Saturday, December 13, 2014

New Sea'n Belize Glass Bottomed Boat...Anna's visit....Wine Tasting...Marathon....other Placencia fun!

Just a few fun things happening around Placencia these days.....!

Anna from Cleveland came in for a visit! We had a great time. Here she is at arrival...
The few days she was here flew by. She loved the Cockscomb tour with Doyle, and we also went to the Belize Ocean Club and a lot of touring of the beach bars :) Anna works her butt off in Cleveland so it was great for her to hang out on the veranda and just relax. She took the kayak out and loved walking the beach, and we had a beach barbecue one night...we have learned not to push people to do too many excursions as this place was really made for relaxing! Here we are the night of the cookout:
However, with that being said, to not push people to do more excursions.....Kelly and Titus just moved here from Indiana. Titus's dad had a dream to have a glass bottomed boat to sail around Placencia and he built it from the ground up, right here in Belize, with local wood! The boat is absolutely amazing. Kelly and Titus invited some of the business owners and workers to go out and experience the boat, and I HIGHLY recommend it!! We took a relaxing 30 minute cruise out to several spots, where you can see from my pictures, you are almost snorkeling above water!
The Sea'n Belize Boat....docked at Frigate Caye...the water is about 8 shades of awesome there!!
 View as you look down at the boat floor...
You never know what frightening things you will find under the boat...
Some of the super fun passengers with us, including super fun Pam from Rumfish :)

 The Captain....he did a great job!!!
We stopped at a creepy but fun to explore caye--Frigate Caye-- so fun to see what a deserted island looks like! It would be frigate sweet if someone would renovate it back to a workable bar for boaters!
As we came back in, we toured the shoreline, which looks so amazing from the water...

To top it off, the dolphins that live near the pier, with their pup, came and swam with the boat for a long time!!!
The tour is about 4 hours and goes in both morning and afternoon. You can find Sea'n Belize here.
Another tour they took last week:
The Placencia Marathon was also this past week, and it was SO MUCH FUN to help at the water stands...the runners were so gracious and grateful and the proceeds go to scholarships for local teens to attend high school!
Pictures by Maz Carr...I was too busy waving signs in runner's faces...
 Happy runner!
Obnoxious signs about beer. By us.
Also, last week, Mariposa had their first ever wine tasting, over 60 people attended...great food and wine, very fun time! We hope they continue to have these :) Here was the view during the event!!
It was 20 degrees in Cleveland on this day. It is not even fair.
And, Belize Ocean Club has been busy lately!! They had the White party a couple weeks ago, and tonight is the Mistletoe Ball. Still waiting to find the pictures from the White party...

And in final news, Dave and I made a big move this week....literally :). We were fortunate enough to find a small beach apartment for us to rent, right in the back of Caribbean Beach Cabanas! It is twice as large as the cabanas, which for long term living, is necessary. I think I could write a book at this point about the perils of living for 9 months with no space/walls/time was time to live like normal people again :) I think it will be better for guests as we will not be RIGHT in their face, and in addition, we now have a very cute open casita on the beach for the high season, so come on down!!

Here are a couple pictures of our new apartment, in North Beach....(pictures by North Beach....we aren't moved in yet ;) )

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Beachy images and tropical fun to look at, from Placencia, Belize!

For those living in winter climates, sometimes just looking at beachy homes can improve your mood. Admittedly....the weather down here this week has been a bit overcast and drizzly, and we experienced on Thanksgiving, the coldest day the locals had seen for a long time :).

So to improve all our outlooks, I am doing a post with some cute beach home images, and some of the fun to be had here in paradise :) 

Of course, I am excluding Caribbean Beach Cabanas, as that would be unfair. :)

One of the things that drew me to Placencia was feeling so overwhelmed by the perfect beach homes here. Right when you see some of them, you immediately picture yourself on the veranda, sipping are just a couple of my favorites....
Casa Del don't do it justice! It looks like a Roman bath and a Spanish mansion had a baby.
 Easy Living rentals...looks like a perfect beach dollhouse....
 Colibri house...a rustic, fun, beach house template!
Great houses at Sunset Point, where you see this on one side of the canal.....
 And this on the other!!
More images later. I don't want to overwhelm anyone. 

Additionally this week, we had some fun at Mojo, with two awesome people, Megan and Matt, who are visiting here from California. They got married here at the Belize Ocean Club and have come for a lengthier stay to see if this might be a place they want to relocate. I was lamenting about missing having wine and cheese, so they invited us over to the house they are renting on the lagoon. We had a spectacular view of the sunset from their 3rd floor porch, and I got to gorge on wine and a cheese plate! (note if you move down here, if you are into wine and cheese you will treasure it like never before here :) )
Matt, Megan, and Dave, from the 3rd floor porch-lagoon sunset view
Kudos to Top Value who actually had Manchego Cheese that almost made my head explode. 
 Postcard awesome view of the lagoon and canal.
 Later in the night at Mojo--Sonia and Katie (Ben's sister)
We met another fun young couple who just moved here to look into real estate opportunities, Robin and Dean, from Ottawa :)
And finally, I wanted to throw out a kudos to the Placencia Humane Society! They have a monthly clinic and Sticks has been taking full advantage of this. He goes and gets his nails clipped so I don't have to put up with him acting like I am cutting his paws off, and I took him in this past clinic for a teeth cleaning and tooth extraction. The veterinarian and staff did a GREAT job....his teeth look brand new and the baby tooth that was bothering him for years is finally gone. You have to get your dog sedated to get his teeth cleaned which is not fun, and I couldn't help getting a picture of him post procedure :) 
Showing off his pearly whites....totally under still...who doesn't love a sedated chihuahua?
Later in the day getting pampered. Still crabby and spacey.
Tonight we are going to the Belize Ocean Club White Party, to celebrate their one year grand opening, and the owner, Ben's, birthday. Should be a great time, and then our Cleveland friend Anna shows up tomorrow! :) Also, the clouds lifted today so good feelings are back :) 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Highest rated excursions by our do while you are in Placencia, Belize!

We have been enjoying having guests here --finally!!!--for the last few weeks. We are learning a lot about how to create the best vacation, and what excursions people are giving the highest ratings to. I have written blogs in the past about what to do for a 7 day trip, budget tips, and the great excursions like Cockscomb (our guests LOVED Cockscomb with Doyle Gardiner, they highly recommended him as a guide and a person!) Here are a few more that got high ratings from our guests:

1.) ATM Cave Tour. I have blogged about this tour in the past...and our guests said that the full day of driving, the high cost, and the exhaustion were totally worth it!! We found two highly rated guides that will drive you from Placencia to Cayo, where the ATM cave is. It takes about 3 also get to see a lot of the country that you would not see otherwise. If you are going to San Ignacio during your trip, just wait until you get there to do the tour. If you are only doing Placencia or the Cayes/Placencia, this is probably the #1 highest rated cave tour. From Placencia, you can contact these two to schedule it:

PACZ Tours (in San Ignacio but they pick you up here)
Ask for Bob-$225 US per person includes ride, tour, and lunch

In the village-talk to Laura Godfrey at Trip N Travel-
$225 US
You can see this: 
2.) Monkey River Tour-Percy with Barebones Tours--has had Jack Hannah on his tour, and is said to be the highest rated Monkey River tour guide. You can check him out here...
Also, if you are doing this tour, here are some great tips from Trip Advisor from guests who were on it (must read if you want to keep monkey poop off you).
People not being pooped on yet. (I don't think that comes guaranteed with the package.)
3.) Snorkeling and Scuba Diving with Splash: everyone may have already heard this! But, the guests we have had come down for diving, consistently say that Splash is the best/cleanest/most professional diving group. You can see their diving tours here:
Look how much fun they are having!
4.) Day sails and snorkeling--we got a good review for the Daytripper Catamaran Charters, they can be reached at:
$75 US includes lunch and rum drinks
Not a crummy way to spend an afternoon.
5.) Robert's Grove Sunset Cruise--we recently went on this trip with our guests and it was awesome! For $20 US, you get two drinks, (sometimes snacks too), and you can purchase snacks or drinks from the bar onboard. It is a fun two decker boat, and you take a leisurely cruise through the lagoon. We saw tons of dolphins right by the boat and had a spectacular sunset! Highly recommended for a quick (4-7pm) excursion that is cheap. They also shuttle you from your place to Robert's Grove. You can see their schedule here:
Pick your cruise based on how much you want to drink, and how much you can tolerate others drinking around you.
6.)Also, we heard the Tarpon Caye Fishing excursion was really good. We will be going on this ourselves mid December with some guests. For $300 US for a party of 4, you can go out for 5 hours, starting at 7:30 am, and you get to decide what kind of fishing you want to do! I can't wait! (I chose the package of fishing for something we might be able to catch and eat, but we will see. I better perfect putting a worm on a hook before I get too ambitious.) Here is more info:
Looks legit.
7.) And finally, for an even more ambitious about this one!!
Here, you will go out from the outer cayes!! Here is a description, and you can even do your first scuba open water dive to get certified! We are going to be trying this in the future and will review.
Excellent diving on drop offs which start from 25 to 40 feet on east side and north end of Glovers Atoll, the east side is deep canyons and a drop off starting at 60 feet and descending to thousands of feet down into the Bartlett Trough. Spires from 10 feet to 100 feet on the southwest side of the reef and rich descending steps of 50 foot drops on the western side of Glovers Atoll. The reef is rich in Marine life and very beautiful from shore or only minutes from our dock, allowing for excellent diving and snorkeling.
Island of all of our collective dreams.
We are also going to be going to Tikal...
(this is a Mayan ruin, believe it or not.) early December with our friend Anna, from Cleveland, who will be in town. I will be sure to review this as well!! Poor Anna is going to be worn out on her trip....she is already scheduled to go to the ATM tour, Tikal, a wine tasting, Belize Ocean Club, help us volunteer at the Placencia Marathon, and maybe even snorkel....all in 5 days!! :)
If this is Anna at the airport on her way home, then I did my job.
OK on the flip is not ALWAYS perfect here...we had beautiful weather for a few weeks....then a cold front came in 2 days ago. It has been rainy and cold (73 degrees.....I can imagine the eye rolls I am getting!)

RIGHT before the front came in....poor Dave ambitiously decided to help out by filling in some potholes on an access road by our place. As SOON as the delivery guy had dumped all the started pouring (that was 2 days ago and it hasn't stopped!) The insane amount of work he put in is not showing.....yet.....but when it dries out I am sure he will feel like a hero! Till is a bit of a sludgy mess :) HUGE THANKS to Dick and Sandy Beach....our newest neighbors on the peninsula....who saved the day by helping out with their bobcat!! Wait a minute, Dave isn't even helping in this picture, Dick is driving and Perfecto is...helping!
Not at all vacation-like. Not part of any excursion/sightseeing we will recommend.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Updated pictures of our renovation! (If you haven't booked may when you see them!) :)

While we are still waiting on an actual professional to get some pictures of our place, I did my amateur best in the meantime :) We have been having a ball with our first guests, and everyone seems to be having a great time. We had Kris and Rick, honeymooning from Cleveland, and they did Cockscomb and ATM--loved both tours and highly recommend them. We also have Elaine and Martin from B.C., and they have been wonderful guests. They are here until Saturday, and they have done Cockscomb, Belize Ocean Club, we had a beach cookout last night, and they have kayaked and swam every day. The weather has been AMAZING! The beach has been perfect, so we are thrilled with the first couple weeks. Our guests may be going on a sunset cruise with Robert's Grove later today, and perhaps Monkey River.

We had a stop last week from Rebecca Coutant, who has the most read blog in San Pedro, called San Pedro Scoop. She came in to check out the latest developments in Placencia and included us in her blog post, which can be seen here.

I am very proud of living in Placencia and showing it off! We are booked pretty solidly through April at this point and hating to turn down guests whose dates are already filled. Maybe time to look at some extra cabanas next season!

Here are the latest pictures:
Finished Cabana exterior!
 View from North end of CBC from beach
 Close up of front of veranda
 View as you step onto veranda
Interior pictures of cabanas

 Two breakfast bars inside, one facing the Sea, the other facing the open kitchenette
Views of the back of the cabanas (the casita/where you check in)
 What you see facing backwards from the cabanas-towards back of property
 Side view of office/casita...where you will first check in (and get your complimentary drink!)
Front palapa for guests
 Beach chairs, beachfront--between cabanas and Sea
 View from Luna front veranda
 View from Sol front veranda
 Fun art as you enter from sidewalk
 Picture of sunset from front of cabana (sunrise is even better!)
 View from Sea