Monday, August 20, 2007

Leaving Paradise

I am now in the land of plenty also known to us "gringos" on the island as the great PX. I've been in the U.S. of A. (specifically Florida) for 11 days and still have culture shock when I go into the stores and see all that is available - especially FOOD!

Generally a trip to the States to visit family means re-stocking on things I cannot get in Honduras and ABSOLUTELY need! I mean, every "Spanish/Mexican" recipe I have calls for chopped green chilies and there are none to be had in Honduras. I have seen recipes printed in the Honduran Voice Magazine (out of Roatan) and they include chopped green chilies and I wonder where they get them! So, towards the end of my trip there will be at least one visit to the grocery store to get as many food items as I can without going over the weight limit in my suitcase!

While here I manage to visit with my children and Grandchildren. Lucky for me they are all within driving distance (Orlando/Brooksville/Plant City) and, therefore, in spite of a little effort to drive from one point to another, I can readily visit the kids. This is a photo of my Orlando Grandchildren; Alyssa and David (16 and 13 respectively).

Two of my grandsons live in Plant City (Kyle -6; and Ryan - 3) and are energetic boys who are on the move constantly. To go with the activity, the keep up a constant line of chatter so we won't get bored. Kyle had his final basketball tournament this past Saturday - yes, basketball at 6 years old. We piled into the car and off we went to the local YMCA at 8:30 a.m. for the game. It was fun watching these little tykes run around the floor, dribbling a basketball and actually making shots! I was amazed that there were at least 3-4 "naturals" for the sport and even at age 6 some have a good grasp of the game and the how to handle the ball. The final score waas 10-18 but the coaches were generous and, at the last minute, the scoreboard reflected a 17-18 score! All the kids got medals and treats. I was happy to see that children are still participating in physical activities instead of sitting in front of a computer screen/T.V. on their free time. Oh, yes, my Grandson made a basket to help his team on, even though they lost.
Here's the final scoreboard (doctored just a little).

Jump shot here - notice the alertness of the team members!

The medal winner and his younger brother.

The majority of my trip has been spent moving my son into his new apartment. I had forgotten all the energy that is spent, not to mention the drive time, in setting up electric power, gas, cable, telephone, internet, etc. Then there was the purchase of several items of furniture along with a lot of groceries! There are rewards for this activity as my son works at a gourmet bakery as head baker where they produce sinfully rich cheesecakes, cakes and various deserts. Needless to say, I was allowed to sample a few of the products and can categorically state they are fabulous! This is my son and his silent partner - can you guess who is who?

The one downside of my visit to Florida is the fact that it has suddendly gotten hotter in this state. While I lived here I can hardly remember temperatures in the upper 90's much less 100's. I've always said I wanted to be away from Guanaja during Aug/Sept. which are generally the hottest months of the year. Well, I've now found out that escaping to Florida is not the coolest thing to do in every sense of the word! It is so hot up here - no breeze, high temperatures, heat reflecting off the streets/parking lots/sidewalks. At least on the island, even without a breeze, there usually is a puff of wind and it generally stays at 86-88 degrees during those months. The average temperature on the island is a balmy 82 so coming to Orlando/Tampa and getting off a plane to 102 degree weather is not what I had in mind.

I thought about going to Disney World or one of the theme parks, but now that I've been exposed to the heat I've had a change of mind. And, there are no views to compare with what we have on the island out our front door!
So, I will make contact with friends, go out to a few nice places for dinner, buy necessary "stuff" and return to the island with a deeper appreciation for it and the surroundings. Of course I will miss the big PX and the endless aisles of products one can buy, the varied restaurants, the movie theaters with their huge screens. I won't miss the air conditioning - everyone in Florida keeps it absolutely too cold and besides frost forming on my nose when I go out, my sinuses begin to shut down and breathing is difficult; at least easy, regular breathing.
Yes, it is the land of plenty and I will miss family and friends, but ohhhh the life of serenity, quiet, fresh air, great views and fewer people!


  1. Hmm, I thought this was going to be the "welcome back to Guanaja" post. Still in the States, eh? And to think I was just down in your neck of the woods last week. We could've met up for a tropical drink somewhere!

    I'll agree with you, Florida has been *HOT* lately. But I like the heat - no more cold weather for this boy! And yes, the abundance of food (and restaurants to eat that food in) is terrific. I wish I could say that I missed Guanaja. But honestly, it was not my cup of rum.

    I hope all is going well, getting your son situated into his new digs. But I'm wondering - what's Mike doing with you gone so long? Man, I'd be starving by now.

  2. Hi Sharon. I don't know if you are back to Guanaja yet or not. I just wanted to say that I'm thinking about you and Mike and hope that Felix changes course, because it looks as if it could be headed for Guanaja. I hope not!

  3. Just ran across your Blog.....guess who. Mike & Jan from California. Jim and Cathys sister and brother in-law. We were there last fall and had a great time. Small world with these Blog spots. Take care and say hi to everyone in cluding Jimmy and Cathy...............Mike & Jan