Saturday, June 27, 2015

Isle Style : Blue Burst Maxi

Happy Saturday! 
Our adventures in Roatan continue. 
When you are living out of a suitcase for a month, you kind of have to ration out your outfits, and after nearly 3 weeks in Roatan, I though it was time to take this baby out for a spin.
I've really been into tie dye this spring and summer as seen in this post.
 I didn't get a chance to get this dress hemmed but I HAD to bring it on vacay so a little knot took care of things in a jiffy.  It's not too long on me but everything is long on me since I am about 5'0.

I love tie dye and the burst of blue hits right at the perfect spot, to slim things down a bit.  I've been living the good life down here eating all this great tropical food, so a little tie dye camouflage is much appreciated.  I am real girl blogger, so this is what I really look like on vacay. 
No alterations on the dress or on me!

Today we are going to do a little pool time, snorkeling and seeing what other shenanigans we can get into.  
Don't worry we are usually in bed by 7:30pm!
 Roatan is awesome but it is pretty small so after a week or two, you settle in to a basic routine.   
BTW, This dress is currently on sale for 25% off (normally $115, now $86)
I buy things by Price per Wear and this baby will definitely pay for itself in no time!
if you are interested shop it here and enter code EVERYDAY
also enter S1317 when you check out.
What's your isle style lately?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

West Bay Beach in Roatan...

 It has been raining GATOS y PERROS for 2 days so I thought it would be perfect to share about our lovely Monday Excursion to West Bay Beach.  This beach reminded me of St. John USVI for its peacefulness and calm waters.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, we are staying on West End and took a water taxi to come to this beautiful beach.  If you make it out here make sure to bring your snorkel gear!
 I walked over to the edge of the beach which is pretty darn close to the edge of the island and the fish were unreal and super friendly or...hungry!

When you think about vacationing on the island, these images are exactly what pop up in my head immediately.  If you go past all the resorts (past Infinity, the big resort here)  you will find a chill place to put your stuff down and enjoy the water.  Of course, still be careful and to be honest, one of us was always near our stuff, just in case...
Nevertheless, there weren't as many eager vendors as we first encountered when we first came over and hung out closer to the resort.   Even on the beaches of West End, people will offer to give you a massage or braid your hair or drive you somewhere and it gets a little tiring to say No gracias...
Luckily, most of the vendors have gotten used to seeing us walk everywhere with my unbraided or self braided frizzy hair.  B has joked that he wants to make a shirt that says "No necesito un taxi, gracias :) " and sell them here.  We would make bank!
But in the vendors defense, tourism is their main (or only) source of income, so they have to offer their services. 
We have been enjoying banana bread and coffee in our room for Bfast but in the afternoons we might treat ourselves to a little Rum Punch before dinner.  Bananarama was on our list to try and it was a fun stop.  They have plenty of food options here too, but we went back to West End for our usual $5 meals of rice and beans, salad and a protein.
Check out what the water taxi scene is here in my little video.
Hasta pronto!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 2 in Roatan...

It's been 2 very chill weeks here on the island.  B and I have been trying to enjoy the quiet but when you work a high energy, go go job, it is hard to let yourself relax.
Now, I don't expect you to pull out your violin and feel bad for us, trust me I know how lucky we are and we are so grateful for this experience.
I've done a little snorkeling.  But I have to be honest, I get a little nervous in the open water and the waves have been pretty strong.  Luckily, B is an experienced swimmer but trust me, you need to be careful around here.  Last week a kayaker got pulled out to sea due to the strong current and winds but luckily he was found and is safe and sound.
Sunset Snorkeling
We are also blessed enough to be able to hang out at this infinity pool and it is divine. 
 Especially the sunsets, you can't beat those here.
Because it is the slow season, we pretty much have the place to ourselves. 
B has been lucky on his dives and spotted may turtles.  I am so glad we got the underwater camera because it has been an extra pleasure to document these underwater moments.  And even so, it is nowhere near what it looks like.  I wish our eyes were cameras to capture it all. 
For calmer waters you can definitely go to the beaches in West End and our favorite in West Bay.
The Water in West Bay is divine.  Just avoid cruise ship days, and you will have the beach to your selves.  I'll do another post about it soon but for now check out some of my pics on Instagram.
I must admit B and I are missing Norm and Newman, so I think next time we will cut our time to 2 weeks away from the boys.  There is plenty to do on the island but since we are on a budget, we can't do it all.  To be honest, some of it is kinda hokey and I am ok with NOT doing it.  For instance, I don't want to pet a few monkeys or see a bunch of iguanas.  Some of the entrance fees are about $40 bucks each and these "packages" are not really worth it.  I mean monkeys aren't even native to the island so it is not a real island experience.  I can see monkeys at home.  As far as iguanas, I saw some at West Bay Beach by the rocks and I saw one swim out of the water and onto the street by our rental.  That was a much better experience for me.  
We are trying to maybe eat one (or two) meals out because we are not Rockefellers. 
Rice and beans baby! That was lunch today.
Also taking water taxis to West Bay is a cheap way ($3 per person) to get a boat ride and have a beautiful seaside view of the island.  Water taxis are definitely the way to go.
In case I did not mention it in previous posts.  Save yourself some money by bringing your own snorkel here down here, rather than renting.  Snorkel gear is pretty cheap in the states and you can be charged about $5-8 bucks a day to rent it here in Roatan
We tried to be locals and took the bus ($1 each) to Coxen Hole.  I am not gonna lie, it was a bit scary.  Everyone was staring at us and it was a huge change from West End where we are staying.  Still it was a huge eye opening experience.  We are enjoying so much here but about 20 minutes away, life is hard.  Even though I am Hispanic, I felt like such a foreigner and couldn't help but feel guilty for all my blessings.  Coxen Hole is where the Cruises dock but the tourists are quickly bused out to West End and West Bay and to other sight seeing parts of the island.  Not all of Coxen Hole is intimidating.  B and I just happened to walk deep into some of the Colonias.
Long post but wanted to give an update.  Roatan is still treating us well and we are loving our time down here.  Stay tuned for more adventures..

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Booknook on Roatan Island..

We decided to come to Roatan, to disconnect and reconnect with the things we never have time to do.  In preparation for this trip, I packed a few books to keep me busy and entertained.  I mentioned earlier that I was reading the Paris Wife which was amazing!
B and I were strolling around West End and we came across this sweet shop, called Booknook.  We had passed it before but it was closed but today we were able to take a peek.  Sometimes with island shops you have to check back since it's usually one worker or they are also on island time :)
This place is AWESOME, I mean it had so many books, even nonfiction!
I was also happily surprised to see books in French etc.  I mean this place rivaled any used book store back in the States.  So if you head down to Roatan, you will have plenty to read!
I've moved on to this book, which I brought from the States.  So far, so good. 
I really like Mary Kay Andrews, she is fun to read.  Nice chick-lit.
I wish I would have known about this shop, so I could have lessened my load a bit.   But the shop owner told me I could exchange my books for a little credit at Booknook and get some new ones.
What are you reading this summer?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Diving in Roatan...

 Dive shops on Roatan are like Starbucks in LA.  They are everywhere.  I am not a diver but my husband Bryce is, which was another big draw to coming down here for a part of the summer.
Diving is not a cheap hobby but it is super affordable in Roatan.  The going rate is about $30 per dive.  When we were in the USVI we paid more than $300 for one dive and here B got 10 for that same amount of cash.
 These are some of B's shots from his dives this week.  I never really thought about having an underwater camera but they are rather inexpensive (about $220) so we thought we would try one on this trip.  Plus, you can of course use it for regular pictures.  I wanted to get a basic camera because I was told that iphones were a hot commodity here and petty thieves were looking to get their hands on them.  This made me a bit paranoid but really, once you've been here for a bit you start to see the same people, same vendors and it is not the stereotypical criminal Latin American atmosphere that the media portrays. I grew up in LA and I would say if you have ever been to any type of seedy area, then you should exercise the same amount of caution and common sense that you would in that type of area.  Anyway, I don't want to go too off topic... but I am sharing this advice in case you want to head down here.

B's been diving with Coconut Tree Divers.  They have several different kinds of dives and you can also get certified here easily in case you are a beginner or have never even tried diving.  The lady who runs the shop is super nice and will make you feel comfortable and welcome.  B is going on a night time dive this week, so he can see the "String of pearls."  Here is a description I found on  
 ( by the way, this guy is a great writer)

"On truly dark nights, the Caribbean Sea glimmers with millions of miniscule lights spontaneously appearing and vanishing. It’s way trippier than a Pink Floyd laser show and far more real than the hallucinogenic chemicals that inspired their music. Fortunately, divers can see String of Pearls twenty-six weeks a year on Roatan, as conditions are right during the waning lunar cycle from full to new moon."
and here is my Sweet B saying hello from the sea

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Dinner in Roatan...

If you are looking to have dinner with an ocean view, I have just the place for you!  B and I were doing one of our many strolls up and down West End (it is pretty small!) when I saw this cheerful gentleman getting dinner ready.  It looked so good, we had to try it.
 The key is don't wait til dark to eat this type of dinner because, it was cooked just fresh when we were there.  We were worried not enough people would walk by this stand and the food would go to waste.  This is the slow season on the island (reason we are here!!).  I am sure it is still good but nobody likes to eat food that has been just sitting there.

As you can see our options were "Pollo, Chuletas de Puerco y Salchicha de Puerco."
Chicken Pork Chops and Pork Sausage
All of this comes with rice and beans and a salsa or coleslaw of your choice.  The salsa is called CHIMOL, it is what you probably know as Pico de Gallo but it is waaaaaaay better.
I knew about CHIMOL because that is what we call in in El Salvador, which is where I was born, in case you did not know :).
Do you see our ocean view?
 Doesn't it look delish?  Each plate was about $5 bucks each.
And in case I have not told you, you can use dollars here, no prob but they probably will give you your change back in Lempiras.
The people here were so nice and gracious.  
I don't know why this place is called Mexican Grill but there was nothing Mexican about it, I mean culinary wise (in my humble opinion).  Sometimes I think they call things a certain way so the tourists will try it, since it is more familiar.

 And here we are, your lovely tour guides.  We are glowing because we are super happy and also because we are almost always sweaty here!!
But you can always count on a breeze here, so there is relief.
Oh and of course the GREAT FOOD!
Which plate would you get?

Baleada: A Honduran Delight

Baleadas have been our go-to meal since we have arrived in Roatan.  Just writing this post makes my mouth water.  I am meeting B at 12:30 to have these for lunch after his dive. 
We buy ours at Anthony's Chicken and more which is across the street from the Landing bar here in Roatan on the West End.  I love how there is no shortage of hot sauces and I have to always have some on my food.  But truthfully without the hot sauce these are AWESOME and so hearty, especially when you are traveling on a budget.  
You can buy one Baleada for 30 lempiras which is about $1.50.  
there are many varieties of Baleadas, the ones pictured here are "con huevo, aguacate y frijoles."  Take a look inside in case your español is a little spotty....

It's not the prettiest foodie picture but it was the kind of 411 I was dying to find when I was planning for this trip.  For some reason, info on Roatan is not easy to find, beyond the usual resort, cruise ship, mission trip kind of stuff.
Anyways, here is the menu, so you can get an idea.  Obviously, you can eat these for any meal.  I noticed they were closed on Saturday, this past weekend, but thankfully they were open again on Sunday.   We were offered some specials like Beef soup, which I really did want but it was a little too hot to try.  The lady who runs this shop is a doll and her husband drives a taxi and does tours.  They were super sweet.  So what do you think, is this kind of food up your alley?

Saturday, June 13, 2015

not Roasting in Roatan...

So the only little snafoo we have come across is having no water.  YUP, that means no showers and no going número dos...sensitive readers: look away!  We were ready to encounter little situations like this, so we are trying to take it in stride.  We thought the water was back so I lathered up my hair and then.... just kidding! NO AGUA!  I grabbed a pitcher from the kitchen and tried to get the lavender mint shampoo I was so excited to use on my hair that had it's most recent wash in Vegas, right before we left.  BUT this is part of the adventure.  RIGTH?!  I walked down to a dive shop (by the way dive shops here are like Starbucks back in LA) and they have offered to let us shower there is the situation does not get fixed.  But I think I can go a few more days without a proper shower, we are chilling in the ocean anyway.
In case you are wondering how the mosquito situation is here.  It is not too bad.  But that being said, bring your Repellant down here because it is a MASSIVE luxury.  I stocked up on AVON skin so soft and I also made a Lemon/Eucalyptus Oil spray to keep the critters away.  I wish I would have brought more anti-itch cream but I will just ration it, ha ha!  It's also not just mosquitos but no-seeums and God knows what other little creatures.  Nevertheless, compared to other islands I have been to, its not bad.  
This is the view from one of the angles of our cottage.  I have spent the afternoons reading here (by the way The Paris Wife is a great book!) and JAMBO the cat has also spent the mornings here watching me read.
It is really nice and breezy, even with the high humidity, you can barely feel it here.  I am so glad!!
The only way we could come down here was to find lodging for our very low travel budget, so we opted for no AC.  AGAIN, not a big deal but if you have ever traveled to the tropics, you know sometimes you feel like you will turn into a puddle.
ok, hasta pronto.  Let me know if you have any questions about Roatan.  Check the sealaura facebook page for more up to the minute updates.

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