Kids, concerts, chocolate and more!

Southwest Airlines started  flying back to Belize last November, which is great for us because we have tons of miles that we will be taking advantage of. We just got back from a visit to the states where we saw family, friends and of course the grandkids.

Allison and Kelley

The grandkids are growing up so fast! Allison is now walking all over the place and Tyler is learning to ride a bike without training wheels. Luke has outgrown all the electric power wheels rides and has moved up to a go cart. It’s not some little 3hp go cart, it has a 150cc motor and is plenty fast. So watch out for speedy Luke.

Luke and Tyler in the new hot rod.

While we were up in the states we managed to get in a couple concerts from some of our favorite musicians. First one was Jim Dalton and The Jons in Scottsdale, AZ. Jim is lead guitar for Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers plus he has his own band The Railbenders. The Jons are another great band out of southern Arizona who have some really good music. We saw Jim and The Jons out on the island in San Pedro here last year and we can’t wait for them to come back again this year.

Jim Dalton & The Jons live at The Rockbar in Scottsdale.

Then the next night after seeing Jim was Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers with special guest Wade Bowen out in Mesa, AZ. Roger had the whole band there, plus The Jons also took the stage with him.

Our son pointed out at the concert, that the first time we saw Roger Clyne together was 26 years ago. Now I feel really old.

Then the week we got back to Belize Mike Nash was playing again at The Bluff up by us.  Three great shows in two weeks, it couldn’t have got much better than that.

Mike Nash at The Bluff.

I mentioned earlier that this year our cacao trees are loaded with pods of all sizes. The trees are getting so big that we need to keep trimming them just to be able to get around them, and I think all the trimming is really helping them produce more fruits. When we got back from the states we picked 25lbs of cacao, and it looks like we will be picking a bunch more every couple of weeks or so for quite a while.

Once processed these beautiful cacao pods will become chocolate.

We have two types of cacao, some of the trees have dark brown cacao pods when they start out that will turn red when they ripen. Other trees will start out with green pods that will turn yellow when they ripen. There is supposed to be a little difference in the quality of them, but the end result is still the same, chocolate.

The trees are definitely loaded with cacao.

We picked up a few silicone molds when we were up in the states, so now we can make chocolate bars. Some of them are just straight dark chocolate and others have a little bit of our fresh grown coffee in them for that extra boost. Who says you can’t have chocolate for breakfast? Plus we got some foil candy wrappers to help keep them fresh. So now when you visit us, you might get a chocolate on your pillow when you arrive, unless I eat them all before you get here.

A sampling of our homegrown chocolates. The thick squares with the whole roasted coffee beans are outstanding!

A few months ago we bought another piece of property up the road from us. When we initially had water run down to our property they were short on pipe so they just ran it across the middle of this other lot. Now that the property is ours, the water pipes needed to be rerouted along the road like they should have been in the first place. We also had them put in a spigot there so we can water trees once we get some planted.

This is where they had to dig up the water pipe that went right through the middle of the lot.

The property is close to 5 acres and has about 2 acres cleared for farming and the rest is raw jungle. At this point, we are just cutting in a small access road back towards the tree line, and maybe set up a spot for a future home site. That road will then get lined with different fruit trees and the cleared area we will let Ruben farm on. By letting Ruben farm there, it will help keep the jungle from growing back, plus we will benefit from any crops that he happens to grow.

Working on cutting a road into the property.

The Malfunction Junction bar down the road from us is now open once again. A friend of ours who is running it saw some pictures that Kelley had taken and said that we should make postcards and he could sell them at the Junction. So if you are up in our area and want to send a postcard to someone, you can pick them up at the Malfunction Junction just down the road from us. At this point, there are five different ones, but I’m sure there will be more in the future.

All pictures were taken in the wild by Kelley.

This past week Belize was visited by Prince William and Kate Middleton on their Caribbean tour in honor of the Queens Platinum Jubilee. They will have the opportunity to thank communities across Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas for the support they had shown for the Queen over the years.

Prince Willian inspecting the troops at the Belize airport.

On their three-day tour of Belize, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited a Cacao farm in southern Belize to learn about chocolate production, a Garifuna community in Hopkins where they did a lot of dancing and learned about their culture. They also came right up past our place to visit the Caracol Archeological site. As they were leaving Caracol we heard their helicopter fly over. I’m pretty sure they waved to us, even though I didn’t see it.

Prince William and Kate Middleton on a visit to Hopkins.

At this point, it seems like Belize really has a handle on this covid thing. Everything here is returning to a normal pace and there are a lot more tourists around. There is no more curfew in place and masks are only required inside public buildings, but next week possibly all restrictions could be lifted. Currently, there are only a couple hundred active cases in the entire country and that seems to be dropping daily. So what are you waiting for, I’m sure you could use a vacation?