was a nasty day, raining buckets and blowing. Jeanie was coming from the far east end of the island, picking up Nancy and coming here. Then we were leaving from here with Cleo driving. It stopped raining once we headed west, not such a bad day except for the huge pools of water laying all over the roads. We stopped at Lawson Rock and picked up Judy and set off for Blue Bahia. They had a good turn out, lots of people I’ve not met and many that I know. It was a nice time, I got to talk to Connie from Cattleya School and plan to go there with Jurgen. It is a school for mentally and physically handicapped island children. Such a cool thing they do, I want to see if it’s somewhere I would like to volunteer.

Bill got an email that was sent to 2 different email addresses of mine and 3 of his. It was from the realtor we bought this property from in 2007. The last we saw him was 2008 when we were on vaca here. Jim’s Mother passed away while we were here and he ended up going back to Wisconsin to sell her house and never returned. He emailed us because he is on the island until Sat and is hoping to see us. He came back down to sell some property he owned. We’re kind of sticking around here hoping to hear that he is able to make it down to this end of the island. The last time he saw our land it was a grown up, jungly piece of property with a cistern and that’s it. Things have changed.

Since I had walking pneumonia a month ago I’ve had trouble with my ear. The same ear that I perforated the eardrum when I couldn’t equalize on a dive in Akumal. I saw my friend Andrea when I met Jen @ the vet’s and she told me not to go in the ocean until my ear is healed. She said when I think it’s healed she wants to check it (she is a nurse) because if the hole in the eardrum hasn’t closed I can will get an infection. I planned to go snorkeling with Jen and get more water in my ear with the hopes the remaining water would leave with the new water, Andrea said not a good plan. It’s been a month now and it’s still not better, it feels like that ear is underwater every time I swallow. It’s a marvelous sensation. I am ordering special earplugs on Amazon, sending them to my friend Susan who I will be picking up at the airport when she arrives in December. Maybe then I can get my diving refresher course with Kristi and can start diving again! Keeping fingers crossed.. Speaking of diving if you have never seen a frog fish here is a fantastic video of one curiously going after a diver. I DID NOT film this, found it online. Talk about a creature of the deep. I will be looking for these guys once I get back underwater.

I’m headed back outside in the sun for a little while longer. It’s so freaking intense it felt like my boobs were getting crispy through my black dress. Hmm, maybe that’s what the burning smell was..