Utila Dreaming

Dear Asher,

It was a good thing we did most of our packing the night before because it was another mad dash for the Utila Dream ferry. Our plan was to leave at 6am so we could have a leisure stroll with all of our gear but I did not have the heart to wake you up early. You finally opened up your eyes at 5:45 which gave us only a few minutes to finish packing and make our oatmeal. We ran out of the room at 6:15 and all the way to the ticket booth. It was probably a good thing we were in a rush because a relaxed goodbye would have been a lot more sentimental.

As we ate our oatmeal aboard the lavish Utila Dream, we talked about all of the things we will miss about Utila. We will miss our early morning strolls down the sleepy streets, eating our sunrise-rainbow oatmeal on the dock, and watching you make a mess of everything as you played with the pots of water and fruit peels. We will miss Melissa who could always make you smile and how she meticulously cleaned our room every day. We will miss playing the ukulele in the hammock and swinging you to sleep. We will miss our afternoon strolls past Mario the pineapple man and the delicious cinnamon buns and fruit smoothies. We will miss Tatiana and the team at Parrots Dive Center who made us feel like family right from the moment we stepped foot on the pier. We will miss swimming off the dock, floating under it to hide from the sun, and snorkeling with you between us. We will miss walking past all of the old locals who were as weathered as the front porches they leaned out on to watch the bustle of island life while yelling with a coffee in hand, “ain’t he da most pre-shaus little perrty ting on dis island here?” We will miss the rowdy roadside domino slapping matches and how you were the only one to give a sincere smile each day to the transgendered street cleaner. We will miss our evening walks to the windy bridge and how you would kick your legs with excitement every time we passed a free range animal. We will miss our book exchange, friendly service and the beverages at Rio Coco Cafe. We will miss chuckling at all of the misspelled signs even though English is the primary language on the island. We will miss the mini fridge in our room at Rubi’s Inn and the mini kitchen where simple feasts were made. Most of all we will miss the hospitality and friendship of Rosa and Tony who loved sharing stories about growing up on the island, showing pictures of their baby grandson in the USA and who were willing to do anything for you Asher.

The rocky ferry helped digest the oatmeal quicker than usual and I was overly impressed with the bathroom at the Utila Dream dock. It is by far the cleanest bathroom we have seen in all our days on the road. We heaved our packs into the trunk of a taxi, piled in with two other women, then made our way to a bus bound for Tela. We grabbed the one person front seat on the old school bus because lack of cheek room in the front is better than getting car sick at the back and once again, you were a champ. The bus made a million stops on the way to Tela and the one hour ride quickly turned into two. We had to laugh at how the locals standing on the side of the road refuse to walk ten paces to prevent the bus from stopping twice. This was our tragic comedy with each town we passed through. It was a nice feeling knowing we were headed back to Andy, our smiley Couchsurfing friend, since most often a travel day leaves us in a strange town in search for a room. The girls from the hotel restaurant recognized us right away, took you from your mother’s arms, and even remembered your name. In Honduras, we are moving from one family to the next.

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After a cold shower to wash off the chicken bus sweat, we walked to the supermarket to restock our rations and then down to Tela beach to walk in the shady palms and play in the sand. You were grinning from ear to ear when mom buried your legs in the sand and we were doing the same when you uncovered your toe and tugged on it like it didn’t belong to you. We have been trying to do the Vegan thing but with such a limited supply of quality plant based protein (there is only one type of bean here), we decided to have boiled eggs with bread and honey for dinner. Our kettle came in handy again and we laughed as we prepared and enjoyed our simple, albeit delicious, dinner while you entertained us with your jolly jumper acrobatics. Andy popped in right in the middle of it and we had to laugh again with the room in shambles, you jumping around naked, and our eggs in the kettle. We must have truly looked like a bunch of vagabonds. It wasn’t until Andy stood up that we realized he was sitting on your mom’s underwear the whole time.

As we laid in the dark with you fast asleep between us, we wondered about the amazing people we have yet to meet and the adventures that are still to come.

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10 thoughts on “Utila Dreaming

  1. Dear Jim, Alyssa and Asher …I feel blessed to be able to follow along with your blog. Jim you have made this possible and I appreciate every story. Your way with words put me right there with you. Thank you and continue to take care you 3Slees…I with you in spirit! Love you, Hugs

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  2. Really nice blog entry Jim. I’d give it a 4 for sure. Looking forward to hear what is to come. I can’t get over how grown up Asher looks in the boat pictures. Love the black, white and peacock blue. I can’t help but wonder how you decide where to head next. Its a big world out there. Enjoy your exploring tomorrow.
    The Gall Crew

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    1. Laurie, we usually only have a rough idea of where we want to visit. A lot of it happens on the fly, talking to other traveler and Couchsurfing hosts. We are now at Lago de Yojoa, the largest lake in Honduras. Look for photos in today’s post.

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  3. Morning break in the City yard, relaxed with my green tea catching up on the adventures of the Slee family, travel safe., love you.. Aunt Crazy

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  4. Asher, you look utterly sweet on the beach. Jim & Alyssa the pictures you are taking are full of feeling! Thanks for these. Isn’t it good to miss. I know if we miss something or somewhere it’s because we shared feelings in those places. I am so happy you are experiencing your trip physically and spiritually!
    Hugs to everyone..

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