Copal Tree Lodge, Punta Gorda Belize. Tuesday January 7, 2020

Good morning to you! As I have been cranky about people not liking my posts I am suggesting that you go up to the beginning of the post and click on the blue heading of the post. That way you will be able to go directly to the blog website where you will see the like button on the bottom of the post. Then you take your little index finger put it over the like button and press “like”. If you are reading on a desk top, then you need to use your mouse. It is really quite simple. I could be really mean and make this post in two parts. Those that clicked the like button would be kept on the mailing list. Those that don’t would get scrubbed. But I am nice, and I am not going to do that. As you could just go directly to the website and read the posts that way.

Did you click the blue post heading yet?

Today I ordered scrambled eggs for breakfast. I was also given Ketchup and hot sauce on the side. I suspect it was hot sauce although I didn’t try it.

I had a plate of fruit on the side.

This morning I headed to the lower veranda to hang out. All the howler monkeys were asleep and I didn’t see many birds although I could hear them. On Trip Advisor many people had posted about the great number of birds that they saw on the bird watching expeditions here. One person mentioned that they saw over 175 different species over 4 days! That is a lot of birds! I can’t say that this is something I will try as the thought of wandering around in the jungle trying to locate birds is not my cup of tea. Especially with it being so humid out and there are lots of bugs in the jungle.

While I am sitting on the lower veranda I am overheard some guests inquire about kayaking on the river below. Not my cup of tea also. Jungle, bugs, steamy weather, activity, hips stuck in an uncomfortable position. No thank you!

Before I knew it lunch time had come and I climbed upstairs to eat again.

My lunch time view.

I ordered the beef quesadillas. They came with all the usual fixings.

Instead of having something highly caloric for dessert I asked for a fruit plate. Talk about a generous serving!

After lunch I decided to try to locate the gym. It was down by the river. I could take the tram down or walk. What is your prediction?

Fooled you! I decided that I would walk down, but wanted to push the button to call the tram to test it out.

I think there were over 300 steps to reach the gym and I did not want to end up walking down and not getting a ride back up and needing to walk 300 steps back up. Momma didn’t raise me to be a fool!

The tram sounded like it was moving, so off I went, as I was reasonably assured that I could ride back up the hill.

Last year when we were here we met some French people that worked in Manhattan. They were in tremendous shape and walked down and up the stairs. I am not French, so I am therefore not in tremendous shape.

I was happy to see that the tram was indeed on its way back up.

I didn’t need to rest on the bench on my way down, I would have needed a long rest if I tried to walk up the stairs.

Halfway point!

The gym. They did a lot of renovations since last year, extending the gym.

There was an exercise bike, a weight system and some other equipment. The gym was air conditioned, but I don’t think that it was ever turned on. So even if you wanted to work out, the gym would take forever to be at a comfortable temperature.

There was also a bathroom with kayak paddles and life preservers. There is something about those sinks that are mounted above the counter. I don’t really like them. I prefer my sink mounted into the counter.

The dock was completely renovated since last year. There had been a flood and it destroyed the dock.

Looks like the couple decided to go kayaking. Did I tell you yet today how much I hate kayaking?

I was going to sit in the chairs and read instead.

Of course it started to sprinkle as soon as I sat down. This is the view downstream. Eventually the stream hits the ocean.

So I headed back to the gym and to the tram.

I pushed the button and the tram started heading down the hill.

The tram! The tram! See these people on the left? They carried big sticks with them. We had such sticks in our room, but did not know what they were for. They were walking sticks!

I pushed the up button and off we went!

The view looking down to the river was not very good at all with the plexiglass being all dirty.

With a little elevation it wasn’t so bad after all.

Someplace in the jungle is our room!

There were even birds of paradise growing near the tram tracks.

Then it was time to relax and wait for Steve to come back from fishing.

Yay! Steve came back to report that he caught three fish! Here is Steve’s report:

The new season began with a trip to Belize, where I fished once again with Victor Jacobs for 4 days-Jan 5-8. I chose the timing to coincide with the moon phase approaching full, but this hurt rather than helped, because of the cool, overcast conditions that prevailed the entire trip. Visibility was so poor that only 2 options were available-fishing the very shallow lagoon, an hour’s boat ride north of the marina, where permit wakes and nervous water could be detected, or blind casting in the rivers for snook and tarpon. We did some of each most days. Compounding the difficulties was the Spring tides, which emptied the flats of water so that permit left for the deeper channels, where they are impossible to find unless they are picking crabs off leaves floating in the tidal current, which I did see once.

On Jan 5 and 6, I had no action at all. Jan 7 was a bit warmer, but still below normal, and the fish were more active. I saw a crocodile swimming across the Deep River. I caught my first ever tarpon, about 12 pounds, on a Clouser. The fish came out of nowhere and jumped immediately. He was very fast, but succumbed quickly to the 10 weight that I had borrowed from Joe Codd, who I recently met at Delphi. I had a much larger tarpon, probably 30-40 pounds, swirl at the fly 10 feet form the boat. I also missed a small tarpon and caught my first Yellow Tail Trevally, about 1.5 pounds. Late in the day we saw some permit wakes on the shallow flats, and I had a couple of shots, and I caught another yellow Tail Trevally, this one about 3 pounds and very strong. Overall it was a good day, extending my streak to 47 months and adding 2 new species to my list.

Well done Steve! Perhaps I shall rename to blog to Steve’s Excellent Adventures!

This is a picture of a tarpon. Much, much bigger than Steve’s fish. Steve unfortunately did not have Victor take a picture of any of today’s fish.

Tonight’s amuse bouche was devilled eggs again. They were just as yummy as the first time we had them.

My drink of the evening was a Spicy Mayan. Copalli Rum, all spice leaf, lime juice, simple syrup and orange bitters.

Steve had the chicken wings for his starter.

I can’t remember what kind of soup I had. I neglected to take a picture of the menu so your guess is as good as mine. It was green though!

Steve ordered the chicken. It was too dry. He did enjoy the puréed carrots.

I ordered the fish. It was very good. Since Steve didn’t really enjoy his chicken I shared my fish with him. I am such a kind and generous spouse, aren’t I?

For dessert I ordered the pineapple coconut pie. Actually it was pineapple pie with coconut ice cream on the side. I guess that explained why the pie didn’t taste like coconut at all. Slow learner that I am, I didn’t realize that the ice cream was coconut until 2 nights later. More of that story in another blog post!

Steve had the vanilla cake for his dessert.

So far this trip Steve and I stuck to ourselves. While at dinner tonight I overheard a couple that had just arrived inquire about lobster for dinner. They were told that lobster was served the previous night. After the waitress left, I was going to tell them that they didn’t miss much, but thought better of it.

Should Steve do his own blog?

Should I speak softly and carry a big stick?

Should I make friends with the couple who wanted to eat lobster?

Major quibble time. I have noticed that the only people who have been liking my blog posts are people that I do not know in real life. Some of my friends have been kind enough to post comments. For those true and loyal friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. For you others, you had better shape up or I will cease and desist on my blog posts. I spend about three hours on each post. The least that you can do is figure out how to like and comment on the blog.

Steve says that I should not post my major quibble. Not because a quibble is slight objection about a trivial matter. Number one, you can’t have a major quibble if a quibble is slight, and number two is that my blog is not a trivial matter to me. His attitude is that I have mentioned in the past that I expect my fan club to respond with a like or a comment and that I can just have a diary if my fans don’t evidence their appreciation.

Now I have admitted to being a lard ass and sitting around blogging and reading. Are you a lard ass also and have fingers that are too weak to push a key on a keyboard?

Steve also suggested that I sleep on my thoughts and then decide in the morning if I wanted to post my thoughts. I slept on it and added the top suggestion that readers could go directly from the email to the website. I have also been told by others that the old email posts had a like button on them and you didn’t have to go to the website. I will check on that with WordPress. (Although that is really a lame excuse J!).

Let’s see if my stats improve. It’s all about the stats, and the comments!

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?

Belize Friday February 15, 2019

Good morning! Steve got up early to go fishing. The package we were on included fishing for me also, but I don’t like to get up early If it would be guaranteed that I would catch many fish, and have a non bumpy boat ride, there is a small chance that I might join Steve.

I pushed the button to call the tram to pick me up for the ride down to the dining area.

It arrived quickly.

This is the wheel that the cable for the tram winds around.

Let’s get in and check out breakfast.

Hot coffee, always a delight in the morning. Plus my very own glass of sugar. I ordered the French toast with fruit. They didn’t have any orange juice or butter today. The lady next to me at breakfast asked for butter for her toast, I was surprised when they said they were out. After breakfast I went to explore a little bit. This is the pool for the guests not staying in the canopy suites. The pool looked very nice. It was well shaded, for those who don’t like the sun. Our pool was lovely, but the chaise lounges are all in the sun, and looked too big to move. I went back through the downstairs lounge and bar. I will have to take a picture another day of the bar. I feel I am going to need to pad the rest of my days as there is not much going on here. I pushed the button again to head up to our suite.

I ended up spending most of the morning here blogging about Wednesday and our travel on Thursday. It was cool in the shade. Our two neighbors enjoyed the sun and the pool. They have been here since Sunday and will leave Monday.

While at the pool the Howler Monkeys were howling.

Then it was back down to the dining area for lunch. I had a delicious salad with grilled chicken and pineapple. The ladies next to me were having pina coladas. I told them I was tempted. They told me “We are sitting right next to you! You are not drinking alone!”

It took them a long time to get their drinks, I was happy I stuck with an iced tea.

Dessert was banana and vanilla ice cream.

I hung out at the room all afternoon, switching from our deck, to the pool deck, thoroughly enjoying myself and feeling more and more relaxed.

Steve came back from fishing just after 4. He had a very disappointing nil. That means no fish. However none of the other anglers who went out fishing with the guides from Copal Tree got fish either. Steve did see some permit, and threw out a few casts at them, but none of them took the fly. Let’s wish him better luck next time.

We decided to go down to dinner a little early and get a drink at the bar downstairs. We sat on the lower veranda, but no one came to offer us a drink so we went up to the restaurant. I was a bit overwhelmed, I saw some cookies on an end table and desperately wanted them, but knew I would spoil my dinner. I don’t like sitting at bars, so didn’t want to sit there. The waitresses were much more proactive and offered us a drink menu with all the specialty drinks offered her.

Steve had a Jaguar Pizz in honor of my car.

He drank it very quickly!

I had a Belizean Howler Monkey. I sipped mine.

Here is Steve enjoying the view.

Here is Steve enjoying the view of me. I warned you, that not much was happening and I would need to pad the post!

Our amuse bouche for tonight was a mini taco.

We each had the lightly batter dipped shrimp on cucumbers. It was exceptionally good. It was described as a shrimp and cucumber salad.

We each had the fish. I asked to have mine with rice.

Steve had his served on polenta.

For dessert Steve had ice cream. He didn’t particularly care for it as it was very grainy.

I had the Budino. I only ate half of it.

How do you take your coffee?

When you look at your spouse, do you look at them like you are scared to death of them?

Do you consider cookies a proper cocktail canapé?

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 13, 2019

Doesn’t that look appetizing! I love fresh fruit at breakfast. Sometimes at home I buy fresh fruit that has been cut up but it always seems ready to go bad at any moment. If I buy a melon it is generally not ripe and then I end up throwing it out!Today I ordered ordered a blueberry pancake to go along with my eggs. It was interesting to see a bottle of Crown Maple syrup on the table. Crown Maple is bottled in Dutchess County where our friends C and J live, and also now M and G. Maybe if I plug our friendship they will give me more likes! I had a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich again with my lunch. We had ice cream bars again for dessert. Our first canapé was Mahi Mahi beignets. They were piping hot. Our second canapé was Brie and spiced apple on a croute. Which is a fancy name for a cracker. Our starter was Stone Claw Crabs. I had the wild boar with gnocchi as my entree. Steve had the Hogfish. Since he was sitting far from me, I don’t have a picture for you.

I sat next to V, a retired vascular surgeon from England. He was a little hard of hearing, so I had to speak loudly to get my questions heard. You might see a vascular surgeon if you have high blood pressure, varicose veins, or other circulatory problems. He has been retired for over twenty years now, so when I discussed my blood clot medicines with him he had not heard of it as it is a new medication.

Dessert was a gingerbread auflauf with sour orange anglaise and spiced ice cream. It was very good. An auflauf is a German word for soufflé. You can add that to your repertoire of words to impress people!

Steve caught fourteen bonefish and another barrcuda. That barracuda was not twenty five pounds like yesterday’s fish. None of them big enough for him to sit at head of the table.

We had two departures today, including S who is attending medical school in Edinburgh. He skipped some classes to go fishing with his Dad, J, who is a barrister. We also lost D, the other barrister. D was telling me at breakfast how his wife loves to camp on her holidays. D does not share his darling wife’s love of camping. He does not like camping in the fields in a three bedroom tent with living room among a bunch of Belgians. I asked whether she always liked to camp (thinking that her liking camping would have been a deal breaker from the get go)? No, she just started to enjoy camping in the past five years. They had been married for over 12 years. He especially did not enjoy camping last summer in the south of France in 35 degree Celsius weather. That’s the equivalent of 95 degrees Fahrenheit!

Our new guests were V and J. They are a retired couple from England. They arrived yesterday. They had already spent a week in Nassau and will be spending a week in Delphi and then fly to another fishing lodge in the Bahamas.

Also J, from Lexington Kentucky via Belfast, a friend of J, whose son and friend D, left. J’s wife is from Syracuse, where I grew up! Of course we did not know each other.

Now most of the J’s that are here are really John’s. One J is a Jack. However as I am trying to disguise my guests names I have been using initials. Wouldn’t it be funny if all the J’s were really M’s, and the guys names were Mike and Matt. Could I be doing a double switcharoo and be fooling you? You will never know, now will you!

Does your name begin with a J?

Did you know one time we had three Linda’s here?

Do you like to camp or stay in luxury hotels?


Delphi Club, Abaco. January 12, 2019

Here is a picture of some of the pastries. Steve really likes the cinnamon buns. I really like the blueberry muffins. I often eat at least two each morning!Here are my fried eggs. At home I usually have just cereal or biscotti. Every once in a while I swear off biscotti, as I think it’s pretty unhealthy to just drink coffee and eat four mini biscotti in the morning. Then I stop buying them. That lasts for about two months, and I decide to start buying them again. It’s a viscous cycle. My stomach fat says “No, No!” While my eye balls say “Yes, Yes!’

After a morning binge watching the Tidying Up series with Marie Kondo on Netflix I went upstairs to lunch. This trip we are staying on the lower level of the building. Last trip we were in the rooms above the great room. So it’s now upstairs to meals as opposed to downstairs to meals! As it was very windy today we didn’t eat ocean side. The breeze can be very strong some days on the veranda. When it’s windy we eat with a view of the parking lot and the bushes.

I decided to try the grilled cheese and tomato soup accompanied by a side salad for lunch. A joined me again and we found out how much we have in common. Both our husbands, fish which we don’t care to do. We would rather lay about and read. Although A is energetic enough to walk down to the beach. I prefer to just look down from the veranda and say “Hmm. Yes, a beach lies below. Nice to look at. Perhaps I will go visit it some day. But not today.” A and her husband J, are from Scotland. They came with another friend S. When they get going talking, I find it hard to understand what they are saying. But it is so much fun listening to their accents. I wonder if they find my American accent amusing. I hope so. It would be horrible if they found it grating to their ears!

We both agreed that we are comfortable just staying at the Club. To go off site you need to borrow the house car, and drive about 30 minutes to Marsh Harbour where you can take a ferry to one of the out islands. Then you rent a golf cart to drive around and see the outside of houses. Now if they offered tours of some fancy mansions, then I might step off the grounds. Until then I stay at the club.

Many of you know that I proposed to Steve after we dated for six months. A did one better she waited a number of years and then informed J that they should get married! A bit more pressure than my offer of marriage.

We are still waiting for Max and his girlfriend to get engaged Well, at least I am! I suggested he do it for Christmas, but he declined that suggestion. Then I suggested he do it is a New Year’s resolution. Nix on that. However one night at dinner, Max referred to Nicole as “the missus”. Now I follow the dictionary meaning that “the missus” refers to one’s wife. Max follows the second definition meaning woman. He is wrong, and as the guest I am therefore right!

In December 2017, I did go to Nancy’s in Sandy Point, for lunch. It wasn’t for me. This was inside the bar. The outside didn’t look much better! I asked if there were any cookies or ice cream for dessert at lunch. We hit the jackpot with ice cream bars. Not as good as a Dove Bar, but refreshing just the same. Steve went fishing with Dana, the lone female guide on Abaco. Here she is holding a 25 pound barracuda that Steve caught. Although it was the biggest fish of the day, Steve didn’t get head of the table as only the largest bonefish counts to get that honor. He caught 2 bonefish, both too small to take the honors. Steve has sat at the head of the table many times, so he wasn’t disappointed. Our first canapé of the evening was quail eggs with celery salt. I was nervous eating them last year for the first time, but they are very tasty. Next up were salt cod fritters with a dipping sauce. Our first course was a beet salad. They used to offer a beet salad with lots of greens and feta cheese at lunch. I will have to ask Jason, the chef, if it can be put back in rotations. I had the Osso Bucco for my entree. Not as good as mine, but at least I didn’t have to cook or clean. Dessert was a pavlova with raspberries, mango coulis and chantilly cream. The recommend wine was $150 per bottle, so we passed on a dessert wine. We usually drink about 3/4 of a bottle each night. I have half a glass and Steve drinks the rest. On previous trips I would get a bottle of rose to drink at lunch for the week. However since I am on so many drugs trying to cure my scratching, I am not drinking at lunch. Now that I think about it, if I were in a drunken haze, perhaps I would ignore the urge to scratch.

This dessert is also called “Eton Mess”. Although then it would be made with strawberries and not raspberries. No one at the Club this year had gone to Eton. In December one of the guests had gone to Eton, and then on to Oxford!We finally got our after dinner chocolates tonight. Jason the chef has been quite stingy in sending them out with the after dinner tea and coffee! Steve should have picked the truffle on the left, as it had no coconut on it, and Steve hates coconut!

No crazy dinner stories tonight, as S wouldn’t let me sit next to him! S was the guest who danced with the Queen. Yes, the Queen, for my new readers!

Have you ever eaten a quail egg?

Are you a layabout or an action person?

Have you ever been to Nancy’s?

I am not even going to bother asking you if you have met the Queen. Although I do know that one of my readers has met the Queen several times!

Saturday December 1, 2018 Back to Delphi Club, Abaco Bahamas

Well, my dear readers, we are back to current times. I still have our trip to Iceland this past November to report on and will do so when I finish up this current trip.

We were picked up at the ugly time of 5 a.m. for our car service to White Plains where we would depart to go to Fort Lauderdale and then Marsh Harbour. We had a bit of a delay with the plane, finally after de-icing the plane and paperwork we were off. I had forgotten my ear buds and actually broke down and bought a pair so I could watch the news about the late President George H.W. Bush. Instead I watched Crazy Rich Asians, and adored the movie. I will have to watch it at home on a bigger screen as there was much to see.

We landed in a timely manner at Fort Lauderdale and finally found our departing terminal for our connecting flight. Jet Blue and Silver airways do not fly out of the same terminal. It is always a gamble, do we go left or right upon landing on our search for the Silver Departure Gates? Well, I guessed correctly and we found the correct terminal. As we had a rather long layover, 3.5 hours I suggested we go to the Silver airways counter and get our boarding passes reprinted as ours didn’t say TSA Pre-Check. I hate taking off my shoes and taking out phones and iPads from our bags, don’t you? New boarding passes in hand we were able to go through security quickly and look for a place for lunch.

Last time we stopped at Shula Burger, and weren’t that excited about our lunch, so we tried Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville. Steve had an uninspiring burger and I had the Caesar salad. We only heard Margaritaville played once, I was wondering if it was played every hour. It seems I forgot to take a picture of our lunches. Oh, well!

Then we found our gate, and waited and waited. Steve took off at one point, and I began to worry when he didn’t come back. No, he didn’t get lost or collapse, he was talking to one of his brothers on the phone as it was his brother’s birthday. I asked Steve to let me know in the future if he was going to look for a quiet place for a phone call. However as I am always wandering off in the stores, and he can’t find me, I guess that payback is a bitch.

There weren’t any interesting David Gandy posters on the wall this time. Finally it was time to board and we were off to Marsh Harbour Airport on Abaco. We were picked up by Margery, who has a lock on the taxi service to and from the airport to Delphi. We got up to date on the situation of the hospital, which was finally finished, and whether or not Baker’s Bay ,the upscale housing development ,was legit or not. It is, although I still think that Tom Brady and Micheal Jordan have free homes there, or bought with a substantial discount, to give the development credibility.

Finally we arrived at the Delphi Club, where we will stay for the week. It always feels like home. The beach is still deserted as there are only two homes in this area. There is still a bit of seaweed, although not as much as in prior years. Every high tide, more seaweed gets deposited. It is a never ending job to keep the beach clean.

Peter, the Most Interesting Man in the world, is no longer here. He is back in merry olde England where his dear long suffering wife Jane has him hard at work on her honey do list. Max is still here, and his girlfriend is here to keep and eye on him. I have only suggested that Max propose on Christmas about six times already. When we come back in January I will be inspecting Nicole’s hands. Especially the ring finger.

No fishing this afternoon for Steve. I requested to stay in one of the upstairs rooms, although I think we will stay downstairs in the future. The drawbacks of staying upstairs are that you can hear some of the living room noise, when people are still chatting and you want to sleep. Also, there is a step down to the bathroom, and I am petrified that I will miss the step and break my neck. You do remember that I have a tendency to fall down stairs don’t you?

The advantage is that there is a delightful little deck off the bedroom, that is quite sunny and you have a lovely view of the beach. The downstairs bedrooms are a little more shady, and therefore have more sand flies. Boo Hiss on the sandflies!

First canapé of the evening was Pork Tonnato, although I swear it was tuna fish. Next up was calamari rings.

Our appetizer was Stone Crab Claws. Steve had the Hogfish. A terrible name for a very tasty fish. I had the Rack of Lamb. Max requested mint jelly, and the bottled good stuff was brought to the table. Not the mint flavored apple jelly you get in the States. Saturday night Chef Jason likes to serve cheese and fruit for dessert. Not my favorite. I prefer something sweeter. I prefer ice cream, and after whispering in Jason’s ear, he was sweet enough to bring it to me. I think the flavors were vanilla and allspice.It definitely wasn’t chocolate and was a bit zingy. No chocolates with our tea, but biscuits or as we would say in the States, cookies, fresh out of the oven. Mmm, mmm, mmm, as my favorite friend from South Africa would say.

Do you like cheese or cookies?

Do you remember who David Gandy is?

Do you understand the Margaritaville song?

“The Land” June 2018

During the winter Steve found an advertisement for property in the Adirondacks. 523 acres of land in Franklin County. The Salmon River runs through part of it.

I have left all the contact information in case you might be interested. I guess by telling you that you can also be a proud owner of “The Land” you have figured out that we didn’t buy the property. Well, maybe so, but read on, as it truly was an excellent adventure!

Well, that was enough to get Steve interested. His own private stretch of the Salmon River. Since we don’t have access to a snowmobile we couldn’t go to see it until Spring.

We couldn’t go in May because I was having my Excellent Adventure at Memorial Sloan Kettering with the removal of my Myxoma in my thigh. You do remember that Adventure don’t you?

By June, I was fit enough to go for an Exellent Adventure to explore “The Land”, as Steve and I affectionately named the property. So off we went to meet the real estate agent in Saranac Lake, about 90 minutes away from our house in Lake George.

Now you are probably asking what in the world were Steve and Linda thinking about acquiring 523 acres of forested land far, far away from civilization. There is no house on the property, no electricity, no running water (except for the Salmon River), and probably no cell service….

Wonder on, I think Steve was a bit delusional, but I love the man fiercely and thought, “Well, it might make an interesting blog post!”We met Tim in his office and he showed us the map. “The Land” is located right where Tim’s finger is. We needed to drive about another hour to get to the property. Part of the journey would be on unpaved private roads. The property was in the middle of nowhere, a beer run would probably take an hour or so. Walmart? Tack on another sixty minutes at least.

You can see in this picture how far away Lake George is. Our property in Diamond Point is located five miles north of the village of Lake George.

Off we went, following Tim in his big truck. If Steve and I purchased “The Land”, we were going to have to buy a pickup truck. Steve has secretly wanted a pickup truck for a long time, but we have no use for them. We don’t haul anything that can’t fit in the SUV or the van.

Long ago before we had children we stayed at a fishing lodge in Grand Lake Stream, Maine. We saw a 90 year old codger who drove a brand new fire red pickup truck. Steve laughed that he must have just gotten a good health report from his doctor!

We eventually got to the start of the private road and we got in Tim’s truck.

Here is the gate to let us onto the private road. During winter this road is only passable by snowmobile. Remember that factoid, it will be crucial to the tale of this adventure! We slowly drove on the dirt road and started to explore the property. Here we are on a short walk to a pond. Steve is wearing one of his at least twenty plaid shirts. Ten are located in Poughkeepsie, and ten in Lake George.

Tim is wearing a long sleeve version. We aren’t as used to the bugs, so Steve and I both wore long sleeves and doused ourselves with bug repellant.

Here is Steve checking out the pond at the end of our short walk. It was really a pretty view, but the pond was too shallow, all the fish would probably die off during the winter. Steve brought his fly rod in case he saw a fish rise. He never even made a cast.

Here is a little video of the pond. A bit dejected we went back to the truck. We did see some pretty flowers, but that was about it. The trees on the property were not that good looking. The property had a deal with a hunting club. They had access to the property for hunting, and supposedly that paid for the taxes.

By now we had decided that being Lumber Barons was not in the cards for us. We had enough and told Tim, that we had seen enough. We started to head back to where Steve and I had our car parked. Unfortunately we then heard a hiss and a thump thump. Oh, no! A flat tire! It seems that studs from a snowmobile had fallen off during the winter and one was laying face up in the road. Here is Tim at work jacking up the truck.Tim spent quite a bit of time trying to get the wheel off. We looked in manuals, and tried to find out if there was a secret to getting the tire off. The tire just didn’t want to come off the axel. Finally Tim got a shovel from the bed of the truck and whacked the truck a good one. Finally the tire came off! Yay! We were lucky as there was no cell phone reception where we were. Tim did not have a satellite phone. His wife wasn’t expecting him home for dinner as he was coaching a local lacrosse team. So no one would think about looking for missing Tim until about ten o’clock at night! Here is our hero Tim! We were all so happy that the tire got on the truck. We drove back on that dirt road slowly, with eyes looking for any kind of glint in the dirt that might be another snowmobile stud!

We said goodbye to Tim after we finally reached our car. We had never been so happy to be on paved roads! We stopped for ice cream on our way back to Lake George. A soft ice cream twist on a hot day. As our friend Greg says “mmmm, mmmm!”

Yes indeed! Although I think I’m going to have to do something about those age spots before my next hand close up!

Are you a lumber baron?

Does your husband ever have any crazy ideas about buying property?

Do you tolerate his madness with a sweet smile?

Which do you prefer? Soft vanilla, chocolate or twist ice cream cones?

May 1, 2018 Pre-surgical Testing and Lunch in Manhattan

I am going through my 20,046 photos and 629 videos and thought that I would use a quick post as a good way to delete some pictures. I am still trying to figure out how I have 629 videos, but I think that might be due to accidentally having my iPhone camera setting on video instead of photo!

Anyway May 1st, Steve and I took the train to Manhattan to see Dr. Boland before the surgery to remove the myxoma in my thigh. He is a surgeon at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. When my thingamajig in my thigh was discovered in February 2017, we were able to get a second opinion with Dr. Boland. Sloan doesn’t just see anyone, we had to have pathology reports and a diagnosis first. My specialness was confirmed with the diagnosis of a myxoma-only one in a million people get them. Surprise! Once I was accepted into the Sloan system it was decided to have my surgery there instead of back home in Poughkeepsie.

After following my myxoma for over a year, Dr. Boland decided to remove it. We just had to stop traveling for a while! So after our trip to The Maldives, Argentina and Abaco, we were finally in one place long enough for me to have surgery and recover. So a date in May was picked for the surgery. I already described the Excellent Surgery Adventure in a previous post.

Pre Surgical Testing was scheduled and we met with the doctor first. We were unsure if I would actually have surgery as the last MRI showed a decrease in size of the myxoma. We were happy that Dr. Boland still wanted to do the surgery, he thought the size discrepancy could have been due to measurement error. He explained the surgery and we were off to get chest x-rays, blood draw and EKG’s. Blood draws are my favorite part. I have great veins for phlebotomists to use. Steve accuses me of suffering from veinity. Ha Ha.

After that was over we were free to go to lunch and then home. We picked Avena on E. 57th Street. We sat upstairs, the first time we were there we ate downstairs. Like most NYC restaurants it was quite small. Upstairs was nice and since it was a beautiful day we could look outside. We picked the prix fixe lunch special. Steve had the Green pea Veloute with roasted flying squid! Hmm, that sounds interesting now doesn’t it! It was a strange choice for Steve as he does not like mollusks. But he does like Green peas. Presentation was the way I like it, except this time it was a little backward. Soup first and then squid was ladled in, unlike the restaurant at The Union League where I got vegetables and then soup was poured on.

Here it is with the squid in it. Now doesn’t that just make you want to gag! Steve says the addition of the squid was not a value add at all! I was SMART and had the seasonal greens with air dried cured beef. A much more sensible choice. However as Steve has a condition where iron is stored in the body he has to limit his beef intake. A real bummer to my diet, as this means we don’t get to eat a lot of steak now. For his entree Steve had homemade Fettuccini with wild mushrooms. Just looking at the dish now, I can understand why Steve had indigestion later in the day. It looks a wee bit greasy to me. Too much truffle oil perhaps!My entree was salmon on a potato galette. Much easier to digest. Steve had two small balls of pistachio ice cream. I upgraded my dessert for an extra $4 and got the semifreddo Tangerine compote with pistachio pralines and warm meringue. It was delicious.

I don’t think we will go to the restaurant again as, the food was a little too rich for Steve. I thought it was great. As long as I gave Steve goo goo eyes 👀 and didn’t look at Steve’s choices I was fine!

Do you have good veins?

Do you think squid 🦑 are disgusting?

How much of an up charge would you pay for a dessert?

A Visit to Mom at Maple Downs, March 11-15

Steve went off skiing with his ski buddies, also known as the retired old farts who like to ski on Tuesday’s. Steve joined the group the winter after he retired. The guys usually pick Tuesday’s, as there are good ski deals then. They like skiing at Jiminy Peak the best. The first year Steve joined he was not invited to the yearly ski trip to Sunday River in Maine, and he was pleasantly pleased that they did invite him the following year.

I guess Steve proved to be a tolerable and amusing companion. I feel that way toward him also. Steve gets this own room, as he finds that he only finds his own snoring tolerable. Some of the guys room together, at the same hotel, one guy likes to go to cheaper hotel down the street. They meet up in the morning, and ski until a late lunch. Then they gather again for dinner and discussion of the next days runs. Of course it is possible that they don’t even ski, since I am not there to observe, but what else would these guy do all day?

So originally I was going to drive to Syracuse, pick up my Mother and we would stay at our house in Lake George. Mom was recently hospitalized with the flu, and had some doctor and therapy visits, so I decided to stay with her. Voila, another Excellent Adventure!

So when Steve left for Maine, I waited until he left and then drove off to Mom’s. I usually wait until he leaves before I leave. I like to make sure that he has everything that he needs and that I am not in his way.

Four hours later I arrived at Maple Downs. This of course, is a photo from the Maple Down’s website. How can you tell? The blue arrow, and the flowers, silly! It’s winter now! I am not sure how many residents there are, it’s not too big, but not too small, I think it’s just the right size.

This is the man in lobby, and the mailboxes are off to the right. Usually there are residents sitting on the sofas. They are generally either asleep or inspecting people coming and going from the building. This is the dining room. People usually arrive 30 minutes before the meals are to start. They like to reserve seats for their friends. Mom always sits at the same table for breakfast. Lunch and Dinner table changes based on the day of the week. That’s because the serving starts at one end of the room versus the other. Mom and her friends like to get served as early as possible. No dementia with that attitude! The only serving clue I picked up was a coffee cup on the side meant “please give me hot water”, cup up meant coffee, cup down meant a pass. There was no soda, wine or booze available. I never did see a resident with a flask.

Let’s do down for dinner. I see Mom’s friend P is sitting at our table already. She’s at the table on the left. This was my view on Sunday night for dinner. I had a good view of the room. I have found that dinner conversation decreases as you get older, so it’s important to have something to look at. Otherwise you can’t pretend that you are with it and you have something that is distracting you.

I just finished a book about the Dutchess of Windsor. The author mentioned that as the Duke and Dutchess would often not talk to each other at dinner as they got older. As they knew that everyone was watching them in restaurants they took to reciting the alphabet to each other so it looked like they had something to say to each other!

There is lots of art work on the walls, they are placed pretty low, I think that’s because the majority of residents are short. My drink of choice was an Arnold Palmer. I could have had water, milk, cranberry juice, cold tea, lemonade, hot tea, cocoa and hot coffee.There is generally soup at dinner. One night there was no soup, and there was a complaining murmur going around. I had bay scallops, rice and green beans. Except for the green beans being canned, I couldn’t complain. I wasn’t sure if they were really scallops. I have read that these tiny scallops are really shark. Chocolate ice cream and sauce for dessert. There was usually no sugar ice cream, regular ice cream, and some puddings.

I was offered my own room, but elected to sleep on a roll away in Mom’s room. This way we could talk as long as we wanted to. The roll away was very uncomfortable. Breakfast the next morning. Eggs any style. Well maybe not any style, I didn’t push it and ask for shirred eggs. Bacon and ham were on a rotation. There was always cream of wheat and yogurt. I am not sure if they offered oatmeal. I am sure that they did I never asked. Here are a bunch of walkers all lined up. There were lots of walkers at Maple Downs. Some people had canes, others had wheel chairs or scooters. Some of the scooter drivers drove a little too fast if you ask me!There was usually a salad at lunch. Lunch for me was a burger and chips. The cheese was not melted and the burger was very thin. I wouldn’t order it again. I love Lemon Merengue Pie, but this pie was not tart at all. I didn’t finish it. Monday night we went out to dinner, That was a beautiful and tasty drink that Mom got. I was driving so I had only a few sips. Mom was thinking “I did a great job matching my drink to my outfit, too bad I can’t take the drink to go, I’ll never finish itMom had a petite filet, with mashed potatoes and carrots. The filet was prepared perfectly, nice and rare. It was well flavored also. I had scallops again, they were with a corn relish and rice. Mom’s dinner was better. I didn’t like mine so much as the corn relish was cold, cooling the dish somewhat. No dessert as Mom is only allowed one dessert a day. Tuesday morning I had fried eggs again. Lunch I started with a carrot slaw. I always love this. Once in a while I will buy a package of shredded carrots with intentions of making carrot slaw. I always forget and find the bag of rotting carrots in my crisper drawer in the refrigerator.

Looks like lunch was Greek shrimp with feta and roasted cauliflower. Lunch is always the biggest meal of the day. Dinner is called supper, and not as heavy.Brownie sundaes for dessert. The best dessert of the week!We went for a drive after lunch, checking out a possible dinner spot. This is Drumlin’s. I learned to ski on this hill. I hated it. We had those terrible lace up leather boots, my toes, hands and body were always freezing. I was afraid of the rope tow. The J Bar was unfathomable. There weren’t all those trees on the slope, they have appeared since the ski area was closed 40 years ago. Dinner time! Mom looks a little bit happier with this drink. At first they served it in a Tom Collin’s glass, Mom sent it back to be placed in a martini glass. She could finish this one. When I looked at the bill I saw it was called “Sex on the Beach”. Not bad for a 95 year old!Mom wasn’t that hungry, but she does like calamari, so that is what she got. I had chicken parmigiana.Wednesday morning I had thought about heading back to Poughkeepsie. However it was going to snow all day, so I stayed with Mom. We did go out to get her hearing aids checked. The roads were not bad to drive on. They know how to handle snow in Syracuse.We went out for breakfast, Mom had the French Toast for breakfast. It looked too heavy for me.

I had the lemon poppy seed pancakes. Definitely gloppy. I think All Night Eggplant is the place to go for Breakfast in Syracuse.

This was the special day for birthdays for the month The manager wears a silly hat, and leads the singing. You are supposed to sit at the special table, and everyone gets to stare at you during lunch.

We started with shrimp cocktail.