Updated: Sep 23, 2018
Roatan, Honduras was just hot enough and just simple enough that I forgot my worries in the sand (for the most part). I feel like a refreshed bronze goddess - well, except for the massacre of bug bites I got on our last night on the island.
The second our toes touched the sand for the last time, it was all chaos. Our last night ended with an elegant beachfront dinner at the Grand Roatan, celebrating Anthony's grandparents and thanking them for taking us on an unforgettable trip. Our group traipsed through the greenery to a private cliff-side hangout before sitting down to a table for 12, mere footsteps from the waves.
We laughed, we took selfies, we sweat. We gorged ourselves on beer, wine, surf, and turf. Then, to our horror, the sand flies and mosquitoes gorged themselves on us. We were a feast.
No amount of bug spray could have saved us, much to my hypochondriac-prone dismay.
None of us knew the extent of the damage (i.e. post-apocalyptic-looking appendages) until we were about halfway home to New York. Our connection put us through customs in Atlanta and it took extreme willpower not to scratch ourselves to death in front of TSA. (Zika fears, anyone?) God only knew if we would make it home in one piece. Luckily, we arrived at Newark Liberty with almost no delay. The next day we invested in about a half ton tube of Cortizone 10 lotion and said our prayers. We knew it would take a miracle to save us from these bites. No kidding, I stopped counting the bites after 50.
Slowly, we are recovering. Quickly, I'm losing my mind. If I knew I'd have such lasting, permanent souvenirs, I would've saved my $100 on liquor. That, or a couple dozen more rounds of Salva Vida beer (an island favorite.)
Despite the infestation, Roatan left us eager to return. The people living on the island - from ex-pats to Honduran folks born and bred - were always welcoming. The food consistently left us eager for the next meal. The ocean was warm, much warmer than any waters near New York. I felt like a proper fish out there.
Above all, I am thankful - for everything except sand flies.