06 June, 2009

Let's See... Now, Where Was I?

As you can see in the photo below, the old man is back on his perch. Where was he? Hmm, good question. All I know is that he was gone for a while.
The Old Man On His Perch
Of course, the same thing could be asked about me. The last post on the blog was May 28 - a nine day absence. Was it writer's block, burnout, lack of imagination, poor diet, not enough beer, too much beer, old age, iron poor blood, or some other affliction? Who knows?

I guess, in a way, it was writer's block. Although I didn't feel there was a dearth of material, there did seem to be an inability to gracefully approach the keyboard, except for some fits and starts on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com) and the odd entry or two on the Belize Forums (http://www.belizeforum.com).

"Gracefully approaching the keyboard." Well, that's one way to put it. I guess the other way, the "ungraceful way" would be me flailing away at myself (sort of like that guy in the DaVinci Code), forcing myself to sit and type. Although, to be honest, sometimes, even when the desire is there, it seems as though there's a certain amount of mental whipping entailed to get me started.

Ah, who knows. I don't want to get into the psyche too far - might dislodge cobwebs that would just as soon remain undisturbed. Anyway, the old man's back and on his perch, as it were.

So, what was going on during the interim? Well, all kinds of things. A trip to Belize City, dog walking, getting my bicycle running, sending the Isuzu to the hospital, getting the pool finally crystal clear, a French bakery air-mail delivery, our 36th wedding anniversary... You know, just the usual mundane things in life.

Starting at the beginning of the list, the trip to Belize City. Last week I had the opportunity to go to BC with Doug and Twyla. They had to go because Twyla needed to visit the Canadian Consulate to begin the process to renew her passport.

The Canadian process, at least down here, maybe not if you were doing it in Canada, is just a touch weird. You have to get a lawyer, in this case a Belizean lawyer, to verify that you are who you say you are. This apparently can't be done at the Consulate. You need a foreign national to tell your own government that you are you and that you're legitimately a Canadian.

Also, you have to get a whole batch of people (well, about three), and they have to be Canadians living in Canada, to write letters of recommendation that you're brave, thrifty, trust-worthy, and could join the Mounties if you needed to. This might be really hard if, for example, you had been living in, oh, say Belize for 20-30 years. Anyone who knew you up north might have kicked the bucket, so there's no one up there to vouch for you. What would you do?

So, on with the story. On our way to Belize City, we headed south on the Northern Highway. Along the way, we chanced to see a Mennonite house being transported northbound. A 20-foot wide house definitely takes up the majority of room on the highway. But, that's how they're normally moved - the shell fully assembled and trailered to the site.
Mennonite Housing On the Move
We finally got into Belize City and began looking for the Consulate. Doug said if they were open, the Maple leaf flag would be flying, so that might be the easiest way to find the Consulate. Sure enough, it was.
Hockey and Palm Trees
Here's the sign for the Consulate. It's in an older house relatively near Premium Wines and Spirits. A nice place. You walk in, there's a cool waiting room with some Canadian oriented reading material, quite inviting. If the US had done it, the place probably would have looked like a fortress, but I digress.
The Consulate Sign
Doug and Twyla went in to give them her paperwork. I sat for a bit in the waiting room, then came back out to look over the grounds and see what kind of plants they had growing. I swear there were some that looked an awful lot like the rhodies we had up in the Northwest. I wonder if they'd grow down here?
Twyla and Doug Entering the Consulate
Strange place. No armed guards or anything. They'd let any body in.

After the consulate, we dropped Twyla off at the lawyer's office, and Doug and I went to several hardware stores downtown. Then we collected Twyla and headed back up the highway to Brodies (http://www.brodiesbelize.com/), the North American-styled market where we had lunch and bought a bunch of stuff that simply isn't available in Corozal.

After depleting Brodies, we made our way back up the Northern Highway to Orange Walk Town and a stop at the Boundary Store - the closest thing to a Goodwill or Value Village store in Belize.

All I found this time was a few books. But, it's always worthwhile to stop and shop at the Boundary - you never know what treasure you might find that is so what you need.
The Boundary Store
As you approach the building housing the store, you enter a small compound where there's some snack and shaved-ice vendors just outside the door to the Boundary.
Boundary Entrance
Inside, the first place Doug and I headed was to check out the Boundary's stock of books. Just about always, you can find one or two keepers.
Doug Perusing the Stacks
A couple of days after the Belize City trip, Dianna and I finally had success. Our odyssey into the mysteries of swimming pool chemistry was beginning to pay off in the form of crystal-clear water. Man, a pool is so much more complicated than tending a pond! Who knew? We didn't.

And, not only did we unlock the secret to crystal-clear water, but I think we may have found the magic bullet for keeping calcium scale off of the tile. Of course, the chemistry helps in that regard when you get it right, but with the extremely hard water we have coming from our well, you're going to always have calcium to deal with.

That magic bullet seems to be LimeAway. It works simply great! Spray a little into your sponge or rag and a little elbow grease (not much, as we had been doing) and there you are - sparkling tiles. What a relief!

Here's a shot of Cody, our caretaker and "cabana boy", and Dianna hard at it testing out the LimeAway the first time.
Cody and Dianna Working the Tiles
Blue scrubby sponges and LimeAway works miracles.

Dianna Cleaning Tiles
Cody Admiring His Handiwork
The other morning, we saw the start of a bicycle race being run from Corozal to Belize City. Complete with police escort. Cindy loved the siren and helped them by singing with the siren for a few minutes. She was so cute, raising up a fore-paw while she was singing. I forgot to take a picture of her while she was doing that.

We also ran into Brad further in town. He too, had been at the race start, and in fact, had played his bugle to actually start the race. The race people paid him $50 BZD to do just that. Such a deal!
They're Off and Running
Yesterday, we went over to Jim and Melanie's for happy hour and some swimming/exercise in their pool. While we were there, we also picked up our order from the French Bakery.

The bakery used to be in San Ignacio, but they now have a location in San Pedro. Loreta arranged to have us all choose what we wanted and quanties desired. She emailed the bakery. They put them on the airplane to Corozal. Loreta picked them up and brought them to happy hour. The bakery packed up each individual order, so it was very easy. We bought a bunch of goodies:
1 loaf sourdough bread plain - 5.50
2 15-roll packs of dinner rolls - 5.00
2 ham/cheese croissants - 6.20
2 cheese croissants - 5.70
6 apple turnovers - 13.50
12 choc chip cookies - 7.80
Shipping was $0.10 for each dollar you spent. So our total of 43.70 had 4.30 shipping for a total of $48.00. I have Loreta $2.00 tip for such a good job. Our grand total was $50.00 BZD. And it was shipped up to Corozal from the bakery by air! Wow.

Here's Dianna putting some of the booty away into the freezer. Goodies for a long time to come!
Dianna Is All Smiles
And, then finally, last night, we had a great dinner at Tony's Inn and Beach Resort (http://www.tonysinn.com/) to celebrate our 36th wedding anniversary. We were joined by Doug and Twyla and dined under the stars on a dining dock sort of thing over the water at Tony's.
Bridge to the Dining Area - by Doug
It was a great time and great food. A nice celebration, indeed! Doug took a really nice shot of the two of us.
Still Young After All This Time - by Doug
While we were dining, we were within half-a-minute's walk to the pier at Tony's where Robert and Lynn have their catamaran tied up. Another shot by Doug - really turned out nice.
Robert's Boat At Tony's - by Doug
It didn't rain or lightning or anything till quite a while after we got home, when we had a spectacular thunder and lightning show for a couple of hours last night. Not much rain, but enough to wet up the plants sufficiently.

Also, to cap off the evening, I watched the Mariners play the Minnesota Twins. The M's lost 2-1. Some great action in 10 innings even with a loss.

3 comments:

  1. Dave

    Happy Anniversary to you and Diana!

    I have to ask.......Accuweather on your blogsite says the realfeel temperature is 114. Does it feel 114?? :-)

    Sittin' by the pool in NY at 71 degrees playing Winjamma music!

    Congrats again

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9/6/09 16:50

    Happy Anniversary!

    We'd have recommended Lime-Away if we'd realized it was for build-up on pool tiles.

    There used to be a couple of stalls in the Chetumal market selling Simple Green household cleaners. Called the 800 # and they advise they have distributors in El Salvador and Costa Rica. The Mexican distributor is Andres Barrilado in Guadalajara. His number is 333-817-3119 or e-mail: abarrilado@simplegreen.com.mx

    Texican

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Lakeland,
    It actually did feel pretty damned warm. Without the pool or 4 to 5 showers a day, it would have been absolutely miserable. Showers make it tolerable, pool makes it nice.
    Cheers,
    Dave

    Hi Texican,
    Thanks for the Simple Green info. With us expecting our residency virtually any day now, we're drooling to be able to head over to Chet.
    LimeAway has been an absolute boon. Our tile has never looked so good. Thanks again.
    Cheers,
    Dave

    ReplyDelete

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