Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Some rare and breathtaking images of Placencia, Belize village!

Thanks Breeanna! A good "friend/family" of CBC is http://www.breeannakayphotography.com, and when she comes into town, she loves to get (National Geographic quality!) images of the village through her eyes. When I saw her latest, I had to share...more coming in the future, as they are so good, they are hard to take in all at once! Enjoy!!
You'll find amazing artist booths throughout the village....
 The hard-to-find but fun Friday night place....Yoli's!
 Great shot of the dive shop at Paradise Resort...
 You'll often see local kids playing soccer (football/futbol!)
 The lagoon side has its own beauty...
 Sunset at the pier....great people watching as the fishermen return!
 Many people relax on the pier in the evenings....
 Cleaning the fish! (maybe don't watch this before dinner.)
 Great shot of her puddle jumper ride over the beautiful Belize countryside!
A walk down the fun part of the beach :)
 Barefoot Bar before happy hour craziness sets in!
 The beach park near Tipsy Tuna
 Fun breakfast place near the Pier
 A shot from Main Street
 What a great place for a drink! Tipsy Tuna's 2nd floor...
 Where this is your view....
 As well as this!
Hope this got you more excited for your trip here! More to come...

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Halloween in Placencia 2016!!!

Yes, I am a week late. But these pics are sooo good, it will make you start planning your costume for next year. We JUST finished up the most intense build of our lives.....we completed 2 villas, renovations of 3 other cabanas, and an addition of a pool and tiki area to CBC - all since Aug 22nd!! What this build took away was ANY free time to post blogs, so I have a lot in the hopper that will be coming soon, including AMAZING pics of the new build, to get you excited about your trip here!! Oh and did I mention we already had a beach wedding since opening on Nov 1st??? We are LOVING having our guests back here!!!

Thanks so much to Breeanna Kay, of http://www.breeannakayphotography.com/, who took these spectacular pictures of the (famous) annual Halloween party at Barefoot Bar!!
CBC's own Carlos just doing his part to make the sirens feel welcome.
Entering the party from the sidewalk....

 Everyone perked up when this group walked in...


 CBC's own me, partying with Trump...
 Before he parties with Hillary...





 A couple pics from early in the night, before the crowd got there.....kudos to Barefoot for fantastic decorations!!!


 And for next year, if you don't have a costume, just put a mop on your head and get after it!!


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Amazing low carb Goss chocolate chip cookies, simple to make! And all ingredients available in BZ :)

One thing missing in Placencia is the ability to buy premade or specialty food, especially stuff you would see in a health food store. I usually bring down protein bars and protein powder, as you can't buy that here. I found I was really missing some low carb convenience foods, and I pieced together a recipe from some US recipes that turned out so well, I had to share it here! While sugary junk processed food is pretty prevalent here, low carb is not. These cookies are spectacular and definitely fill in a hole. Plus they have easy to find ingredients here, and are pretty healthy!!! (healthier if you bring down Stevia instead of the Splenda :))
Actual cookies I just baked.

1 1/4 c almond or hazelnut flour (almond is better tasting imho!)
1/2 c granulated Splenda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 egg
1/4 c coconut oil
3/4 tbsp vanilla
1/2 -1 bar 85% Goss chocolate OR 1/2 bar unsweetened baking chocolate (Goss is much better but you save a few carbs with the latter), broken into little chip-size pieces

Very simple! Preheat oven to 176 C/350 F (preferably in the morning so you don't turn your house into a sweatbox), mix all the ingredients together in a bowl (no particular order necessary, I've tried it many ways!) and form about 14 little cookie shaped balls, a little flattened out, on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8-10 minutes and let cool. I store these in the fridge in foil.

Calorie count is about 110-150 per cookie(depending on how much chocolate you use and whether it is 85% or sugar free chocolate) and around 4 net carbs, but double check your carb counts if you are super strict about this, based on your particular brand of ingredients.

For those trying to do low(er) carb in Belize, I have started a "Low Carb Belize Recipe" pin on Pinterest that you are welcome to follow! I made sure that all ingredients are things easily found here.
https://www.pinterest.com/ljdiffendal/belize-low-carb-recipes/

Sunday, October 2, 2016

What a typical Friday night out looks like in Placencia, Belize!

We got a bit of a later start Friday night due to our construction, but the typical place many people start their night out at is at Yoli's. Yoli's is kind of tough to find, but well worth it once you do! It is a quintessential Palapa Bar over the water, and they have a live fun Jimmy Buffett-style band called the Lost Reefers there, starting at 3 or 4 on Fridays. We got there about 7 and had some quick fun:


Then we walked over to Mojo's, just a quick walk. Again we missed "happy hour and a half" which is 5-6:30. They also had fun live music on their little balcony, which is great for people watching.....

Next we went to Pickled Parrot. Eugene and Lynn can always be found having a good time, and their bar is as fun Caribbean as it gets....
The two Pickled Parrot dogs, Mia and Ziggy, are always around :)



Finally we hit Tipsy Tuna, where we stayed the rest of the night. There was live music here too, people dancing, and is right next door to Barefoot Bar, which is closed for a few more days.

You can also have fun just stopping at grocery stores, buying a beer, and wandering around....this is such a foreign concept to Americans as you aren't allowed open container in the US - one of the MANY great reasons it is fun to go out here! The locals are friendly, and this little guy wanted to show us the smallest frog I've ever seen, that he had just caught:

Even in low season fun is all around!




Monday, September 26, 2016

Top 10 differences between high and low season, in Placencia, Belize!

We are almost getting to the end of September, which is the low of low season around here. There have been some really nice posts I have found about guests coming here and having a great time recently, and I try to encourage guests not to rule out a trip here this time of year, despite the negative stuff you might read. I thought since this is such a timely topic, here is an honest take on some of the negatives that make it "low" season. Everyone has their own level of sensitivity to these issues, so hopefully this will help you decide if these factors will make a difference for you!

1.) Temperature - Summer and early Fall here are HOT and muggy. It is hard to quantify if it is that different from the rest of the year. I can say that in the winter months, I spend plenty of time in the evenings wearing a long sleeve tee shirt, and I never go near one this time of year. In the middle of the day, hot is just hot.....there isn't a SUBSTANTIAL difference between high and low season in the middle of the day - you are not going to want to hang out in the sun all day unless you are under an umbrella or in a pool. In low season, you are going to feel muggier and warmer at night, and you will NOT need any warm clothes. While you can get away with no a/c in the winter, it is pretty miserable to try that in the summer. The humidity is the difference, which brings me to the next hot topic....

2.) Rainfall - Low season is also called rainy season for a reason. There is usually a mini drought in August, which we had, and then September and October usually bring the clouds and rain, which it was right on point with this year. In the last 3 weeks, it has rained almost every day, and before you freak out and cancel your trip - please note, the rain is 90% of the time between about 4-6am in the morning. Probably 1/3 of those days, the rain held on till mid morning. I would say about 90% of the days have been sunny in the afternoon. We have been doing construction and it has had zero impact on our ability to work every single day outside. In fact, the weather (arguably!!!) is a bit more predictable, you can count on the showers ending for long periods during the day. It has not remained cloudy and rainy for an entire day for at least three weeks. BUT there is one BIG difference to me.....
Actual rainfall days, noting that most of these mean brief shower. (weather-and-climate.com)
3.) Thunderstorms - if you are a thunderstorm freak, book your tickets this time of year. You will enjoy a thunderstorm probably at least 70% of the evenings or early mornings. MOST are quite short, but they are other-worldly. I really enjoy them and find them cozy, but they are substantially more loud and crazy than what I experienced in the Northern US. ONE of the negatives I can't deny is.....
My dog Stick's opinion of the thunder. Not acting.
4.) Puddles - these flat out get on my nerves, I have to admit :(. We are in a developing area that doesn't have the best drainage in the world yet, and at this point in rainy season, there are a LOT of puddles everywhere. I would say most days they do dry up, but it is not unusual at all to have really large puddles hang out for a day or so at a time. Why are they annoying? It is difficult to ride your bike or walk through some areas sometimes, it is messy, you are constantly trying to keep the wet sand off you, and they bring out one of the low season headaches....

5.) Mosquitoes :(. Yes, they are worse this time of year. Mosquitoes are known to enjoy coming out after a rain, and this is the worst time of year for them (Sept/Oct). The village is spraying this week, which people have different opinions about, but it is significantly worse when you have the rain (and standing puddles.) However, if you are careful with the OFF you don't need to freak out about it (Zika and Dengue fever and others are still VERY rare, I don't know anyone here who has dealt with either since I moved here.)

6.) Frogs - on a positive note, if you enjoy the sounds of the rainforest, I can tell you that you could make an export-quality soundtrack here this time of year. Every night, if you sit outside (with your DEET on of course) you will hear the sounds of frogs (and God knows what else) to a level that you will never hear any other time of year. It is just really amazing and you have to experience it. It sounds like there is a densely packed jungle of crazy animals all around you (in a good way - you will really feel like you are doing something.)
Make-Your-Own Soundtrack. (cduniverse.com)
7.) Crowds - Where? If you are looking to be on a pretty much private beach, and have no lines at restaurants, and actually meet locals and expats who will take the time to talk with you, you will love this time of year. It truly is quiet and slow here, and because many places close, there are literally only a handful of places open each night - which are easy to find, and super fun! While it is fun to be at a megaresort with 100,000,000's of other guests, picture actually meeting and talking with people, getting a feel for local culture, hearing people's stories, and finding it easy to talk with those around you. It is one of the best things about this village....I have gone to other tourist destinations where I did not talk to or meet even ONE person because I was just a face in the crowd. Here, on my first trip, I had two beach dogs follow me everywhere I went, and I met so many people who live and love it here that I ended up buying here (OK that may not be for everyone, but real estate is crazy here for a reason!)
You can look at this under a microscope and not find the people. (belizeadventure.com)
8.) Hurricanes - Can't argue with this, it IS hurricane season and we did have one come through already, and there is talk of another tropical depression coming this weekend. This is scary and upsetting, and it is heartbreaking to having your trip canceled because of a hurricane, and this DID happen to people with Earl. Statistically, your chances of having a trip canceled due to weather is low, and other than about 2 days of rescheduled flights during a legit hurricane, most places get it together quickly and get people moving. The chance of a hurricane being so big that it ruins your trip are low, and if you are caught here during the hurricane, every place has a hurricane plan, and you are sure to leave with a great story, at a minimum. During the winter you are much more likely to have trips canceled due to snow, so I wouldn't let this deter me from scheduling this time of year.
Having a fun attitude and sense of humor is always the right way.
9.) Excursions - there is a small chance that some excursions may not go out because of rainfall or water levels being too high. Belize is known for its water excursions, and large waves can also happen any time of year, making going out on a boat unsavory. Unless you have your heart set on a very specific excursion like cave tubing, or one that really depends on water levels, while there is a slight chance of less tours going out this time of year, there is only a small chance that this time of year will screw it up for you. You can always email the tour companies, they all have online presence, and find out if the tour you want will be able to go out certain times of year.

10.) Construction noise - Placencia is growing like crazy. Many people say it is Cancun 30 years ago, and if you can picture that all of the development does have to happen at some point, low season is that time. Placencia is nothing like Cancun or other large built up places, which is why people love it. It is still mom and pop, small wood structures for the most part. Much of the land is still empty and unspoiled. BUT, throughout the village, if you were here right now, about every fifth lot is having building done on it. While your resort/hotel may not have construction happening, they unfortunately can't always predict if the place right next door is going to decide to build. If this is super annoying to you, you may want to be careful about where you choose to stay. Many places close in September to do their work, and reopen in October or November, and honestly, most guests don't really notice it too much. Our beaches are huge and quiet and you can't hear much of anything but the waves by the beach. You will hear it more as you walk through the village. Most construction stops by the afternoon, so by the time you get done at the beach or with your excursion, you'll never know it was there. Come now and see it as it is, and then come every year thereafter and be an expert on the changes!!! :)
Answer: All of the times!