A rush of tying up loose ends led to throwing on a sequin dress and showing up to the New Year's Eve party at 11:55. We hugged our buddies and said yes to 2015. On the morning of January 1st I jumped in a frozen lake in MN and in the afternoon I dove into the Gulf of Mexico. Thus began a monthlong honeymoon during which Paul and I spent each week in a different place.
First stop Florida, to visit people and see the Sister Corita Kent retrospective Someday is Now on its last day in Naples. One of my very favorites, Corita was a radical activist nun printmaker — seeing her day glo serigraphs in real life was totally overwhelming and spectacular. We stayed with family, ate seafood, swam in a saline pool every day, caught up with our amazing artist friends Noah and Erica, and headed to Miami via the Everglades seeking street art and Cuban food. I had seen Michelle Weinberg's Wolfsonian mural online, and had to find it in the art deco district. I'm obsessed with this work, "Intricate Pattern Overlay," inspired by dazzle painting — "disruptive coloration" painted on WWI warships (often by women) — camouflage to confuse rather than conceal.
I've spent time in Central America, but the change from Miami to La Ceiba felt shocking. I wish I would have documented our week in Honduras better; I think being a sightseer in a place rife with strife felt unseemly (though we were only on the periphery of it); I don't want to turn a blind eye — I want to experience everything about life. But I didn't get into a rhythm of picture–taking. The mainland was beautiful (we saw the coastal countryside) but after a tough travel day we hurried to the port and hopped on the Utila Princess.
We stayed in a funky multilevel house built in a fig tree on the island of Utila. I mean, come on! This place is kind of a masterpiece of carpentry and reverence for the landscape. The vistas are incredible and I would have been much more blissed out if the sand flies weren't biting me impetuously (much worse than the tarantulas, who didn't bother us at all, just indifferently watched us reeling after we won the guifity challenge at infamous bar Skid Row).
The town (which lines the main street hazy with exhaust from passing motorbikes) is populated by locals, and backpackers there to dive (and party). Snorkeling the reef was a priority for us but we found few offshore options on the island (a boat ride to the developing resort Neptune's provided our only beachy day and decent snorkeling off their dock). Scuba certification is affordable here but we decided to just hang out, hike, and watch rain fall on the orchard. We ate great food on Utila, usually made by worldly expats in tiny makeshift kitchens. One morning we came upon a Frenchman mopping his stall — he made us crepes and played The Girl from Ipanema on the hi–fi — a fond memory. We also frequently find street food to be the best; we had great grilled pinchos and beach fried yucca, and enjoyed baleadas and dollar desayuno back in La Ceiba before ferrying to another Bay Island, the slightly more touristy Roatan. There we had an experience that henceforth instituted a no-more-hostels policy. The trip was mainly budget travel, but I'm glad we avoided other bad bunkhouses because we found some really nice spots later. We tend to attract weirdos wherever we go and had a lively conversation with a conspiracy theorist over Salva Vidas on our last night. Honestly this week of the trip didn't feel especially like a vacation (though we loved our visit and absorbing the cultural mash–up of the island) so we were ready to let a tiny plane fly us towards Belize City with rainbows stretching between the clouds.