Melayne, Rob, Steve and Matthew
Spend Thanksgiving in Roatan!
November 17th through 24th, 2007
||Let us know that you're along for
the ride... All of our "usual" email addresses will
work (well, except for ones ending in balloonideas.com, hayscisd.net
or freescale.com -- we refuse to check our work email!) We'll
try to answer your questions between snorkels, coconut shrimp,
lobster and Monkey La-La's (if you don't know what those are...do
an internet search!!!)
||Internet and Electric Power can be
"spotty" on Roatan, so if we don't communicate or
update the site too often...stick with us! We'll update the
site as often as we're able!
||Our photos will be available in daily
"Photo Albums" shown below. Check 'em all out...that
is, if we can upload them!
||We'll try to update our Roatan Blog
with random thoughts, experiences, dining delicacies, snorkeling
sights, etc. daily, as well!
||Why in the world did we choose Roatan?
It chose us...we're coming back to visit our friend, Victor
More info on him, and our friendship here.
||Where in the world is Roatan? Click
Here for a map!
||We're staying at the Mayan
Princess Resort in West Bay, Roatan, Honduras, Central America,
||Click on the images shown on our
site for a "Close-Up" view!
Live Picture from Coco View Resort in Roatan, Honduras...
Updated every 30 minutes, or so!
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Tracking Information on our Flight to Roatan can be obtained by
clicking on the small arrow in the info-box to the right!
A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight (will
show up once we take off): Click
Matt and Steve here... we made it to Houston last night after a
horrible Friday at work and home! Murphy's Law was definitely at
work! It all started Thursday afternoon when Matthew bit halfway
through his tongue -- it bled for about an hour. Crazy! Friday at
work, it started again...imagine helping customers with blood dripping
Dracula-like from the corners of your mouth! What a wonderful impression
he made!! The mailman, who promptly delivers our stack of checks
each day at 11AM, didn't show up until 4PM! We would have left sooner,
but we had a package going to Singapore that had to be "handed"
to the carrier! Plus, we had to make sure to let our guys know which
past-due customers had been "freed from the Dog House"!
Steve had about 3 custom print orders, adding to his Friday stresses....
Once we finally got home, the alarm system wouldn't arm due to a
faulty sensor (We're not telling you which one, 'cause we know how
some of you are...and we may find something missing when we return!)
We finally "hid" that sensor from the system and had everything
ready to go...except Matt smashed his finger in the door! Blood
again! When will we be able to get away from this madness??!!? On
the road to Houston, we exchanged several emails with Victor (gotta
love the Blackberry!). He said to be sure to confirm the time that
we were arriving and to look for the "Victor Bodden" sign
-- a joke based on his instructions to all the cruise ship passengers
that he sends daily (Click
Here)! OK... now, it's finally Saturday...and no more blood...guts...or
gore...so, we're ready for the trip! Waiting on Mamie and Rob to
arrive from Austin -- then off to our "Reserved" spot
at the parking lot! Next notes will be from beautiful Roatan!!!
OK, so we are no where close to there -- or leaving, for that matter...
I wanted to mention that, once again, we are OVERLOADED with luggage...and
our same concerns about luggage weight are back (See the June 30th
blog on our July Trip
to Roatan for more!). But, we've heard that Melayne and
Rob are only bringing 2 bags...so they may be our "MULES"
and carry the heavy stuff. We'll take their light stuff! Time will
tell if we make it through again...
Had a small "Beef and Cheese" sammitch on the plane...and
some delicious adult beverages! The plane trip was smooth and painless,
and no problems at all getting all of our "Bodden loot"
for the girls onto the planes!
Victor and the girls (minus Bianca and Janeth) met us at the plane...and
waited for Taca to deliver the luggage to the baggage claim! The
ground crew had to first load the Taca flight to San Salvador's
luggage -- so it took quite a while! You would have thought we were
at O'hare or LaGuardia!
Bianca and Janeth met us at the car's door as we arrived. There
was WONDERFUL food -- chicken two ways (roasted and in a spicy gravy),
rice, mashed potatoes, veggies...and fresh watermelon juice for
Matthew, pear juice for Steve and Banana Soda for Melayne. Rob had
a little of each! The cake with the caramelized condensed milk topping
was the BEST! Yummmmm!
After quite a bit of catching up (poor Rob!), we headed to the Mayan
for rest! The plans have already been made for Sunday -- and we
meet the fishin-in' boat at 8AM on the beach! Wooo-hoooo! Now, off
Enjoy the photos! A few fuzzies, but think we'll get some good shots
over the next few days!
THANK YOU, MOM!!!
for taking care of "The Girlz". Don't let those
single ladies get you in any trouble!!!
We are looking forward to seeing how fat a greyhound
can get, when we return!
If they put on too much weight, YOU
have to pay for their Curves membership!
A bizzy, bizzy day! We are all very worn out afterwards...but here's
a quick rundown (BTW, captions will be added to the photos for today...later!!!)
We waited for Enry and Victor to arrive on the Barracuda in front
of the Mayan Princess at 8AM. That means we woke up early... In
fact, much EARLIER than we planned: The ching-chings woke us all
up at 5:05. Ching chings, you ask... They are nothing but GRACKLES!
Thousands of them... Melayne was excited thinking she'd wake up
to a flock of wild parrots, or toucans...but, alas...just GRACKLES!!!
A nice breakfast buffet before heading to the beach and waiting...shopping,
walking...waiting more...etc.! We haven't adjusted to that special
"Island Time" yet -- but, if we could get the Ching Chings
to comply, we might actually try sleeping a little later!
A day of fishing began...nice beautiful sunny weather. Rob quickly
caught a fighting Barracuda...Melayne snagged a tuna...and Steve
caught another Tuna. Then the skies began to darken, and the fish
stopped biting! Oh well, Matt "caught" lots of video images
with the new HD Camcorder...hopefully he's doing it all right!
We had a great lunch at Palmetto Bay, where Tempataion Island was
filmed. It was so relaxing listening to the rain fall... We raced
through the rain to the boat to claim a dry seat. None were available...and
off we went! The coral was so close to the bottom of the boat, it
was just amazing! We headed through some mangroves and then the
"fun" hit! Our propeller had problems and Enry had to
steer the rest of the way by pushing the outboard one way or another
by hand, while Victor "guided" his shoves on the heavy
We took the boat to West End for service, caught one of Victor's
drivers for a trip back to the Mayan (Tex, the driver named by his
father who had worked on ships in the Houston port). We were worn
out, the Boddens had church so we all contemplated a nap... No luck,
tho...off to play with the "Sea Doo" scooters in the clear
West Bay waters! We had loads of fun...then took them into the Mayan
pool! There were several jealous glances by onlookers...as our scooters
were a real hit!
Now starving after our long day, we went in search of "Bite
on the Beach" at the end of West Bay. It was dark and Mamie
squealed at each crab...no telling how many she didn't see, but
they seemed to be everywhere! BontheB was closed, so we ended up
eating some great "Caribbean Food with an Italian Twist"
fare at Las
Rocas Resort. Rob had some Rotinni Bolagnaise and the other
three had Coconut Shrimp (in a coconut milk-based cream sauce, instead
of fried!) YUM! We headed home to the Mayan...expecting the "Full
Island Tour a la Bodden" tomorrow!
Today we had lots of rain, but made the most of it!
We went shopping in West End -- lots of treasures and trash! But,
walked until Matt's ankles bled -- literally! It would stop raining,
get hot and humid, and then begin to rain again. We headed to "Woody's"
to pick up the ingredients for Melayne's Yummy Butter Cheese Cake
-- and they had everything!!! Headed back to the room to unload
the loot, and off we went...
We walked to the end of the beach, took a lot of photos, and laughed
as the rains really came in! We saw some tiny starfish creatures
and shopped at the various beach vendors (all having a slow day,
since the cruise ship folks were too afraid of the Roatan rain!)
It really started to pour...so we thought it would be best to....walk
the entire beach back to Las Rocas (where we had dinner Monday night).
Once at Las Rocas, we found all of the day's divers and guests huddled
under shelter enjoying a bite or beverage. Well...we showed them
what they were missing! Melayne sat in their "mini-pool",
we had our drinks "al fresco" -- in the rain! Too much
fun! But, it was time to head back...we were finally starting to
chill out (literally!)
Victor stopped by to pick us up...we headed to the casa for Honduran
Tipico (beans, eggs, fritas from Victor's mother -- fried bread,
and fried plantains) YUM!!! We set up the laptop for Victor (hopefully
it will work!!), then headed back to the Mayan for a Navidad celebration!
Lots of gifts, Melayne's cakes...and a bunch of laughter!!!
Antother "great day is paradise" for Rob and the rest
We took the city tour with Victor today. He told us he would be
here to pick us up at 7:00 and today he was NOT on island time and
arrived before 6:30 am. No one ate breakfast because the resturante
does not open until 7. We headed to Oak Ridge and hopped on a small
boat that sounded like the cars your ride at Six Flags. We went
through mangrove after mangrove-- the tree covered channels the
pirates used to hide and go around parts of the island. The tour
guide Victor set up for us was late so we went with another gentleman
that didn't talk much -- but the GOOD NEWS was he had unbrellas
and we used them off and on throughout the tour. We saw fish swimming
out of the water above the reef, a black and white lizard, a stork,
and lots of beautiful red, brown, and black mangrove trees.
Our next stop was the Jungle Canopy Zip Lines. Mamie kept trying
to convince herself not to do it, but she loved it! We had two guides
-- Nelson and Alex. They took videos and took pictures of us all
the way down. Rob had some pretty amazing landings we are still
laughing about...not to mention the tree he ran in to! Matt was
a pro and landed perfectly everytime and Steve was not far behind
him with his skill of zip lining -- the second time was a charm
for both of them. Later in the week we are all off to the Extreme
Zip Lines, longer and faster zips at another location. Still no
breakfast but we all had a cerveza after we finished the ziplines
and then the rain began.....we were so lucky it waited until after
we zipped. Our guided assured us it is a great acitivity to do in
the rain...but we all questioned that since many of the platforms
were so slick already in the dense rainforest! .
Next we rushed to Victor's 1:00 pm NCL cruise boat. We watched "her"
dock and watched the RAIN COME DOWN. It was fun to see how many
cruise ship passengers actually got off for a day in Roatan in the
RAIN. All but 4 of Victors 36 passengers arrived for the Bodden
tour.We left our "mud shoes"in Victor's van and had to
go get them before another driver took us to Victor's house for
Well..............we made it to Victors in the rain....we stopped
an their family store first to visit with Bianca and purchase some
candy, cookies,etc.... The rain only got harder but we are used
to rain and took a short cut through the mud to the Bodden Casa.
We showed up on their porch dripping wet (Mamie left on of her mud
shoes in the car so he was barefoot bound the rest of the day through
the mud)-- sweet Janeth found us clean, dry shirts to put on ane
and we had a deliciousio lunch of homemade tortillas, carne ga sada,
salad, and rice. We were all starving since we hand't had anything
to eat since the night before. We laid in the hammocks on the front
porch for the next 4 hours or MORE.....Mamie was covered in a sheet
because the rain was making the air perfect to the guys but COLD
to her. We hung our drippin clothes on the clothesline but they
didn't dry a bit because of the rain/wetness in the air. We had
a RELAXIN'in day at Victors.....did I mention the warm rice pudding
Janeth made us for an evening snack and the 4 pizza Victor brought
to us for dinner after his busy day? Another highlight at the Bodden
house was watching the touristos come to the house for a tour of
their monkey farm....Shelsie had a great time showing the cruisers
the monkeys, parrots, deer with her umbrella in hand. The last monkey
tour was done by the side of the road because it was dark -- Shelsie
and Janeth walked the monkeys to the vans at the road for the touristos
to see -- we guess they had at least 30 touristos view the monkeys
in the RAIN!
We walked back to the van in feet of MUD.........Bianca lended Melayne
flip flops (WITH HEELS) to walk in...if you know my sister like
I know my sister -- she can not even walk with heels on dry dirt....it
was a sight to see -- IN THE PITCH DARK! Matt and Steve washed their
day off in the pool with the others showered in a HOT shower. Another
ending to a perfect day....but you know what? We are all going to
be VERY sore from our zip-lining adventure...WHAT GREAT EXERCISE!
Our day started off with SUNSHINE...so we skipped the breakfast
buffet for the second day in a row..and hit the beach for snorkeling.
The Carnival ship was in today from 7am until 2 pm...so there were
tons of other snorkelers and beach goers.
We had so much fun snorkeling...going back and forth to the beach
telling each other what we saw and taking a break. Once again the
Seadoos were a great help -- until Mamie was 100 yards out and her
life vest ties got tangled in her Seedoo -- she paddled back to
shore to get unstuck before she could go out again. We saw lots
of neon colored fish -- the pictures do not do them justice, but
we hope to take better pics later today or tomorrow. We saw brain
coral, sea fans, lots of other kinds of coral and many,many fish.
We just wonder how many more we will see when we are the only people
snorkeling and the cruise ship crowd is gone? (**one of the underwater
digitals had an unexpected filter change -- a blue tint -- during
the dives. We will try to fix those photos later with the famous
When we got back to the villa -- we hung out at the pool and got
a little sun.
Update by Matt: Everyone went to sleep except for me!!! Guess the
sun was too much for them! (The Monkey La-La's probably didn't hurt
Happy Thanksgiving to ALL! Sorry the following postings were added
after we returned, but we lost the internet for the last part of
our trip...good thing ESPN and CNN were working, or we might have
actually remembered that we were supposed to be on vacation!
Today we started with NO breakfast buffet - -- our nights are full
of home made cooking and we eat so much -- we wake still full .
A beautiful day on the beach today for the second full day in a
row. We all started off lounging by the pool and enjoying monkey
la la.....followed by a few naps and some general relaxing.
Matthew and Steve left about 4 for a fun filled hour or so on the
new EXTREME ZIP LINES -- they loved it! Janeth, Victor and Ceasar
joined them for the fun. The boys said the hardest part was the
first line -- the drop off was at least sixty feet and the line
was the length of three football fields. The drop was HUGE and several
of our liners had to take a deep breath before jumping. These zip
lines are the longest in the all of the Americas. The pictures taken
by Matt and the videos taken my Steven are breathtaking! WHAT FUN!
Click the link to check out the details of the ziplines at the Pirates
of the Caribbean Extreme Canopy Tour!
Mamie spent much of the day in the sun watching the cruise crowd,
reading, watching the cruise ship depart from our resort, and taking
We did not have a Thanksgiving Feast -- there was one served on
teh island somewhere -- we took a photo of the menu. We had a fabulous
meal at Gio's ~The King Crab House in French Harbour. We had sizzlin'
steak, peppered steak, fried shrimp with jalapeno cream sauce, and
much more. We enjoyed our FEAST with the whole Bodden family overlooking
the beautiful ocean. Check out Gio's resturant's website here!
Rob and Melayne woke up early to get in another couple hours of
snorkeling at the coral reef right off our hotel's shore. We took
many pictures of fish and other good coral pictures before the blue
sky turned to dark grey. They discovered it is hard to see under
the water in Rotan when the skies are not shiney and beautiful.
We all met for breakfast after the last snorkeling adventure. We
had fun walking to the end of the beach through the cruise ship
"touristas" to shop for some goodies for Mom.
Victor picked us up early in the rain....we went to his house to
check on his drive way and we got to hold his pet monkeys and pet
the ant eater - Suma. The monkeys are adorable!
Then off for our last day of tourning.....we went to the Iguana
Farm (Cesar joined us, too!). Because of the rain the iguanas were
mostly in the trees. We were so lucky to have one climb down VERY
SLOWLY to eat some bananas and leaves so we could take some great
pictures. What a cool looking animal!
We all attended a church "program" at The Bodden's church.
The program was centered around the youth. We listened to nice prayers
and beautiful songs performed by Bianca and Shelsie Bodden (next
time we go we are sure Mallory will have her turn, too). A very
nice church service...
We finished a perfect day with dinner at the place we will visit
each trip - Half Moon Bay -- Voted our "Best Place to Eat in
Roatan". Matt and Steve have been there all three trips and
Mamie has been there both of her trips. The resturaunt is known
for it's wonderful coconut shrimp and delicious lobster. The Bodden
girls spoke very highly of the chicken strips, too!
Back to the resort for tearful goodbyes to all the Bodden girls.....we
can't wait to see them again. Oh...how much they are growing! Angelina
will be talking by the time we see her next.....and Bianca will
be graduating from High School.....Shelsie and Mallory will be learning
some new Lilly Goodman songs before then, too!
Up early, packed and ready to hit the Roatan Island Airport. Victor
was at our resort at 7:30 to take us reluctantly to the airport.
He kept trying to get us to stay another week. It was so hard to
say goodbye, but we are happy to say we will see him and his family
again very soon!
Last minute shopping was the theme of our airport visit before the
flight took off. We visited serveral of the stores in the airpot,
had one or two last Banana Tropical and even a final Grape (Uva)
We had a great flight back to Houston -- the only time the plane
really rocked and rolled was the exact time Matt left his seat to
go to the restroom at the back of the plane. He said the paper towel
dispenser even came open in the bumps. Once he sat down in his seat
again...the flight went smoothly once more. We landed in Houston
only a couple minutes late -- but the good news was that customs,
luggage, and shuttle bus to our SUVs were all record times...we
anticipated LOTS of delays in customs because of the holiday weekend....but
luckily had a totally opposite experience.
We had a wonderful week in Roatan -- lots of laughs, lots of hugs,
and even a few tears -- the only thing that would have made our
trip BETTER was if our Mom would have been with us. She was happy
to hear we were all back safe and sound. She and the greyhounds
loved watching the boys unload their suitcases when they got back
to San Antonio. The memories of our trip together will be with us
Speaking of being with us forever...the 7 POUNDS that Mateo gained
and 8 POUNDS that Esteban gained will NOT be with us forever. We
have to start losing in preparation for our next trip to Janeht's
Tracking Information on our Flight back to Houston (boo!) can be
obtained by clicking on the small yellow arrow in the info-box to
A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight (will
show up once we take off): Click