Pre-Holiday Trip with the Three…

J’s!

Jim, Justin and Jason!  Did you think I was going to say something else?  I do loving refer to them as the Three Stooges, actually, Four stooges, but Steve was not here with us.  Better yet, let me just call them, the Three Amigos…El Jimador, El Jamon and El Risador.   Please read further for the meaning of these names. 

Photos…please click on the links throughout this blog to view albums.

Jim and I started out our travel extravaganza early on Dec. 12 to get to Tela where we were to meet up with Jason and Justin that evening.  Jim set up a meeting with the local authorities regarding their dump issue.  Exciting stuff, eh?  I Christmas shopped for a couple of little gifts for Jim to have for under our pathetic little 2 foot Charley Brown Christmas tree.   

We had set up a driver to pick up the Js at the airport in San Pedro Sula 1.5 hours away.  At last minute Jim decided to go with the driver to be the one holding up the sign saying “Senors Orta y Thompson.”   As he was driving off, a large party was forming at the car wash next door to our hotel.  At first, I was wondering how I could crash the party in honor of my old sfgirl dotcom days, but then I actually got invited by a jovial young man.  I found out  it was a celebration for the newly elected mayor…at a car wash?  I told him in my still not so great Spanish, “When my husband gets back.”  I am not ready to be all alone with a bunch of drunk Latino men…although most of them harmless.    But I did watch at times through the hotel window.   The Three Amigos arrived at the hotel late, well after the car wash/mayoral celebration was over, but  we still  had a beer to cheer in their safe arrival.   Justin coming  all the way from Portland, OR and Jason from Sacramento, CA.  Thanks for visiting guys! 

Our next day started slowly, but got going when Josue a guide at Garifuna Tours offered us a special priced trip after he got off.   So, us four, Josue, and a driver headed out to Miami.  No we did not jump a raft and head towards the states on open seas.  Miami (pronounced Mee-a-mee) is a small Garifuna village on the beach.  After a long bumpy ride, we got there, walked along the beach/around village and waited for our lunch of fish, beans and rice…and beer.  Lunch was good as usual.  We talked of Guifity, a Garifuna drink of botanicals and cheap rum.  We did not tell Justin or Jason it tastes horrible, we just wanted them to experience it for themselves.  Josue, bought us some, and we did a shot. Mind you, Josue, now driving pulled the car over to do the first shot with us.  Scary!  Some how we talked the boys in to a second shot when Josue pulled over again!   They will remember Guifity for a long time…it is that bad!    We did get back to the hotel safely, although after dark.  We laid lowed for most of the night, until the boys got hungry.  I opted for going to bed as they headed out to Auto Pollo, our favorite cheap fast good roasted chicken joint in Tela which also usually offers great entertainment by way of it being a local character hangout.   They came back full, and with stories of drunken men and easy women.

Tela PHOTOS:

Trip to Tela with the Js- Dec 2008

We had an early morning start for our day at Punta Sal, Parque Nacional Jeannette Kawas.  What a great and beautiful place.  We had a half hour boat ride through the clear Caribbean sea to the area of Punta Sal.  Private bays where pirates once hid their booty, Jurassic Park like jungles and paradise style white sand beaches is just the brief description of what we saw.  We got off at one nice beach, had a small hike through a dense jungle and ended up at an even better beach.   In the hike we saw a monkey (he saw us back) , bananas that block you up (stay away from them), and palm trees with the nastiest looking stickers I ever saw (and they hurt, I know).  We took the boat then to where we were to have lunch, another yummy fish dish, at, if you can believe this, the best beach of the day!  As we waited for our lunch, we swam, we walked up and down the short bay beach, collected a variety of different seashells and checked out the rocks at one end of the beach.   The weather was perfect, the scenery was even better…and we were with friends!   Special friends, two of the people responsible for Jim and I meeting! 

Although we were hot and tired, after we got back and after cleaning up, we rallied to make it tp Maya Vista for Sunset, which happens between 5 and 6:30pm every night, every day of the year, no daylight savings time here folks.   Maya Vista is this great little hotel and restaurant on a hill over looking Tela and the Carribean Sea.  We celebrated Justin and Jason’s first full night in Honduras with what else, cuba libres, and a new one to us, Maya libres (with 7-Up instead of Coke).   After our sunset cocktail hour we were off to have a nice meal at the beach, but a little street-side stand was calling our names.  Actually it called Justin and Jason’s name and all of our wallets.  Justin and Jason were introduced to Baleadas, a soft taco sort of, Honduran food.  They make great thick flour tortillas here and to make a baleada, they smear one with refried beans and usually a bit of cheese, but you can get them with eggs or meat and better yet with some crema (sour cream texture without the sourness) to top it off. Fold it over and there you have yourself a baleada.    One baleada costs less than 1.00! The place was crowded with locals, and the owner even called me Momi, a term of endearment!  We loved it! 

The next day, we split up.  Justin and Jim left obnoxiously early for a dump visit in La Masica, a village on the way back to La Ceiba.   Jason and I got up casually, had some coffee, a nice breakfast and ended up getting back to La Ceiba right around the same time as Justin and Jason.   Jim went off to see a man about some furniture while I have the boys a tour of La Ceiba, the town we call home.   We ended up in Zona Viva, known for the party scene, although I have never seen it over the top with partiers.  But it is filled with bars, discos, nightclubs (which I will explain more later) and restaurants.  We stopped at a bar to wet our whistle and watched to local life stroll by.  Of course the boys noticed one particularly scantily dressed girl strolling by over and over again.  I had never noticed such a thing there before, but we guessed she was a working girl.    More entertainment for our guests!  You can’t pay for this kind of stuff…uh…well…you can!  After we met up with Jim back at the apartment, sin furniture, we then introduced Justin and Jason to papusas for dinner!  An El Salvadorian dish, fortunately, brought to La Ceiba.  I love papusas!  My brother in-law, Jeff’s, Mom used to make them for us.   We had another yummy and cheap dinner.  

Masica PHOTOS:

Masica Land Fill with Justin-Dec 2008

The next morning we were off to some island time on Roatan.  Roatan is supposed to be Utila’s expensive sister, but we found it affordable.   We not only found a cheap place to stay, we got our own tiny little cabin for 4 in a tropical wonderland garden!    We had flora and fauna, lush greenery of every shape and color and even critters to boot.   A giant iguana sunning him in our shade tree, a jesus christ lizard (apparently they can walk on water too) hiding among the ground brush, geckos keeping warm at night under our front deck light, humming birds fluttering about our nector filled flowers and a beautiful noisy woodpecker working hard on a dead palm right outside our windows early in the morning.   Beyond our tropical paradise garden, we crossed the “road” (a sand path hardened down by the vehicles that traveled along it dodging the many pedestrians) to a completely different paradise…a wonderful carribean turquoise blue beach.     We were overcome by it all.  Our boat ride over was less the wonderful due to the fact 3 out of the 4 of us got green around the gills from the sloshing side to side motion. and then we had to patiently get through the slowest taxi ride ever in a car with NO shocks to get to West End town, but it was all worth it when we actually took the time to take it all in!   We promptly filled our stomach beach side and after walked the length of the road/path. Then we settled into our little cabin home.  As we could see the sun starting to set we crossed the street to the Sundowner, the sunset meeting place.  With fruity tropical drinks in hand, we settled into plastic lounge chairs lining the beach and quietly, okay Jason cracking a joke here and there, watched the sunset.  

The next day, we took it easy for the morning and then hit the coral reef for a look-see.  Jim went diving and the rest of us snorkeled.  I have been a diver for years, but am now into snorkeling and this was a great day for it.  We were situated right over a shallow reef area and did not need to go diving to see wonderful fish, coral, and other sea life.  Although Jim enjoyed his time breathing under water down deeper.  We were all excited about our trip.    After settling in after our time on and in the sea, Jim and Jason went out and came back to the cabin with a little something to start the evening with, okay it was only 2pm, but that is the way it goes for some vacationers!   After some good laughs on the litttle front deck around the little table, little chairs and colorful not so little hammock we headed to Chippys for dinner and some Freddy Mercury time. 

Roatan PHOTOS:

Roatan with the Js – Dec. 2008

Before I go any further, Jim at some point by now had given Jason  yet a new nickname, El Jamon.  Let me explain, Jason not only loves any pork product (jamon means ham), he IS a ham.   Jason proudly accepted his new name, dropping Marty Morgenstern and Art Vandelay for the rest of the trip.    Jim already has the nickname of El Jimador (pronounced Himador given to him by the 4th Stooge, Steve…aka…The Sloth according to Jim because of the speed of his walk), so we had to get one for Justin too…something that had to do with chuckling.   We did not come up with a good Spanish translation, but after some time sitting here now with Jim and an English to Spanish dictionary we are claiming a new nickname for Justin.  From this time, forth he shall be known as El Risador (the chuckler or giggler).   We might have made this word up…but Jimador does not mean anything either, ah but it is the name of a Tequila! What does that say about my husband? Well, at least risa does means something, chuckle or giggle.     

Okay now back to Chippy’s…one of our fondest nights away!   Chippy is an aging rocker English chap.  And Chippy’s is his something like a mix between a chips and fish van they have on the streets in England and an American roach coach, but in a modified moving van with flat tires set just between the road/path and beach, but with actually good food…ranging from yes, those chips and fish, but all the way to a variety of curries and even lobster!   On wednesday evenings he slides a sheet down the backside of his van, the side facing the beach, and plays a movie.  The pre-movie dinner entertainment was a Queen concert live from Wimbley Stadium circa 1984 (although I just googled it  and I think old Chippy meant 1986, think those rock and roll years are catching up to his memory).  While we were waiting for the projector to show up, Chippy would run around yelling, “We want Freddie, We want Freddie!”  I joined in!  On our trip across America Jim had turned me into a Queen, and more so, Freddie Mercury fan!  I grew up with them, and it takes me, what, 30 years later to really appreciate the ultimate talent of what Freddie Mercury was!   The projector came, our seafood curry dinners came…and then there was dancing.  Dancing in front of concert, on the beach, in the water, with Chippy.  I danced and I tried to get Justin to dance, and I tried to get Jason to dance…but I know not to even try to get Jim to dance!   I had so much fun with Chippy and Queen.  Chippy told us stories of having a famous rock and roll brother and was hinting about The Who, but who knows about that crazy old limey!   After the concert was over, I headed off to bed, but the Three Amigos stayed on to watch American Gangster.   They did not get to watch the end of it as it started to rain and they had to wake Chippy, who was passed out on one of his lounge chairs on the beach.   What a night to remember!    Long live Chippy! We want Freddie!

On our last day in Roatan, Jim and I slept in while the boys went for a snorkel on front yard beach.  When we got up, we went off for some coffee at Jitters and then the boys met up with us.  After coffee, Jim had to hit the duty free shop and spend way too much money on his favorite liquors from back home.  It made for an uncomfortable time for the boys, because I gave Jim a hard time for spending way over our budget for the day.   We eventually moved on…to West Bay Beach.  We took a little boat around our bay to hit their bay and boy oh boy, their bay was better than ours!    West Bay is filled with more resort style hotels, but not of the Cancun variety.   White sands, turquoise blue water and sunny skies.  We took to a game of Frisbee which was fun, until the sun got to much for me.  I moved to under a shady palm at the back of the beach while the boys played on in the water.  After awhile, I threw them a baby coconut, they put the Frisbee to rest and tossed the bomb like hard coconut around.   After the boy play was over, we hit a bar for yet another tropical drink.  I opted for just the frozen fruit part without the rum!   We found a pirate there, not a living one, but a great statue of one which made us all happy as there had been pirate talk the whole trip.  We posed saying “Arrrr!” and got a photo. After we got back to our cabin and cleaned up, we went out for a nice dinner…fish, fish and more fish….and cats…and a crazy guy on the beach! Oh, and El Jamon got his El Cubanos and for a good deal too!   We never did find out if he actually got them home safely, shhhh!

We had an early morning boat ride back to La Ceiba, we were all ready with some sea sick pills to weather the waves, so the ride was uneventful.  After we got back, we hit our favorite cafe, Ki’bok for breakfast, and then Jim and I got running with some chores while the boys got cheap ($6.00) massages, hammocks, and lunch.  Jim and I had to see what happened to the used couch we put a deposit on, it seems they sold it from under us!    So we picked out a new one, a kitchy bamboo and floral print number.  We also made sure the wood furniture we ordered to be made was actually being made.   Also, we had to get food and supplies for the small holiday party we were hosting for our new found La Ceiba friends.  The party started at 6:00pm, early, as we did not want to bother our new neighbors with a late night gathering.  There was Audrey and Jerome, the French couple who just bought a house here, Jessa and Andrea, the Jungle Lodge/Banana Republic girls, Chrissy, Brooke and Cynthia, the Helping Honduras Kids volunteers, and late, but still present, our guests on honor, Jason and Jim, and bit inebriated already, but ready to party on!  I think it was quite a successful gathering and 5 extra people followed us to Chef Guity for dinner at 8:30pm.   We had a nice Garifuna seafood fest and most of us were really tired after the early evening drinks and the big meal, but not the boys, they were still ready to party on!   Jim and I went home on our own, to hear stories from the boys the next of what went on without us.  They first went to Dos Chicas nightclub, finding out for us first hand that nightclubs in Honduras are strip clubs, a discoteque is for dancing of the non-naked kind.    They also met a nice girl willing to take time with their broken Spanish, but also she probably thought they were going to buy her for the night!  Of course they did not and took a taxi home after some more adventures in the Zona Viva of La Ceiba. 

The next day, the Three Amigos were off for the Jungle Lodge while I stayed at home and got ready for the trip up to Belize.  They went white water rafting, jumped off a 20 foot rock into a rushing river, laid about in a swiming hole and drank beer.  Jim got back early the next day for us to start on our 2-3 week Holiday adventure (see the next couple of blogs for those stories and photos) while the boys stayed on at the Lodge another day for a nice hike in Pico Bonito, a wonderful National Park.

Thanks again for visiting us guys…and we are looking forward to the next adventure with more guests!

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~ by HenderBalz on January 11, 2009.

One Response to “Pre-Holiday Trip with the Three…”

  1. A great time. A very rejuvenating, fun, and educational trip. Thank you guys. I probably do three more blogs about the trip on my page.

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