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What to Bring – What to Leave Behind

8 May

More often than not when you make the move to Roatan the home you rent or purchase on the island will be furnished; including dishes, other kitchen stuff, and linens.

Chances are though you will have items from wherever you are moving from that you will want to bring with you—those bits and pieces that are a part of your everyday life.

However when you move to Roatan your priorities of what you need to set up house and home will change; some by choosing a simpler, less cluttered lifestyle, and others because… well… chances are it isn’t going to survive here!

A lot of what you may need or want can now be found on Roatan compared to when I moved here. I never realized how important coat hangers were until the previous owner of my cabana took them all with them when they moved out. It took me two weeks of searching every store in my quest to get my clothes hung up. I finally found some in the Fruit & Veggie Market in Coxen Hole. Silly me, I had been looking in hardware stores and at the Carrion—Roatan’s version of a Walmart; which is absolutely nothing like a Walmart. You no longer need to worry about bringing coat hangers when you move to Roatan; there are many places that carry them. If you do decide to bring some though just make sure they are plastic! Guaranteed, metal ones will rust, and that sheet of paper covering the metal frame will go mouldy!

Here is my list of must bring items to Roatan:
• a stainless steel (heavy duty) cheese grater

• a stainless steel (heavy duty) can opener

• those little silica packets in shoe boxes (don’t bring the shoes)

• zip-lock bags in various sizes; including extra, extra large, for storing… everything!

• a Swiffer Sweeper Vac and numerous packages of Swiffer dust clothes and filters

• tri-light bulbs

• a cooling fan for laptop

• crank flashlight

• Yorkshire pudding mix—if you like Yorkshire pudding but not to make it from scratch

• acrylic paints and brushes—or your preferred art & craft supplies

• needles, thread, sewing accessories—that I store in a zip lock baggy with those silica packets from the shoe boxes

• extra batteries, cords, accessories for computer and camera equipment

• An English calendar—not that I worry too much what day it is, but I always have had a calendar on the fridge—habit.

• Feather and down pillows

• bedding / linens—still not much to choose from on Roatan

• Couch (sofa) with springs & frame, and puffy cushy cushions … I haven’t got one yet, but trust me I will one of these days. On those evenings when I want to kick back and relax on the couch, it ain’t gonna happen unless I bring my own!

What NOT to bring
• an alarm clock—being on time for something on Roatan is to be at least a ½ hour late.

• rollerblades—majority of paths are loose stones or sand, not so good for rollerblading

• an iron—the humidity will remove all wrinkles

• metal heirloom picture frames—they will rust through in no time

• any pieces (furniture) made from fake wood—termite candy

• any article of clothing that you never wear, but think you might—it will go mouldy

• chairs or stools covered in plastic—sweaty, sweaty, sweaty

• Leather stuff—I brought one leather belt… anytime I wear it I have to wipe the mould off first!

So what about you? Getting ready to make the move, what would be on your list of must bring?

Just remember when you make the move to Roatan, you’ll be too busy doing stuff to worry about what stuff you brought to Paradise!

Listen here to what DJ Chef Frances – “Live it up, the guide to living the sweet life in Paradise” shared from his list, when he popped in on the Roatan Vortex Radio Show, on 101.1 FM Roatan Radio.com

 
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Tour Guide and Tourist

5 May

My dad came for his first visit to Roatan.

Prior to his arrival he took advantage of my years of living on the Island to enquire what his best flight option was to get here from North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

With complete confidence I explained his possible routes and airline choices. The ease I felt in rattling off the details reminded me of the difference from my first few trips to Roatan when I didn’t have a clue how to get here (and neither did the travel agents I had contacted.)

The night before his scheduled arrival I got another question from him regarding (sorry dad, hope you don’t mind me sharing this stuff): what should he write on the Immigration Form as to where he would be staying on Roatan? Oh yah, I hadn’t told him my address. Not because I didn’t want him to know it (or anything like that) I didn’t tell him because we don’t do addresses on Roatan. “Just write down Sandy Bay,” I assured him that would be sufficient. While we were on the topic of arriving to Roatan, I let him know that he would also be given a Customs Form, which he could choose to fill out or not… since nobody would ask him for it, but his luggage would have to go through an x-ray machine. And no worries about finding each other at the airport… there is only one arrival gate.

Again, I couldn’t help but think back to when I first started coming to Roatan. I was convinced alarms would sound if I left the luggage area still clutching the Customs Form I had so painstakingly filled out on the plane. I was confused why my suitcases that had already cleared security in Houston were being x-rayed on Roatan, and I was terrified that the scheduled to pick me up person wouldn’t be waiting for me at the correct gate when I arrived.

Oh my, how things change when you do them enough times. I’ve flown to and from Roatan so many times now that I even felt qualified to write a story about what to do when your luggage doesn’t arrive with you.

I left home twenty minutes before my dad’s plane was due to land, traveled a familiar road (there is only one), greeted the parking attendant, and parked in the lot facing the Airport. When I went inside I didn’t bother stopping at the coffee shop… coffee machine’s been broken for a while now. I nodded and waved at familiar faces, I said goodbye to recent visitors I had met who were now standing at the check-in preparing to depart on the plane my dad was coming in on. I made my way to the arrival area, again waving and nodding at people I know, and took my place next to the others expecting a visitor or two. We chatted about how business was at their restaurant, did I know that the grocery store had fresh strawberries this week and how booked up all the resorts were for Semana Santa (Holy (Easter) Week.)

I glanced at the arrival board overhead, scrolling flight details. I didn’t pay much attention to it though… even if a flight is delayed nobody updates the stats. Dad did arrive on schedule, and so did his luggage, he crumpled up the Customs Form and tossed it in a nearby garbage can on the way to the car. While driving to my place I was the Tour Guide pointing out the highlights of the interesting features of Roatan between the airport and Sandy Bay. We chatted about all the places I would take him: the beaches, restaurants, resorts, the attractions and events we would attend. He promised to follow the 10 Tips to Not Get Treated like a Tourist but did admit he had considered wearing shorts with white knee socks and dress shoes when he arrived to tease me. Very funny dad!

I showed him which room would be his for the next two weeks, and while he unpacked I told him which beach bar we would be heading to so he could watch the final round of the Masters Golf Tourney. On the way to West Bay Beach, I couldn’t help but notice him clutching the OMG handle as I wove around sudden stopping taxis, chickens crossing the road (haha), on coming vehicles in our lane on most curves, and around the barrier set up at the top of one of the ridges to keep drivers and passengers from free falling where the road had been washed away by the big rain storm six weeks previous. (Dad stopped reaching for the OMG handle after a couple of days when he realized this was how all our road trips were going to be.)

For the duration of his visit, I introduced him to many friends, suggested where we should dine each day, and what attraction was next on our agenda. And while I was the Tour Guide, the coolest thing was I also got to be a Tourist! You know how it is… once you’ve lived somewhere for a while (even if it is a Tropical Island nestled in the Caribbean Sea) you don’t see it the way you did when you first visited—enthralled by all that unfolded in front of you.

For two weeks I got to enjoy Roatan with my dad as he did, marvelling in all it has to offer while at the same time being the Tour Guide sharing the inside scoop on Roatan.

For a review of some of the places we dined, and what we saw and did, be sure to visit: Roatan Vortex Forum – Tour Guide and Tourist.

The best cure for hoarding—Move to Roatan

29 Apr

I’ve always viewed moving from one home to another as a great opportunity to clear out that stuff I tucked away in the back of the closet, in the garage, in the basement, and even under the beds when I first moved to the house I would be leaving. You know, those boxes of unused fancy dishes, the objects-d-art and nic-nacs that (I have no idea why I ever bought them in the first place) won’t match anything in my new home, and then there was the stuff that I knew I would never use: the handy-dandy hot dog cooker my cousin gave me as a Christmas present (I swear, I never bought one of those), my collection of side tables and lamps (couldn’t leave a thrift store without buying at least one or the other), and of course the fondue pot with enough forks for a party of twenty.

I would promise myself, this move will be different, but more often them not, I’d convince myself, if I don’t bring that to my new location—guaranteed I’ll wish I had! A blank wall or a bare space on a shelf will glare at me, letting me know that if I’d only brought (insert whatever here) that spot wouldn’t have to endure being empty, or my cousin, who never visits me, might show up with a package of hot-dogs for me to cook for lunch.

I would force myself to give up at least a few items, dropping them off at the local thrift shop, proud of letting go—while I paid for the new-to-me lamp I bought while there! Alas, the majority of the junk moved with me.

And then there were clothes! Oh my! Tons of clothes that I never wore!

That outfit I saw in that Boutique window, tried on, and was sure I looked fabulous in until I got it home, put it on, looked in the mirror, and said, “huh?” I swear they do something to the mirrors in the try-on-rooms in stores. There were the clothes that I did love, but (for some reason) were snug in the waist now—I know, I’m just retaining a little water—they’ll fit again soon. But even when I separate my delusion of runway model vs reality, my clothes closet was jammed full of stuff that even if I changed my outfit 10 times a day… I still couldn’t manage to wear them all! I haven’t even mentioned the: shoes, belts, leg warmers (they might come back in style don’t you know) and other accessories necessary to complete—the look!

Then I moved to Roatan

Can’t move to Roatan with a U-Haul! Actually, I do know a few people who did, and quite a few had their stuff shipped down, but I had no idea (at the time) of how to do that, and besides, for me it was a new start—an opportunity to finally let go of all that—stuff!

Note: It is not cheap to ship your worldly possessions to Roatan. On top of the shipping charges, duties and taxes will have to be paid. Make sure it is really, really important to you before sending it here.

So I moved to Roatan with one suitcase jammed full! I guess I should mention that to get rid of what I had previously owned I called a local auction house and had them cart it off—yup, even my prized collection of side tables and lamps. As it turned out, there were a few things I wish I had brought, a few that I shouldn’t have bothered bringing, and many more that I now know—I will never need (or want) again!

The first year I lived on Roatan I kept a running list of must get items. I kept this handy so if family or friends were coming to visit I could rattle off what I needed them to bring. The list would get extra long when I was planning a visit back to Canada, and once I got back to the world of Box Malls and specialty stores on every corner, I’d spend the majority of my time there (when I should have been enjoying time with family and friends) wandering up and down the aisles drooling over all the stuff I was going to bring back to Roatan with me! It would take me the entire evening before I returned to Roatan (again, I should have been visiting family and friends) to strategically pack my new treasures.

Since year one, increasingly more is available on Roatan. There are still some things that I know it isn’t worth driving around to try to find because it’s not available here: art supplies, books by my favourite authors, or a decent cheese-grater, but for most stuff I need, I can now find it right here on Roatan. No wait a minute… I didn’t say that right…

Now that I live on Roatan, I’ve come to learn and greatly appreciate… I don’t NEED the vast majority of what I left behind… besides, most of what I did bring has either gone mouldy or rusted away to nothing!

This story can also be read at Honduras Weekly Retitled The Tropical Cure for Hoarding

For the list of what I brought to Roatan, what I continue to bring to Roatan, and those things you are better to leave behind—listen in to the Roatan Vortex Radio Show (tomorrow) Saturday, April 30, starting at 10 AM Roatan Time. Kind of short notice, sorry about that, you’ll also be able to find the list on the Roatan Vortex Forum, and on the Insider’s Guide for Moving to Roatan page, after the radio show. I taped copy of the show will also be posted on the Roatan Vortex Radio Show page.

 
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Total Nonstop Wrestling Action (Forum) on Roatan

27 Apr

No wait… that already exists. Good thing I created the Roatan Vortex Forum instead.

Now, so far I am the only member (compared to the Wrestling Forum which has over 170,000 members and close to 5 million posts) but hey, you’ve got to start somewhere.

There are forums out there that include discussions about Roatan, so why the Roatan Vortex Forum?

Some are geared toward vacationing on Roatan, or at least sub-categories are: Trip Advisor. Others focus on the life of an Expat Abroad: Expat Forum, again, you have to search for a sub-category specific to Roatan (good luck finding Roatan.) And then there are those that are for a community of people who share a common interest: Diving forums.

The time has come to pull them together in one really simple, easy to use, minimal rules (don’t even like the word), location.


Visitors, Newbies (recently moved to Roatan), Expats: Roatan SME’s (Subject Matter Experts) unite! Let’s talk about Roatan!!!

Who Can Post?
Everyone! Just remember to keep it about Roatan—except for the “Just Because” category. You will have to register to contribute; if you’d rather not add your two cents worth, you are still welcome as a Guest and can peruse the forum all you want.

This is where I’m supposed to give you the rules of posting, but, you’ll know if what you posted wasn’t acceptable (rude, crude, nasty, or possible infringement of copy-right material etc.) because as the Moderator, I’ll delete it.

Questions? Don’t be shy, ask away!
So it’s happening… the Roatan Vortex is pulling you here! You are very excited, but wait… Where should you stay? What about the snorkelling and diving? Will you see Seahorses? Dining options? Transportation? What cruise port will you arrive at (there’s more than one?) And the ever popular: are there bugs, is it safe, and will it rain when I’m there? Go ahead ask all you want! The more specific and the less likely a crystal ball is needed to answer, the more responses you will get.

Write a review! We want to hear all about it… really!
You visited Roatan, and had a blast! Be sure to share with everyone; what you saw, where you stayed, and how much fun you had!!! If something wasn’t to your satisfaction we want to know about that too.

Roatan SME’s and Newbies, you know best!
Living on Roatan? Want to share a great place to dine, a business that we should know about? Tell us all about it. Feel free to share your Roatan businesses and links here too.

Please note: Specific details or names of individuals involved; surrounding dissatisfaction are best shared via direct email contact, rather than on this forum (sorry, another rule.)

Coming soon: There will be a handy dandy form for sharing your Roatan experience; in the meantime just tell us all about it right here!

Roatan – Home Sweet Home
So you want to move to Roatan, great idea! I’m sure you have questions: What are the educational options for my kids? Can I buy lactose free milk? Can I bring my pets? What about volunteering? The sample questions I have included are pretty vague… remember, the more specific, the more answers you’ll get.
And if you’ve made the move to Roatan, you can answer some of them. You’ve already started sharing on “The Insider’s Guide for Moving to Roatan” which if any of your suggestions are used in the soon to be released book: your reward is my undying gratitude… only! :-)

Just Because!
Do you ever wonder why? I have questions about those truly important things in life; what’s in marshmallows that make them taste like—well—marshmallows? Are hermit crabs born with a starter shell? Why are there speed bumps on bumpy roads? And why the heck can’t I snap my fingers?

Sometimes I just want to know; what was your favourite toy when you were a kid? What makes you smile? The name of a book that you think I might enjoy?

This is the place to ask and answer those important questions. You can even talk about wrestling here… if you really want to!

Roatan Vortex – An insider’s guide for moving to Roatan

21 Apr

So the Roatan Vortex is working its magic on you, you’re considering a move to Roatan, great idea! No longer will time in paradise be limited to your allocated one or two week holidays a year. No more burrowing under the three comforters piled on your bed, peaking out the window and groaning at the sight of fluffy flakes of snow floating down to cover the crocuses and tulips that are doing what they can to convince the skies it is springtime.

Since making the move to Roatan I am regularly asked, “How’d you do it?” That’s easy to answer, “I quit my job, sold everything I owned, and moved here.” The Roatan Vortex pulled me in!

Now that I live here I regularly share why I stay: through the Roatan Vortex blog, The Roatan Vortex Radio Show on 101.1 FM roatanradio.com and through the book The Roatan Vortex—an insider’s view of day to day life on a Caribbean Island It’s time to back up a bit (kinda like they did with the Star Wars movies) and share… drum roll please…

The Roatan Vortex—an insider’s guide for moving to Roatan

The thing is, moving to Roatan is not like moving across town or even from one State or Province you live in to another. You have to approach it a little different and not use the North American side of your brain to plan the move. Yes, clear up and do what must before you come to Roatan, but when the Vortex calls, “resistance is futile”… hey, another Star Wars reference… no wait, that’s from Star Trek!

On your mark! Get set! Slow down!
When I go back to Canada to visit family and friends, they quite often comment that I’m too mellow, as they zoom past me; rushing to work, the store, an exercise class, the mall, to pick up the kids etc. That is the normal pace there, but not on Roatan. Sure you still have things to get done, places to be, people to see, but the pace here is a little different. For one thing it is just plain too hot; you’re going to work up a sweat no matter how slow you go, so why encourage it. Besides, whatever you are rushing to probably won’t be ready until mañana anyway.

Definition of mañana – tomorrow, next week, maybe a month from now, possibly—NEVER!

photo credit - Gumbalimba Park

It’s always Groundhog (Watusi) Day
Another comment I get from family and friends (especially when they come to visit me on Roatan) is that things don’t change much here—and that’s true—with a Roatan twist, of course. The year round summer weather has something to do with that (we’ll talk about rainy season later) and waking to the sun rising at pretty much the same time every day, setting time doesn’t vary much either. The birds are singing, the chickens are scratching; their brood of chicks following behind, while the roosters crow whenever the heck they want to! The Caribbean Sea breaking on the reef, sometimes barely a ripple is created, other times foamy rolling spray outlines the reef. I guess I could say I’ve settled into a routine of sorts. The twist—the vibe of Roatan decides the routine, not me—I’m okay with that! You can be too!

An insider’s guide for moving to Roatan, lots more to share; coming soon:
• Your new address, say goodbye to zip and postal codes
• What to bring (my most prized possession): stainless steel cheese grater
• Leave the rollerblades behind
• Yes, your phone number will be eight digits long
• Setting up your kitchen—everything goes in the freezer
• Choosing your nick name (and other names you may be called)
• Forget about fresh spinach and mushrooms
• Critters you may (no, will) find in your new home
• Decorating is based on mould and rust resistance—not fashion trends
• plus many, many more

For those of you who have already made the move, if you have any tips to add, please do. And for those of you considering making the move to Roatan–ask away!

 
icon for podpress  Roatan SME (Subject Matter Expert): Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

This story can also be read at Honduras Weekly retitled “A life without fresh spinach and mushrooms”

Roatan Marine Park Bash aka Don’t Step on Puppies

15 Apr

Last Saturday (April 9) was the Marine Park Bash at Bananarama on West Bay Beach; an annual fundraiser to assist the Roatan Marine Park with promoting awareness, preservation, and protection of the aquatic wonders of Roatan. A great time was had by all, and in-turn we were able to contribute in some fashion to their efforts.

Last year I wrote and posted a story about the Marine Park on Roatan Vortex. My theme (you know how much I love the word theme) was Please Don’t Walk on the Coral. At the time I was looking to do my part to help visitors who, like me, had limited understanding of the importance of not stepping on coral. I mean—really—come on—it’s just a bunch of pretty rocks under the water… right?

I had a lot to learn!

Through the Roatan Vortex, on Facebook, Roatan Radio, and best of all—in person I get to meet a lot of visitors to Roatan. Many know they shouldn’t step on coral, but, many really don’t know. There are a few signs posted at the beaches that simply say, Please don’t step on the Coral but without knowing why it matters, these signs quite often go un-noticed.

Now I could attach a bunch of links explaining the reasons to not step on the coral, I could copy and paste pages of documentation outlining the importance of not stepping on the coral… but let’s face it Roatan is about enjoying a get away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life, getting away from the cold and snow, and basking in the glories of an Island surrounded by the second largest coral reef in the world (okay so just one link) nestled in the Caribbean Sea.

So instead, I offer you this:

Fine Print: Mona (my dog) was not harmed in the making of this poster; she quite enjoyed the belly rub. Oh, and Pat didn’t get hurt either, he got a couple of dog biscuits as a reward for a job well done after the photo shoot!
______________________________________________________

One more thing: In case you missed last Saturday’s live show on 101.1 FM Roatanradio.com, listen in to Smile–It Confuses People right here!

 
icon for podpress  Smile--It Confuses People: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Tomorrow (Saturday, April 16) the Roatan Vortex Radio Show theme will be – An Insider’s Guide for Moving to Roatan

Monster Lizard Ravages Roatan

7 Apr

Monster Lizard Ravages Roatan

Just like Les Nessman broadcasted from WKRP, as DJ Genevieve, I will keep you updated on the (accurate, fact based, nothing but the absolute truth) inside information of day to day life on Roatan, on the Roatan Vortex Show, at 101.1 FM The Islands Buzz, and live streaming around the world at Roatan Radio, every Saturday morning starting at 10 AM, Roatan Time. We don’t do daylight savings on Roatan, so half of the year we are on Mountain Standard Time, the other half we are on Central Standard Time—kind of confusing I know!

Every show has a theme (I love the word theme, reminds me of Ralphie from “A Christmas Story” when he had to write a theme about what he wanted for Christmas) covering such compelling topics as:
• Ten Tips to Not Get Treated Like a Tourist
• There are Bugs in My Pasta—so what!
• An Insider’s Guide for Moving to a Caribbean Island—What to bring with you, and what to leave behind!

I also talk about upcoming events, fund raisers, and interview amazing guests; most recently a Zoological Specialist who is on the Island, studying the Black Spiny Tailed Iguana—which can only be found on Roatan, by the way, how cool is that!

In turn, I encourage listeners from around the world to share their stories and insight with me! I wanna know; what’s your favourite (weirdest) snack food choice—mine is grapefruit & red licorice; what makes you smile—I smile when there is a good selection of Grape Jelly at the grocery store; and those thought provoking questions such as:

  • Do you know why cockroaches like to live in my Scotch-tape dispenser?
  • Have you ever wonder what your back looks like?

Be sure to listen in every Saturday morning to The Roatan Vortex Show with your host Genevieve. And if by chance you miss a live show, full episodes can be found right here. Every week I will post the previous Saturday’s show for your listening pleasure—unless I didn’t like the way I sounded on a particular show, then I’ll just say the recorder didn’t work that week!

Saturday, March 26, 2011
Theme: Snacks!
I asked you to share with me what your preferred snack foods were. Wow, some weird stuff!

Saturday, April 2, 2011
Theme: Only on Roatan—the Black Spiny Tailed Iguana Project
Did you know that this Iguana can only be found on Roatan? This fun and informative interview with Stesha Pasachnik, tells you all about them.

 
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icon for podpress  Only on Roatan: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

Coming Up Saturday, April 9, 2011
Theme: Some Things that Make Me Smile

And I wanna know: What makes you smile? So far you’ve shared lots of smile makers… but, I want more! Be sure to let me know in time for the show Saturday (April 9), I might share them on-air!

After doing my research for this posting, here’s one more thing I just have to add to my list of things that make me smile!

Smiling on Roatan

3 Apr

Some things that make me SMILE!!! What makes you smile? Let me know, and I’ll share on the next Roatan Vortex Radio Show, Saturday, April 9!

Friendship Ball from my friend Ruth

Dog on Roof

Leg Lamp Night light

Bee in the Cashew Tree Blossoms

The Upcoming Hockey Tournament

Mangoes Ripening on the Tree

Sun-boy Dancing in the Tiki Torch at Infinity Bay See him?

Grape Jam & Jelly Selection at Grocery store

Note I Received at Roatan Vortex Contact Me
“We decided to go with the Mayan Princess and it surpassed my expectations. We were married in January, 2011. We loved Roatan so much we are headed back in March, for a one week honeymoon. I can understand why you moved there, its a little piece of heaven – JoeAnn”

Hibiscus Flower Blooming on Front Porch

Painting by my daughter Rosie. Happy Birthday Rosie!

… and one more! This funny video shot by Glen Osmond when he and his wife Mandy were visiting Roatan!

Viewing Roatan through Rose Coloured Glasses

23 Mar

Yes I do! When it was suggested that I did, at first, I was upset. I mean, after all a “Rose Coloured Glasses” point of view is bad… right?

I needed to know, so did a little research. My indignant attitude was quickly transformed to one of pride. Yes, I dwell on everything positive about Roatan: I choose to not write stories, talk on the Roatan Vortex radio show, or post pictures that regard negative aspects of Roatan.

There is a bonus to my “Rose Coloured Glasses” outlook. A study by the University of Toronto posted results of their findings in the Science Daily that showed that people who wear “Rose Coloured Glasses” see more!

“Upside—Good moods enhance the literal size of the window through which we see the world. We see things from a more global or integrative (honest/true) perspective.”

The study went on to say;

“Downside—this can lead to distractions…” (Oh-oh) “…on critical tasks that require narrow focus, such as operating dangerous machinery, or airport screening of passenger baggage.” – Science Daily 2009

Whew, had me worried for a moment there! But since I avoid “operating heaving machinery”—mostly because I’m left handed and none of the controls are set up correct for me to use, and as for “airport luggage screener”–I’m way too happy to do that! I don’t need to worry about changing my Rosie… (OMG, that’s what I named my daughter) outlook!

Besides, even if there is something negative… I can always find a positive component…

The negative: Tarantula landing on my head! That’s right, I was sitting on my bed (in the loft), laptop on my lap, watching TV too—multi-tasking, when I felt something land with a plop, on my head, it scurried down my back, then disappeared behind a pillow! Yes, I did the heebee-jeebee dance! Yes, I took pictures of it when it exited from behind the pillow and hung out on the headboard for a while. Yes, I captured it with an empty ice-cream container and sent it on its way—outside!

The Positive: The footprint of my cabana ceiling is approximately 20 ft x 16 ft, the footprint of the top of my head is approximately 4 in x 6 in. Isn’t that like the odds for winning a lottery! Of all the places that tarantula could have dropped—it landed smack in the middle of the top of my head!

I got to experience something unique, aaand; I wasn’t sleeping when it dropped in… To feel it crawling across my face, or have it snuggle up next to me under the sheets. If that had happened it might have been a little tougher to find something positive in the whole event!

This story can also be read at Honduras Weekly

Hockey Night in Canada on Roatan

17 Mar

Hockey Night in Canada on Roatan

Yup, you read the title correctly—today’s insider view of day to day life on the Island of Roatan, nestled in the Caribbean Sea, is about NHL ice hockey!

When I was growing up in Ontario, Canada, hockey was the sport of choice. From a young age most EVERYONE watched and/or played hockey. Backyards would be flooded, and then left to freeze over, in anticipation of lacing up the skates to get out there and play. Arenas: with one and sometimes two, ice rinks could be found in every community. Even when a suitable surface to wear skates wasn’t available, it was typical to see two hockey nets (goals) set up on the road in neighbourhoods—game on! Mind you, it would get regularly interrupted when someone yelled; “CAR!” and the nets had to be moved aside so a vehicle could pass.

I never played hockey, couldn’t skate worth a darn—but I was always an eager spectator. I got to see my first NHL (pre-season game) at the Kitchener Auditorium when I was only 8 or 9 and my first NHL (regular-season game) at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto when I was 12. I was hooked on hockey! And yes—a Toronto Maple Leafs fan—stop snickering please!

For many years, I rarely missed a game. I didn’t get to see live ones too often, but still enjoyed watching them from home.

There was a period of time when I didn’t watch hockey very much anymore (kids at home, career, etc.) and I did lose track. Then I moved to Roatan, and well, I didn’t give hockey much of a thought; tropical island: white sand beaches, swaying palm trees and all that—if my yard gets flooded it sure as heck isn’t going to freeze over! And yet, I’m glad to let you know—NHL hockey is here! So was the Canada Wins Gold Olympic Hockey Game!

Just head over to Sundowner’s, West End, Roatan, Honduras to watch a game. Order a beverage (and perhaps a burger or wrap) at the bar, then make your way to the semi-big screen TV under the palm tree, kick off your flip-flops and settle in to watch a game with fellow hockey fans. It can be a tad distracting at times though… when from behind the TV—a cruise ship can be seen sailing by on its way to its next port of call! Oh, and if you’re not a Leafs fan, best to keep that to yourself—the Box Seat holder’s might “Hab” you, and you’ll be delegated to move the “standing room only” area!

In Canada, when hockey season is over it’s time for golf. The only difference on Roatan… you can go golfing the same day you watch a NHL hockey game! No waiting for the ice to melt!

FYI: Some of the Box Seat holders here on Roatan are organizing a Road Hockey Tournament to raise funds for kid in need, to teach those who are unfamiliar with the fine art of hockey, and to just plain have some fun!

Boards will be set up outlining the rink—can’t have balls rolling across the beach and into the Caribbean Sea don’t you know. Advertizing space on these boards is available! Donations and sponsors (corporate: Tim Horton’s, Canadian Tire, Scotia Bank, TD, Royal, Sunwing Charters, Home Hardware—wink wink—nudge nudge, and individual hockey fans like you) of hockey related prizes and helping get stuff to the Island (can’t buy hockey sticks here) are also welcomed and appreciated. All sponsors will be recognized in a future story that will be posted on Roatan Vortex and on the Roatan Vortex Show on 101.1 FM Roatan Radio. For more information contact me here: Contact Me!

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