my soul will have to wait

a few weeks ago, nine of us psychotic people threw our bathing suits & snorkel masks in a bag and flew to honduras. when you’re more than a party of two, haphazard beach vacations are a must—it doesn’t matter if everyone forgets everything. and as it turned out, two of us had to go a few days without our suitcases anyway. after wearing the same clothes for a few days [utila does not sell purchasable clothes] i was never so grateful to see my underwear, tanning oil, and bathing suits.IMG_3151

i swear i rediscover a dying part of my soul every time i swim in the ocean, any time i sink my toes into sand and bask in pure sunlight. i mean, i’m well aware that some people get really uncomfortable in that environment; they hate the sticky skin and salty hair. but i love it. being hot and sweaty from the double teaming of sunshine and humidity, the salt drying on sunburned skin, hair tangled and matted from salt and chlorine and sun, sand in your scalp, basically having to wait until you go home to be truly clean.


utila itself was somethin’ else. i think it may have been the poorest place i’ve ever been. the really ritzy hotels boasted about their hot water. no joke [luckily we stayed in a fancy house, not a hotel! we had hot water and air conditioning. imagine that]. the primary modes of transportation were bikes, four wheelers, motorcycles, and golf carts. the driving is insane. these fearless islanders just whiz past you, nearly knocking you down. i got to drive the ranger a few times and all of my dad’s lessons on reckless driving finally came in handy! everyone sat outside their houses and shops and watched each other speed by.


all the ‘official’ signs were written on dry erase boards, or with posters & a big fat sharpie.

we had to take a little crop duster to get from san pedro to the island of utila [after being re-routed from roatan and losing our luggage. thanks, obama]. walking through customs, out to cross the searing hot tarmac, we were drenched in the wave of humidity. i’d almost forgotten what it feels like to be walking through air so wet. we got on the tiny little plane and flew across fifteen minutes of green. everything was lush and beautiful. there were miles and miles of banana tree farms, with little colored dots that were the shirts of plantation workers. there wasn’t much else; just occasional dirt roads with a bicycler or two. then we hit the coast and crossed the ocean. IMG_2932IMG_2940we flew across the endless stretches of blue, interspersed with tiny little islands and occasional patches of lighter colored, shallower water.

when we finally reached utila, my mom and rick were there waiting for us in their rover. with nothing but our carryon bags, we grasped them to our sweaty sides and hopped on.

i am not even kidding you, this was the road from the airport to the house:


just a dirt trail, cutting through the humid lair of the jungle.


as much as i pride myself on being low maintenance, i have to admit i was a little worried. it was the most rural, undeveloped area i’ve ever rested my head in.

and then we got to the house.


the view from the back porchIMG_2998IMG_3001IMG_3002

and i died.

it was open, spacious, full of light, smelled like salt, had a back deck for tanning, overlooked the beach, had a little swimming pool built into the back porch.


oh look, there’s kenyan


and suddenly it didn’t seem to matter that the humidity was saturating my only form of clothing. because it was beautiful and lovely and i was on a beach again.

helen, rick & i ventured into the ‘town’ to search for clothes—a bathing suit, underwear, anything that might help us get through until our luggage could get to us. we saw all sorts of interesting things, but no clothes that would really be wearable.


we found this bathing suit in the back, dark corner of a shop. this was for sale, people. yep. but it was nice to get an introductory tour of the town.


i take that back...we didn’t find nothing. leave it to me to find a bar—one called rehab—that sold tank tops. it was a really cool bar, and that tank top was my shirt of choice the whole trip.IMG_2984IMG_4491

we did a little more island adventuring, then headed back to the house to collect shells, snails, and cigarette butts.



we cooked up some sad imitation of food for dinner, took a night swim [helen & i in our one set of clothes], and that was the end of day one.

[title from santeria by sublime]

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