A trip to the states and more.

It’s been a year since we’ve been up to the states and we were well overdue. We stayed at the kid’s house, catching up with them and spending some great time with the grandkids. We also caught up with a bunch of friends and of course, we pigged out at all our favorite restaurants. After all, it was a vacation.

Nana Kelley and granddaughter Alli.

We just saw the grandkids this past summer when they came down to Belize, but we can’t get too much of them.

Tyler taming the wild dinosaur.
Captain Hook Luke and a shy Tyler dressed up for Halloween.

While we were there, their shop out in the back yard got finished and it’s a monster. Plenty of room to work on all their vehicles and any others they might acquire in the future.

The massive new shop that I’m sure will be filled up in no time.

The latest vehicle addition is Stacy’s pride and joy, a 1959 flat-top Cadillac that she has named violet. It’s a beautiful car done in a lavender and white finish. We were lucky enough to go for a short cruise with the whole family (and yes the whole family fit in there without a problem).

Stacy’s sweet new ride, a 1959 flat-top Cadillac.

One day we were out in the new shop when the neighbor decided to remove a beehive from his yard. We assume they must have been killer bees because they just randomly started attacking us. Randy got stung a couple times, I got it a few times and Kelley got stung a few times. We ran towards the house and got in before they really started to swarm. Kelley got the worst of it and had a bad reaction causing her face to swell up. It lasted a few days before the swelling finally went down. We were just thankful that none of the kids got stung.

Kelley’s bad reaction to a few bee stings.

After a great visit with the kids, it was time to make our way back to Belize. As we get to the airport drop-off we notice it was really dark with a big line of people outside. We went in to find a ton of people in a dark airport. It turns out that there was a major power outage at the airport. Lots and lots of canceled flights and to make it worse NASCAR was in town over the weekend, so there were an extra amount of people there. We checked the flight board and for some lucky reason, our flight to Houston said on time not canceled. We made our way to the ticket counter and checked in and gave them our bags. Everything was handwritten since the computers were out. Most of the extra seats onboard our flight were taken up by pilots and flight attends heading to where their plane would have been going if it wasn’t canceled. Overall considering no power at the airport, a ton of canceled flights, and a mass amount of people, we were very lucky it went well for us and we were only an hour late getting into Houston.

Total chaos at the Phoenix airport when the power goes out.

Once we got home and got the house all opened up it was time to sit down with a cold beer and relax. We knew it was supposed to be a cool night so we closed up the windows before going to bed. By the time we got up in the morning, the temp had dropped to 54 degrees outside. The lowest we’ve seen it since we’ve been here is 58 degrees last year. 54° with the wetness in the air and no heater in the house made for a cold morning. By the afternoon the temp was in the 80°’s and all was good again.

At least this only lasted one night. The evenings are now back to the mid 60°’s.

Our cacao trees are really starting to produce. We currently have nine trees that are all loaded with cacao pods and new flowers. Usually, they all ripen at different times and that is what is happening now. The other day we harvested 16 cacao pods from just one of the trees. After getting the seeds out of the pods, it’s time to ferment them, then dry them, roast them and then grind them. Once we grind them and add a little sweetener we’ll end up with some delicious chocolate.

I still can’t get over that chocolate grows on trees.

When we got back from the states we picked up a small 4×4 diesel Kubota tractor that should be very useful around here. Amanda (next to Darren’s) will be starting her build in a few months, Darren who is still working on his place, and we all went in on it together. We will all have a need for this at some point, but not enough to justify one of us buying it outright. This will also work out great for maintaining our road.

It’s a small tractor, but it should make things a lot easier around here.

Recently we had a possum trying to make a home inside our BBQ grill. I finally got tired of it and just lit the grill to see what would happen. Just kidding! The kids found us a Halloween armadillo skeleton when we were up in the states. He will make a great addition to the Toucan Hideaway and maybe scare the other animals away from the BBQ.

Armadillo on the grill.

Our friend stopped by the other day and surprised us with a nice hind quarter of a Gibnut.  Gibnuts are a wild game animal down here that is absolutely delicious, in fact, it is so delicious that it was served to the Queen of England when she visited Belize. We have cooked Gibnut a few different ways in the past and it has always turned out delicious, now we just need to decide how we want to cook it this time.

Gibnuts can get up to 30″ in length and weigh up to 30 lbs.

No matter where you live in the states, chances are you have probably seen a deer or elk crossing sign on the highway. Here in Belize, we do have deer, but I have never seen a deer crossing sign on the highway. What we do have though is Tapir crossing signs on the roads. Tapirs are the national animal of Belize and are protected by law. They can get up to 600 lbs. and have a lifespan of 30 years. We have been lucky enough to see a couple Tapirs in the wild. If you’d like to see one close-up for yourself, stop by the Belize zoo when you visit. They are actually very cute and gentle animals.

Tapir crossing sign along the highway.

Hope to see you soon!

One thought on “A trip to the states and more.”

  1. Oh my gosh Kelli, You poor thing. So glad that the reaction was not so severe that you had to go to emergency. I hope Randy spoke to the neighbor to let them know what happened. So glad you got to visit with Randy, wife and grandkids. Sounds like you had a very enjoyable visit. Happy to hear you both made it home safely.
    Best Regards, Carol

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