|Today, during our usual walk along the beach, we took this photo of the sprawling dock at Robert’s Grove Resort, located next door to our home at Laru Beya Resort in Placencia, Belize. We find ourselves enjoying the resort next door’s four restaurants and health club.|
We’re not on vacation. We’re living our daily lives in a manner not dissimilar to other retired couples, wherever they may live, wherever we may live.
Most days, we don’t awake to a day of planned activities as vacationers often do, ensuring every moment is filled with “getting your money’s worth.” Usually, we plan an outing once a week or less, weather permitting.
|Dinner at Robert’s Grove Resort again last night, their usual Saturday night barbeque. Along with this scrumptiously prepared pig, there was all you can eat jumbo shrimp, crab legs, grilled red snapper, barbeque chicken, and a wide array of salads. Dessert was homemade eclairs and Bananas Foster. I didn’t try any. Tom couldn’t resist.|
Our intention, from the beginning of our planning for this many year’s long travel experience, was to live in an area for one to five months, exploring at our leisure, embracing its people and its culture, leaving behind any feeling of urgency, stress or a lengthy list of “must do’s.”
We knew that ultimately this state of mind would ensure our ongoing happiness and contentment. It has.
Arising early as do most seniors, the first thing item on the agenda after starting the coffee is to open the floor-length shades and sliding door to inspect the nature of the day, letting the fresh warm air fill our senses. It’s beautiful, almost every day. A cold spell came through the past few days with temperatures in the 70’s with a bit of rain off and on. Today, cool, windy, and clear. Perfect.
Wearing bathing suits all day, washing them with us in the shower each night before dinner, keeps our laundry costs to a minimum. I wash our underwear each day in the sink with a Tide lookalike, hanging it to discretely dry on a canvas chair on the veranda. By evening, we can slip it on again, dry and fresh from the salty air.
|Tom relaxes with a cocktail before dinner at Robert’s Grove restaurant.|
When we dine in as we will tonight, we wear shorts and tee shirts which, when dirty we leave in a mesh bag for the resort’s laundry service. Its returned hours later, wrinkle-free and neatly folded, still warm. Our laundry bill in the past month has been $19.
Our divinely sweet Mayan maids, Gloria and her equally lovely helper Melinda are scheduled to arrive every Saturday and Wednesday morning at 9 am. Usually, it’s between noon and 4:00 PM. We don’t care. We adore them, their demeanor, their generous spirit, and their hard work. We try to clean up as much as possible before they arrive, trying to lighten their load. We’ll tip them generously when we leave here in a little over a month’s time.
The aroma of the locally grown coffee provided by the resort fills the air; the taste, the temperature, impeccable. Pouring ourselves, each a cup, ready for the day, we park ourselves as we often did in our old lives, on the now comfy sofa as opposed to the less comfy chairs (we rearranged the furniture a few days ago).
Checking email, Facebook, financial matters, and balances on our credit cards each day has become as commonplace here in Belize as it was in Minnesota.
We find that paying off our credit cards frequently gives us peace of mind in avoiding huge balances and potential interest charges with the constant influx of required final payments for upcoming cruises and rentals. Our cards don’t charge exchange rate fees. That’s worth more to us than any other perks
|With the weather cooler and windy, I wore jeans to dinner for the first time in two months.|
If we’ve spent any money in the prior 24 hours, I log the purpose and the amount on our Excel spreadsheets, placing the receipt in a file all of which I’ll soon scan, later tossing the needless slips of paper. No point in dragging paper receipts all over the world. I do this daily. I check the budget, daily. Obsessive? Perhaps. But we always know where we are financially. It avoids worry. We both prefer that.
Some days, we make breakfast, others we do not. We eat when we’re hungry, not at a set time unless we dine out. We both seem to get hungry at the same time or maybe we simply accommodate each other’s mention of hunger. Either way, it works for us.
The walk along the beach invigorates us both, surprisingly a good workout as our feet drag through either the water or the soft sand, moving at a good clip. We can either head left or right on the beach. We alternate, never tiring of the scenery, the smell of the sea, or the bright sun in our faces.
Lounging by the infinity pool is a daily occurrence. Often we’re engaged in lively conversation with other guests or with the villa owners from Minnesota, across the walkway from us. (They share mutual Minnesota friends with Tom! Small world!) We languish in the sun for an hour moving to the shade after an hour.
After pool time, we return to our villa again lounging on our veranda until close to 5 pm when the no-see-ums attack with vigor requiring us to escape indoors until after dark when they seem to dissipate to some degree.
While preparing dinner, usually one of a small list of meals that we enjoy considering our limited diet, I drink hot tea and on occasion, Tom will have a cocktail. We love the evenings, our meal, our conversation, and the sound of the waves lapping at the beach, only 15 feet from our veranda.
|Tonight’s dinner, again our favorite, our gluten-free, grain-free, sugar-free, starch-free, low carb pizza will go into the oven soon at 375 degrees for 25 minutes until bubbly. Luckily found Italian sausage, Chinese button mushrooms, jumbo green olives, and organic onions to make this pizza. With no available grated mozzarella cheese at the store this past time, I improvised slicing the cheese instead. No, we didn’t bring a grater. No, we’re not tired of the pizza. “They” say we all rotate only 10 meals, over and over.|