Monday, May 19, 2014

Cockscomb tour, Beth's last day, Casita and Palapas coming along!

Beth left on Saturday morning, it seemed really quiet the last couple days! We had such a great time....she even tried to change her flight to go home today, Monday, but the airline was going to charge like $400, so she will have to come back to experience some more :). Beth crammed in the ATM tour, two scuba dives (with whale sharks and dolphins!), the Cockscomb tour, kayaking, a pool party, and many fun evenings out!

Here are some pictures from the Cockscomb tour....highly recommended!! My only regret was not bringing my camera phone on the tubing and rock sliding/climbing portion. You just have to see it to believe it! You start out with a nature and history hike, where you taste and touch a lot of cool things in the tropical forest (we learned that this is the proper name for what we would call a jungle or rain forest, at least the one we were in), then a great lunch!, then tubing down a river through the tropical jungle, then a pretty challenging and REALLY great experience with climbing through rocks, under waterfalls, and sliding down some of the rocks like a slide!! It was a packed day, and Doyle Gardiner was a fantastic guide.
 Looking for tarantulas...we found several!!
 Belize's version of an "ant"...lol
 Not a real jaguar.
 Absolutely huge palm tree....picture can't do it justice...
 We actually eat one of the gross looking things hanging behind Doyle....delicious though :)
 Tour selfie!
 For a lucky few!
Ok the parts I missed....here are some pictures I pilfered from others of the waterfall you swim under, the rock sliding, and the tubing....


Somehow, we made it out that night for one last dinner at Barefoot, where Beth ran into several friends that she met while she was here! Our last Belize picture :(
Beth left at the crack of dawn on Saturday, and she sent us one last picture from her bed of the sunrise...
It was back to work today. We spent yesterday at the Belize Ocean Club again, had a GREAT time...Dave somehow taught about 20 people to play shoulders, which is a fun but hard to learn game, even harder to teach when people have a few beers....lol. When the group started to "punish" those who messed up the game by making them do a shot, the game had to be called off due to too much fun for a Sunday night :)

The casita is still coming along!! And the palapas are turning a nice shade of beige :) 
Inside the casita...still pretty rough inside!
 Our great hard worker, Victor, taking down the wall that used to be the exterior wall....
 Beautiful day today!! The new palapa adds a nice touch to the view :)
 Still a lot to do...caulking, painting, railing, the inside....but Dave and Victor have worked their tails off!! I help by making sure I order lunch for them lol.
This will be a hard working week until we leave for Cleveland on Thursday!!! 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday-Beth's cave tour and Mariposa!

Beth is currently doing what is known as the Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) cave tour, one of the most famous excursions in Belize. Here is some background info and pictures...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Actun_Tunichil_Muknal



She isn't back yet but Dave and I did this a couple months ago. There is a rumor that they may close this cave so it is WELL worth the time and effort to do it while you can. You just can't get up close and personal with ancient relics (and bones!!!) anything like it in the US, or most places. Some tourist dropped his camera on one of the skulls and put a hole in it, and you actually stand on skulls and artifacts at times....it is getting beat up in there and with the priceless value in the cave, it just probably can't sustain all the visitors. There are only about 22 guides allowed in, you can't go by yourself, and not many people (relatively speaking) have done it. You are swimming, diving into pools, climbing, going into small spaces, and pretty uncomfortable for the most part...lol...but still worth it. You also get a little hike in the jungle beforehand. That last picture is the entrance to the cave....you have to jump into that pool and then climb up on the rocks when you get inside. The cave was used as an ancient sacrificial site. When there were droughts, a village elder would go in, drugged out of his mind, and sacrifice some of the best and brightest in their villages as an offering to the Gods for rain.

On a brighter note :-/, we are looking forward to meeting up with several friends later today at a new(er) place called Mariposa. They have a great happy hour we keep hearing about, and a pool...

Beth will be exhausted, she has been on two dives and now this tour today....and poor Dave is having to lay flat on his back right now due to his back being about to give out for the last couple weeks....look at this exciting pair!
Let's hope everyone can rally for Beth's last day tomorrow, where we go out with Doyle for the Cockscomb tour!
P.S.....today marks one day longer than the longest I had ever left NE Ohio :) No homesickness quite yet, but getting really excited to see friends and family!!!

Laughing Bird Caye and Palapa Building!

Beth took some great pictures on her tour yesterday. Here are a few good ones, from Laughing Bird Caye.....she said the birds actually DO laugh which is too cute! The diving was a bit cloudy due to the wind picking up but she had a great time :) We are currently waiting on her return from the whale shark dive and can't wait to hear how it goes. She explained that they only can be seen 3x a year, when the moon is full, and we had a FULL bright moon last night :)


Today, we had our Caribbean version of an HGTV show...if we had guests I think they would have checked out and never come back lol--one reason we are waiting to advertise! There were multiple projects going on and the drills and hammers were at full blast. It is exciting to see the casita coming along, and we are building what is called a palapa out front, one that you can sit under and watch the sea....yet to come for the casita....a tiled patio and another porch palapa out front. We are going to paint the zinc (corrogated metal) roof red like the other cabanas, and repaint the wood to match the cabanas. There will be a bar height table with built in stools on the patio with ocean view. After we live there a while, while the owner's house is built, it will become a pretty sweet little rental. It has come a long way!
Palapa progress....they are green when put up then turn into the tan color:


Casita at the beginning of the day.....
 Casita end of the day!
We ended the day with dinner at the Pickled Parrot. Sticks made friends with Mia and Ziggy....lol...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

First guest visit! Kayaking, pool party, paddle boarding...

Beth came in on Saturday from Cleveland-our first official guest! Also our guinea pig :) We have been "dragging" her around since Saturday and getting her feedback on what other guests might like to do.

We started by getting her some authentic Belize food....under a palm tree :) (complete with Belize dog)

Traditional Belize lunch or dinner...
 We then attempted our first coconut drinks....where you add coconut rum to a fresh cut coconut....they were supposed to look like this:


But the first attempt was a little rough....I didn't know chihuahuas had such a thing for the umbrellas....will keep trying! :)

We spent most of Sunday at the Belize Ocean Club pool party...it was really fun, Dave got to try paddleboarding, and we met a lot of very interesting people! It was a gorgeous day and a great place to spend a Sunday. Highly recommended!!










Monday, we decided to rent kayaks in the afternoon. (and some work done in between!) Dave and I have never kayaked, so we figured Beth, who has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, would be a good person to come with us for our first time :). We had an absolute blast! We paddled out to a tiny little island where we saw a starfish and built a sandcastle...you can rent double kayaks right across the street for $20 a kayak per day at Captain Jak's. It was tiring....especially when you flip the thing three times....there were a LOT of legs and arms in our kayak between Dave and I, and it was not always....in sync....lol.
Beth and Dave after landing on the island!
 Dave and I, recovering from multiple flippings of the kayak....

 Beth, post kayaking, not as tired as Dave and I even though she was by herself lol....
 Here is Lucky from Captain Jak's, and his adorable bird Oscar. Oscar knows songs and can answer the phone!! :)
We went to Tipsy Tuna for Mojito Monday, and surprisingly, had mojitos (gourmet varieties for $5 US!). Also great burrito bowls for $5.50-9 US. Today is Tuesday, and Beth just returned from her first scuba dive with Robert's Grove. She had a great time and is currently meeting new friends at Tutti Frutti for gelato. Funny enough the 2 guys she dove with were the significant others of 2 women who came to Rotary today, from Oklahoma City....small town!

Beth is diving again tomorrow with the whale sharks, and we are going to hit a few other fun places this week including Mariposa, Mojo's, and Yoli's. Beth is going to try to go on the ATM cave tour, which is one of the best experiences in caving you can have in Belize. There are actual human bones from sacrifices and it is an overall outrageous experience. (if you have fear of heights, swimming, or small spaces it may not be for you!) We are also going on Doyle's Cockscomb Tour on Friday. Beth may need a week to relax when she gets home :) !!!