So, my mom lives in a magical Tropical Paradise... Well, that is to say she has a home here and plans to be here more permanently in the near future, and I don't blame her. I had not had a lot of time to plan and dream about what I thought a vacation to Honduras truly meant, but suffice it to say that thus far, it has definitely surpassed my expectations. Swimming out to a coral reef with my brother first thing in the morning greeted by bath tub warm water and visited by a barracuda; breakfast overlooking clear, blue skies and smooth, sandy beaches; a short flight over the Caribbean Sea and it's many beautiful tropical islands to La Ceiba, where we were greeted by my teary eyed mother, and then driven in her white 4x4 Toyota Hilux for three hours through windy, pot-holed roads by beautiful countryside scattered with green, treed mountains, random soccer matches, and families riding in the back of old pick-up trucks. We drove through the amazing, quaint, beach town of Trujillo, with my mother as a knowledgeable guide, waving at and being welcomed by the locals. Twisting our way through colorful, bumpy, narrow streets, with the glare of a setting sun leading us, and arms draped outside the open window of the truck being kissed by the humid, warm, soft air; it was bliss.
As the urban area thinned out to become well spaced out semi-rural houses, we approached a steep hill, which we ascended, and at the moment we reached the crest, the landscape opened up to reveal a bright crimson sun bathing the lush valley nestled between the calm sea, and the mountains on the land. A panoramic view that can't help but make you stop a moment to catch a breath.
After a small photo rest stop, we drove down to a nature reserve, where we saw all manner of monkeys, anteaters, a wild cat, and even a tropical raccoon ( it turns out they look just like our raccoons ;) Then it was off to my moms amazing house on the side of a mountain. She had warned us of the 45 degree angle of the driveway. As it turns out, it REALLY is 45 degrees, and cannot be accessed without a 4 wheel drive vehicle.
After unpacking we drove down to Banana Beach resort for dinner. It is an amazingly cozy beach resort owned by a friendly ex-pat Texan named Rand. There is an open air restaurant in the shape of a large circle with Hammocks, and a floor that is part sand and part tile. There are tennis courts and a volleyball net set up just outside the restaurant and bar connected by several foot paths. It must be amazing during the day, but there's is a romance to the place under the cover of darkness. It is the ideal location for a stolen kiss under the veil of the night just far enough away from the crowd to hear the subtle din of friends having a good time, but distant enough to surrender to the moment and fully experience and share an instant frozen in time.
We enjoyed a great meal cooked by Jorgen, our German chef, who accidentally put Red Snapper in mine and my brothers Enchiladas, making it the first fish my brother has had in over a decade... A big night for him;) Our family then settled in for a late night volleyball match, a soothing walk along the beach in pitch darkness with the warm waters of the ocean lapping at our feet, a couple games of pool and a delightful midnight drive back up the steep road to tuck in for the night. It has barely been a day in paradise so far, I can't wait to see what the rest of the week will hold!