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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Slowing Down on Utila

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This is the coolest thing, ever.

Caribbean Life is turning the cell phone off and the music on.

NARRATOR: Enjoy an endless vacation in the Caribbean.

Walking out your back steps right into the ocean.

Going from cold winters to having a house on the beach.

I think we'd be out here all the time.

NARRATOR: From jungle bungalows to cliff side cottages,

the perfect tropical home awaits.

Caribbean Life is making all your dreams a reality.

Oh, my gosh. I literally feel like I'm looking at a postcard.


NARRATOR: This is Caribbean Life.


Hey, how are you?

My name is Monica. I'm a nurse practitioner

from Ft. Lee, New Jersey and I'm moving to Utila, Honduras.

I want to try that.


Good morning.

Morning. How may I help you?

I'd like a smoothie.

In Ft. Lee, New Jersey it's either too cold or it's raining too much.

I'm always in the car going back and forth to work

and then in an operating room for hours.

It can be physically demanding as well as mentally draining.

I'm ready for a lifestyle change.

Ooh, that looks so good.

Thank you.

It is.

I was born in Honduras, but my family moved away when I was very young.

On a visit back here a few months ago,

I discovered Utila, and I knew this was it.

Feel the breeze.

It's gorgeous here-- I love this.

I never want to leave.

And now you have more friends here.

I met Julie on my first trip here.

We became fast friends.

She helped to see how unique Utila is

so I came back to start lookin' for a home,

and now she's going to be my realtor

and she's gonna show me around.

Oh, my God this weather is amazing.

The water's gorgeous.

Perfect color palate for a beach house, a beach bar.

I will be leaving my nursing career behind.

My plan is to open up a bar on the beach.

I had a great time bartending when I was younger,

but listen, I'm not gonna be

Tom Cruise, you know, flippin' the bottles.

All I wanna do is open up a beer bottle, put it on the bar and say "Have a nice day."

NARRATOR: Utila is the smallest of the Bay Islands

and lies north of mainland of Honduras in the Caribbean Sea.

It's located at the tip of the Mesoamerican reef,

the second longest reef in the world and has become one of the major

diving hot spots for scuba enthusiasts.

Utila is such a magical place.

Almost from the minute that you step foot on here,

it captures your heart and you just cannot forget about it.

There are countless stories of people who come here

and they never leave and I'm a perfect example of that.

So, what do you think about the floating picnic table?

This is pretty cool.

I don't think there's another one in the world

and we have one, right here, in Utila.

You can't find this in New Jersey, I can tell you that.

So, now we just have to find you something.


I'm looking for two bedrooms, preferably two baths.


If I can't be on the beach I have to have a view.

Something close to town, but not so close

that I'm going to hear the bars, the ATVs,

the motorcycles driving up and down the road,

but something I can get to within a few minutes.

And some place close to where I'm potentially gonna put up a bar.

It's really easy to do that.

The Utila strip is really small,

and then once you get two minutes from the edge of it,

you feel like you're in a completely different place.

Yeah, I want to feel like I'm worlds away.

What's your price range?

$100,000 to $150,000.

Okay, the inventory is Utila is limited

when it comes to that price range...


...and some of your wants, so we're going to have to be a little flexible.

I think you can find me something.

I already have some options in mind.

Cheers to that.

Let's start the search.

Can we convert this to a hammock?

I'm showing Monica the Bambu House, because it's a great deal.

Close to a bunch of potential bar locations.

NARRATOR: The Bambu house

is located in a quiet residential neighborhood

just minutes from the hub of Utila's nightlife.

I love the bamboo-- it's beautiful.

I love the way it shades the area

and I love the sound that the wind makes going through it.

This home has 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 900 square feet--$85,000.

Wow! That's a good price.

So it's great to have your house here,

and right close by there's a lot of potential

to put a bar in great location close to town.

Okay, I'm open to it.

Wow! It's bigger than I thought.

From the outside it doesn't look this big.

I can do a lot with the space.

I love the exposed beams.

I even like the nuts and bolts.

That's a cute little detail.

I actually like the way they do the two directions of the wood,

Exactly. know, the wainscoting.

So this is really nice interior space.

The deck is a little small, though.

It is, but with half your budget left pretty much to spend,

you can make a beautiful deck out there.

I would definitely put a big deck out here.

Nice outdoor kitchen possibly.

I love the French doors.

Open those up and get that breeze in here.


That's gonna be fantastic.

Does this come furnished?

It's partially furnished.

I'm not crazy about the furniture,

but given that the price is only $85,000

it gives me a lot of room to play with

so I can totally remodel.

This would be a total gut job.

I would get rid of all of this.

I'd put some open shelving.

Actually, you know what would nice here? A cement countertop.

I would move the sink to the window,

so at least, as I'm doing the dishes I could get that breeze,

maybe check out the view out there.

Yeah, you could even take the whole kitchen area, put it in an island here.

Maybe with some bar stools.

I can definitely do that with the extra money I'm going to have.

Okay, it's a little on the small side,

but the high ceilings make it feel a little bit bigger.

Is this the master bedroom?

Both bedrooms are the same size.

This is a little bit larger than the other one.

This is something I could work with.

This format is very common on the island.

This is our built-in closets.

Great place to store things.

I can definitely fit a lot of things in there,

but I would probably take this down and put an armoire or something in.

That would definitely give a lot more space.

Absolutely, yes.

If you move a closet here.

Yeah, 'cause it's a little on the deep side.

Wow. What's with the bidet?

It is the only bathroom in Utila that has a bidet.


So it's like you're in a 5 star hotel, right?

Yeah, I guess so.

I would totally gut this bathroom, but the duck can stay.

The duck can stay.

I love the price.

$85,000 is awesome.

Hard to beat.

It gives me some wiggle room.

I would remodel the kitchen.

I would remodel the bathroom,

and put a larger deck outside of those French doors.

I love the breeze that you get up here, and the bamboo.

I do really like however, there's no view.

I need to have a view.

All right.

Well, I have another option for you

that I think you're gonna really like.

Okay. Let's go take a look.

I'm showing Monica the Gumbo Limbo House

because it's very spacious and it has those views she's looking for.

NARRATOR: The Gumbo Limbo House is on the eastern side of the island

just steps from one of Utila's most popular dive sites.

I love the trees, the landscaping.

I've never seen anything like it--like I'm in an enchanted forest.

It's on 0.57 acres so there's plenty of space.

I like that.

We've got three bedrooms, two bathrooms,

over 1,600 square feet.

It's priced a little bit over the budget at $159,000.

It's a little more than I want to spend,

but given the size of the lot

it's something I can work with.

Follow me.

Wait 'til you see this view.

There are the three bedrooms and the two bathrooms on this floor.

It's a little unusual for the bedrooms to be on the first floor.

But I think it works.


Well, it's nice and bright.

A little on the small side.

Is this the master bedroom?

This is one of the guest bedrooms or a second bedroom.

Okay, this is actually a nice size for a guest bedroom.

I'm not crazy about the color of the tile.

It's a little on the dark side.

It's not very island-y.

Given that's it's a little out of my price range, I don't know if I can do that.

Here's the master bedroom.

Wow! This is big.

Very bright, too.

One, two, three, four, five windows.

That's great,

'cause I'm feeling the nice breeze.

I can see those beautiful gumbo limbo trees.

Green, green, green, green, everywhere.

Yeah. Very private.

Is this is as far as closet?

I mean, it's a lot of space, but it's a little too wide open.

I almost feel like I want more doors here.

This is the closet space-- it must have been designed by a man,

because this is only big enough to hang your shirt.

Right--men's shirt.

maybe some pants, but no dresses.

Oh, wow!

This is nice.

Great view, huh?

Yeah. Nice, wide open space.

Lots of windows. Wow!

Definitely took advantage of the scenery.

Yeah. Is it furnished?

Partially furnished.

Being that it's at the top of my budget, I can't replace any furniture.

I don't know about the recliner.

This is not something I would put in my island home.

I'd put hammocks in here.

You've already moved to the island in your head.

I love this little corner seating area.

This is great.

You can see the ocean from here.

This is a really nice sized kitchen,

I like that it comes with your first customer.

I love the color of this tile.

It's a nice look.

Lots of cabinet space.

The refrigerator is a little beat up.


For is being at the top of my budget,

I would think that the appliances would be

a little on the new side.

This is an extra entertaining space.

I love it.

I could see myself having dinner, some drinks with some friends.


This beautiful view of nothing but tree tops.

This is what I have been dying to show you.

Oh, wow! This is spectacular.

I can't believe how beautiful this is.

How far are we from the water, right now?

You could walk, in about 10 minutes.

You could almost feel the mist and see the waves.

I see the water crashing on the rocks up there.

We're so not in Jersey anymore.

This is exactly where I want to be.

The Gumbo Limbo House is beautiful.

Lots of windows. Great views.

The furniture is not something I would choose for my island home,

and it is at the top of my budget,

and I would love to find

something closer to the beach or on the beach.

Are you ready to go sailing?

I'm so excited. Let's go.

I hope I don't barf.

Today Julie's taking us out sailing.

It's like a girl's day out.

This is the life.

I have absolutely no stress, right now.

Completely relaxed.

That's the way it should be.


You feel yourself slowing down already.

I do, a little bit. Yeah.


We're gonna slow you down, Jersey.

The weather is amazing.

The sun, oh my God! It feels so good on my skin right now.

I feel like I'm in heaven.

Being in the OR all day, the stress of it all is starting to wear me away.

Right now, the biggest decision I want to make in my day

is which side of the beach I'm gonna walk on.

Am I gonna go in this direction,

or am I gonna go in that direction?

Or just sit in your hammock all day long.

Just lay in my hammock and just sleep.

Well, you absolutely picked the right place for that.

This is nothing like the Jersey turnpike.

No traffic here except for a couple of boats going by.

Oh, my God. I can't believe I'm here.

Oh, my gosh! I see a whale shark!

[gasps] No way!

Oh, my God. I really do! It's so amazing.

You see that?

The whale sharks come up, they feed on the plankton

and you kind of get this boil in the water and it's amazing.

It's the largest fish in the sea.

I don't know why I didn't move down here sooner.

I'm showing Monica the Beach House,

because it's at the low end of her budget and it's steps away from the beach.

NARRATOR: The Beach House sits on the peninsula

in the Blue Bayou section of Utila.

I like this neighborhood. It looks beachy.

The awesome thing about this place is there is amazing snorkeling.

Right across the beach. You're 20 steps away from that.



I love it! I think it's adorable-- it's just what I'm lookin' for.

How big is it?

345 square feet,

1 bedroom, 1 1/2 baths.

What's the price?

It's $119,000.

Is there room for expansion, 'cause I really, really want a 2 bedroom?

There's space out of the back.

There's a water tower there now, but it's kind of redundant.

So that gives you the room to do your renovations.

All right-- I want to see it.

Oh, wow! This is cute.

Isn't it adorable?

It really is.



I love it! Look at this!

Oh, my gosh! It's beautiful.

Isn't it adorable?

Yeah! I like the little view you have from this window, too.

I love this countertop.

What kind of wood is it?

It's Honduran Mahogany...

It's beautiful.

...and the former owner liked to make bread

so he treated it with coconut oil.

It's beautiful-- I love the color.

I love the stain-- I love the ceiling, too.

Everything in here is handmade.

This is nice-- I like that it's nice and open.

I like the backsplash-- this is really pretty.

I love these tiles.

It's a great theme to go with the beach house--

the snorkeling out there.


You can see the hummingbirds.

Yep. It's nice.

You can see dolphins.

It's a little on the small side,

but it wouldn't matter 'cause I won't be doing much cooking anyway.

I'm not crazy about this view, though.

What's this out here?

This is your second bathroom when you come in from snorkeling.

However, you might be able to rectify that

with your renovations from the second bedroom.

Something I could probably work with?

But how do we get to the bedroom?

It's a very typical island build

where you have to get outside

to get into the bedroom.

Here's our...

This is going to be interesting.

...access outside.

Oh, nice! Oh yeah, look at that view!

Feel the breeze?

Absolutely. I can feel the breeze, yeah.

That's beautiful.

I don't know about this house right next door, though.

It's a little on the close side.

Yeah, so this is the water tower

that you can take out to do your 2 bedroom expansion.


You can build out on top of the bathroom.

All right, so I have some room to work with.

It's about 68 feet.

That's actually pretty good.

Oh, nice! It's nice and roomy.

I love the floors-- the floors are nice.

I can do a set of French doors here, if I wanted to and open them up

and get that breeze and that beautiful view right there.

I love that.

What is this here that we're lookin' at?

This was left over from before the rebuild

where it's a little kitchenette,

so that's actually the sink for the bathroom.

Interesting--I think of a bar when I look at it.

It's the beach bar that you wanted,

But it's in your bedroom.

...but it's in my bedroom.

I don't know that I want to have a bar-

I don't know.

If I were to remodel I might change it up a little bit.

I'm interested to hear what you say about the bathroom.


This is actually the size of my shower at home.

This whole thing.

Definitely need to change this.

I love this little deck here.

It's nice and roomy-- I like the bench.

I see the ocean right there.

Wow! This is it-- this is nice.

So, what do you think of the Beach House?

I like it.

It's a little on the small side.

I need two bedrooms, at minimum, but knowing now

that I can remove that tower and maybe put up another bedroom,

that's something that I can definitely work with.

I do love the location.

I can see the ocean from here.

I mean, that's to die for.

It's a good trade off, right?

Yeah, very tempting offer.

For more gorgeous Utila homes visit

I am so used to this now.

What a beautiful morning.

And this view that most people...

This view is incredible.

It's like a screensaver.

I can't wait to do this every day.

Well, let's make you a permanent resident then.

What did you think about the properties?

The Bambu House really nice.

Very tropical look, but the house is a little on the rustic side.

It looked more like a mountain retreat than it did an island home.


The kitchen needed a lot of work.

That bathroom needed a lot of work, and there's no view.

That, for me, that's a must, so I'm not sure if that's the right house for me.

The Beach House had that beautiful ocean view

right across the street with amazing snorkeling.

I like that beach house. It's really adorable.

The view from the deck-- I love it,

but it's only one bedroom, and to walk to the bedroom

and the bathroom upstairs

but have to leave to go outside to get up there?

That's a little odd.

The houses were a little too close together,

and it's kind of like being back home in New Jersey.

One of my goals here is to have no neighbors.

What was the name of that beautiful house with the trees?

Oh! The Gumbo Limbo House.

Okay. That was dream.

It's like driving into a magical forest.

The house, each level, had a spectacular view.

The furniture is not something that I would put in my island home,

and since it's at the top of my budget

I wouldn't have room to do that.

There's a lot of room, great views,

but I love that the beach house is right on the beach.

If there was any way I could just combine those two I'd have the perfect home.

I don't want you to settle for one or the other.

I have an idea.

I think you're gonna like it.


It's a lot.

You can build whatever you want.

That's interesting.

You want to go see it?

Uh. Let's do it.

Come on, Jersey. Let's go!

NARRATOR: The Pumpkin Hill Lot is part of an

up and coming area known for having

the tallest point on the island.

This is amazing.

Isn't it gorgeous?

It's so beautiful.

Oh, my gosh.

Look at those waves coming in.

This is just heaven.

It's listed at $59,800--

.14 acres.

That's a pretty decent size for beach front.

So I can put up my beach bar and my home.

I'd have a quick commute, but I'd have to build from the ground up.

It's a big project.

Do I really wanna tackle that?

You have it in your budget to do it,

and you also can build exactly what you want.

My wheels are turning.

This is what I'm thinking now.

I'm envisioning a palapa right here.

Nice big deck.

A few tables right in the center.

I could see a bar, couple of hammocks alongside.

Definitely need the hammocks.

We need the hammocks.

Behind that a set of stairs

going up to another deck

and I could put my house back there.

Gonna be a wood structure-- I'm seeing white here.

I want it to look like a beach.

I can see a lot of windows-- plantation shutters

just to give it that tropical feel.

You can have it all.

I can have it all.

Just to let you know, a beach front lot

at this price it's probably not gonna last very long.

You know what? Let's do this.

This feels right. This is what I want.


I'm dead serious-- let's go do it.

Let's go put in an offer, right now.


You found me the right spot. I'm not going to pass this up.

Okay! The list price is $59,800.

What do you think you want to offer?


I want to give them an offer they can't refuse.

What do you think about $37,000 all cash?

Okay. It's a little bit low.

But you can get it for me.

I know you're gonna do this for me.

Just for you-- just for you, Monica.

You're gonna do this for me.

I'm gonna do--absolutely.

Come on, Julie. Let's do it.

I want to go put in an offer right now. Come on!

Look at those waves. Maybe I'll take up surfing.

Surfing, sailing, hammocking, drinking.

You're whole schedule is all worked out for you already.

The listed price for the beachfront lot was $59,800.

My initial offer was $37,000.

The final offer was $39,900

and they accepted, so I am ecstatic.

How does it feel?

It feels great.

You're a local now.

It's the smartest thing I've ever done.

Amen to that.

Cheers to that.

Julie found me the perfect spot

for my beachside bar and my beachside home.

If you're gonna be opening a bar here on the island,

you gotta know how to serve up a drink.

I'm gonna give you a little Jersey flavor.


She's pouring them like they're Utila drinks.

Mine own little...

That's a good start.

Down it--come on!

What do you call this?

Spicy Dame-- do you like that?

Just like I like my dames, spicy.

Right now we're under construction, and I'm happy with the progress so far.

And I know in a couple of months

it'll be ready to go, so I'm really, really excited about that.

Caribbean life is quickly adjusting to the slow life.


The Description of Slowing Down on Utila