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What happened to the rainy season?

Nov. 21st, 2009 | 07:14 pm

Ok, what’s up with weather? I thought we were going into the rainy season. We have had only a few days of rain the whole month. This is supposed to be the rainiest month of the year. We had a couple days of torrential downpours that came and went then a few drizzly days last week and this Thursday and that’s it. It has been the most beautiful of days right around 84’ and 74’ at night although it got down to 72’ the last 2 nights and we needed blankets. There isn’t a cloud in the sky today and not much humidity. It doesn’t feel hot and sticky like we had this Aug-Oct which seemed like the hottest ever, maybe this is our reward for that. Sleeping with the windows open and no one is using the AC much. This is great as anyone who has seen our power bill knows. The photo below is the view from my office as I write this looking at the sea. My office changes a lot. Today I’m on the top deck of the palala; some days at the pool; or restaurant with all the parrots; or the patio under an umbrella; or the front porch looking at the sea; sometimes I can work from the beach with the portable modem; or sometimes just from bed looking at the sea in my PJ’S in the early AM. Some days when things get really crazy and we are so busy, or I just come home from the bank with the system being down for the last 4 days, driving 2 times a day to find this out and standing in line because the girl isn’t sure until she tries to run my bill which is now 4 days late, just how lucky we are to live on this beautiful island, having some of the most wonderful friends. Where else can you go to work barefoot, wear swimsuit tops with tanks or even a swimsuit with a sarong most of the day because when you came back from a beach walk you forgot to change until 3PM when things got busy and didn’t make it up to the house until then. Tony across the street at Penelope’s (great jewelry store) always asks when I have my $2 Old navy flip flops on “hey, where you going?” I’m not sure if we ever could live in the states again
The elections here are just 8 days away and things are getting back to normal. No one really cares too much about the ex-president and just wants the country to move forward. It seems sometime like it was all hype and then everyone said “oh well do what you want and we will respect it”. There were actually many people on the island who worked very hard to make this happen and change minds especially Mitch Cummins of Paradise computer who spend months and many $$’s to make sure our voices were heard, THANKS! The planes came in again full today which is such a good thing.
Thanksgiving is this week , and our guests are trying to decide if we should make dinner as a family or go to Bananarama where they are having deep fried, roasted and smoked turkey with the trimmings for $15. That sounds pretty good. Bay island beach resort, where we usually go every Thursday for their BBQ on the beach and crab races is taking some time off until the busier season. We have been going to Bananarama on Sunday afternoons for Kristifer, the $5 burgers, crab races and the amazing fire dancers. This is really good as it is free and at a reasonable hour for people with kids or who don’t stay up late.
Maxi , our black cat, is still recuperating with her arm in a cast. She broke her forearm (or do I say forepaw). She still has 24 more days to go and she doesn’t like it.
Our facebook fan page is doing really good. 1 week and already 99 fans, YEA! It is just called West Bay lodge, clever huh?
Well, it looks like time to get a cold Port Royal beer and watch the sun go down on the beach. It is going to be a great sunset. Another good thing about living here.
Celeste


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A very rainy day!

Nov. 7th, 2009 | 12:24 pm

Well, it looks like the big storm is going to miss us and we will just get some of the rain, which we need. It was a very hot dry fall with no rain in Sept/Oct. We have gotten a lot of rain in the last 2 days and more to come for the next 2 days. Yesterday was the 1st cold day of the season and it was 73’ in the morning. Jacob wore a long sleeve shirt, jeans a stocking hat and sweatshirt. When I went to the school to pick the kids up all were dressed like that. I am really appreciating the nice cool breeze today at 75’. The cats however, are all freezing, even Alex who has a coat like he is from Alaska is cold. I always feel better when it is the end of hurricane season. I know that Roatan hardly ever gets a hurricane and isn’t even in the hurricane belt, but it is always in the back of your mind when you live on a tropical island and we check the weather web sights daily.
Things are still a little slow on the island, but is starting to pick up with word getting out, that the island was never affected. The political issues from the mainland have been resolved and the elections will be recognized by the world. It would have been better though if it had been done much sooner.
The new mega mall in French Harbor seems to be opening new stores every few days. The grocery store is beautiful and has great prices. The applebees seems to be the place to go for dinner if live out that way and even has live music. There is also a coffee shop; 4 clothing stores; 2 banks; barbar shop; icecream; eye Dr; medical clinic; dentist; vet and pet shop; 2 computer stores; 3 cell phone stores; candy shop; game room for kids; big office supply store; and what will be my favorite; my friend Lorin opened up a day spa called “sooth your soul”. She has massages; facials; mani/pedi and the wonderful Chinese ionic detoxing foot bath. This is great for your liver, kidneys, gallbladder etc. About 10 of us did the series of 12 this summer at our pool and the results were amazing. he also has many wonderful bath and beauty lotions and oils. She is next to the grocery store. There are many stores that look like they will open soon.
The new cruise ship dock in Dixon Cove will open Nov 20 and is called Mahogany bay. We drove down there a few weeks ago. It is really nice. It has many shops and restaurants/bars. They bought the Coral Cay island next to it with it’s beautiful white sand beach. If anyone was there they will remember it as where the giant sea turtles were. They will have a marked snorkeling tour and dive shop. The new thing we just learned is there are chair lifts that will go between the ship right to the beach. Sounds like fun. They are planning on 1-2 ships per day. The Coxen Hole dock will also have 1-2 on many days starting next week..
The new charter flights from Montreal, Ontario & Toronto with Sunwing will start Dec 14 and I heard there will be 2 more flights from Canada for the busy season. The Milan flight starts flying again mid Dec.
I am creating a business page on Facebook for West Bay lodge. It is different from a friends page as you sign up as a fan and get hotel updates and can post your photos on it. If you have a facebook account please sign up to be a fan. I will still be sending the quarterly newsletter and writing in the journal.
Well, that is my catch-up news.
I hope everyone is having a great day.
Celeste

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It's working again!!

Aug. 27th, 2009 | 02:41 pm

Well, I can start posting again! I have been busy here and just updated the journal account.
There have been many things going here and much news.
I have recovered from my broken foot and I’m back to trying to walk on the beach as often as I can for 45 mins-1 hour.
The island is at its slowest this week so everyone is busy cleaning and getting ready for a rush in Sept.
Part of the new mall in French harbor is opening this week. The new big grocery store will be great to have here; there is a new furniture store; ice cream shop; computer store; 3 new banks; dentist; vet and many new other businesses including Wendy’s which opened last week and a new Applebee’s.
We stopped at Wendy’s on Sunday afternoon for Milos’s Birthday and it was packed! I guess they
Knew there market here. The rest should open in the next few months. It is very large.
Nov 09 the cruise ship dock with many shops and restaurants in Mahogany Bay. The new cruise dock in Coxen Hole is now open also. The new huge grocery store Eldon’s French harbor is now open. We have so many shopping options now compared to 3-4 years ago when it was like a scavenger hunt to buy groceries.
Our restaurant Celeste’s is doing great and everyone is having fun with the parrots at breakfast and lunch. Our new royal bungalow is now finished and beautiful. It has 1 bedroom with 1 queen bed and another bedroom area with queen bed, kitchen, living area with a view and big front porch.
I am trying to set up a face book page for the hotel, it is online but I still need to work the pictures and message boards. You can join as a fan.
If you didn’t get the newsletter for the fall, here is a copy:
WEST BAY LODGE
Fall Newsletter

YES!! Honduras has been in the news recently. The good news is that Roatan Bay islands and the West Bay Lodge have experienced no disruptions and we have been unaffected by this. Our guests are enjoying their vacations greatly, doing all their scheduled activities including snorkeling/ diving one of the healthiest reefs in the world with clear warm 84’ water. They are arriving and departing without incident. The cruise ships are still coming in as usual. The Bay islands have NO nighttime curfews. The US embassy has eased up their travel warning for the Bay islands. Prices are very good here, the weather is beautiful and it is a really great time to visit Roatan.

If you have any concerns about visiting us or contacting a guest currently staying at West Bay lodge please call our office at 011-504-445-5069.

If you would like to get the most up to date information on Roatan; the Wave 101 is your best bet:
The Wave 101.1 FM Now Live-Streaming!

The Wave 101.1 FM, a world class station on Roatan with a strong signal heard everywhere on The Bay Islands and parts of Northern Honduras, is now live-streaming around the world over the Internet. People who love Roatan, miss Roatan or have invested in Roatan, can learn about the latest political and business news and events from their home or office computer at any time.

Simply type in “Wave101fm.com” and click on the "listen live" button if it does come on automatically.

The Roatan Bruce Show is now heard from 9 am to 2 pm, Mountain time. Interviews are scheduled at the 11 o'clock hour. Listeners from the US can call right into the station and talk to the hosts live-on-the-air and request songs, make dedication comments or suggestions or just ask questions of the guests and hosts. Just call the US number 817 471-3874. Locally, the number is 455-6716.


Here are our current specials:
AUGUST/SEPTEMBER SPECIALS
5 nights $450 per queen bungalow!
7 nights $650 per queen bungalow!
+16% tax
Price for 2 people
Includes:
Free transportation from airport $50 value
Free daily gourmet breakfast $50 value
2 Free lunches daily $70 value
1 Free rum punch per day $40 value
Free laundry $5 value
Free soda or beer with lunch $20 value
Upgrade to Supreme bungalow add $100
Upgrade to Royal bungalow add $150

The best way to get here is still Continental through Houston; Delta through Atlanta or TACA through Miami. There are going to be many direct flights weekly from Canada starting in November so keep checking.
To date our wonderful guests and visitors have donated 310+ cans
Anyone wanting to bring something down to help the island:
The Familias Saludables program for helping the mothers with AIDS to not transfer this to their babies, and the newly opened urgent infant care center are both in need of infant formula. They have asked for Similac Advanced in powder cans. You cannot bring liquid formula to the island.
Each can, will feed a baby for 10-12 days. If everyone with a little extra room in their suitcase could bring 1 can it would really make a big difference to these babies. THANKS!

West Bay lodge owners and staff

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov. 28th, 2008 | 08:29 am

Well, it’s been too long since I wrote huh??
There has been soo much going on here in Roatan that I didn’t take time to just sit and write. I hope this catches everyone up a bit. In late September was the fishing tournament and festival. Milos went out on Steve Romania’s new big boat with 5 other guys and they caught 22 tuna. That was awesome for all of us who love sushi. Garry McLaughlin however on the first morning caught a 700+lb, more than 14 foot marlin. It took the whole boat more than 1 ½ hours to get it to the boat. It was displayed in West End and pretty impressive but I am glad next year it is Catch-n-release. There is a video on You-tube if you want to see it.
The weather for Oct and the first ½ of November was very rainy here. I heard that for Oct we got 24-28 inches of rain. We had a couple of nice days but not many. Then the 2nd week of November couldn’t have been better, bright blue skies, slight breeze and 82’ during the days and comfortable at night 72’. This week it has poured for about an hour around 5am and then beautiful until the afternoon when we get a rain shower and then nice again. Welcome to the rainy season, so unpredictable! I hope it is nice for our Thanksgiving dinner tonight. We have a big turkey and all the fixings. We and our guests and some friends are all going to get together and make dinner. We would like to eat under the stars on the top deck of the palapa with just little white lights and candles.
I’m sure that most of you heard about the protests on the island. What a pain in the butt! The local people here believe that if you aren’t happy about something you just go to the street and block the roads, in many places, and protest. This time it was about the power bills doubling in 1 month. I understand the frustration as our bill was $1900 for September and due mid Oct. This was crazy but we have very reliable power lately. The problem with the first protests was that Milos and I went by ourselves to Port Royal for 2 days on the other side of the island to a private island of our friends Cesar & Tricia at their mansion. They were not there. Right before we were to leave to come home we heard that all the roads were blocked. There was also a big storm coming, so no boats to come get us and I even called the people with the seaplane and they couldn’t even get to the plane either. Well, Milos hired a local man with a small boat to take him to the nearest town where he got more food and lots of wine. We were “stranded” for 4 ½ days. Our new guests couldn’t get here either because they shut down the airport. We knew Jacob was with Wayne & Judy next to his school so no problem there. Lets see who feels sorry for us… private island; mansion; no kid; lots of steak & shrimp; lots of wine and many movies that we rented from Capt vans and took the laptop. Thank you Murry for not charging us late fees. The next protest luckily we were here in West Bay. This lasted for 3 days. This was more of an inconvenience at the beginning except for the fact that the cruise ship passengers couldn’t get off the ship, as no traffic could get through. Then the main transformer at the power co went out. Big problem! The workers couldn’t get past the roadblocks to fix it so the island was without power for 2 full days. The protesters were saying they would disband when the power came back on but the power Co couldn’t get out to fix it. This continued until the president came and said to the power CO, please lower your bills and the protesters to knock it off. Finally they got to fix it. I’m very glad that we have our new big propane generator. In those 6 weeks there were 2 tropical storms came through so the fruit and veggie boats didn’t come for more than a week (this is OK unless you are a toucan who only eats fresh fruit like Mariah). We were having to buy the imported fruit from Plaza Mar. The island also ran out diesel which most of the transport busses/taxis run on; then the island ran out of gas for 3 days. Any one who didn’t have at least ½ a tank was in trouble; the internet went out for 5 days; cell phone at 1 time was gone for 4 days. There was a ship on the way from LaCeiba full of bags of cement that sank before it got here, so that took another week to get the new cement. This was a problem for us as were in the middle of pouring our new concrete deck and kitchen. I don’t remember if we had any cable or not during this. This is what really teaches you patience on an island. We just smiled and went down to the beach and laid in the sun and looked at how beautiful our island is.
Everything seems to be back to normal now.
I want to thank everyone again who has brought down the formula for the babies who’s mothers have AIDS. We have donated about 140 cans!! This is so great for the babies. I especially want to thank Kay & Jill who brought 10 large cans with them; and the biggest is Brad & Risa. Risa works at a county health clinic in WA. She challenged everyone she works with to bring in 1 can of formula. They didn’t bring many clothes (I’m not sure if she let Brad bring more than he could carry in his backpack). They showed up here with 42 cans of formula!! This was the most incredible gift. We have even had people read about this from the cruise ships and bring formula with them and drop it at the office. Here is a picture of the angels who donated the large shipment of formula.
We did finally finish up the deck around the pool and it is beautiful. We are now having wooden lounge chairs with cushions being built. I have ordered an Ipod with speakers to have music around the deck. I don’t know yet how to use an Ipod (yes, a long time on a not very high tech island). Maybe someone in the next few weeks can teach me.
The concert for the angels is next Thursday the 4th. This in the 1 time per year that we all get dressed up, see if we still remember how to wear shoes and raise $$ for the local clinics. If you are going to be here next Thursday and want me to get a ticket for you just let me know.
Well, this is what happens when I wait so long to write, there is a lot of news.

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September already

Sep. 6th, 2008 | 10:16 am

Hello everyone,

Yesterday was my big day! It was my Birthday and guess where I spent it…The crab races at Bay island beach resort since it was Thursday. We always have so much fun. I even had 2 shots of tequila.
Well, we are getting back into the routine of school for Jacob around here; up early to get him down the driveway by 7:30 with breakfast, lunch and homework and trying to remember that he has to wear flip-flops again. School started on Tuesday for his school and now has about 56 kids in grades K-9. When he started there were only 17 kids 2 years ago and now they have 12 teachers. Jacob was gone for 5 weeks in Oregon visiting family and then when he got back it was still play time. My brother Matthew flew back down here with him and just left on Sunday. He really had a good time and I love watching someone come up from snorkeling for the first time and see their big smile. Most of our family has been here to visit and loved it.
While Jacob was in the states Milos and I took a catamaran over to Utila, about 15 miles away. The trip takes 3 hours when it is calm. The Capt goes when he feels like it on special request, so no schedule. It was fun. The island is very small and mainly for back packers who dive. They drive golf carts or bikes and very few cars. We stayed at a really cute place called The Lighthouse. It is on the edge of town and was nice for $50 per night and we could walk into the main area in about 10 minutes. There are a couple of good restaurants but food isn’t the big draw. Partying at night is more important with diving during the day. I think we are too old to go out at night like that. There is a very interesting place called the Jade Seahorse. It is a small hotel/restaurant and lively bar. What makes this place unique is there are millions of colored marbles and broken pieces of colored glass glued to everything. They have created arches, caves, walls and stairways all covered. We stayed 3 days and it was nice to just hang out. There are no direct flights to Roatan and only 2 weekly ones to the mainland. Most people take the ferry to and from the mainland and the Galaxy to Roatan if you want to see both islands.
Clinica Esperanza (Nurse Peggy’s clinic) is working on the 2nd floor birthing center and is having a big fundraiser on Sept 10 in Halfmoon bay. There is going to be food, games and live bands from 4pm on. She is hoping to raise enough $$ to finish the center. My Mom and I took a tour when she was here and it is going to be really great for the island.
The fishing tournament this year will be the weekend of Sept 13. We have gone the last 2 years and it is really fun. The little friends foundation is raffling off the new Harley motorcycle for $100 per ticket and the winner will be drawn then.
The weather here has really been hot, in the mid 90’s and the pool water is staying about 95’. Even the cats are just plain hot and the parrots want a shower everyday.
The design team for Keyhole Bay resort was here all last week staying with us and we always love having them and helping anyway we can. Our pool had lots or fun times in the evenings. We send them a big THANK YOU for bringing down a suitcase of formula for the babies also blankets and socks. They even brought down some things that we couldn’t get on the island (Baby kitty says thanks also). Thanks everyone else that has come down with a can for the babies. We have donated 66 cans so far.
I saw on the internet that Continental has added back the 2nd Saturday flight from Houston, so anyone who couldn’t get a ticket in Oct/Nov you should try again and the price is pretty good.
Well, it is time to head to the pool.

Celeste

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Happy Monday

Jul. 28th, 2008 | 03:39 pm


First, I want to really thank everyone so far who has brought down cans of formula with them for the babies on the island. This is a huge help and will save babies lives. A big thanks goes out also to Jeff in Oregon who works for FedEx and asked people on his route to donate also. He came down with a suitcase for the babies. To date our guests have brought 48 cans of formula. WOW!! I cry every Monday when I take them in to Familias Saludables the AIDS project. If you would like to check out how your can is helping just go to http://www.familiassaludables.org/ .
We closed for 5 days at the end of June and went to the mainland. We were going to go to Miami and shop but Taca canceled the flight with 4 days notice. We had not left for 2 years. We had a good time. We went to Tela, which is a beach resort town and just vegged out the first day. The beach isn’t as pretty as ours though. Then on to San Pedro Sula for some shopping. We power shopped at Price smart (like Costco); 2 different malls and appliance stores. I was very glad to get out of the big city which is way too noisy for me now. Then we headed for Copan ruins. I didn’t realize that it is a 3 hour drive from SPS through the mountains. It is a very cute old town with cobblestone streets and 3 wheeled tuk-tuks for taxis. We stayed in 2 very nice hotels and every night it down poured and the town flooded. The ruins were nice and large. They have done a great job of re creating the large pyramids. Then we went to macaw mountain which I enjoyed much more. It is a new refugee bird park on the river. They have large cages for their birds so they can fly around and are working on their breeding program. On the way back I had Milos & Jacob drop me off in SPS and I flew home while they drove to LaCeiba and took the ferry the next eve. I was just really missing our place here and was ready to be home and see our animals. While we were closed we had 4 families come and stay to take care of the animals and property.
This summer has really been fun for us. We have had many families with kids. During the spring it was more like an adult summer camp here. There have been kids 4, 7, many 11, 13 and 16 year olds. These have been the most well behaved kids. They really like playing with the birds and cats and watching the watusa’s (agouti’s). I think for 3 weeks Cleo was carried around all day by someone. I love seeing the kids when they get back from snorkeling and they want to tell me all about it with their big eyes full of excitement. Everyone who has left gave us a big hug and told us that they didn’t want to leave. Some memories are of Ari who tried to save all the living things around here including the bees if they got in the pool and leaf cutter ants from being stepped on. Paige who had 4 pieces of French toast for breakfast 13 days in a row and tried to carry Maxi (cat) and Cleo (parrot) around at the same time; Sally and Courtney getting certified for diving; Conner and Gracie who spent so much time in the pool and just kept telling me how much they loved it here and all the rest of the kids.
I have 2 new favorite restaurants here. First there is Blue Bahia in Sandy Bay. Right on the beach and they have a great menu and good prices. I have had the steak, the almond encrusted prawns and a pulled pork dinner. All Fantastic. The owner Kent does the cooking and usually has fresh fish, steaks and some BBQ. Lisette his wife is the greatest. Let me know if you want me to set up a special dinner with them. Finally I have gotten to try Tongs Thai place in West end. We have been trying to go for a couple of months now and they are always busy and I’m usually too hungry to wait for a table. We went twice this week. The first night we ate way out on the dock, under the stars with torches. Very romantic. We had phad thai (sp?) It was great and enough for both of us for $14. The spring rolls are a must also. Last night we went back with friends and still love it. It is west of the Y just beyond the duty free store on the waterfront.
On Saturday we went to Sundowners to watch the Roatan movie “A sunny place for shady people”. This was fun sitting on the beach with the screen in the water. It was filmed here on the island and all our friends were in it. They tried to show it last Sat but was rained out 30 minutes into it. Very funny for a local film.
I have heard that the airlines will be cutting back flights for the fall. If you plan on coming down you should get your flight tickets right away as seats will be very limited.
Have a great day,
Celeste

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

Jun. 10th, 2008 | 01:24 pm

Hello and Happy Mother’s day to all Mothers & Grandmothers. This morning when I came out to work breakfast I received a big bouquet of flowers from our employees (all picked from our yard) and a very nice card signed by everyone. What a great way to start my Mother’s day. Now I’m still waiting for Jacob to remember. I am going to go to the beach this afternoon to hear Carleen & Dave play at The Palapa at Infinity Bay. I will buy my Mother a monkey-La-La (her favorite drink from Roatan) and drink it for her while I sit in the warm sand. Happy Mother’s Day MOM! When you get here next month I will buy you another one. Maybe Milos will buy you one also today.

Some great news for us here. We have our new large propane generator hooked up and runs fantastic. The one we had bought less than 1 year ago was having a hard time keeping up with the pool pumps and the last bungalow. It runs pretty quiet and burns clean, so no more diesel smell. With an automatic on/off switch the power outages mean we are running at full power within 8 seconds. YEAH!! The old one Milos always had to go flip on/off. We have been very lucky in West Bay with very minimal outages. I heard that West End has been hammered daily. The news for RECO is that the 2nd main generator is now fixed and they are putting it on line little by little today. Then next week they will fix #3 (hopefully) and within 6 months we were told that the island will have stable power again for everyone.

The triathlon was really fun to watch. We went to the beach at 6am to watch them get ready. There were a lot of people there even when we got there. The swim was first, some of the athletes are going to be in the next Olympics and were amazing. The first ones back were only out swimming for 17 minutes. The winners of the whole thing were both from Chile.

If you are looking for a wonderful way to stay in tuned with current local daily news and updates you can now go to Roatan Bruce’s web sight and get info, pod casts of the shows and interviews, even the current cruise ship schedule and RECO reports. The sight is www.roatanbruce.com . Thank you Bruce, this is really big for an island that only has printed news one time per month.

Now for some help that anyone coming to the island can give. The AIDS baby project here and the local orphanage are in real need of formula. These are all run by donations. I would like to ask anyone coming down to the island, whether staying here or not, if you have any room for a can that would be great. Just bring it to our front office and I will deliver it. They have asked for Similac advanced powder. They can’t accept the liquid type. For the week you are here enjoying your vacation you could be saving a babies life. When I heard the numbers I was shocked. If these babies to AIDS mothers can go to formula and not breast feed their risk for contracting the disease goes from 78% to 9%. (I didn’t verify the #’s). With us helping and Miss Valerie trying to educate the mothers as to why this is important we can really make a big difference for the island.
This morning at breakfast I had 7 large cans set on the counter by our guests that all came in yesterday. I thought I was going to cry when I saw that. Thank you soo much!!

OK, now time to go to the beach, it is really getting hot here 90+.
Celeste

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Hello from Sunny Roatan

May. 29th, 2008 | 12:20 pm

Happy Tuesday. The sun is very hot and sunny today. You can tell it is going to be a warm day when it is already 84’ before 8AM.
This Thursday is a holiday here, laborers day, and most everything is closed including schools. There is going to be a big May day festival at Las Palmas starting at 10am that should be good fun. They will even have a large may pole with the ribbons for the kids to dance and weave them around. I am going to try to take a carload of the kids from here with me, so if anyone needs a ride just let me know.
This weekend is the big triathlon here on the island. It is mostly centered in West bay and Sandy bay. The roads will be shut down starting around 6am from Sandy bay west. First is the swim in West bay, then the bike ride from here to Sandy Bay and back, then the run which starts right in front of us up and over the hill through Turtle crossing. After it is finished is a big party on the beach with a band at night.
Other than that is getting really quiet around here. The cruise ships are just about finished. We are having 1 on Fridays and 1 every other Wednesday.
Last Thursday I was up early and getting breakfast ready, making my lists for the day when my friend Tricia call and asked if I could take the day off. I said NO like I always say. She told me that we had been invited out on a new yacht and would go over to Cayos Cochinos for the day. I asked Milos and he thought it would be great fun for me. I have never just taken a day off from working here unless it was when we went to the mainland for supplies or residency. It took me all of 10 minutes to pack and get to the dock before anyone changed their minds or something happened here. It takes about 45 minutes to get over there. There are 2 main islands and 13 small cays. It is so beautiful. Many of the island are uninhabited. 1 is the Garifuna village, 1 a resort, 1 a few homes. The one our friend Vern owns is deserted. Pulling up to it was like looking at a postcard of a small island all white sand with a few palm trees. We had a very good time snorkeling/swimming and having a picnic. I think I napped 3 different times. The ride back took much longer and was quite wavy. The wind picked up and we were against it and the waves. If anyone wants to set up a tour for the day give me a little notice and I will contact some of the captains that go out.
I heard that 1 of the islands is for sale. A couple of acres; 4 homes and dock for 2 Million $$.
Well, that’s about it for now,
Celeste

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Saturdays are busy around here!

Apr. 19th, 2008 | 03:05 pm

Hello,

Well everyone is checked in and out for the day and I have time to sit down and write. We have had a great week here this past week. With the Thursday direct flight from Houston we are getting more people staying 9 days and some staying 2 weeks. All of the guests we had this past week were very similar and all hung out together. Our friends John & Sherri were here and John brought his guitar again. He played every night on the new patio by the pool with everyone listening and enjoying. This area is now the hub of activity here. Last night was most fun. Everyone was in the pool at sunset and I brought the new margarita machine down and plugged in. We called Milos on his way home to stop and buy rum & tequila. Steve was the bartender and every pitcher was a different mix of rum, tequila, mango, watermelon, banana & pineapple. We ran out of ice and everyone went to their fridges and brought theirs. All this while John was playing. We will have to do this again. The pool also is a huge hit. Yesterday the beach was crazy in the morning with the cruise ship in for the morning and when I looked at the pool everyone was just floating and reading in the pool enjoying the quiet. We have several types of floats that I bought for the pool that are great to just lay on. We do have 1 new rule for the pool; no naked beer bottles, they must be in a koozie. I sell them in the gift shop so problem solved. No broken glass around here as I'm barefooted 95% of the time. This looks to be another great week. The new people are here and have all ready had their rum punches. I'm told every week that I make the best on the island. I was sent a picture from a guest, Dennis, of what the area where the new patio is used to look like. I may have walked through here 2 time before since we lived here. I tried to take it from the same angle.
You can now come on Mondays and we will pick you up. Yes the new law is over. It lasted 1 day. On Monday when everyone was getting stopped and didn't know what law they were talking about and said to forget it; the government said OK I guess it is really a stupid law and it went away. I'm glad Vazeillie stood in the long line Saturday to get our Monday sticker that says I promise not to drive on Monday's, and then the law goes away on Tuesday. This sounds like 2 years ago when Honduras tried to go on Daylight savings time. No one knew for sure what time it was so everyone was either late of early. After 3 weeks of this the president said "never mind, that didn't work".
Here is another one that I didn't get. Thursday was national protest day. They closed the street for 1 hour in Coxen Hole and anyone who had something to protest could just walk through town and protest. I guess that there were many different topics people chose. School teachers, wages, people who have RECO, No driving on certain days, the police, day cares, land rights etc. I don't get how this helps solve anything. I guess it just gives some people the feeling that they did something to help?
We went to one of my favorite restaraunts in West End on Wednesday night Le Bistro. They have moved in to their new place next to Pura Vida upstairs where Rick's used to be. Same great Vietnamese food and prices. I had my same thing chow mein with ginger beef sauce.
Here is one more that you just have to smile about and say "oh well, that just life on a tropical island". I spent almost 2 hours in line at the bank 1 1/2 weeks ago to pay for some things from the mainland that we ordered. While I was there I asked about our phone bill (that's where you pay it) and I was told there are not bills out yet so don't worry about it. On Monday they shut off our office phone. Vazeillie called and translated to me that we didn't pay our bill on time and they shut us off. I had her tell them that we never received a bill and I had even asked at the bank. They told her that they were too busy to hand deliver them but they were still due. Milos went and paid them and they turned us back on. Yesterday they must have had extra time because they finally brought us our bill.
Well it has been around 94' since 10am and I'm going to get in our new pool.

Celeste

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THE POOL IS FINISHED!!

Apr. 7th, 2008 | 01:11 pm

Well, it is mostly finished and full of water. We just have to drain it in a couple of weeks, let it dry and paint the bottom. When we started digging it turned out that there were hugh boulders right under the ground. We tried many things to get rid of them including jack hammering them, beating on them with sledge hammers, digging them out (a couple were 3ft x 3ft+), finally Vazeillie’s husband suggested that we build a fire around them and get them really hot then pour cold water on them. It worked!! They dried out and then split into little pieces. The pool turned out more beautiful than we could have hoped for. A few rocks that we couldn’t move/dig we just made them part of the pool like a built in table and seating area. They have poured 2 levels of the patio and are working on a 3rd lower one today. It is terra cotta colored and stamped to look like cobblestone. We have 2 new table and chair sets with umbrellas. This area went from being never used to now the favorite place. Next we will build a wooden deck around the back section with bathrooms under that.
Semana Santa is the week just before Easter. This year every hotel was full and we had been booked from before the first of the year. It had been beautiful weather for weeks prior and we were told around 40k+ people would be coming to the island. Saturday many people came for the week but the real crowds come Wednesday eve and Thursday AM. A big storm came in on Wed eve and we were told the ferry was very rough with most people getting sick. They cancelled the ferries for Thursday and Friday and small planes couldn’t land. Our guests were all already here so no problems. Most people never made it here. The water and waves were very high and it only got up to 72’ (yes, in Roatan 72’ is freezing). I went to the beach finally on Friday afternoon with my raincoat; rain boots 2 shirts and jeans. The rain was coming in sideways and it felt like I was back at the Oregon coast. By Sunday the storm was gone and the beach looked like normal. I thought this was great since there wasn’t garbage left everywhere and last year even the water was dirty.
Bananarama has opened up a new restaurant in the Island Pearl section of their resort. It is the Vintage Pearl and we ate there a couple of weeks ago. It is very good. They have 3 different entries each night. Jacob and I had the fillet minion w/béarnaise sauce and it was perfect. Milos had the mahi with a mango sauce. Their prices are $25 per dinner, which includes soup/salad dinner and dessert. The soup/salad and desserts aren’t your normal types, they are very creative and wonderful. They also have a great wine selection and wines you can’t find anywhere else on the island. I even saw a wine for more than $300.
If you are staying on West Bay beach or West End you should really go, as it is the most upscale place here. Yea Lewis & Jamie for this great addition.
News on our power co RECO. There is now a new owner Kelsey Warren from Texas. The process of him buying the company was crazy. The people voted 3 different times to sell it to him. The president liked the bid from the Dominican republic and sold it to them and they gave him a kick back of $250K I was told. They have made a mess of their power and no one wanted them here. We all had another vote to over turn the president and the vote was 22,800 to 7. He finally listened to us. During this process the power got very bad as only 1 generator was trying to power the island instead of 9. One day our generator ran 19 hours in a day. With all the private generators running in West Bay it became very noisy for a couple of days. Henry Morgan resort has now offered to keep West Bay powered with their big generator until the 2 new ones are installed maybe this week or next. Out here things seem like normal. Then in a few months we will have 2 even bigger ones installed and no more power problems. This new owner wants to also start using wind and other energy ideas.
Milos’s sister Dita, her husband Nick and their 3 kids just left from spending a week here. We really had a good time with them and Jacob got to see his cousins again. They also brought us many things that we were needing from the states. This is the best way for us to get things down here. We have had many people bring things for us and it is really nice. Last week was a real treat we had a great couple from Seattle and they brought us a whole NW salmon. We had 2 big salmon dinners and made sushi twice. I didn’t know how much I had missed it. We used to eat salmon 3 times a week. Funny the things you miss huh? Saturday we had a family who brought all new science books for Jacob’s school. Thanks everyone who has gone out and brought us things we needed. We don’t usually know what we need until we run out and then find out you can’t get it on the island.
Now for the one thing that has everyone walking around and saying “are you kidding me, is this for real??”. The president of Honduras has passed a law saying that everyone who has a car has to pick a day from Mon-Sat and promise not to drive. Sundays are freebies. Some people found out Tuesday evening and word got out to more on Wed. We had from Thursday-Sunday to go out by French Harbor and register your car and get a sticker for your windshield that says what day you choose. You also had to take a Honduran person to sign for you. It took a few hours in line to do this on Saturday for Vazeillie and I, this being the busiest day of the week for us wasn’t easy. More than ½ the English-speaking people don’t even know about it yet and it went into effect this morning @6am. I thought it was a joke when I first heard but then figured no worries it can’t include hotels and business but it does. The only exception is public transportation and some tourist vans. It was supposed to include taxis but it didn’t get written in. Oh yea, also 2 door pickups are exempt for some reason. This is supposed to save fuel. We don’t have a shortage though. When I went in to ask what I could do because we have guests that fly in different days or take the ferry, also our employees have to get to work 7 days a week, and since we also have school kids to take daily, the guy says with a straight face then you will just have to buy a 2nd car! I asked him if he believes that saves more fuel but he didn’t answer. My friend Kelly called this morning and reported that they were stopping everyone in front of the airport to check your sticker, she said maybe 50+ people in line each way. We assume that they will realize that this stupid law will not work on a tourist island and it will go away soon. Of yea, the fine is lp650 or they can take your car keys away.
I am sitting in the garden today writing a very long journal entry because it is Monday and we can’t drive on Mondays. I guess I will go enjoy our new pool.
Try for now not to fly in/out on a Monday huh?
Have a great day!
Celeste



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