Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Tegucigalpa (Sat. Nov. 18, 2006)

I love Tegucigalpa!! I love the name, the way it rolls off my tongue. I love the mountains, hills, and pine forests that surround the city. I love the climate, warm in the day and comfortable at night. I love the Third World quirkiness and chaos of it all. I love the confusion and disorderly streets which prevent me from easily knowing my way around even after a dozen years of frequent visits. I love the colonial buildings begging for renovation, yet elegant in their decay. I love the size, manageable yet big enough. Most of all, I love my wife who was born in its bosom.

As I arrived that Saturday evening, I was filled with eager anticipation. It was the first time I had seen my family in four months. There was so much to talk about, so much to catch up on, and so much to do but so precious little time.

After checking into our hotel, we went to dinner at 'La Creperia' (Avenida San Juan Bosco, tel. 239.4896, $$). We had passed the restaurant on our way to the hotel, and I noticed that the parking area was full of cars, which is invaribly a good sign. I was not to be disappointed. The ambiance was quite nice, and there was a terrace in the back with a beautiful city view. The menu had a large variety of both dinner and dessert crepes as well as pastas, salads, meat and poultry. The prices were very reasonable ranging from 75 lemperias ($4.00) for crepes or lasagne to 130 lempiras ($6.85) for chicken breast served with salad and fries. I ate a crepe stuffed with ham, cheese and egg. The food was delicious. I'm adding this restaurant to 'Don Godo's Favorites' list.

Everyone was tired, so we returned to the hotel and retired for the evening.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Back in never, never land

I just returned to New Orleans last night from Honduras. I had a great time, although the weather was lousy. Just my luck, a very rare cold front hit upon my arrival. I spent five nights in Tegucigalpa, three nights in Tela, and one night in San Pedro Sula. In Tela, I had the opportunity to meet and dine with my fellow blogger, La Gringa of fame. It was a most enjoyable evening.

Over the next couple of weeks, I will leave posts on just about everything about my trip, from the progress on our house, impressions in general, restaurant reviews, do's and don'ts, etc.

Please check back!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Going to Honduras!!!

Hey folks!! I'm going to Honduras on Nov. 18, returning to New Orleans on Nov. 27. The trip will be way too short, but I'm really excited. I'll see my wife and two babies (, I mean 'big boys') for the first time since early August. This is the hardest part of the transition for without my family.

I will fly to San Pedro Sula because I was able to get the tickets for several hundred dollars less than going directly to Tegucigalpa. My family will pick me up at the airport and whisk me away to Tegucigalpa. There is so much to do and so little time. We will be picking out tiles, wood, stone for the house. Actually, I believe my wife has already done this and is only letting me see them as formality...or maybe just a courtesy! It really doesn't matter as we have very similiar tastes and her judgement in decorating (as in everything else) is impeccable.

I will see first hand the progress made on our house and will be sure to take zillions of pictures. I will also see the progress on our cafe to be. So far my wife has refused to email me any pictures of the cafe because she wants it to be a surprise. She has spent many long hours there meticulously overseeing every detail. She hired two full time gardeners and they have been planting flowers, fruit trees, clearing, cleaning, and pruning. I can't wait to see. I promise to post some pictures.

Puky and Coco (the two big boys) have Nov. 23-24 off from school for Thanksgiving. We will go to Tela for a mini-vacation. The beaches there are quite nice.

I'll leave from SPS on Monday, Nov. 27 to return to my dismal and lonely existence in post-Katrina New Orleans. Yes, I know, the kids will miss one day of school...

Upon my return, I will post reviews of the hotels, beaches and restaurants as viewed through my critical and unbiased (yeah, right!...) eyes.

In the meantime, I wish myself 'bon voyage!' or is it '!bien viaje!'...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Why I'm Moving to Honduras

My substitute blogger, Andrew, a.k.a Puky, obviously didn't post anything in my absence. What should his punishment be? What about four weeks without Gameboy or Playstation?...

Anyway, one of my fellow Honduras Bloggers, posted why she moved to Honduras. This got me to thinking about my own reasons, and for my own therapy I've decided to post the same topic. If nothing else, it will be interesting for me to review this post in a few years...

Ever since we were married (eleven years in January), my wife and I knew we would retire in Honduras. She is originally from Honduras and her entire family lives there. She was living in Honduras when we married, and she moved to the States because of our marriage. She has never really liked living in the USA, and was perfectly content with her life in Honduras until I stirred things up.

I've always enjoyed going to Honduras, and have been there many times. (I just wish I had studied Spanish in school instead of French). We always assumed that by moving to Honduras, I could retire at a younger age and have more time with my family. The cost of living is considerably cheaper than the USA. Thus, my reasoning was that if I saved a fair amount, invested wisely, and lived somewhere where the cost of living is cheap (Honduras), I could afford to retire young.

We just didn't know when exactly we would make the move...then, came Katrina. And she came with a vengence!! She shook my world to its core.

When Katrina hit, I was in North Carolina visiting my 88 year old father who was in the hospital in intensive care (fortunately, he has since recovered). My family was forced to evacuate by themselves, and I met up with them in Memphis. We returned to survey our damage, loaded up the mini van and went to Houston where we lived in an unfurnished apartment for a month...until we evacuated from Houston and returned to New Orleans when Hurricane Rita had us in her sight.

We were fortunate in that our house was not severely damaged and we were able to live in our house while repairs were being made. But when I saw the devastation, it was truely heart wrenching. The devastation stretches for miles and miles...Still today, not much has changed. This year we were lucky and the hurricane season was very calm.

Katrina made my wife and I reassess our priorities. We are tired of evacuating once or twice every hurricane season. But more importantly, we realized that quality of life is our greatest priority now. So we moved up our relocation date and decided to start building our home outside of Tegucigalpa. If it hadn't of been for Katrina, when would we actually move to Honduras. I don't know...Maybe five or ten years from now. But, we would have eventually ended up there.

When I say quality of life, I know that Honduras is a poor country, and many people would say "what quality of life?" But it reminds me also of the more innocent America that I grew up in. I'm not nostalgic, but I want more time with my family, I want to enjoy a more leisurely life while I'm still relatively young. And, I want to live somewhere where I might be able to make small differences in positive ways.

I'm also disillusioned with many aspects of American life and culture. Some are the same old ills that everyone speaks of, materialism, 24/7 lifestyles, etc. and some disilluionments are of a more personal nature.

I guess in the end, its time for me to follow my wife home.