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Melayne, Rob, Steve and Matthew
Spend Thanksgiving in Roatan!
November 17th through 24th, 2007
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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!!!)
   
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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!
 
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Our photos will be available in daily "Photo Albums" shown below. Check 'em all out...that is, if we can upload them!
 
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We'll try to update our Roatan Blog with random thoughts, experiences, dining delicacies, snorkeling sights, etc. daily, as well!
   
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Why in the world did we choose Roatan? It chose us...we're coming back to visit our friend, Victor Bodden (www.boddentours.com). More info on him, and our friendship here.
 
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Where in the world is Roatan? Click Here for a map!
 
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We're staying at the Mayan Princess Resort in West Bay, Roatan, Honduras, Central America, etc.
   
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Roatan

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bullet Tracking Information on our Flight to Roatan can be obtained by clicking on the small arrow in the info-box to the right!

bullet A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight (will show up once we take off): Click Here

bullet 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!!!

bullet 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...

bullet 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!

bullet 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!

bullet 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!

bullet 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 to bed!

bullet Enjoy the photos! A few fuzzies, but think we'll get some good shots over the next few days!

Flight Status
IAH to RTB
Houston to Roatan
Taca Airlines
Flight TA 431
Depart 2:10pm
Arrive 4:50pm


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!


bullet 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!!!)

bullet 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!!!

bullet 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!

bullet 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!

bullet 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 engine!

bullet 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!

bullet 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!

 


bullet Today we had lots of rain, but made the most of it!

bullet 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...

bullet 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).

bullet 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!)

bullet 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!!!


bullet Antother "great day is paradise" for Rob and the rest of us!

bullet 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.

bullet 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! .

bullet 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 lunch.

bullet 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!

bullet 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!

 


bullet 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.

bullet 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 photoshop!)

bullet When we got back to the villa -- we hung out at the pool and got a little sun.

bullet 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 either!)


bullet 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!

bullet 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.

bullet 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!

bullet Mamie spent much of the day in the sun watching the cruise crowd, reading, watching the cruise ship depart from our resort, and taking sunset photos.

bullet 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!


bullet 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.

bullet 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.

bullet 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!

bullet 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!

bullet 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...

bullet 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!

bullet 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!

   


bullet 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!

bullet 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) Tropical!

bullet 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.

bullet 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 forever...

bullet 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 kitchen!

bullet Tracking Information on our Flight back to Houston (boo!) can be obtained by clicking on the small yellow arrow in the info-box to the right!

bullet A direct link for the "Live-View" map of our flight (will show up once we take off): Click Here

Return Flight Status
RTB to IAH
Roatan to Houston
Taca Airlines
Flight TA 430
Depart 10:20am
Arrive 1:05pm
Click for Roatan, Honduras Forecast

 


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