Saturday, October 31, 2015

Light at the End of the Tunnel

Taking on a project like Leaning Palm Resort is not for the faint of heart.  I am only realizing this now that we are too far in to turn back.  The crew has been using words like “ill”, “sick”, “mad” and “wild” to describe the way things are turning out.  I think they may actually be referring to Ken and my sanity.  Regardless progress continues…….

The doors to the bar area of Wild Canes Restaurant & Bar are now complete with the exception of some door knobs.  Minor Details.

We have sanded and sanded and sanded the bar top that faces the sea and love how it is turning out.

The moon has been putting on a good show which makes for a wonderful scene from Wild Canes Restaurant & Bar.

We have almost completed all of the “wild caning” in the restaurant and bar and the ceiling is looking better and better – ceiling fans will be going up soon.

We have started selecting artwork for Wild Canes and hope to be putting the bar top on soon.

We started installing toilets!  After living on site for almost 2 months with no toilet this is a blessed event.

We have stairs and railings up to the Gumbo Limbo Lounge which is almost finished!

 And while we continue to saw and hammer our way to opening day we are blessed with gorgeous views as we work.  We cannot wait to start sharing Leaning Palm Resort with our guests!

Friday, October 23, 2015

We Survived!

Well, we survived.  We survived our first big storm in Belize and other than soggy underwear and a little touch of the blues we are intact. 

While our things are drying out we thought we would take some time to provide an update on our progress.

During the storm we built a swimming pool complete with diving board behind the bungalows. 
Ok, not really, but we may re-purpose our scaffolding for phase two.  We did get some other things done while it rained.  We have wild cane installed on our Wild Canes Bar now and the false ceiling is going up to house the lighting.
We also have some fancy screens going into the Gumbo Limbo Lounge and now that the sun is back out we can roll up the tarps and enjoy the views again.

While the guys have been sawing and hammering through the storm I did some sewing.  I have set up a small space to work in the Bamboo Bungalow complete with a table made from saw horses and the side of a shipping crate. 

During the storm we discovered some baby sea turtles had hatched right outside of the Bamboo Bungalow.

With so much water on the ground they seemed a bit turned around as to the direction of the sea, so we gave them a hand.
We sent 37 little turtles off to the sea with well wishes for a good life.  We painted the Leaning Palm Resort logo on each one before sending it off, so if you see one out on snorkeling or diving adventures tell them we said, “Hello”.
We are attempting to work on our bird identification but so far it is not going so well.  There are so many different types of birds here!  I keep missing the shot of a flock of “long-necked-white-birds-with-long-legs-and-yellow-beaks” going by against the stormy sky – SO BEAUTIFUL!  But I did manage to get the “hawk-with-yellow-beak-and-yellow-feet” captured in a photo.
And Ken rescued this little “green-with-black-and-yellow-head” bird from a slight concussion after hitting the glass windows in the Bushstick Bungalow. 

We took a moment to remember our little Gopi with a wish lantern.  We are thinking about you and missing you Gopster!
Mimi was on storm watch from the dock and continues to contemplate jumping.  But now that the sun is back out she is back to working on her tan.
And we are continuing to build out Leaning Palm Resort!  ADVENTURES ALL AROUND – Can’t wait to start hosting guests!!



Monday, October 12, 2015

Good-Bye Gopi

Ken and I have only had two previous pet experiences leading up to moving to Belize and acquiring dogs.  Our first was with frogs.  Our daughter was enjoying raising interesting things we could purchase from a science catalog.  We had watched butterflies hatch, praying mantises, and ladybugs and finally ordered some tadpoles that,according to the package had a low likely-hood to survive for more than a year.   Perfect, a short little tadpole experiment and then life would be back to normal.  The package these African Water Frogs arrived in contained 10 tadpoles and 3 survived for not just over one year, but almost 10 years before they started to die.  During their lives we bought bigger and bigger aquariums to house them in, learned their personalities, named them and generally got attached.  When the first one, Taz, died it was a sad day and was also the day we started the pet cemetery in our backyard.

After the frogs were gone we decided to try our hand at fish.  We ended up with African Cichlids and it was a nightmare from the start.  They were colorful like the salt water fish we spent so much money traveling to the Caribbean to see and unfortunately they were aggressive as well.  They spent very little time being colorful and calmly swimming around the tank looking beautiful.  Instead one or two would stake out a territory and bully the rest of the fish to live in a very small corner of the aquarium all crowded together.  Each night we would come home from work and sit in front of the fish tank and watch the drama unfold.  It was riveting.  The rest of the world was watching Game of Thrones or Law and Order or whatever the TV Show d’jour was at the time.  We watched several fish die, attempted to manage the bullies and eventually decided we were not emotionally equipped to manage an eco-system.  The aquarium went onto Craigs List and off to a better equipped human.

Once we landed in Belize we decided dogs were in order.  We had always loved dogs but never felt that our working lives would give them the home they deserved.  We were just gone too many hours each day and when we were resting from work, we were either outside in the wilderness where dogs were not practical or on airplanes where dogs were not practical.  We acquired two pit-bull mix pups after being in Belize about a week.  One was about 9 months, Mimi, and the other was about 6 weeks old, Gopi.  We did all of the things we believed we were supposed to do.  We took them to the vet, did not feed them people food, got their shots, gave them regular tick/flea medication, etc.  And the dogs did well and we really were proud parents and enjoying them and the happiness they added to every day – even when they were being naughty. 

About two months ago little Gopi started itching and scratching. And itching and scratching.  We visited two different vets trying to give him some relief but to no avail.  It turns out that skin irritation is an indicator that a dog might have tick fever and on the afternoon of October 5, 2015 Gopi started going downhill.  It was a long night with several calls to the vet and a lot of digging deep for Ken and I to keep going but in the end little Gopi succumbed to tick fever.  He died early in the morning of October 6, 2015 surrounded by Ken and I and Mimi.  We are all three devastated.

Apparently we are no better equipped as dog owners and missing Gopi has been more difficult than we imagined.  Pets are special, especially when they give so much to each and every day.

We are missing Gopi but know that he had a good little life running along the beach, getting Mimi in trouble, eating things he was not supposed to and being unbelievably adorable.  Mimi misses him most.  He was her constant companion, playmate, running buddy, cuddle partner and source of jealousy.   It will take her a while to adapt and we are attempting to adapt as well.

We miss you Gopi and will never forget how much joy you brought us over the last months.  Be a good pup wherever you are!

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Daily Commute!

Leaning Palm Resort is located on the beach just 3 miles south of the Manatee Bar which allows access from the sea into the Southern Lagoon, home to one of the largest West Indian Manatee populations in the Caribbean.  Due to its unique location, getting to work can provide some very wonderful experiences.  Today we celebrate the “Daily Commute” – these are the ways we get to work at Leaning Palm Resort:

We Drive (with Coffee, of course):

Sometimes we have to do a little road clearing along the way:

We take a boat across the lagoon:

We run:

And chase wildlife out of the way:

We enjoy time with our co-workers:

We ride in the back of pick-up trucks with building materials.

We bike.

We try to avoid rush hour:

We take a kayak to Jenkins Creek to clear the way for future guests:

Most importantly we take time to enjoy the scenery along the way.

Each day the journey to work brings new surprises and experiences and we are very much looking forward to sharing this special place!