Sunday, November 20, 2016

Indian Summer.

It's been almost a month and it still doesn't seem real. I still cannot look at any of these photos or watch any of these videos without getting goosebumps. 

The Cleveland Indians went to the World Series.

Let me say that again. The team that no one thought would amount to anything. The team voted "most disappointing team in the playoffs" swept the Red Sox to win the ALDS, held the Blue Jays to win the ALCS, and then took on the Chicago Cubs and their 108 year drought in the WORLD SERIES.

And, in the end, we lost. BUT WE WERE THERE.

Seriously. I used to pay $7 for tickets when I was in high school because it was one of the cheapest forms of entertainment in Northeastern Ohio. This year they were in the World Series. And I paid way more than $7 to see them play, but it was worth it.

I went to a couple of games while I was home in August, when playoff dreams were just close enough to start entertaining, but far enough away to not get our hopes up too much. (We are Cleveland fans, after all.) I even tweeted about how sad I was to be at the Jake for the last time until the 2017 season. 

At the end of October, I returned to Rio de Janeiro where I really got my money's worth of MLB.TV when I tuned in to the game almost every night. I watched the Magic Number get smaller and smaller and smaller. And then it happened-- our Magic Number was zero. 

We started talking more and more about the Cleveland Indians in class, and I had the students write good luck messages to the team on our whiteboard. Some favorites included "The Boston teams looks like a baby next to you, Cleveland Indians" and "For the hot dogs!" We might have been big fans of the hot dog races...

Each night, I stayed up waaaay past my bedtime (thank you, two hour time difference) and watched as the Indians were up 1-0, then 2-0, and then as they swept the Boston freakin' Red Sox. It was like a dream come true-- the Cleveland Indians were Central Division Champs

I'll admit, I kind of thought that's where things would end for us. We'd done so well, I figured that the other shoe just had to drop. 

Sweeter words have never been spoken.
But it didn't.  We went on to play the Toronto Blue Jays, and I spent all week receiving picture and video messages of the games from my best friend and brother.  At the end of the week, against all odds and circumstances, and a really unfortunate drone accident, we walked away ALDS champions. 

I think that I went to school with a smile on my face every day for two weeks. The Cleveland Indians, MY Cleveland Indians, were going to the World Series.

I watched Games One through Three on MLB TV and cheered alone in my room. And then I started making plans. I spontaneously bought an incredibly expensive ticket to be home to attend the watch parties for Games 5-7, although I secretly hoped we would have already crushed the Chicago Cubs by then. I didn't, and don't, regret a single penny spent on that ticket.

Upon boarding my flight home, I looked for a flight attendant who looked like they would know a thing or two about baseball and asked if there was a way for them to keep me posted on the score throughout the flight. He looked at me with a questioning look and asked "...What sport is the World Series for?" I had clearly chosen the wrong flight attendant. 

They weren't able to keep me updated, which is okay because I passed out cold for the entire flight and I woke up to at least 50 text messages from my friends and family telling me all about how Cleveland had killed the Cubs in a 7-2 game, how Kipnis hit a three-run homer at Wrigley Field, and how the Indians were up 3-1 in the WORLD SERIES. I couldn't wait to be home.

That night, my family and I bundled up and headed down to the stadium for the watch party. It was freezing, but it was worth it. After all, it's not every day that your team makes it to the World Series. The only thing that would have made it better would have been, you know, a win. But it was okay, the Indians were coming home to win it all in Cleveland.

Over the next few days, you could feel the excitement in Cleveland. It was everywhere. Everywhere I turned, someone was wearing a Tribe shirt. Every single cashier and I talked about how this year was our year and how we couldn't handle the stress of going to Game SevenCleveland felt so alive.

Obviously, Joey and I were unable to actually purchase tickets to watch the games from inside the stadium, but that didn't stop us from driving downtown and watching the game in the plaza next door. It was packed. It was crazy. It was the next best thing to actually being inside the stadium. 

 On the first night, we watched the Indians fall to the Cubs again. But it was okay. We were disappointed, but we still had Game 7. We could do this. Plus, we all had free Doritos Locos Tacos waiting for us at Taco Bell the following day, courtesy of Fransico Lindor and his stolen base.

Thanks Frankie, you da best. 
The next night, we headed downtown again. And again, like the night before, we stood in the plaza between the Jake and Q and cheered on our Tribe. We were bummed, and upset, when we were losing in the first. We shouted angry cheers when Joe Buck was shown on the screen. We all cheered Jose, Jose, Jose when my dude, JRam, was up to bat. There has never been a happier group of people than we were when Rajai Davis tied the game in the eighth. Strangers hugged each other. People cried. We were in it to win it. Lebron knows what's up.


In the end, the Cubs won. Their drought was over and ours lives on for another year.

For the next few days, Cleveland fans were met with many "who blew a 3-1 lead now" a la Golden State versus the Cavs. And, of course, we came back with a "Well, we were missing three of our best players and lost by one run in extra innings of Game 7, sooooo..." The fans took their lead from the players and the management, who must be some of the best in baseball. The players were proud of what they had done and they were disappointed in the loss, but they weren't angry. And, in turn, the fans weren't angry either. Not the real fans anyways. We shared in their disappointment and in their pride. We were all consoled, and even congratulated, by Cubs fans who recognized what it meant for Cleveland to be in the World Series and how hard of a fight we put up.

Cleveland against the world. Cleveland or no where. Cleveland that I love.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Stitch Fix #8: The One Used To Heal This Cleveland Indians Fan's Heart

Despite the fact that I'm really trying to watch my spending in able to achieve my 30 by 30 goal, I couldn't help but schedule another Stitch Fix while I was home to see the Cleveland Indians play in the World Series. Their unfortunate loss in Game 7 is the only explanation for why I look like I've never seen a hairbrush in any of the following photos.

I don't really need any new clothes, rather I need to use the clothes I have more efficiently, so, in my past few fixes, I have just told my stylist to surprise me and included a couple of items that I would love to own, if she came across them. Unfortunately, since I don't order fixes that often, it's harder to develop a "relationship" with a stylist who gets my style. Which is a tricky job because most of the time, I don't even know what my own style is. As a side note, I did have two great stylists in the past, but they are no longer working with Stitch Fix and that kind of breaks my heart.

Market & Spruce Bettey Lace Sleeve Pullover ($64)
The Decision: Keep

This sweater ended up being the only thing from my fix that I kept, but it's okay because I actually really love it. I haven't had a chance to wear it yet, due to it being summer in Brazil, but I cannot wait for the chance to wear it this Christmas. It's beautiful, warm, and not even scratchy!

BC Footwear Glow Caged Wedge ($70)
The Decision: Return

I need to cut my loses and stop requesting shoes in my fixes. I just haven't found a pair that I love yet. These ones are an odd color (for a shoe) and were still too big for my big feet. They were comfortable though, which is a plus when looking at wedge shoes.

41 Hawthorn Jace Embroidered Lace Dress ($68)
The Decision: Return

On paper, this dress is everything I could ever want. Blue, which is my color of choice. Fit and flare, which is my style of choice. Sleeveless, which is my cut of choice. Unfortunately, it wasn't long enough to wear while teaching and I don't really have any occasion to wear a dress like this for anything other than teaching. It was with a very heavy heart that I decided to send this back.

Alice Blue Rangel Henley Blouse ($54)
The Decision: Return

You know the grimace face Emoji? That's the fact I made when I peeked and saw this shirt. And then I made it again when I pulled it out of the box. It was really, really square. Like it was made for a child and not an adult. I also couldn't get my head through the neck hole without un-doing the buttons, but I could hardly get the buttons undone. I had to have my mom helped me, and even she struggled. I also hated the pattern, which at this point, was pretty much a non-issue. Sending this back was a no-brainer.

Renee C Wynne Knit Maxi Dress ($78)
The Decision: Return

A blue dress that I could wear teaching? Why WOULDN'T I keep this dress? Well, it came down to two things. One-- I looked pregnant while wearing it, which isn't a look that anyone who isn't pregnant strives for. Two-- the neckline made me feel like I was breast feeding. This dress was lovely and soft and all things good in a dress, but it made me feel both pregnant and breast feeding which is something that I'm trying to avoid at this point in my life.

So it wasn't a 5/5 and I didn't have either of my favorite stylists, but I still walked away with a gorgeous holiday sweater, so can I really complain? And the reality is that the less I spend now, the most I have to spend on all of the travels that I need to do within the next few years.

Stitch Fix #7: The One Where I Had To Address My Shopping Problem
Stitch Fix #6: The One Where My Stylist Left Me
Stitch Fix #4: The One That Arrived Just In Time For Christmas
Stitch Fix #3: The One That I Had Mailed to Ohio and Brought to Vegas
Stitch Fix #2: The One Where Details Matter
Stitch Fix #1: The One Where I Understood the Obsession

Thursday, September 22, 2016

One Day Without Shoes: 2016 Edition

Pretty much everyone has heard of Toms Shoes. What started out as basic canvas shoes has really exploded into so much more than that. And it all started because the founder of Toms, Blake Mycoskie, went to Argentina and witnessed, firsthand, the effects of children living without shoes. Lacking something as basic as shoes can led to illness and the inability to attend school. 

A lot of us see these struggles, whether it's on TV or Facebook or through trips of our own, but are unable, or unwilling, to actually do anything to help solve the problem. But Blake actually did. In 2006, he started the Toms company. It has since expanded to, not only giving shoes, but funding to help restoring sight to those who need it, clean water, safe birthing experiences to those in impoverished countries, and bullying prevention. 

All of this started because one man saw the need for a change and realized that the "someone" who should help out was him. 

Which definitely Toms One Day Without Shoes one of my Top Five Favorite Holidays. (And joining ranks with Thanksgiving, 4th of July, and Cinco de Mayo is definitely a big deal.)

As in years past, we spent a few days talking about all things empathy. And kindness. And mercy. And we watched this video which may or may not make me tear up every single time we watch it.

Because regardless of our age or social status, we can promote change. This is the biggest message that I want my kids to understand. They may be "only" 9 or 10 years old, but they can spark change NOW. When they're older, I don't want them to forget the impact that they can have on others.

And, of course, we collected shoes.

Because WE can be the someone to step up and change the world.

One Day Without Shoes-- 2012 Edition (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
One Day Without Shoes-- 2013 Edition (Siguatepeque, Honduras)
One Day Without Shoes-- 2014 Edition (Siguatepeque, Honduras)
One Day Without Shoes-- 2015 Edition (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

30 by 30.

I'm a pretty bad goal setter. Actually, that's not true. It's not the goal setting that's the problem, it's the follow through. 

But I've finally set a goal that I think I can achieve. I've finally set a goal that I can crush.

Visiting 30 countries by the time I turn 30.

Also known as "30 by 30".

Which is, quite possibly, the best goal I have ever set for myself. Ever.

USA. Canada. Mexico. Honduras. Costa Rica. Brazil. El Salvador. Nicaragua. Argentina. Taiwan. Guatemala. Belize

As of today, I have visited twelve different countries, so I clearly have some work to do in these upcoming years. 

The twelve countries that I've visited, for varying lengths of time, have all been awesome in their own way. Vastly different, yet startlingly the same. Some of them have only fed my addiction for travel, some of them fund my addiction for travel. 

30 by 30-- let's goooooo.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Don't Stop Belizin' [CAT2016: Belize]

I'm going to sound pretty spoiled when I say this, but I'm going to say it anyways. Traveling for a couple of weeks at a time is tough. Not only we were living out of suitcases (with clothes that kind of smell after awhile), but we were only staying in each city for one or two nights at a time, so we weren't really getting settled anywhere. It was also humid and rainy in Central America, so all of our stuff started to feel a little bit damp after a few days. I know, life is so difficult.

After almost two full weeks of insane travel, we finished up our trip with four days in Belize. We actually stayed there for three nights, which is longer than we'd stayed anywhere. And we decided to splurge a little. You know, treat yourself. 

We stayed on the island of San Pedro, so you think it'd be easy to go from the island of Honduras to the island of Belize. You'd be wrong. We ended up taking the shortest route, which was also the most expensive, and flew there. Even that required us to leave Utila the day before we were flying to San Pedro, Belize and spend the night in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. 

Is this not a giant safety concern?
Love you long time, Honduras.
Once we arrived in Belize, we still had to take a taxi to the ferry terminal and then take an hour and a half ferry ride to the island. I don't think that a single one of us regretted it when we set foot on the island, though.

San Pedro is famed for many things including the Blue Hole (which we did not see) and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, better known as Shark Ray Alley, which we did see.

We hung out at our hotel for an hour, tops, before we were picked up at our hotel dock and taken out to Hol Chan Marine Reserve. Our guide took us out snorkeling where we saw our first shark, tons of fish, and sea turtles! I have arms weaker than infant arms and my swimming skills are atrocious, so I opted to swim with a life jacket to allow for maximum snorkeling enjoyment. And let me tell you, there was maximum snorkeling enjoyment.

We got back on the boat and drove over to the area officially known as Shark Ray Alley. Apparently fishermen used to clean their days' catches in that area, the sharks and rays began to associate the sounds of the boat motors with food and began swarming pretty regularly, and as soon as the tour companies caught wind of it, the rest is history.

Real life. Not me standing in front of a poster.
So, yeah. It was basically awesome. There were so many sharks and so many rays and not a single one of them tried to eat me. Shark Ray Alley fulfilled all of my wildest shark dreams. And we were there during Shark Week, which is basically the best timing ever.

The following day, Sarah and I signed ourselves up for an all day catamaran tour and had zero regrets. Except for the fact that we should have applied sunscreen a bit more regularly.

We started out the day by going reef fishing where we both successfully caught two fish. And it's a good thing we did because that fish was our lunch and, besides the other two people who were fishing with us and both also caught two fish each, no one else caught anything that day. I'm not a great fisher because it's a lot of patiently waiting and then about ten seconds of excitement. And I'm pretty bad at being patient. But this was awesome because the water was so clear that I could spend all of the time waiting looking at all of the sting rays, sharks, and fish in the water. The ocean is a crazy place, you guys.

The tour group that we were traveling with was rotating people who were fishing and people who were snorkeling, so when we returned to the catamaran we grabbed our snorkels and headed in. And then we saw this guy.

There are few things more terrifying than swimming around and then looking up to see this guy headed your way. I quickly realized that Steve Irwin's death did very little to inform people of how you actually get stung by a sting ray because no one seemed to know if it shot the stinger at you or if it could flip it's tail at you. Needless to say, we kept our distance and no one was stung.

Oh, hay. 
We snorkeled for hours. Literally. Which is probably why we were burnt to crisps and my lips felt like I had licked the inside of a Lays potato chip bag. But it was incredible. At one point we got back onto the catamaran to enjoy the fruits of our labors via fish tacos and they were pretty bangin', if I do say so myself.

Our boat captain was sitting at the back of the boat, dropping pieces of fish into the ocean, which, naturally, was attracting all sorts of marine life. Not three minutes later, I had the best moment of my life, to date.

Yes, I touched a sea turtle. I touched it. It swam over to me and then we were swimming in the same water together. Granted, I was holding food for it, so it's not like it swam to me because I'm really pretty, but I don't even care. I swam with a sea turtle.

And then I swam with it some more.

And then I swam with it some more. Seriously, I think I was squealing like a little girl the entire time. Thank god it couldn't hear me. Or maybe it could. Regardless, it was awesome.

On our last day we went to a restaurant called Palapas, which has innertubes available for floating and drinking. Unfortunately, it was real freakin' wavy while we were sitting there. Fortunately, neither Sarah nor I cared and we ended up sitting in those tubes for a couple of hours. While sitting in those innertubes, we convinced ourselves that we could squeeze in a little stand up paddle boarding before our sunset booze cruise that night.

Remember when I said I had weaker arms than a baby? Do you realize how difficult that makes it to go paddle boarding? Especially when you're paddle boarding right where all of the boats are pulling into the dock. At one time, I actually started to float away and Sarah had to come rescue me. Needless to say, I spent most of the hour paddling along the dock and watching Sarah actually paddle board.

The only five seconds that I was actually able to stand.
For our last Central American/ Belizean hurrah, we took a sunset booze cruise and it was incredible. We toured with Island Dream Tours and they had excellent customer service. I mean, can you imagine the type of patience it takes to deal with a boat full our intoxicated tourists every night? Seriously, the thought of it makes me want to cry a little.

That bun though.
We boarded the boat and, over the course of the night, we were served ceviche, fresh fruit, and chips and dip. As well as an open bar. We basically sailed the open seas until sunset at which point we anchored for a bit so that they could turn on the party lights that lined the inside and outside of the boat and blast the music. What could be better than a floating dance party? Honestly, few things come close.

A beautiful sunset to end a beautiful trip.
The next morning we boarded the ferry back to the mainland and officially bring our trip to a close. We must have looked something awful though because the guy at the airline desk upgraded us both to First Class for freeeee. Holla at ya girls.

Was San Pedro the perfect way to end our 3 weeks of Central American travels? You better Belize it.

Stitch Fix #7: The One Where I Had to Address My Shopping Problem

I absolutely do not need anymore clothes. I always convince myself that I do, but when I returned to Rio de Janeiro at the end of August, I ran out of hangers and didn't have anymore room in my makeshift closet. I either need to start purging or stop buying and I can't see myself putting a halt to all the shopping any time soon. 

And just because my clothes buying addiction needed a little bit more help, I decided that I HAD to have one more Stitch Fix box before coming back. After being in control of a classroom for ten months, I didn't want to make any decisions during my vacation, so I just told my stylist to surprise me, but that I love prints and dresses. 

Collective Concepts Rema Maxi Dress ($88)
The Decision: Kept

IT'S JUST SO PRETTY! After buying this dress, I actually went out and bought a jean jacket just so that I can wear this dress to teach in. I mean it's a good investment because jean jackets are pretty versatile, but still, more clothes. I did end up hemming this dress a bit because it was just a tad bit long and I have a bad habit of getting my dresses caught in the wheels of my roll-y chair at school.

Liverpool Frankie Printed Cropped Jean ($78)
The Decision: Returned

I really wanted a new pair of light wash capris, so I really wanted to love this, but I just didn't. They felt a little too tight in the thighs, but I think that would have worked itself out throughout the day. I wasn't too wild about the print either.  It felt a little juvenile to me and I know that I'm way too anal to wear them with anything other than a solid colored shirt. And, frankly, that seems like a waste of a perfectly good pair of jeans. The part that I disliked the most, though, was the saggy crotch. You can't tell from the pictures, but the crotch was a good 1-2" inches too long. Ain't nobody got time for that.

RD Style Lirio Lace Up Top ($64)
The Decision: Returned

This is the perfect shirt for a 70's party or a country western shindig. Neither of which I have ever attended, nor do I see in my near future, so I sent it back. It is worth noting that my mother actually really liked this shirt, so I know that not everyone looks at it and hears a banjo twang in the background. But I did.

Seychelles Mind Metallic Strappy Wedge ($100)
The Decision: Returned

I adore wedges and want a thousand pairs. I am also horribly picky about my shoes. The front part of these shoes reminded me of those brown leather sandals that were all the rage in the 90's and are making a comeback now, but I didn't like then and don't really like now. Honestly, I could have gotten over that part, but the shoes were a pink/ blush color and I know that I would always pass them up for something else.

41 Hawthorn Tova Dress ($64)
The Decision: Kept

I think I loved this dress so much that I didn't bother taking a picture of myself wearing it because I was too excited to take it off and take the tags off. It's perfect for teaching without any alterations which is always a HUGE plus in my book. My stylist also referenced it in her note to me, saying that while it wasn't exactly what I had pinned on Pinterest, it did look similar to something on my board. Which it did. And I loved it just as much. So this beautiful baby became mine.

I had the same stylist for this fix as I did for my last one and, while I was originally bummed that my original stylist wasn't with Stitch Fix anymore, I actually really love this stylist, even after only two fixes. She's done a great job including something in each box that I know will be a keeper as soon as I see it, as well as some things that push me outside of my comfort zone a little bit. As much as it pains me to share, if there's anyone in the market for a new stylist, I would highly recommend Christine K.

Until December, Stitch Fix, you've been lovely.

Stitch Fix #6: The One Where My Stylist Left Me
Stitch Fix #4: The One That Arrived Just In Time For Christmas
Stitch Fix #3: The One That I Had Mailed to Ohio and Brought to Vegas
Stitch Fix #2: The One Where Details Matter
Stitch Fix #1: The One Where I Understood the Obsession

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Stitch Fix #6: The One Where My Stylist Left Me

After my six month break from Stitch Fix, I returned to find that my original stylist, whom I adored, is no longer working there. I can only assume that she was heart-broken after not having styled me for so many months, that she could no longer continue working without me.  My new stylist, Christine, stepped in to fill the very large shoes that my last stylist left behind and she did a pretty great job.

This time around I didn't really have any specific requests, just the usual patterned clothes and items that could be worn in either Brazil, Ohio, or both. I didn't really have anything that I was looking for, I just really love getting fixes.

Loveappella Bradli Lace Detail Knit Top 
The Decision: Returned

When I peeked at my fix, this shirt piqued my interest because the colors around the collar looked really feminine and girly. When the shirt arrived, the colors at the top were a lot more intense than I had pictured. A lot more primary color-y and a lot less pastel floral-y than I was hoping. I also don't love the little notch at the neckline, for whatever reason. I definitely would have kept this shirt, had it been the fifth item that I needed to get the 5/5 discount, and I probably would have worn it, but I'm really trying to only keep items that I LOVE, so this shirt was sent back.

Loveappella Deanne Printed Maxi Skirt ($58)
The Decision: Returned

My stylist suggested pairing this skirt with the Loveappella shirt, but I didn't really feel like they matched. Definitely not enough for my tastes, anyways. This skirt was so soft. Like, kind of wanted to use it as a pillowcase soft. And it really was a perfect length. But I couldn't get over the print, it really made me feel like I was in an episode of That 70's Show. I just couldn't do it, so the skirt went back, too.

Pixley Jeisa Strappy Back Top ($48)
The Decision: Returned

I wanted to love this shirt, I really did. But maybe it's because my closet is FULL of tank tops and since it's chilly in Rio de Janeiro right now, I've been cold for the past few weeks, but I wasn't really feeling another tank top. I was also worried about the neckline being a little loose and my bra showing all of the time. Nobody has time for that.

Diba Jessica Snakeskin Wedges ($45)
The Decision: Returned

Little bit fancy, little bit wild. Little bit too big and right back in the bag they went.

Renee C Reyna Knit Maxi Dress ($78)
The Decision: Kept

Short of an absolutely horrid fit, I knew that this dress would be finding a home in my closet from the moment that I peaked at my upcoming fix. I don't usually love clothing that has a pre-determined waistline because those are almost never at my waistline, but this actually worked out. And guess what? It did find a new home in my closet.

So I just kept one thing. But it's okay. Because I actually have a ton of clothes in my closet that I don't wear, plus I really LOVE this dress so I'm incredibly happy to have it. As the old saying goes, quality of quantity.

I've already scheduled my next fix (#judgementfreezone), and my goal for that fix is to actually try my hand at styling my outfits. It's a bit tricky since more than half of my wardrobe and accessories are in Rio and I'm obviously here in Ohio, but I'm aiming to give it my best shot.

Stitch Fix #4: The One That Arrived Just In Time For Christmas
Stitch Fix #3: The One I Had Mailed To Ohio and Brought to Vegas
Stitch Fix #2: The One Where Details Matter
Stitch Fix #1: The One Where I Understood the Obsession

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

If You Come to Utila, You Will Never, Ever Leave [CAT2016: Honduras]

The Bay Islands and I just aren't meant to be friends. Sarah and I planned this really great trip to Roatan during my second year and, unfortunately, all of our plans were thwarted by both rain and stomach illnesses. We were ready to give the Bay Islands another try this time by heading to Utila. Snorkeling, boat rides, beachside bars-- what could possibly go wrong? More stomach illnesses. That's what could go wrong.

Unfortunately, we weren't able to "live it up" in Utila like we were supposed. But we really tried our best despite our diet of Cheerios and sips of water.

Our first day was great. We arrived on the early ferry and got settled in to our apartment before heading down to the public beach. After hanging out there for awhile, we headed over to Rehab, which is a bar overlooking the ocean. I was able to lay in my hammock, chow down on some bangin' chicken wings and sip my strawberry daiquiri. Really? Could anything be wrong with that? (The answer is no, in case you are wondering.) We enjoyed Rehab so much that we even returned there for dinner that night.

The first night was when disaster struck and we spent the rest of our time in Utila functioning at about 50%.

Since walking was out of the question, we rented a golf cart and drove around the island. While driving around, we came across the private beach, which is located at the opposite end of the island as the public beach. We paid a few lempiras to have the beach (almost) entirely to ourselves and we spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the beach or in the water. Our first day in Utila was very low-key despite the party reputation that the island has.

Our first night wasn't any better as we had a wonderful Cheerio dinner. I slept on the wooden floor, sweat off at least five pounds, and honestly believed that I was going to die. By the time morning rolled around, I was covered in mosquito bites which, honestly, rarely ever happens to me. And they itched like crazy. I almost wished that God would just take me then because between the stomach issues, the heat, and the bug bites, I was miserable. Sarah wasn't any better, so  you can imagine how much of a joy we were.

While we really wanted to just lay around in close proximity to a bathroom, we also really wanted to take advantage of the beautiful island. So for the next two days we took our golf cart past the public beach and boarded a little boat to Neptune's Coral Beach Village. It had a restaurant, a bathroom, a dock, and hammocks in the shade. Basically, paradise. Even for a couple of people plagued with a stomach virus.

After three days in Utila, we were finally starting to feel better and it was time to leave the island. I'm going to give the Bay Islands one more chance, because, as they say, "third time's the charm". I've really got my fingers crossed.