Months of Searching in Honduras and a surprise video

Well hello there!

It's been far too long since we've seen each other. Work-life has interrupted my Honduras explorations, but I've had the opportunity recently to get out and see, take photos and experience more of Honduras and I've carved out a bit of time to share it all with you in the next few posts.

I don't have anything profound to share, but I do have a whole lot of photos and a few comments to say about them.

san Lorenzo Valle and Amapala

Spending almost two weeks inTegucigalpa I decided it was a great time to head south to the Pacific coast. I had not been to that part of the country and was anxious to get there. The map image above doesn't give you the full view of the twists and turns through the mountain, but I was not disappointed that I'd taken a Dramamine.

We arrived and drove through San Lorenzo Valle and decided to push forward to get as close to the ocean as possible. San Lorenzo is a small town and although located on beautiful waterways, we had our sights set on a larger body of water the Pacific, but not before witnessing the loading of large ice boxes used to store shrimp that is caught during overnight shrimping expeditions.

We hoped on a boat and headed to the island of Amapala about 30 minutes out.  We passed large houses perched on the edge of islands and saw flocks of Pelicans fishing for food.

After a walk through the deserted town, we boarded the boat and headed about 5 minutes around the corner to a beach where we pulled up to plastic tables and chairs on the beach, chose our fish, or not, and waited for our food to arrive while letting the cool beachside breeze keep us cool.

Fish and Shrimp

While most opt for the famous Pescado Frito -- Fried Fish, I went in for the Camarones Asado -- Grilled Shrimp. It came with my favorite -- fresh, hand made Tortillas de Elote (Corn Tortillas).  They were great -- moist, and full of corn flavor.

I was pretty happy I ordered shrimp. It meant I didn't have to partake in the challenge. Whew!

After a day of traveling, I felt more relaxed than I've felt in months. It was like a one day vacation and a much appreciated day in the sun and fresh air -- truly fresh air.

NExt Up -- A Morning in Valle De Angeles



Baleadas Express Wins Me Over

I have a new-found respect for the national dish of Honduras -- the Baleada

Baleadas-Express.JPG

Baleadas in San Pedro

I didn't understand the draw to the national dish of Honduras, the Baleada.  I've had them made for me and I've made them myself, but the giant flour tortilla with mashed (refried) beans, eggs, cheese, chorizo, avocado and crema (not-so-sour cream).  Well, that's my chosen pile of ingredients for a good baleada.  It was about two years of shunning the national dish, thinking it was one plate of calories I could successfully avoid.

But it all changed the morning I was early for my flight to the US a few months ago and decided to stop at Baleadas Express to give it a try.  A baleada made with fresh tortillas and ingredients, made in the moment was the tipping point.  I was hooked.  Now when I'm early a baleada stop is a must.  But you don't need to go to the airport because Baleadas Express is a chain seen all over the city.  So, give it a try and enjoy the treat, if you haven't already.

A Different Kind of Homesick

I haven't been home -- I mean home to my legal US residence in about a year and a half.  I haven't slept in my own bed, taken a shower in my own shower, cooked on a gas stove using copper core pots and pans in 18 months.

Sure, I'll be in Vegas tomorrow with colleagues and peers from all over the world for a few days, but then I will be off across the country to Virginia where the familiarity of language, friends and work of a different kind is waiting for me before heading south to Florida for a few nights with family and let's not forget -- my Stone Crab fix for the year.

My Dad and Me at Family Night

My trip to Virginia has more to it than just going home, eating copious amounts of Asian-inspired food, seeing friends and family.  No, this is a trip about moving on.  I am going to put my house on the market and who knows what's next?

This is my home when in Tegucigalpa.  It's difficult to say anything negative about it other than it could use some love.  It's got the most incredible views and waking up and walking into this kitchen is a pretty incredible way to start the day, right?  I had a mad shopping spree to try to make the kitchen one that any of us can walk into and use, although most corporate travelers aren't much for cooking so I didn't go nuts.  What inspires me about this kitchen are the windows.  It needs a small table.  For those food bloggers out there, can you imagine the light for photos in here?  :)

Speaking of food ... lunch at the Creperie at the mall our office is located in isn't much to write home about, but this Honduran style breakfast-inspired crepe was pretty darn good.  I'll go again, but will ask for about 30 seconds less time on the egg.

Canon at the Fort in Omoa

I took a colleague to Omoa last weekend and we made a stop at the fort.  There is always something to see there from another vantage point and this cannon struck me.  I suspect this fort is mostly a renovated site, especially when I spotted a few, "original fort" structures, but the artifacts are certainly authentic.

Forteliza

I know these photos are random.  I'm getting ready to head to the airport and haven't posted very consistently in the past year or so and know that if I don't get to it now, it's not happening.  For a "writer," life sure knows how to get in the way, doesn't it?

Tegucigalpa Rooftops on the Way to the Stadium

Tegucigalpa Views

In the midst of all this randomness, it's time for me to get ready to fly off to the US.  A few days in Vegas for business and then a week at home.  I suspect I am going to feel closed in.  The places I am so darn lucky to spend my time in Honduras are enormous by comparison and for that I am thankful.  Not only for the luxury and comfort, but because it will mean giving up the place I worked so hard to earn the money to buy will not be quite so difficult to give up to someone else.  My home and almost all that is inside it's four walls has some kind of sentimental value and that will be the most difficult thing of all to lock the door on.

But life goes on and these are material things, some of which I am going to try to arrange to ship down here, but the rest will be memories and that is the reason taking all these photos and writing is so valuable.  If not for others to read, then for me to reflect on at some time in the future.

Baleadas Express

When I'm here there are things I miss about the US.  When I'm in the US there are things I miss about Honduras.  On my way out this afternoon I am planning a stop at the famed Baleadas Express. Because I can make a Shrimp Tortilla or a steaming hot pot of Tortilla Soup, but a Baleada is the dish of Honduras and you just can't get it quite the same in Reston, Virginia.  A Baleada is a hand-made flour tortilla with any one or more of a number of items.  I opt for the Huevos, Frijoles, Chorizo, Manetquilla, Aguacate y Queso.  Que rico!

See you in the US!

Tortillas.com -- it's the people and the culture

If you've been following along you know that after our work was done last week, a couple of us took a day to explore two towns outside of Tegucigalpa -- Santa Lucia and Valle de Angeles.  I've been hearing and reading about them since I moved here and have wanted to make the trip out to see them for myself.  In my last post I wrote about the churches and the tile roofs and the crafts and the cultural center in San Juancito and only just a little about the food, Chancho Guindado, for one.

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I spent last week with co-workers in the Capital, Tegucigalpa.  I love that city and was happy to be there in the cool mountain air for 6 days.  We weren't 40 minutes down the road, headed back to San Pedro when someone turned the heat back on.  We stepped out of the car to investigate the supposed "Best" Chicharones in the area at what turned out to be a kind of culinary "rest stop" (with no  gas station) and the heat hit us like a shockwave.

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Curing Expat Cravings

I've been here 1 year, 11 months and 1 week and aside from family, friends and my independence, I really miss just a few food items.  One of those is corned beef.  And not just corned beef for a sandwich.  I've been craving corned beef hash and a poached egg for breakfast.  My father and my sister like making this for breakfast on the weekend so I've had occasion to eat it in the past couple of years, but I want the ability to make it for myself.

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Treated Like a VIP

I like going to the movies.  In the US it's a common form of entertainment for me.  I prefer to go during the day when no one, or very few are doing the same thing.  Having to battle for seats and peace and quiet while watching an $11 or $12 movie, not including the outrageous cost of popcorn and a drink is not my idea of a relaxing break from reality.  So a daytime flick is my idea of fun.

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