Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Guatemala City...

We are in Guatemala City for a few days... staying at the Radisson.  Nice suite and super fast WiFi... makes BTL seem anemic.  I had noticed several small red delivery motorbikes as we walked around... and then we happened by a MacDonald's. If you work here, you don't even have to leave your desk to get that Big Mac! We stopped in and they also have one of the new coffee bars that are competing for Starbuck's business.  I think it's working. We even have an Appleby's across from the hotel.  More photos.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Favorite Plumeria

Last fall, we stuck a scrawny Frangipani plant "leftover" from some moving and shuffling of the Kokomo and Maine Stay landscape next to the workshop container. Had no idea what color it was or whether or not it was worth saving. And one of the "oddities" of Plumeria is how really ugly the plant is when it's not in bloom. It really looks like a small tree and if you didn't know, you would think it was dying. Lesson learned for us... never give up on these and put them somewhere that you can tolerate the "ugly" bloomless periods. They do well just in the Peninsula sand, but probably better with some good soil and fertilizer added and lots of water.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Me and My Chevy Van...

For quite a while now I have been wanting a vehicle to transport us in some comfort and still have secure cargo space.  Those "stock up" trips to Dangriga, Belmopan, or Belize City have been getting pretty awkward in a small pick up.  And squeezing in 4 guests and luggage... not great. And, of course I have been lusting after all the fancy new passenger vans that all the resorts on the Peninsula seem to have... they are gorgeous, and carry a gazillion passengers and luggage in style. But holy cow, are they expensive!

A few weeks ago, I saw a "For Sale" sign on a considerably older looking red Chevy van that one of the tour operators has had for his family.  They run a Catamaran during the season and go back to the States in the summer. Each year they buy an older serviceable vehicle and drive it back to Belize... this 1989 Chevy "Beauville" van was a church vehicle for many years and they purchased it and drove it down last year.  I don't think it had ever had a coat of wax, so after some rubbing compound and a coat of Simonize it looks new. 

We struck a deal and after some mechanical and body work, Karen and I are now the proud owners of a very nice air-conditioned HUGE van!  Not great gas mileage, but we don't go far very often, and when we do it's in style and with plenty of room! And I won't even try to explain what "order of magnitude" less money it cost to acquire, fix-up, insure and register this instead of a new one!

Monday, June 14, 2010

No... we don't run a plant nursery!

At least that's what Karen tells the folks who stop to see if they can buy her propagated cuttings. It's that time of year, as we come slowly in to some more reliable and frequent rains, to get things ready to go in to the ground. What you see here are Oleander, Ixora and a lot of Bandolero (Agave). Karen puts these cuttings in a home-brew potting mix of equal parts of... sand, black soil and hardwood sawdust. Add some 14-14-14 fertilizer and some dry cow manure and water and sun. In a few weeks they are ready to plant.