Copal Tree Lodge, Punta Gorda Belize. Sunday January 5, 2020

Breakfast, like all the other meals is served on the porch.

First order of business was ordering coffee. I needed some. I slept better than the night before, but I still woke up several times. Maybe tonight I will get over four hours sleep in a row. I feel like I was back in the days of breast feeding when I rarely had a good stretch of sleep. Did you know that a baby having a four hour stretch of sleep is considered sleeping through the night? Also, a four hour stretch of sleep is considered necessary for good health. I agree with that. In my younger days I used to be able to sleep for a good nine hours with out waking up. I can’t remember when that happened last!

For breakfast I ordered the French Toast with bacon on the side. For you bacon lovers, and who isn’t a bacon lover (excepting Miss Mary!) it was nice and crispy. Just the way I like it.

I promised you a little bit of a tour of the property. Here is a snippet.

Here we have the upper bar, not many people hang out at this bar, but you could if you wanted too!

Here we have the upper Christmas tree, the porch where all meals are held is in the background.

Another view from the porch.

This is a picture of the gift shop. Last night Steve told me that he realized that he forgot to pack a cap. When he is fishing he needs a ball cap to keep the sun out of his eyes. Last year Steve forgot to pack a cap also. As Steve is very fastidious with his packing for trips I inquired if a ball cap was even on his list. Steve told me he thought not, which was a very good guess as no cap was packed. Anyway I suggested that he either go to the gift shop before it closed for the evening or have a staff member call Steve’s guide to bring an extra cap for Sunday’s fishing trip. Steve, the obedient husband that he is, went to the gift shop and bought a very fugly ball cap. Its saving grace is that it has a dark under brim, that should help keep the glare out of Steve’s eyes. As this week is promising to be cloudy, he might not even need the cap!

Here is the little ride to the Canopy Suites. Unfortunately there are only four and they were sold out when we booked our stay. We stayed there last year and they were really nice, but very warm as the air conditioning units were undersized for the rooms.

Down this way is our room. That’s enough of that for now, let’s go back to the main lodge before I show you the room.

There was a guest at the front desk inquiring about places to take a jog. I quickly went in another direction. Let’s not spoil a good vacation be being too active now shall we?

Here is another view of the main area. The Christmas decorations are still up. I think I will check out the chairs on the desk and put my feet up for an hour or so.

The couple in the background were from Texas and waiting for the Jeep to the airport. My hour of resting is up, let’s take a walk to check out the pool, shall we?

The pool area is pretty, but the water was too cold to swim in or to even dip my toes in. I am not sure if there is a hot tub, I will have to inquire.

Last year there was a guy with many tattoos hanging out at the lower pool. He wasn’t there today. Since we couldn’t get one of the super deluxe rooms with its own private pool I had to share the main pool with this guy snoring pool side. At least he wasn’t snoring too loudly while he was sleeping. I overheard him talking to his wife later about trying to kill 4 hours in Belize City between flights. They were thinking about going into Belize City and wandering about. From what I have read, it is not a nice place to visit. Better to stay at the airport where you can people watch.

After hanging out by the pool for a bit I retreated to the room. My phone battery needed recharging and that is difficult to do pool side. I must admit that it was difficult to hoist myself from the chaise lounges as they are so low to the ground.

Then it was time for lunch.

The iced tea was nice and refreshing.

The burger was tasty, but I think I will choose something else tomorrow. Steve’s steak last night was a little bit too well done. Same problem with the cheese burger today. Also, they don’t have any french fries, just home fries so I guess I will have a salad Monday.

After Lunch I decided to work on my blog post on the veranda. There was a nice fan blowing air above me and lively music playing on the sound system. You can’t see it because of the haze but I think that is the ocean in the distance.

Unfortunately I didn’t see any hummingbirds sipping sugar water. Just some teensy flies. Ditch that, I just saw a hummingbird come by but I must have scared him!

I went back to the room and sat on the porch reading in the afternoon. First stop was this couch, but it was a bit lumpy.

So I migrated across the room. Much better!

We had new guests that were in the villa next to ours. I heard an “OMG, a spider!” I lifted my head up and inquired if I needed to freak out also. No need, the spider was in the jungle. Phew!

Steve came back later, but had no good news to report about fishing. He didn’t have any bad news either. No broken rods, no falling into the ocean, and definitely no sunburn. Just no fish anywhere. He did see some nervous water-that is water that looks like it has been disturbed, but it was only a ray.

Then we were off to dinner.

The amuse bouche was snook on a cracker with pickles on top. Steve liked it better than I did.

I ordered a watermelon smash. It was smashing! Ha Ha! Capalli rum, bourbon, Peychaud’s bitters, mint, lime and watermelon chunks. So refreshing!

Steve ordered the Farm Lamb Tostados for his first course. Shredded lamb, cabbage slaw, Queso fresco and Pico de Galle. He liked it.

My first course was the beet salad with fresh vegetables.

We both ordered the Pan Seared Caribbean Snapper with roasted carrots, sautéed curry cabbage, and lime butter cream sauce. It was yummy.

For dessert Steve had the chocolate cake.

I had the lime ginger curd.

Then it was back to the room where I struggled to open the door, until I realized that I was grasping the door number and not a door knob!

Have you ever been to Belize?

Do you know where Belize is?

Have you ever been so smashed by a watermelon smash that you can’t tell a room number from a door knob?

Off to Belize! Copal Tree Lodge, Punta Gorda. Saturday January 4, 2020

New trip report! Steve and I are trying to continue his caught fish a month streak. We decided to try Copal Tree Lodge in Belize again. We had such a nice stay last year, and Steve was lucky enough to catch a permit so we were excited to try again. The streak might be broken as Permit are very difficult to catch. The weather is expected to not cooperate also, as we are not expecting to see much sun. If the streak is broken it will make our lives easier as we won’t be having to gallivant all over to keep the streak going!

Steve did try to go fishing on Thursday at a friend’s pond, but there was too much ice. Steve does not do ice fishing so ice fishing is not an option! It would have been really nice if he had caught a fish as that would likely be his earliest fish in the year ever!

As we had an 8:30 flight out of Newark we needed a really early car pickup. 4 a.m. in the morning is not my normal wake up time. On another trip with an early flight out of Newark we stayed at an airport hotel. We couldn’t sleep due to all the noise in the hall, so we said let’s stay home and get a short sleep at home this time. I went to bed at eight and didn’t fall asleep until 1, woke up at 2 and then ended up getting only another 90 minutes of sleep as I had set my alarm for 3:30!

Check in was a breeze and there was hardly any line at pre check. We were entitled to the. United Club Lounge so off we went to check it out.

The best part of the lounge was the light show outside the window. I think they need to change out some of the burnt bulbs though!

Here is Steve exiting the United Club lounge. Steve’s expression is “How long do I have to stand here before you take the picture? Enough already!”

We made our way to the gate and waited for the plane to push back.

This way!

Okay, now stop!

You are on your own now, buddy!

We both selected orange juice as our PDB (pre departure beverage).

No warm nuts, but we did get barely warm towels.

After the swill in the United Club lounge I needed more coffee.

For breakfast I ordered the bread budding with fruit sauce. Normally I don’t like bread pudding but this concoction was yummy.

Steve had the eggs. He scraped off the yucky topping.

The cinnamon roll was as good as it looked!

The flight was full in First Class, but not in premium economy or economy! We could have saved money and bought exit row seats and had the whole row for ourselves! When I checked two nights before we left there were only three seats that had been purchased in first class. The other nine seats were upgrades! We have no status on United so I doubt that we would have been upgraded anyway!

The back of the seat entertainment was working so I watched “The A Team”. I used to watch that show when it was a television series. The movie was very stupid, very violent and very funny. I enjoyed it immensely. Bradley Cooper is good looking, but my heart still only goes pitter patter for Steve, David Gandy and Colin Firth. (Not in any particular order!) However now that Colin Firth has separated from his wife, Steve better hope that I don’t find myself locked in a room with Colin!

In proof reading for my blog to make sure that I don’t get into real trouble Steve inquired who David Gandy was. As many of you may also have forgotten from prior year’s posts here is another picture.

For those who don’t know what a smoldering look is, see the above picture.

Look! It’s Abaco, but no stop at Delphi on this trip!

These clouds over Florida were very interesting.

We flew over the Florida Keys.

The flight wasn’t that long, it was 4 1/2 hours but I was still ready to get off the plane.

In case you don’t know where Belize is, this bigger map might help.

Here is where someone rich lives in Belize City.

Welcome to Belize City airport.

The lines for immigration were long. While we were in line we chatted up with the gentleman who sat behind us on the plane. He had a really hairy neck that I was dying to take a picture of for my blog. I thought better of it. I don’t want to go to Hell.

Welcome to Belize!

Since we only got breakfast on the plane Steve made a stop for snacks. His orders were not to bring back potato chips as I thought they might give us a stomach ache.

The Cheetos were so good I made him buy us another package of crunchy Cheetos to share!

In one of the gift shops at the Belize City airport they were selling lots of hot sauce. But since you were paying attention from last years post you would remember that!

I also saw a hat in the gift shop. It was $36!

I love people watching. I told Steve I thought it would be highly amusing if he got a blue Mohawk. He thought not.

In one of the magazines about Belize in the airport there was this story. I laughed so loud!Soon it was time for us to board our next flight. This is the plane we were going to Punta Gorda in.

The plane was packed. We were told to sit right behind the pilot as we were going to be the last people off the plane.

Steve with his generic “what am I supposed to be looking at” expression.

This one is much better. But if I can’t make fun of Steve, than who can I make fun of?

Here is the pilot of our plane. I think the plane basically flew on auto pilot except for takeoffs, landings, and turning around on the tarmac.

It always makes me a bit nervous when the altimeter function on my phone is not working. Should I be saying “glub, glub” instead of “help”?

First stop was Dangriga. Four people got off here.

Second stop was Placencia. There is money in Placencia! Do you know how I know? It has a very nice looking airport. A tad nicer than Dangriga.

There were lots of plots of land for agriculture. We weren’t sure what was happening. Had they just harvested? Were they going to plant?

The bustling town of Punta Gorda. Our lodge is up in the mountains, about 20 minutes from the airport. They grow rice and shrimp in this area.

End of the line. Punta Gorda Airport. It is also the post office.

No time to stop at Tim’s Shopping Center.

People were swimming in the Caribbean Sea also known as the Atlantic Ocean.

We passed by the marina on the way to the Lodge. It doesn’t look much different than it did last year! This is where Steve will depart for his fishing trips.

We actually saw the second picture first. Coming from the lodge you would enter thorough the gate and then take off in one of the boats. But that is making a short story long and is neither here not there!

Upon arrival at Copal Tree Lodge we were given a glass of Ginger Infusion. It was refreshing but spicy. It was comprised of ginger lime and honey. Alcohol free. Drat! You can see that I am not getting manicures. I thought that would make my nails healthier. I am not sure if it is working!

We hung out in the room a little bit and then it was time for us to go to dinner. I will show you pictures of the room another day.

As usual, Steve had a a glass of wine. I had the sparkling wine. It was not champagne as it was not from France.

The amuse bouche for the evening was devilled eggs. Did you know that I never had a devilled egg until I was in my 40’s?

I had the beet soup as my first course.

Steve elected to have a salad.

For dinner I had the pan fried Creole grouper with coconut cilantro rice, sautéed garden greens fried plantains. Next time I will say hold the plantains!

Steve had the steak, it was more medium than medium rare.

For dessert I had the Mayan Chocolate Budino. It was very sweet. Can you imagine, me saying something was very sweet! It tasted like a thick cold chocolate with caramel and bananas.

Steve played safe and had the chocolate ice cream with chocolate sauce.

Do you think Steve would cry if I got an electric blue Mohawk?

Do you think that Steve will catch a fish?

How hairy is your back?

High Lonesome Ranch, De Beque Colorado. Thursday September 8, 2016

Breakfast!

As Steve was off fishing the KBarT again on the White River, I decided to visit a park.

There are many beautiful parks in the Western United States. How many have you seen? I have been to all of the listed ones except for Grand Canyon.

The entrance to the park. Come along with me to see the park.

Map so you can see where I traveled.

You can see clearly here the levels of rock. Would you believe that 90 million years ago this area was covered by water? Now instead of a parking lot it is a lunch lot! Doesn’t that sound like a song?

Independence Monument and how it was made.

Yes, there were people climbing this today!

Not for me!

Some of the wildlife in the park.

Information on the Redlands Fault.

Redlands Fault view.

Rockslide.

The view of the valley below.

It was cool to drive through a tunnel.

I was so excited to see a group of Bighorn Sheep!

Look at the guy on the rock wall in the second picture!

Another handsome guy!

Look at the wind erosion!

Below is Ute Canyon, a water carved landscape.

The views were amazing.

This area was shaped by earthquakes and erosion.

The summer wild flowers were in bloom.

You need to be tough to try to grow here.

The famous balanced rock.

I did another good deed today. These two tired hikers were walking along the road looking for a ride to the next parking area. They were hiking since 8 a.m. and it was 2 p.m. when I stopped to give them a ride. I am glad that they were not axe murderers. They were from Switzerland and were visiting our National Parks. I think I saved them another two hour hike. It was 82 degrees and very hot out!

On the way back I stopped at the Marijuana dispensary in De Beque to check it out. I didn’t buy anything, nor did I ask any questions. That’s for someone else to do!

Then it was back to High Lonsome to get ready for dinner.

Steve caught many fish during the day.

These are all different fish too!

Thursday evening dinner. The guys were all here again. They were from an architectural firm and a mechanical engineering firm. They design about 70% of all the sports arenas and stadiums. Can you imagine doing this if you were a sports nut? Remember how sad I was yesterday about my new friends leaving? Well being surrounded by 15 guys, sure did put a smile on my face!

Another picture of my new male friends, just because!

We had assorted smoked meats as an hors d’oeuvres.

Fresh biscuits.

Salad.

Dinner was fried chicken.

With lots of golden mashed potatoes.

Big bowls of broccoli.

Dessert was chocolate lava cake that was not dry! I can’t stand it when the cake is over cooked and the inside is not oozing out like lava! Tomorrow is our next adventure. Grand Mesa and then a wedding in Beaver Creek.

Would you have picked up the hitch hikers?

What questions would you have asked at the dispensary?

Have you met me in real life?

Valparaíso, Chile Tuesday January 17, 2017

After a fitful sleep at we woke up and went to breakfast. Unfortunately the room had no air conditioning and it was quite warm outside. We left the windows open so that we could have a breeze, but the gulls were always squawking! In addition, there was a park below with lots of people hanging out late into the night!

Here is another view of the hotel. Our room is on the third floor of the building on the upper left by the arched window.

This is a picture of the outside of the restaurant where we had dinner last night and breakfast this morning.

Off we went with JP, and Maxima our driver in our Peugeot van. Valparaíso is so colorful!

I am used to signs showing evacuation routes from super highways due to snow closures. This was the first time I saw a sign for a Tsunami escape route.

Houses were built anywhere there was a place to support a house. Even though Chile has lots of earthquakes, there are not many deaths, due to the strict construction guidelines.

The sun was blinding here. JP and Steve are shielding their eyes from the glare.

JP was into crazy poses. I’m not really into them, and don’t do crazy well, but I am a good sport. Here we are anyway at the famous floral clock doing a crazy pose.

We are now in Viña Del Mar, it is known for its beautiful gardens. It is within the Valparaíso region, and is Chile’s fourth largest city. The chef at the hotel last night called Valparaíso the San Francisco of the third world!

Here we are, on the Promenade. It is early, so not many people are out and about.

Here is JP pointing toward Valparaiso.

Here is the other direction, toward Con Con.

Here is the Casino, as I don’t gamble and it was early in the morning; we didn’t go inside. Plus the men in tuxedos, and the women in gowns and fine jewelry are probably still asleep, so there would be nothing to look at and report on!

We continue our stroll along the Promenade like the two love birds that we are. I smartly suggested we remove our dorky hats for the picture. See that white shirt I am wearing? Well, I will leave it in the hotel tomorrow by mistake and not ever see it again!

Ah, some energetic joggers. The rock in the background is called the “Michael Jackson” rock as it started out black. #imjustrepeatingthejoke

Above the u shaped rocks, there were seals playing. They were fun to watch jumping and diving into the water. That is Valparaíso in the background.

Here are Steve and JP watching the seals. Maxima, our driver, is keeping an eye on me!

We depart the beach with JP and Steve looking for babes in bikinis.

Let’s go into the park Vina Del Mar which was named after Jose Francisco Delvarga.

This is an old house across the street from the park. This is what many of the houses looked like when the city was founded. Now it is mostly skyscrapers.

They host many concerts here. Preparations were underway for a concert in two weeks.

Inside the concert arena.

We could not understand this sculpture hanging down from the rooftop of the amphitheater.

We continued our walk in the park and examined many of the old specimen trees.

JP was very upset that so many of the tree limbs had to be cut down due to the rot that the old tree had.

This is a photo of the house where Senor Delvarga lived.

You can see damage from the earthquake that is being repaired.

We depart Vina Del Mar and all its flowers.

We go to the Mueso La Sebastiana next. fundacionneruda.org This was the home of the Nobel wining Chilean poet, statesman and womanizer Pablo Neruda.

Neruda’s home had charming views of Valparaíso. He loved to get together with friends, especially on New Year’s Eve when the bay lit up with fireworks. During the summer at our house in Lake George, I am always running up and down our deck looking at the fireworks over the lake. I am easily entertained.

The colorful house from below.

Here we are in a normal pose.

We left the museum as the crowds began to gather.

Mural of a young boy fishing.

The houses are all a mishmash of styles. JP told us that a number of the houses are built right on top of each other, so it can be difficult finding the right address!

Panoramic view of Valparaíso.

I spy something.

The murals have many different themes.

Many of the murals were commissioned by business people or the city.

I found this one creepy.

All through the neighborhoods were murals.

To get to our restaurant Maxima had to back the van up a narrow street. Well, it was that or back up after he dropped us off. I think he wanted to impress us. He did!

Lunch was at Maralegre, (maralegre.cl) located in the boutique hotel Casa Higueres. casahigueres.cl

Steve and I were pretty hot and tired from all the walking around in the sun. It was nice to take some ibuprofen and not be on our feet. Steve has felt a sore throat for the past few days. I think it’s all the smog. We shall see when we get to Easter Island as there won’t be any smog there!

Here I am equally happy, this vacation has been so wonderful!

My view over Steve’s shoulder.

A closeup shows a house with earthquake damage, or ready for renovation or both!

We were offered tomato berry watermelon gazpacho to start. I drank Steve’s as he doesn’t care for tomato juice, or fruits. It really helped to cool me off.

Fresh rolls and butter, much better than stale rolls! As the lunch went on the butter melted completely in the hot sun.

Salad was greens with cheese, thinly sliced pear and quail eggs.

I ate half before the waiter brought out the dressing!

Steve had a Pisco Sour, I had an Aperol Spritz.

We were offered a palate cleanser of apple anise ice. It was quite refreshing.

Steve had the tagliatelle, sun dried tomatoes, sage and almonds.

I had the wagyu beef, shrimp angel hair pasta with truffle oil. No I did not finish!

Before dessert I had Steve and I change seats, just like at my fancy candle lit dinner parties!

My new view.

The dessert was called chocolate vanilla or vanilla chocolate in Spanish!

The waiter poured hot chocolate on the mousse so it melted like a reverse volcano. This might be my Vulcan Hudson afterall!

More graffiti.

Steve with improper arm placement for my picture taking. I could however, ask him to move his arm at any time and he would do so. I just like to make fun of him!

This is called the English section. When the English immigrants came to Valparaíso they married the Spanish aristocracy and stayed in this area. They were considered of higher status because they were English. The Germans moved to the Lake District. These homes were painted pastels: blues, purples, whites and greens.

A panoramic view of the port.

We could see four cranes constantly moving containers.

Here I made JP and Steve do a crazy pose.

This house was in very bad shape, but it had an amazing view.

Graffiti and laundry hung out upstairs to dry.

The main square. There was an artisan market under the canopies.