Copal Tree Lodge, Punta Gorda Belize. Wednesday January 8, 2020

Good morning! Today you and I will learn all about making chocolate!

Let’s have some watermelon juice first!

Pancakes with chocolate, banana and toasted coconut! That is butter and not scrambled eggs on top of the pancakes!

This couple was going to go on a zip line. She was having an alcoholic drink while we waited for the Land Rover to arrive! Like me, she does not like heights. She was very much afraid to go on the zip line, but she told her partner that she would do it!

I was dropped off at the chocolate building where I met my guide for the cocoa growing steps. I needed no alcohol to learn about making chocolate!

First we see the flowers and the beginning of the cocoa pod on the cocoa tree.

The pod continues to grow.

Eventually the pod reaches a stage where it is ready to be picked.

The full grown pod is quite large.

What’s the inside of a cocoa pod like? The cocoa pod is split open to show us.

The cocoa beans have a very slimy coating. The beans and the slimy coating will ferment during the cocoa making process and then the beans are put on racks to dry in a shed.

I put one of the seeds in my mouth, the bean was quite sweet. I am not dead yet, so you can tell that it is safe to eat! It was gooey though!

These big leaves cover the cocoa pods in the drying sheds.

I also learned about grafting. Grafting is done because sometimes you have a very flavorful bean, but the tree itself is subject to disease. By grafting you put the desirable plant on a root stock that is stronger and more resistant to disease and insects.

A branch from a tree that you want to use for the growth of beans is taken from the mother tree. The leaves are then snipped off.

A small piece is then cut off where the bud was and then inserted into tree that is very hearty. This heartier tree is the root stock.

The bud is then wrapped to prevent harm to the plant.

An alternate method is to use a v like graft.

This is a more successful method.

That is all the lessons about cocoa tree growing.

Now for a pretty picture. I am sure that many weddings are held here!

I think, but I am not sure but these might be peppercorns!

This is part of a turmeric root. You can see it growing in the soil.

I was told that you should take this seed also when you take your turmeric for better healing. Of course I have no clue what plant it was from!

All I remember was that it was red!

Here are the cocoa beans that have gone though the fermenting and drying process. Maynard will be showing us the rest of the chocolate making process. Maynard will put cocoa beans into a large roaster where the beans will be roasted for a short while.

This is Maynard. See Maynard roast beans.

Here are some of the beans before they are placed in the grinder.

The roasted beans ready to go into the grinder.

The roasted cocoa beans are placed into the grinder and the heavier cocoa falls into the bin. I will help by evenly scraping the cocoa as it comes out. But you won’t see that part!

A vacuum sucks out the light ground shells from the heavier cocoa grounds through the green tubes.

The finished cocoa nibs, fresh out of the grinder.

We have moved in to an air conditioned room for this part of the process. This makes me very happy as the heat and humidity is very bothersome to me.

Maynard with the maniacal mad doctor expression is telling me that now I will make chocolate! There are already some of the ground cocoa nibs in the machine. The other ingredients are sugar and cocoa butter.

On the white board is the mathematics of chocolate making. Just like wine making and whisky, a percentage is lost as the “Angel’s share”.

All the ground cocoa is in the grinder.

Here I am scraping the chocolate off the grinding wheels. At this point I still hadn’t splattered chocolate all over me! The best is yet to come!

I am seriously concentrating!

Hmm. No hairnet. That wouldn’t pass muster with the USDA!

Next ingredient is white sugar.

The white sugar is added to the mixture slowly in batches.

Here are samples of chocolate that was made by other guests. Can you believe that I only ate two?

The final step was the addition of cocoa butter.

I never really understood where the cocoa butter came from. The cocoa beans had been roasted and then ground. Then I put them into the mixer to be ground further into a liquid and then the sugar was added.So where does cocoa butter come from? I forgot to ask.

Everything was all mixed together and my chocolate was ready to be tempered.

My chocolate was added to chocolate that had already been warmed.

Maynard poured the chocolate onto the counter.

The chocolate was spread over the table into a thick sheet.

Maynard scraped the chocolate over the granite table.

The chocolate was smooshed together.

The chocolate gradually became thicker as it was exposed to the cooler air and the cold granite countertop.

The chocolate had to be added back into the warming pan, stirred around again to reach the right temperature and consistency.

The chocolate has reached the appropriate consistency to be placed in the molds.

Maynard pours the chocolate into the tray and then spreads it out.

Maynard is thumping the chocolate trays to get the air out.

I will be next!

Here are my molds that are ready for the chocolate.

A short video of my thumping the chocolate to get out any air bubbles.

Here I am doing my last thump!

The air conditioned room where we made the chocolates.

Goodbye Assistant helper!

A phone call to arrange my pickup to bring me back to the main lodge.

This is the rum distillery across from the cocoa factory.

That is another adventure that you can do. I think part of the rum distillery is learning about making rum drinks also. Perhaps next time. Yesterday Steve and I saw a number of guests sitting at the bar around 5 in the afternoon with many glasses holding booze. I think they had gone on the tour. Either that or they were having a wonderful time on vacation!

This garden was across from the rum distillery and the cocoa factory. Much of the food comes from the many acres that the lodge owns.

More pretty flowers and plants.

While I was waiting for the Land Rover to bring me back to the lodge the gentleman who did the first part of the tour showed me Copal berries and seeds.

The Land Rover picked me and up and I was soon back at the lodge.

Last night we had a big group arrive.I overheard that they are doing a photo shoot for Orvis. The pictures will appear in the summer 2020 catalogs. I am going to have to find out more information. I hope I will get more information over the next few days, but you never know…

I came back from my chocolate adventure at 10:30 and decided that I would have a drink. After all if the young couple could have a drink to get courage for the zip line at 9 am I could have a drink after I was hot and sweaty.

I have decided that I will drink early and often today.

I told Tim that I would like to have the drink that he made for the zip liners. He graciously accepted my request. I shall document the drink for you in pictures and some words.

Here is Tim with one of the bottles of booze in this drink.

One of the ingredients is an egg white.

Tim must have watched Bar Rescue. They are always telling staff that they need to smile and make eye contact.

So all I know was that the drink had rum and an egg white in it, with a flower garnish. I think it had more stuff in it, but “Who knows? Tim knows!”

I call this drink the “Give me courage to ride the zip line!” I think it will be on the drink list next time we come! Everyone liked that name. Or at least they pretended to!

This is my new friend Palma. She was born on Palm Sunday so her Mom named her Palma. Her brother couldn’t pronounce Palma so he called her Bunny. Being of a certain age, she feels Bunny is not quite appropriate so I told her I would call her Palma. She likes Palma, but everyone calls her Bunny.

Bunny was drinking a delicious looking drink. I told Ducky the bartender that I wanted him to make me one after lunch. Bunny was having problems with her phone and was worrying about all the roaming charges she was going to have. I put her phone on airplane mode and showed Bunny how to get on the lodge’s wifi network.

Bunny was on her second of these drinks. I think it was called the drunken money, or it could have been called a dirty monkey. I can’t remember which. You all know that I have a terrible memory for names, so the drink could even have been called something completely different! Bunny said the drink was good, but not quite as good as when she originally had it someplace else. I told Bunny that if she had the drink three times it would have to be called a horny monkey. Bunny at 76, thought that was very amusing. As did her 80 year old husband!

The weather was very overcast and showery. Not much of a view of the ocean today. Nor were the hummingbirds out this afternoon.

I don’t believe this one bit. The straw did not seem biodegradable at all.

My glass of iced tea. Would you believe me if I told you there was no alcohol in this drink?

Here is my cheeseburger and fries that I ordered for lunch.

I told you already about the couple from Oklahoma that I met before lunch. She was drinking something that looked like a chocolate milkshake. I told Ducky that I would like one after lunch. As I skipped dessert I figured it was time for my drink.

There is lots of booze and lots of bananas in this drink. There is also a lot of chocolate sauce. A scoop of ice is added to the blender before it is blenderized.

Inside the cabinet is the blender, so it’s not too noisy.

Here is Ducky presenting me my drink.

Doesn’t it look good?

The Orvis group came back after lunch and saw my drink. They all wanted one so Ducky made more.

This is where I will be sitting the rest of the afternoon.

I had to get more ice added to my drink as I was starting to feel too loopy. There is something not quite right about being drunk in the afternoon.

The weather didn’t clear all afternoon. I don’t think that Steve will catch any fish this afternoon.

The howlers were making some noises in the late afternoon so I tried to take a video. They were unhappy with the gardener.

Well? Will Steve catch some permit like he did last year? These were some pictures that they had in the lodge.

I was wrong! Steve did catch a fish, and here it is!

This is a picture of a bonefish. It was very dark compared to the fish that he catches at Delphi. Steve was very wet and cold all day as it was a cold and rainy day!

Here is a picture of a tarpon from an ad in one of Steve’s fishing magazines.

Steve’s fish was nowhere near this big, but Steve said that the fish do jump like crazy!

I introduced Bunny and Si to Steve and suggested that we all have dinner together. They even agreed! What nice people. They didn’t even have a chance to google me and find out if I was an axe murderer! Perhaps they will look me up before they issue invitations to invite me to see them in Oklahoma! I told Bunny about my blog and she read it and thought it was wonderful and that I am so funny! I think I will have to continue to send her texts of my web page as her email kept blocking my requests for her to join the blog. Perhaps her email knows something the rest of us don’t know?

So take that all you people who don’t click like on my blog! (Ha Ha, meant to be funny!)

Here is Steve with tonight’s napkin art. I think I should have taken more pictures of the napkins !Next time!

The amuse bouche from the chef. We had it the other night. I think the rotation is based on every third night!

My cocktail of the evening was a Jaguar Pizz. Not to be confused with Jaguar Piss! It was made from rum, cinnamon syrup and Angostura bitters.

Doesn’t that drink look good? My mouth is watering just looking at it!

For my starter I had the tomato bisque.

I wasn’t sure if that was a face or not!

Steve had the salad.

I had the hangar steak for my main. It came with mash yampi, tomatoes, chimichurri and long beans. A yampi is a tropical yam.

Steve had the pork tenderloin medallions, charred salsa, corn tortillas, and garden greens.

Steve had the cake. It might have been spice cake.

I had the pecan pie with coconut ice cream. I just found out the it was not pineapple coconut pie that I had the other day. It was pineapple pie with coconut ice cream!

Si had the cream puff for dessert. I wasn’t comfortable enough to start taking many pictures of Bunny and Si’s food! Next vacation!

Here we all are after dinner. I am thinking about calling Si Jack now as Palma is known as Bunny. You know Bunny Rabbit and Jack Rabbit? That way no one will know about who my new friends really are. I mean, doesn’t everyone already know who Bunny and Si from Oklahoma are? They need some anonymity!

Linda is sitting in Steve’s lap and Jack has his arms around Bunny. Bunny looked at the picture and thought that I had a strange expression on my face. You can tell that she just met me today as I always have a strange expression on my face!

After our picture I picked up my chocolate. It was kept in a refrigerator at the bar.

We all laughed that the chocolate was from a secret stash, and just put into ziploc bags!

What time to you start drinking during the day?

Are you or have you ever been an Orvis model?

Do you have a strange expression on your face normally?

Delphi Club, Abaco January 17, 2019

This is the last post from the January Delphi trip that I didn’t fully post.

No pictures of eggs for you this morning. You must be sick of them by now. Here are some lovely flowers. I have never seen any guest put flowers in their hair. Don’t even try to get me guessing if a flower behind your right or left ear means you are single, married or on the prowl.

Today was our last day. As such, Steve was not going to go fishing. We decided that we would go on an adventure and try to find a Blue Hole. Blue holes are deep holes in the limestone bedrock filled with fresh water. The slightly acidic fresh water has dissolved the limestone to create drainage holes. V decided to tag along with us. Would it be a good or bad decision? Well, stay with me and you will find out.

There is a book in the lodge that has maps and information of the various tourist sights. Did we take it? No. Did Steve think he knew where the blue hole was? Yes. Did Steve even know there was a book that had the information? No. Did Linda bother to inquire if Steve might want to bring the book with us? No. Did Linda think that Steve knew what he was doing? Yes. Was Linda wrong? Stay with me and you will find out. Did Steve think they were going to find Blue Holes? No. Did Linda think they were going to find Blue Holes? Yes.

Quick update: For those quivering with anticipation, as if there was any other way to be; Steve and Linda remain happily married.

First picture is one of the guide boats. The guide sits in the back and drives the boat. When he gets to the fishing spot, he can climb up on the back platform and look for fish while using a long pole to push the boat. There is no electric motor on these boats. If the guide starts getting old he will sit on the platform and not stand on it. I don’t blame him, I don’t like heights and being up there would make me nervous. However, the guide has a better view if he is at the higher spot. The sport sits on the seats until the boat arrives at the fishing spot. Then he will stand up on the front platform. He can lean against the metal bar for support. That long pole on the left of the picture is the pole to push the boat along. If I were to tag along with Steve all day, I would be sitting in that chair the whole long day. No where to get out of the sun, no place to get out and stretch your legs. Basically trapped the whole day. Now if I remain at the lodge, like I usually do, I can go a nice bathroom anytime, soak my feet in the pool, jump from couch to porch swing, or to bed in the room. We are in the Bahamas so we Steve got to drive on the left side of the road. The steering wheel was on the left. Steve came this way nearly every morning on the way to the boat launch. This is the parking spot for the guides. They have already launched their boats. This is the launch spot. Not particularly scenic is it? I should have known that we were on a fool’s errand as the sign was directing us to caves and not holes. We decided to look for Nancy’s Cave first. No, I did not find out who Dan, Nancy, or Ralph were. Nor, if have they been found. Well, we never did find Nancy’s cave. The road looked like it was beginning to end, so we turned around. There were small trees growing in the dirt road, it looked like not many people had been this way recently. This looked more like a place where a cave might be found. We either have a sign post waiting to happen, or a sign post ready to be removed.

This is where you might have your picnic before or after you visited the cave. We did not bring any food with us. Since you are reading this, you know that we safely returned from the adventure. Look how slim and trim Steve is in this picture, it looks like he didn’t gain any weight on this vacation at all! When Steve reviewed my post for editing he scoffed at my comment that he is slim and trim. I will say that he is trim then. Well, this looks promising. Come along, won’t you? Here is V, she was such a good sport to come along with us. This is the interior of the cave. It was not very tall, We all took a peek and then retreated. We could hear all sorts of gurgling and sloshing noises from the area. On the way back I thought “Oh, let me return and take a little video of the exciting sounds!” Of course, when I got back to the mouth of the cave, SILENCE!On our way to our last cave. You might think that Steve was our fearless leader, but my now I am sure you all know, that Linda is always in the lead. I was already on my way back, as I thought this trail was a bust. Last cave. You can see the water has a bit of an blue tint to it. Well, that was the end of our adventure. I wanted you to see some of the bark of the trees in the forest. There are fires and a lot of the vegetation is destroyed.

After much discussion it turns out that there was a massive communication error about this adventure. I thought we were going to look for Blue Holes. Steve thought we were going to look at the caves. So he was correct in what he was driving to. I was incorrect as I was not paying attention to what he was telling me we were going to see!Back at the lodge, safe and sound we all had lunch on the veranda overlooking the ocean. I should probably let Steve get the ocean view, but I am greedy, and like to look at the ocean. When he is out fishing all day, he can look at the water all he wants. You can tell it is a travel day, as he is wearing one of his plaid shirts. One of these days I will count how many plaid shirts he owns! I had the mahi mahi on romaine. Steve had the chicken with Chinese noodles and vegetables on a green salad. We all had ice cream bars for dessert. E from DC didn’t care for hers, so J, her husband ate two. He reminded her that when you are off the coast of Africa for nine months on a naval boat, you vowed never to decline ice cream in the future. Steve had remarked at dinner one night about this poem in one of the bathrooms off the great room. I think most females never even notice it. After all, why would we? It is on the wrong wall! Then it was off to the airport where we waited for our flight to Fort Lauderdale. This is a picture of Marsh Harbour International Airport. Currently it is closed at night as the runway lights are out. They had better get that fixed soon! The building on the right is the old airport. I can’t even remember what that looked like, it was very small though! Back at Fort Lauderdale airport we had a long layover. Better a long layover than missing your flight due to bad weather. We ate at the Jack Nicklaus restaurant. Steve had the chicken with fettuccini.

I ordered the grilled cheese with tomato soup. I also ordered ice tea with lemonade to drink. “You mean an Arnold Palmer?”, the waitress asked? “I thought you weren’t allowed to ask for that in this restaurant.”, I said. She looked at me as if I were nuts. Now don’t tell me I was the first person to say that. Now that could be the case, as I often am the only person to say something awkward!

While at the airport I got an e-mail from S. Did I know of any good restaurants in the Florida Keys? I live to serve, so I looked up a number of restaurants on Yelp. I hope they turn out okay. I do hate to disappoint my fans!

One thing I have just realized is that I should have asked S from Scotland to dance with me. Or at least pretend to dance as there was no occasion to dance while at Delphi. If I had, then I could have claimed to have danced with a man who had danced with the Queen!

No questions today. No one ever seems to answer them. Nor are enough of you liking my blog posts. You get them in your mail box, or stumble upon them somehow. Please take the effort to like them. It is pretty simple. Just click on the like button at the bottom of the post. For those of you who are liking them, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Now, let’s see if my like numbers increase! For the truly adventurous you can even add a comment! It’s really not hard to do!

Another update: Steve and I are going to England in May to see visit with Peter and Jane (Peter ran the Delphi Club for years). Guess who we are going to see there? V and her husband J! I keep telling you that we meet people again! In fact, J described us to Peter as “delightful”!

Tomorrow continues our trip to South America in 2017. I will however end up taking another break of that trip as we are going to Argentina again Saturday night!

Delphi Club, Abaco January 15, 2019

This is not an April Fool Joke as I discovered this all last night. it turns out that I never finished my blog posts of the trip to Delphi that Steve and I took in January! There was much more that happened than what I had posted. Try to follow along, I am sure it will be terribly confusing!

More fried eggs again! I may surprise you someday and order something else for breakfast! I often order waffles or French Toast when I am in a restaurant. This post was written before my visit to the internist where he put me on Lipitor and said watch your cholesterol! Today was the last lunch for A, J and S. They were flying to Nassau, spending the night at the new Baha Mar, and then off to Miami to drive to Cheeca Lodge in the Florida Keys. I have always wanted to stay at Cheeca. Maybe if A starts a blog, I will be able to read about it. Start a blog A!

Here is our big bowl of blue corn chips and dips. I am dipping my chips in guacamole, more often now. I’m still not sure if I like it. I draw the line at ordering Avacado Toast, that’s just too trendy for even me!

I ordered the Mahi Mahi on field greens. I neglected to ask for no olives. Every one but J ordered an ice cream bar for lunch. J is trying to keep his figure.

After lunch I hugged A, J and S goodbye. J is an extremely strong hugger! I don’t know if he knows his own strength! He probably does!

S gave me a very high compliment. He told me that he had met many wives of big shot executives and that they are dull as shit. I however, am one of the most interesting women he has ever met! I was really touched, and couldn’t wait to rub it in on Steve that he is VERY LUCKY THAT I PROPOSED TO HIM YEARS AGO! Unfortunately I had to wait many hours until Steve came back from fishing to tell him of my absolutely wonderful compliment from S.

Speaking of fishing, Steve caught 21 fish today. None were big enough to unseat C, one of the new guests, from head of the table. C caught a seven pound bonefish. Steve, however still has the record of a nine pound bonefish that he caught last year. C lives in Marco Island Florida, so he probably catches bonefish all the time. Our first canapé was smoked mackerel mayonaise on a …well it wasn’t mentioned on the menu card, so you can decide if it was a pitette, croute, or cracker! Next up was pork fritters, with a soy sauce dip.

During our pre dinner conversation I introduced myself and did a minor interrogation of our new guests who lived in the DC area. Yes, I did ask them if they worked for the government and if they were affected by the government shut down. He is with the Navy, and she works in the Pentagon. As the department of defense had their funds approved prior to the shutdown they are being paid, and are working hard to keep us all safe. Not that the other people who are working and not being paid are not working hard, nor keeping us safe. They are, and when we were in the airports I made sure to tell the TSA individuals that I hoped the shutdown was settled. They were all in good spirits. One thing I noticed is that the people who I call “the barkers” were not barking orders in the airports anymore.

I asked many questions of our guests from Washington. I will keep all the answers to myself. Our starter was a conch salad. Something that I do not care for at all. I ordered the rack of lamb. I asked it to be cooked medium, as the other night it was a little too rare for me. Steve ordered the hog fish. A terrible name for a tasty fish.

I sat next to J from Ireland, one of the barristers. The other barrister D, you will remember returned home. Our new friends from DC asked J the same questions that I did about the wigs and robes! Great minds think alike! Of course I could only understand about every third word that he said! I do wonder if I am unintelligible to him. Dessert was a delicious coconut creme brûlée. Steve didn’t eat it as he doesn’t like coconut. I bet his weight gain this week will be less than mine!

How much weight do you gain on vacation?

Do you like Mounds Bars, or Almond Joys? Both are coconut based, so Steve abstains.

Can you keep a secret?

Delphi Club, Abaco, The Bahamas. Monday March 25, 2019

Good morning!

More fruit and then oatmeal for me. I have been very good and not had any eggs this week. S, our new friend from England has been having Eggs Benedict every morning. They looked really good, and I was seriously tempted to try them, but I was good and stuck with oatmeal. Hopefully my cholesterol will go down and I may try a bite in the future.

While the guys were off fishing, the ladies who lunch on the veranda lounged about on the couches in the great room.

In case your forgot, this is the Great room. S sat on the white couch and crocheted. I sat on the orange couch and read. M sat on the other white couch and read and texted. She gets a lot of texts! Every few minutes we would hear a “zing!’. More dips and chips for lunch. I felt so much better that I could even lean over to grab a chip. The previous days, I had to have someone hand me a handful!

M was able to convince the kitchen staff to make her some iced tea! She got a whole pitcher of it and almost drank the whole thing. I did have a glass, along with my glass of rose.

I had the Mahi Mahi again. M had the Chinese chicken salad with avocado instead of the chicken. She partially destructed the artful arrangement of noodles before I could take my picture. Shameful action indeed M!

We were offered raisin cookies. There were originally 8 on the plate. I ate seven of them. I do seriously have a sweet tooth!

We decided to go pool side after lunch. This is truly my happy place!

I stayed under the umbrella and M was in another of her many bikinis that she brought. No wonder her suitcase was so heavy!

We were both pleasantly surprised that we were not bitten by many bugs. I had brought my clothes that had insecticide applied to the fabric. No doubt my limbs will be falling off in ten years-but look Mom! No bug bites! M used a bug spray that one of the ladies from Michigan had brought. It is called Smidge. We can’t buy it in the states, but I will look for it when Steve and I go to England in May. I may end up buying an even dozen bottles of the stuff!

G and Steve went to Cherokee Sound to fish today. Cherokee is gorgeous but the fish there are very difficult to catch. Steve did end up gettin one fish on his last day, about ten minutes before they were to return home. G got skunked, but I think he had a sufficiently good time to decide to come again. This picture is from a tree that had blown over. Those are conch shells in the roots of the tree. Just in case you are guessing that conch are good climbers, NO they aren’t. They crawled into the roots before the tree was blown over.

Speaking of conch, the first canapé was conch fritters.

Here is a picture of two of the lovely ladies who were serving us dinner tonight. The other canapé was humus with olives on a cracker. I don’t like olives, so I passed on them.

Here is Steve meeting one of the new guests before dinner. Steve is always pontificating about something, I am not quite sure what was said. Perspective is everything, another guest also named Steve was standing behind my Steve. The new Steve was a larger man than MySteve, but NewSteve is practically hidden!

Here is another picture of M’s iced tea. It was dark and sweet!

The first course was crab bisque.

It was Jason, the chef’s night off, so dinner was not as fancy. I had the chicken with mushroom pie. Dessert was very interesting. The top bits were chocolate nibs, then, underneath was a fruit crackly shell and under that was a layer of semi melted vanilla ice cream. I didn’t like it, but I still ate almost the whole thing!

Here are M and G, not sitting on the couch K-I-S-S-I-N-G, but G is explaining the intricacies of fly fishing. M is a very sweet wife, and is pretending to be interested. A few weeks back Steve and I watched a Dave Chappelle show. He did a skit about a box that people could push that would say “Wrap it up!”. It could be used when you heard a politician, bloviating about some nonsense, or when clergy took too long in getting to the point of a sermon, or the part of the skit that put Steve in hysterics the most-when someone was hammering away in bed having sex, and taking way too long. Anyway, I think that Mary is wishing she had the wrap it up button around so that she could push it!

Max remarked after dinner that he hadn’t made an appearance in the blog. Well that is because he has not proposed to Nicole yet, and it is way past time for him to do so! If he doesn’t watch out, an extremely handsome guest will sweep Nicole off her feet while Max is busy changing the flies in his leader!

Final tally for the four days fishing: Steve had 15 bonefish, and one barracuda. None of the bonefish were of any great size. G had four bonefish, and a pin. M had a tan, and Linda had a back attack but no bug bites.

Last post will be tomorrow with an appearance of a David Gandy poster!

Do you ever think “Wrap it Up?”

When?

Or do you just think of England?

Delphi Club, Abaco The Bahamas, Sunday March 24, 2019

Sunday morning and we have a surprise picture from Steve of the fruit bowl untouched by everyone else. Steve is up early to go fishing and took this picture for the blog. He is such a good husband to me!

This cinnamon danish was supposed to be in a circle, but it went on strike on the way to the oven. It was still tasty! Steve gets up early to be sure he gets one!

I didn’t do much today, as my back was still sore, but not as much as yesterday. One of the guests gave me a velcro back brace. She had broken her back four times, and always carries one with her. It helped me stay more vertical.

I was able to go to lunch. Here is Mahi Mahi one a bed of greens and fresh vegetables.

Steve saved the day and got a fish in the last hour of fishing. G got a nil. The fish were not cooperative, they did see fish, but they did not like any of the flies presented. Better luck next time!

M and I spent the afternoon sitting by the pool. Then at 3 I had arranged to have a massage therapist come to give us 3 massages. M and I were both definitely going to have massages, it was up to G and Steve to decide who would get the massage. G was the winner of that contest!

First canapé was shrimp popcorn with red pepper dip.

Next up was smoked mackerel mayonnaise.

Our starter was stone crab claws. Usually they have a horseradish dressing. As Steve and I both dislike horseradish, we had ours plain. G picked his clean! Um um um.

Steve and I each had the Mahi Mahi on herbed quinoa.

G was sitting next to me. He had the Osso Bucco. I really like Osso Bucco, but have yet to have it in a restaurant cooked as well as I do it at home. So it was fish for me. The other night we had dinner with friends. One of the guests loves duck, and prepares a phenomenal duck himself. He ordered it and was disappointed that it was not as tasty as his version. So I went to school on that lesson, and had the fish instead!

For dessert we had banana beignets. A very sweet dessert.

That’s all for today.

Yes, my back was a bit better.

No, I will not post pictures of me in the back brace. I described it as a very unsexy corset.

No questions today, but I will announce that G got a pin for catching his first bonefish! I inquired of Max if Steve could get a pin also, but it is new this year, and only for those that have never caught a bonefish before. Steve may have to come back with an alias, to get that pin!

Delphi Club, Abacao Bahamas Saturday March 23, 2019

Breakfast had a pretty pineapple arrangement. As I mentioned earlier, one of these days I will come to breakfast before the hordes have had a serving of fruit.

After breakfast M, the two Michigan ladies and I went down to the beach for a walk. I started out ahead, as I knew that I would end up at the end of the line.

My goal for the morning was to reach the end of the beach on the short end. Almost there.

Mission accomplished, it was time to go back. Here is J from Michigan, she was looking for little beads, from fishing nets that were in the seaweed.

M kept on going and I went up to the room to do some stretching.

Which did not go well at all. My back seized up, and I had problems walking. I did make it up for lunch though. Grilled cheese and tomato soup again.

M had the Caesar Salad with sliced avocado.

My back had started to act up a bit when I was stretching so I went back to the room to lay down a bit. I was thinking about going into the pool, hoping the water might help, but I could not move further than our door. By the time Steve came back from fishing I was in really bad shape. Here I am on the floor. I had just taken a hot shower, Steve had put me in the chair. When he came back I was laying on the floor. I was feeling a faint coming on, and decided that if I was on the floor already I wouldn’t have far to go if I did faint!

First canapé was spiced apple on brie and a cracker. It is lovely and looks simple to make. I think just a little bit of chopped up apples in honey.

Next up was pork fritters and Cajun mayonnaise.

Our starter was a roasted peach salad on greens. I love fresh peaches, so I always find this salad especially yummy.

G had the beef tenderloin for his main.

I had the duo of lobster. One part was done in a tempura style, the other part of the tail was grilled. I gave some to G so he could have a surf and turf.

Dessert was really yummy. We had creme brûlée with an almond frangipane (that is cookie-for those of us like me who call a cookie a cookie) and a guava pastelle (jelly candy).

G hit the jackpot as he got to finish three. Steve doesn’t care for it, and M knows G loves it so, she gave him hers. She is a very good spouse. I wouldn’t give up a chocolate dessert for Steve!

G actually finished all of them! Here he is being silly and pretending to slurp them all up!

G and Steve had a good day fishing. G is working on retrieving his cast.

Yay! G got his first bonefish! He ended up catching four bonefish! Steve caught 11 bonefish and a barracuda.

Will my back recover?

Does G have sillier hats than Steve?

Will I have something different than grilled cheese for lunch tomorrow?

Delphi Club, Abaco, Bahamas. Friday March 22, 2019

Good morning! It is a beautiful day here. Back home In Poughkeepsie it is cold and rainy. At M and G’s home back home I think it is snowing! When we left the crocuses were just starting to peek their buds out of the ground.

Since I got a very bad result for my cholesterol levels the last time I was at the doctor’s, it is no eggs, but oatmeal for me. That and Lipitor are my new best friends. One of these days I will get up extra early, so that the fruit bowl looks a lot nicer. There were many non fishing spouses at breakfast today and they all wanted to know what the white speckled fruit was. My devoted blog followers would know the answer-it is Dragon fruit. So named because the outer part of the fruit looks like dragon scales. The

Did you know that fruit had protein in it? I didn’t.

After breakfast I took a short walk down to the beach, and then went back up and walked on the private limestone road. Earlier in the day, one of the guests was running along the road and saw a litter of piggies. She was afraid that the mama pig was going to attack her. I am always afraid that a wild boar will jump out of the bushes and gore me. Steve says that they are afraid of people, and would more likely turn around when they saw a human. I sure hope so, I don’t want to have to post LindasExcellentAdventures at the hospital.

Then it was back to the room for my stretching.

Soon it was time for lunch. Here is M enjoying the view. The Club is in process of improving the view and have cut down a number of trees.

The chips have changed since last time. We had triangular chips when we were here in January. M and I each had the grilled cheese and tomato soup for lunch. I had a glass of Rose. As it is Lent, M is abstaining from alcohol and Diet Coke.

I asked if there were any cookies after lunch, and we got some lovely mini banana muffins, and fresh fruit.

The rest of the afternoon was spent poolside. M did some laps, while I read one of my romance novels. M is reading the James Patterson book about Jeffrey Epstein. I am looking forward to all of the men involved in that scandal having their names announced. I am not sure if they can be arrested, but at least they can be shamed.

I had fun watching a little hermit crab walk across the patio, but have decided that although I found it interesting, I don’t think that the video was blog worthy.

The guys were late getting back from fishing. G and Steve spent the day wading. Steve caught three bonefish and a barracuda, of no great size. G had a nil for the day, but came very close to catching his first bonefish. Unfortunately, it was eaten by a shark halfway to the boat. He has just started to learn how to fly fish, we are hoping tomorrow will be a better day.

Gazpacho shooters were passed around. Dinner might have been even more fun if they had vodka in them!

Next up were baby scallop tempura, with pickled ginger dipping sauce.

Our starter was Tuna Tataki, Chritophene salad, micro greens, wasabi kewpie and citrus soy. I don’t like wasabi, so it was a little bit too zingy for me!

My entree, which I forgot to take a picture, of was Rack of Lamb. Steve had the Grouper.

At the Club this week were two couples from Michigan, One of them has a house near M and G’s Lake House in Michigan. H is 81 and plays in a jazz band once a month. So M and G will be taking a road trip to hear H play next summer. Another couple is from Boston. Unfortunately their flight was cancelled, and they couldn’t get to Delphi for two days! We have a couple from Brooklyn staying, I didn’t get a chance to talk much with them. We also have a couple that rented a house in Green Turtle Cay for a month. She surprised her husband with an overnight trip and day of fishing here. They are hoping that there is room for them to stay an extra night. At first I thought the whole trip was a surprise, but it was only this part of the trip.

M sat next to H from Michigan. He asked her why she wasn’t drinking, Now she could have been insulted and jokingly said that she was a raging alcoholic. Instead she told him the truth, that she gave up alcohol for Lent. He looked at her with a scowl on his face and said one word, “Fool!” and then when she said she also gave up Diet Coke he responded “Diet fucking coke? Does that even count?”. And she said, “That was even harder than the alcohol!.” Then M knew H was AOK,and he even gave her a copy of the CD for his jazz band.

No picture of dessert, as we had fruit and cheese for dessert. Everyone enjoyed the cheese, as everyone must know by now, I prefer something sweet for dessert! We did get some home made chocolates, dusted with coconut for dessert.

Will Greg catch a fish?

Will we get any people from the UK visiting? Everyone here now is an American.

Will there be a betting pool on hermit crab races?

Delphi Club, Abaco. January 16, 2019

J was a good sport and let me take a picture of his Eggs Benedict. Not that he would have been able to stop me of course!

Not much was happening and it was soon time for lunch. Today I had the mixed greens with orange and wahoo. Of course I had an ice cream bar for dessert. Soon it was time for dinner and we had fried artichokes for our first canapé. Second canapé was tuna poke.

E and J took the house car to Marsh Harbour where they took the ferry to Hope Town. V and I were most interested in their adventure as we had been staying at the lodge and not going offsite our whole stay. As I expected, it turns out that V and I made the right decision. The park and ride lot was all full, so they had to park a mile away form the ferry and walk to the pier. By this time they had missed the ferry, and had to wait for the next one. The ferry ride was very nice, however. When they got to Hope Town, they didn’t rent a golf cart and instead walked around. The distances were a little bit further than they thought they would be but they had a great time. They went to a cute restaurant and ordered conch chowder, conch salad and conch fritters. I would have been miserable with all that walking. However E and J are young, in top notch shape, and are in love. What other kind of day are you going to have? Plus, they were away from my questions for a number of hours! Steve got head of the table. I wanted him to pretend to toast me, but he refused. At dinner I was suitably grumpy, but then was distracted after I had heard about E and J’s day.

That is J from Lexington at the bottom left of the photo. He is originally from Belfast but now lives in Lexington Ky. Next to him is J from Belfast, he is one of the barristers. Next to him was V from England. You will remember J from breakfast He is married to V. Then there is Steve. Next to Steve is E. She is from DC. Her husband is also a J, must have been camera shy. Then we had two guests at the table. They were staying at an Airbnb south of Delphi. He was from England, and she was from the US. She has lived in England for the last five years, but still eats her food in the American style. Many of the guests here use their knife and fork in the Continental style. I try to switch it up and dine in the Continental style while we are here, it is very difficult to do so! Our starter was shrimp bruschetta. Steve and I each had the grouper with asparagus and crab pilaf. Dessert was a banana tart in with spice ice cream. Steve loved it, which shocked me as he does not like fruit at all. J wanted to get a group shot of the table. Additions to the picture from last time are J in the plaid shirt at the upper right , and V from England via Scotland on the lower right, and Max, front and center. Since Max has refused to propose to Nicole, I am limiting my effusiveness. Once he proposes I will tell you what an excellent job he is doing at Delphi. We had more chocolates after dinner. These were pure chocolate so Steve was thrilled.

Steve caught nine fish, his largest was 3 and a half pounds.

As we were going to leave the next morning, Steve and I stayed up to chat with J, J, and V. The others all retired early. Much was discussed, no problems were solved, but a good time was had by all. A lot of wine was drunk.

What is your favorite fruit?

Do you have a vacation wardrobe different than your regular duds?

Do you follow Continental or American style dining?

Delphi Club Abaco. January 14, 2019

Another day and more eggs. Let’s see if the fruit is different today. Yes! Today we have added a new fruit. Dragon fruit! This is what they look like before they are cut up. It tastes very similar to a melon.Today we had four new guests arriving so we had a bigger crowd for lunch. The breeze had settled down so we were eating on the back veranda again. You can tell that I claimed a seat with a view right away. There are my reading glasses designating my chair claim! I decided to try the beef burger with sweet potato fries. They also offer a pork burger. I have not tried that.

The afternoon was more reading, blogging and stretching. I did soak my sore feet in the pool a bit. The cool water really helps the itching. Our first canapé of the evening was conch fritters with a dipping sauce. Next up was hummus on baked pitettes. Pitettes is just a fancy name for a cracker. These guys had olives on them. I passed as I don’t like olives. Our starter was crab and pumpkin bisque. Steve and I had the chicken and mushroom pie. It was yummy. An alternative was fish pie.