Sunday, July 31, 2016

7-31-2016 Adventure Sunday Sailing Trip

Our friend Emma usually has Adventure Mondays on her day off, but she took a Sunday off and we went sailing - woohoo!
Coming up to dock here is the Brujula (spanish for compass), the sailboat of Brujula Sailing Trips & Transport, which is our
favorite way to go out to the cayes.

Also on the trip was our friend Shelly, a teacher, with her apple. Eric asked her if she has been given apples before, and she
said she had, but not here in Belize. Here they give her things like mangoes and pineapples, which is even better.

Simonetta, ready for a day on the water

Captain Bryan

Emma found a nice shady spot to take a short nap.

Eric is sitting here, but he also enjoyed a nap shortly after this photo.

We sailed when we had wind, and motored when we did not. Emma got to steer for a while.

At one point Shelly had to "use the facilities", so she jumped in the water and got trailed
behind the sailboat. Then it felt too good to get out, so she trailed there for a while. (It was at
this point Cara took this picture, lol.)

Getting closer to the cayes...we were headed to the one on the left.

As soon as we got to the island Shelly jumped in again to cool off. All the ladies followed shortly thereafter.

The water was warm and buoyant, and if you closed your eyes and let the water fill your ears (drowning out the sounds from
above), it was almost like being in a sensory deprivation tank.

Cara tried teaching some synchronized swimming moves.

In the end we opted for a stereotypical pose, though apparently we didn't coordinate very well. At least we had fun and
laughed a lot!

Then we went off to meet Piggy, the pig that lives on the island, under the house here. Of course!

After a bit Piggy decided to go for a swim.

So, of course, Emma wanted to join Piggy.

They swam, and Emma took selfies with Piggy.

Why not?! It's a first! When else is she going to go swimming in the Caribbean Sea with a pig?

Piggy and Emma (Thanks, Emma for letting me use some of your photos.)

Then Piggy went under the boardwalk for some shade.

We returned to the main palapa to relax in the shade and have lunch.

Papaya has got to be one of the prettiest fruits when you cut it open! Delicious too, and the pineapples are so sweet here. :)

People had brought various things to eat, and what a smorgasbord we had! Simonetta somehow
had time to make several different dishes. We need to bring her along more often - so glad she
is here permanently now!  ;)

Emma and Simonetta dancing on the boat to the nice music the island caretakers (Stephan and Verena) were playing.

Shelly washed the dishes after lunch - thanks, Shelly!

The bar table and bench is new, and it's a great addition.

A bar decoration - too cute! We see something new each time.

We learned all the "fencing" around the island is because it was once (since failed) a conch farm.

Gardening is good - we are trying our hand at it ourselves.

Love the Belizean caution marker! (The main palapa, which sits entirely over water, isn't exactly level, so there is always
work to be done on it.)

The ladies looked at the pool table, in the palapa, over the Caribbean Sea, and it was just crying to be played, so we decided
to give it a go. Another first for all of us!

Of course, the palapa isn't level, and the pool table was crudely leveled, and none of the pool cues
had tips, so it was an interesting game, for sure!

Balls didn't always roll the way you expected them to, and you had hazards to deal with like
torn fabric. It was hilarious!

After a lovely day on the water, it was time to head home.

On the way back Shelly flew a little kite that a friend's child had left the night before.

Yet another first - flying a kite on a sailboat!

Emma found another nice place to nap - at the bow of the boat, on the cushy bagged up front sail.
(Brian had the blooper out instead.)

After a quick cleanup we went with Simonetta for dinner at Frog's Point restaurant. This was Cara's vegetable curry.

Eric and Simonetta both had the special Schnitzel dinner and loved it.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

7-30-2016 Hopkins Day festival

We headed over to Hopkins Day around lunch time on Saturday. We checked out the booths and got something to eat. It was a
hot day so we went home and napped, then went back to the festival later when it was cooling down.  It was really hopping
then. We also hung out on a porch with some friends, and this was the view of the festival.

A rare traffic jam in Hopkins - the event was big. Apparently it was bigger the next day, but we missed it because we had
plans to go sailing. So, we didn't stay out late Saturday night, or go to the concert at the basketball court, so that we could be
ready for a day on the water (which always takes it out of you).

Monday, July 25, 2016

7-25-2016 Impromptu Welcome Party for Friends

Janine and her husband Dean (not pictured - that's Mark in the picture) just built a house next door to Mark & Sabrina, and it's
now finished, so they came down for a visit to finalize a few things before they move down for good next year.

Simonetta (in white) just arrived to move down here permanently!  Cara had called her to see if she wanted to get together,
but she said a party was brewing at Mark's so we headed over there. Simonetta could hardly believe that she is finally here for
good (not just another visit) and she was very excited.

Eric with Dean (Janine's other half)

Lots of friends showed up, and everyone had a great time.

Simonetta had even made some new friends on the airplane from the US to Belize. As it turned out, the couple was also
coming to Hopkins, so Simonetta invited them to the party as well.  It was the first time outside the US together for
Mohammed (giving the peace sign) and his wife, Fahria (not pictured) - they were super nice and blown away by how their
vacation started.

Thumbs up, indeed! It was a fabulous night. Also, many thanks to Dean for letting me use his pictures in this post. (Somehow
we failed to take any photos that night.)