"...and the greatest of these is love."   1 Corinthians 13:13

Saturday, August 18, 2012

We Did It: 2 Years. Part 1

Hi all! Rob and I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Roatan, Honduras this summer to celebrate our 2nd anniversary. It was a great, relaxing, and fun-filled trip, and I am so glad that we got to celebrate this way.

On the plane, ready to play! 

Gorgeous view of the island from the plane.

After we got settled into our place, we were fitted with the Jeep that we rented for the week. It had been a good 10 years since Rob had driven a standard, but he did a great job of driving with the locals (they were pretty ruthless!) and avoiding the massive craters that were on the roads due to small earthquakes and the wear and tear of it being an island. 

All smiles. We're off!

We grabbed some groceries at a local grocery store and found it to be surprisingly pristine (and pretty pricey). We knew we would probably be eating out most of the week, so we just grabbed the basics. 

After we unloaded at the house, we headed out for drinks in the West End, which could be considered Roatan's downtown. We actually got caught in a downpour while walking around, but had a great time scrambling and spending some time at a quaint little bar on the water. 

We had some pretty great recommendations on restaurants and plates to be sure and grab while on our trip, so the first night, we headed to Tong's. I kid you not, I had the best Chicken Pad Thai that I have ever consumed at this restaurant that night. (So much that we went back at the end of the week for the same dish.)

The most common local beer of the island. Rob's drink of choice for the week :)

Dessert at Tong's. Fried plantains with coconut ice cream. Divine.

The next day, we headed out to Jonesville, a little town about 30 minutes from the West End in hopes of finding the well-known (but hard to find) Hole in the Wall. The infrastructure of the towns was really interesting and there was almost no signage. BUT, one car ride, a few wrong turns, and several pieced-together conversations later, we arrived at a parking lot that had a sign saying to park there for the restaurant. As if he could see us coming from a mile away, as soon as we parked, a man driving his boat was heading our way from the open water. Clyde confirmed from the water that we were there for the restaurant and motioned for us to come to the edge and hop in his boat. (Clyde, as it turns out, had lived in Jonesville his entire life and knew everyone that we ran into. His daughter actually owned the Hole in the Wall.) After getting in, he taxied us across the water and down a bit to an open air restaurant built on the side of a cliff. 

We were in luck, Clyde told us as soon as we docked, because that day was the all-you-can-eat buffet day. Unfortunately, the main dish was lobster (which I can't have) but Rob was like a kid in a candy store. Everything was so fresh.

I, however, preferred the drinks. The famous mixed drink of the island is called a Monkey La-La. It seriously tastes like a chocolate shake with alcohol in it. (Come visit us, we have the recipe!)

And we couldn't leave the restaurant without signing the wall saying we had actually arrived there. Such a fun experience!

After lunch, Clyde toured us through the mangroves before dropping us off at our jeep. If you can imagine, at several points during our ride, boats were coming in the opposite direction, but Clyde clearly had done that a time or two and we avoided any contact. Crazy.

The next day was Monday, and Rob headed off pretty early to his first scuba dive. He had a great time, and I spent the morning reading in the hammock, drinking delicious coffee, and gently swaying in the breeze. (I told Rob he could scuba as much as he wanted to that week :) I was finishing the Hunger Games trilogy and couldn't get enough of them. Our unit was on the third floor, so our view made it feel like we were in the top of the canopy. In the mornings, we were often woken up by exotic birds. It really made the experience fun. 

That afternoon, we headed to our first snorkeling excursion. We met our tour guide, Christopher, and throughout the day, he took us to several cool spots around the island that might show us some neat aspects of the island water. He first took us to a large coral reef. Roatan is on the map because their reefs are in such great shape, so the fish and reef were really fun to see. The colors were incredible.

Getting ready.

Next, he took us to a spot where we got to see thousands of starfish. For some reason, they all flock there and stay. Their colors were crazy.

I got my first injury of the trip when some sea grass stung me while looking at the starfish. It felt like a jelly fish, but didn't sting as long. 

After that, we grabbed lunch after that at one of Christopher's favorite restaurants. It was a neat tour, and we had pretty good weather for it. 

That night we grabbed dinner in West End at a pizza place that was just ok. The island life is so chill there, and we quickly slipped into their ways. We grabbed some drinks at a favorite bar, Sundowners, and then called it a night. 

The next day was our actual anniversary. We decided to spend it beach-side, and I'm glad we did. The water was beautiful, drinks were delicious, and I loved relaxing and remembering what I was doing two years prior. We have such fun memories of our wedding day, so it was fun to reminisce. 

That night, we headed to a nice dinner at the Black Pearl, and it was the perfect setting for our dinner that night. 

We finished the evening watching our rehearsal dinner and wedding videos. I loved seeing our wedding again, and it was neat to be reminded of our vows to one another. 

I'll finish the rest of our trip when I have more time. (School starts on Tuesday and I am procrastinating....major.)

More soon!