Ambergis Caye

The first lobster dish of the season has been consumed; now, on to LobsterFest!

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I mean, seriously, what does this picture have to do with the Lobster Festival 2016? Nothing! And yet, this photo was taken today on Middle Street, barely three days after the opening of lobster season and the launch of Lobster Fest. Coincidence? You be the judge.
I mean, seriously, what does this picture have to do with Lobster Festival 2016? Nothing! And yet, this photo was taken today on Middle Street, barely three days after the opening of lobster season and the launch of Lobster Fest. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Lobster season. It’s on.

We had our first taste of the new season on Thursday at Estel’s Dine by the Sea, lobster omelettes all around. Man, they were good.

Next up has got to be the original island lobster sliders at Casa Picasso, my all-time island favorite lobster delivery system. Must have something to do with those little buns slathered in butter.

I’m surprised that lobsters have not evolved to include gobs of butter under the exoskeleton. You know, the way the Butterball turkey has evolved to naturally include lots of butter under the skin. Or the way watermelons can be grown to include vodka infused inside the “meat.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The darkness draws us close: Merry Christmas

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Seriously, nothing to do with Christmas. But don't you love the festive color?
Seriously, nothing to do with Christmas. But don’t you love the festive color?

Some people say it is a holiday tradition, but for whatever reason, the power went out all over Ambergris Caye on Christmas Eve, around 6:30 p.m. I say it was that one last set of lights added to that one last house somewhere on the island that blew the circuits.

Anyhow, the island was blacked out.

Mostly.

Generators are very popular accessories. Even San Pedro Town has two giant trailer generators that kick in and keep the downtown lit.

Rose and I were up at Marbucks Coffee House which has its own generator. It kicked in quickly and the holiday cheer and goodwill went on undiminished.

I broke away from our gathering of friends and took a walk down to the old Palapa Bar, now dark and forlorn even when there is electricity. A walk out to the end of the pier confirmed that we were living on one dark island for the moment, save for that gloriously bright and round moon.

Maybe not such a terrible thing, I thought.

What’s the phrase? “Darkness draws us close.”

It strips away the shiny objects, the twinkling lights, the loud noise, the TV specials, the video games, the social media and for a couple of hours we are left with one thing only — those who are closest to us, the ones who mean the most … and that bright shiny moon.

In the darkness we reach out to each other, we hold tight and laugh and light some candles and realize there is nothing more to fear from the dark than a delayed dinner.

I understand that blinding snowstorms often achieve the same thing.

Well, for some Christmas — or other holiday — in the near future, I wish for you a region-wide two-hour power outage when the ones you love most are closest to you.

Merry Christmas from San Pedro Town, Ambergris Caye, Belize.

Holy Cross kids join our monthly trash attack

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First Friday gang assembles for our traditional pre-trash pickup picture. Not that is how you attack trash! Students from nearby Holy Cross Anglican School swelled our ranks today.
First Friday gang assembles for our traditional pre-trash pickup picture. Not that is how you attack trash! Students from nearby Holy Cross Anglican School swelled our ranks today. That is their school in the background.

They came, they saw, they picked up trash.

I’m talking about 100-plus kids from Holy Cross Anglican School here in San Mateo who joined our growing band of First Friday Roadside Cleanup volunteers yesterday.

As we gathered in front of the Paradise Cinema, as we have on first Fridays for half a year now, the students came walking out of the nearby school, one form at a time. Soon we had three grades, eagerly grabbing rubber gloves and black plastic trash bags. Read the rest of this entry »

Bicycling Ambergris Caye north: 24 clicks to home

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There are few things more peaceful than lying on your back beneath a palapa at the end of a dock -- especially on Ambergris Caye, Belize.
There are few things more peaceful than lying on your back beneath a palapa at the end of a dock — especially on Ambergris Caye, Belize.

If the path be beautiful, let us not ask where it leads.Anatole France

Every journey in life should begin at the end of a pier, on your back, beneath a palapa.  They have a way of putting you in the right frame of mind, whatever the distance you plan to travel.

If you don’t have access to a pier and palapa, think of them as a very pleasant metaphor. When the going gets tough, the knowing duck under their mental palapa and chill for a while. Read the rest of this entry »