11 December, 2012

Sunday Morning Grab Bag - Tuesday Morning Edition

Lynn and Pete, friends from Seattle, arrived Thursday afternoon, just in time to sit around under the palapa and have a nice cold Belikin.
Pete and Lynn Arriving at Casa Winjama
Of course, they came down for a bit of vacationing, but their overall purpose was to check up on the lots that they own. It'll be a few years before they're ready to make the 'great escape' and move down here, so in the meantime, a quick getaway every now and then keeps them somewhat sane.
Lynn Under the Palapa
Pete Relaxing After the Trip
Then, about sunset, we headed over to Corozo Blues for a couple of nice wood-fired pizzas.

Allow me to digress for a smidge here. A couple of days before Lynn and Pete arrived, we had gone to Orange Walk Town with David and Elizabeth, who're working diligently to try and get their new kitchen cabinets installed and functional. One of the major goals of the trip was to visit a couple of hardware stores to see if they could find drawer pulls and cabinet handles - which, surprisingly, they were able to in short order.

Of course, we had to go to Family Market while we were there. We drove by Panifacadora La Popular Bakery but managed to resist going in. I'm not sure that was a good thing.

Since I was running low on tee shirts, I really wanted to stop at the American store and see what they had available in the mens gently used tee shirt department. It's not unusual there to find tee shirts still with tags attached. Generally, these finds go for around $3.00 to $5.00 BZD. Quite the bargain. I managed to find a couple. Dianna and Elizabeth found a few tops and some other things.

Then it was time for lunch. We went to one of our favorite eateries over there at Carlos' Pizzeria. A nice break for lunch. After that it was back on the road and heading for home.

It was on our way out of town when Elizabeth called our attention to the two restaurants. Hmmm, which one to choose? We've never eaten at either one. Too much of a decision I guess.
Which To Choose?
So, back on the topic at hand now. Lynn and Pete have arrived and gotten settled in. Naturally, they wanted to freshen up a bit. And of course, the hot water wasn't working. Not even a whimper. I piddled around with the heater for a bit, deciding that I'd take a crack at it in the morning.

Dianna and I had looked at it just a few days before they showed up and had gotten it working after brushing out all the carbon deposits, rust, dead bugs and other debris. Of course it wouldn't work when we actually have company.

Well, the following morning, I popped the cover and attacked it with my trusty retired tooth-brush, which is great for getting into those hard-to-reach places to get rid of the soot, rust and fried critters - all to no avail, however. I could get the igniter to spark once in a while, but that was about it. We tried new batteries, cuss words and other incantations. Nothing seemed to work, but that I hot-foot (no pun intended) it over to Lano's Hardware and plunk down about $395.00 BZD for a new on-demand water heater.

A bit more cussing and gluing and drilling (I had to get a power tool in there somewhere) and we had it done. The damned thing works like a charm. A bit too well, according to Lynn and Pete. I've been working to get the water temp down to a pleasant 52-55 (C). While you're at it, check out the spiffy connections. Mr. Lann suggested I use the braided hoses as it would allow me to disconnect the heater much quicker if I needed to do some repairs. He also included a shut-off valve on the cold water (inlet) side. The man's a genius I tell you. What an elegant solution. Much better than glued up pipes.
New Water Heater For Pool House
Wasn't it just a couple of days ago I was repairing a faucet at the other end of our place in the well house? I think so. Kinda makes one wonder what else is going to crap out next? Oh well. At least that's about the size of most of my projects now. Our days of huge construction-type projects seem to mostly be behind us, so these little challenges are kind of fun. Expensive but fun.

We were glad that Lynn and Pete would be here for Friday's happy hour. We had a fairly good crowd with several new folks in town, in addition to Lynn and Pete.
Chatting At Happy Hour
Enough folks arrived that we began to run short of chairs for everyone. I think we may have to request folks think about bringing their own chairs if this keeps up. Either that, or we move the seating from the deck down to the palapa patio and take advantage of the bench ringing the patio.
Everyone Huddled in the Shade
Pete Enjoying A Cool One
Some of the new arrivals were new faces in the crowd - not just folks returning from the north. There was John, who had been in touch with me by email for a couple of months before coming down, so I was glad to see him. We also had Darrell, a younger guy who was down visiting, looking at the business opportunities of the area. I'm afraid I was really no help there, so I hope he got some good poop from some of the other folks. Then there was Larry, who had ridden his bicycle from the Sea Breeze Hotel. He had heard about happy hour from Stan, another friend of ours. Quite a jaunt for someone who doesn't do it every day. They all seemed like nice guys. I'm glad they could make it.
The One That Got Away
Lynn and Pete Enjoying Happy Hour
Both Lynn and Pete seemed to enjoy themselves at happy hour. Hopefully when they move down here, they'll be among the regulars.

Chuck and Jamie came, as usual, all the way from Orchid Bay. Jamie was showing off her new craft design, some hand-made Swiffer-like hand wipe things.
Jamie Showing Her Swiffer-Like Mitt
In All Their Glory
Chuck had designed a handle thing for the mitts. He designed and made a cast plastic piece that looked like a tuning fork that went inside the mitt. That in turn connected to a turned wooden handle which allows the user to keep their hands dry while using the mitt.
Chuck Showing His Custom-Made Handle
Lynn cooked for us last night, whipping up some shrimp gumbo from a Zatterain's box that she had brought down. It was pretty yummy. We've been introducing them to some of the roadside fare that's available here in Corozal. Some small tacos from the stand that is right in front of Gomez' Cemento Maya, on 7th Avenue (just across from the Uno station), and this morning to some meat pies from Vivi's (just down towards the water from Caribbean Chicken.

I think Lynn's going to prepare another dish for us this evening. If I remember, it too is a taco dish. So, I'm looking forward to that, for sure.

Tomorrow morning, they take their leave of us. They're going to be flying down to Placencia to spend some time on the beaches there. They'll be flying back to the states from Belize City when they leave Placencia. I hope they enjoyed their stay with us. It was fun having them here. We're looking forward to the day when they finally get down here for good.

Won't be much rest for us however. Tomorrow evening Vivien comes in from the colds of Canada (-27 (C) I think she said in a recent email). We've already told her that the pool is ready to go. She'll only be staying with us the one night, as her house is across the street from ours. It's sure going to be good to have her and Denis (whenever he shows up) here for a few months.

Sounds like we're running a damned guest house. Well, we're not, so don't even inquire about rates and availabilities and all that stuff. We don't do that.

This morning we met Doug and Twyla down at Al's Cafe for breakfast burritos and coffee. It's been at least two years since we've been to Al's. The food was every bit as good as I remember it too. I see the lady who waited on us at the market just about every morning. I think she was wondering how come we haven't come in, but she was too polite to say anything.

Just after we got home, our intention of having pool time was interrupted because of a small thunderstorm moving through the area complete with a little rainfall. I hope it clears up quickly.

I guess that is pretty much it for this edition. I'm sure I've forgotten something, but whatever it was, will just have to wait for the next edition.

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