The Belize Chronicles – Birds

I’m thrilled to share with you even more shots from our vacation. Shots that were lost and have been found!

For lunch during the full day dive trip we stopped at Half Moon Caye Natural Monument Park. This is home to a bird sanctuary for the Red Footed Booby. Josh was kind enough to tromp to the lookout with a zoom lens. Here are some of the wonderful images her was able to capture.

In honor of the birth of a litter of sweet Scottie puppies over at Rocky Creek, I wanted to make sure and share this fuzzy little guy.

As you can see they put on quite a show for visitors

I just think that Josh did a wonderful job capturing the moment here.

Making Bubbles

Last week we had a little time off, the tractor needed routine maintenance and due to the tour’s tight schedule we had to schedule a break to make this happen. So thus we get time off. We chose to spend the entire week, yes 7 whole days in one place. That one place was Mobile, AL; I have to be honest I was not especially excited about Alabama. I figured it would be similar to our week stuck in Oklahoma. Boy oh boy was I mistaken; the Gulf Coast is full of fun, sun and great people. We did so many fun things. Not only did we celebrate Mardi Gras but we took scuba diving lessons. Josh has wanted to learn to scuba for some time and after spending the holidays with some friends who are hardcore I was inspired too. I guess it just took the push of us going to Belize for plans to be made. We were able to take enough lessons in one week get certified for shallow water. We will be able to take one more lesson either in Florida or Belize to be fully certified divers. After that the skies the limit, well 130 ft below sea level is. We made very good progress; neither of us had much trouble breathing underwater. While we have not been in open water yet, I know we are going to love it. Honestly didn’t think I would dig it so much.

Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road

This is our second week in Texas and our second week of fun! Yeah I’m going to keep with the Texas is awesome phase for a little while. Last week put us in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and Waco, both crazy fun cities. While near Dallas we were able to have a home cooked meal with some of Josh’s family. His Aunt Kathy invited us over and made sure that everyone we know in the area was there. It was a table full! We had not seen most of them since a wedding three years ago. The last time we were at their house was more than two years ago, on our very first tour. That in itself is something to celebrate, we are still truckin along.

While in Waco we were visited by our tours sponsor; sort of an adrenaline charge, nerve searing day. I am confident we did a bang-up job presenting the tour and hopefully this will mean we get extended. Not that I’m dieing to spend a full year pushing this hard but it’s a great tour.

Once that was over we were heading closer to San Antonio, where more friends and family are. I bet you’re starting to wonder what any of this has to do with skunks. Well the post title comes from the massive amount of road kill skunks we saw on route! I’m not exaggerating when I say there was one every mile, we started counting. While having dinner with a college friend of ours in San Angelo the skunks came up. She mentioned that like many other critters here, there are mass migrations and well a thinning of the herd if you like.

So we have already had a chance to hang out with family, see friends, visit a museum and got a police escort. Oh did I not mention that! Yeah we had a police escort to our location in Kerrville.


Our 4th the Tourist Part

Along with spending the weekend with friends and enjoying wholesome activities we also tour a few local hot spots.  Before the grandkids arrived our friend’s parents took us on a county-wide tasting.  These are still a little new for us but so much fun.  We started at Veritas Winery where our hosts were members.  You can tell what kind of events the winery had in mind when they build the grounds and main building.  It is just the perfect spot for a wedding.  Not only do they have amazing lobby, stunning gardens framed with rolling hills but the reception room is set like something you find in the Wedding magazines.  I could have spent the day walking around, had it not been 90 out I might have.

With that said the wines we tasted were all very strong and spicy.  For someone who is just learning I didn’t really like any of them.  These are more for someone who had developed a pallet.  Heading down the road a bit we found King Family Vineyards, when we pulled in it looked like we were going to be almost alone there.  However we didn’t see the second parking lot full of visitors.  never the less our tasting was very personal and in-depth.  This had the feel of being at someones farm, a million dollar farm but a farm.  It was very low-key and friendly.  The patio was filled with families and there were kids running around.  One crazy feature was te polo field.  Yeah a polo field in the middle of nowhere.  Gives you perspective on the type of folks that live around the area.  We even got a tutorial on the sport from a young player who was working in the stable.  He was wonderful, I am sure we asked some really stupid questions but he just answered everything with a full explanation.  A true embassador for the sport and local club.

Even though the wines here were a little lighter it was still to strong for my taste.  Our friends did get a bottle of this dessert wine, that we had last night.  Josh grilled some pound cake and Katheryn poured the wine on top and added a scoop of ice-cream.  Folks I am telling you that this is the way to eat pound cake.  I would even bet that adding any type of booze to grilled pound cake would we heavenly.

Last but not least was Starr Hill Brewery and their free sampling!!!!  Yep folks I said free beer.  The Jomo, main lager, was something that we all enjoyed.  The light flavor and perfect hop is a winner.  We were delighted with stories about each beer from the bartender, I am sure this is a coveted job.  Love is a summer Hef that is now brewed year around, most woman prefer a hefeweizen or a wheat beer.  I think they have done a wonderful job tapping that market.  Since Love is no longer seasonal they have brought out a lime accented lager for summer, yuck!  Around the taps we went in to stouts and IPAs.  All good but the winners were Jomo and Love.  The growlers were filled and we went back to nap and tap into the goodies.

Sand In My Shoes


Do not fear, we were able to make it back out to the beach last week. Not just any beach, a dog beach. What I know of dog beaches are areas that allow dogs to slash around and get dirty, not a place to hang out. This was not what I expected, everyone sets up camp and hangs out. The dogs just chill and play together, most just lay around in the sand. Pippi swam a few times but mostly rolled around and laid out with us. It was heaven, the other dogs were mellow and just enjoying themselves. Some were funny and there was a cute little guy who swam up and down the beach all day.

And as an extra special treat, we saw the shuttle launch. That little white line was moving! The whole beach was cheering, very exciting.

Chi-Chi-Chicago

Just like everyone else we never see what’s in our backyard, the “yard” here being Illinois. I will always consider myself to be from the Land of Lincoln and love it there. While Reflections visited Chicago we took a swing into a Frank Loyd Wright home. The Ginkgo House is the home he built and shared with his family. It was amazing, even with a terrible tour guild. I wish would have had an hour per room. I am a big fan of the build in closets and shelves, have to say that my mind dabbled in little fantasises about living like normal people again. Naw…. I live the dream baby. It was amazing to be in Illinois and we got to visit with some dear friends from college. I feel like there is a trend starting here. It is pretty easy to tour a historic home in just an hour or two. You can get a bit of the person, the area and the culture of the time. Plus Josh loves it.