Ugh. Don't you hate it when you write a whole lot of whatever, be it an email or a blog post, hit a key, and it goes "poof"? Well, that just happened to me. It's my own fault as I should have been saving all along. Weebly does not do this automatically, and it's something I am prone to forget when I get on a roll. I was simply removing a caption for a photo, hit the backspace key, and back I went to the previous page, with all the work I'd done on today's blog entry gone. I tried everything, but it's just gone. I guess I should start composing these entries in a separate file that autosaves the text, so at least I wouldn't lose that part. I'll do that from now on, but for today's entry, I'll be brief. I just don't have it in me to rewrite the entire posting.
I rearranged the living area furniture today. Now we have an even better view of the sea, which is rightly the focal point of the room. Here's the old arrangement:
Here's the new arrangement:
And now for something completely different...
We started this beautiful, breezy morning with a beach run. My knee was all better from yesterday's little spill on my bike, thank goodness. A tip for all cyclists, runners, and walkers: If you have to fall, fall in sand.
We followed the run with our usual "pool down" (What's a pool down?), and our usual bowl of cereal -- this time with fresh mango and papaya. Barry thought it was so pretty, he took a photo. I totally agree; the tropical colors are gorgeous. I promise this photo is not retouched!
After breakfast, we hopped on the bikes and headed into town for a few items. While packing up our items from Super Buy South, our buddy Daniel, who works at The Phoenix, saw us and stopped by to show off his new ride, a very snazzy and super-clean Honda. He was proudly sporting a couple of Belizean flags as well, since September 21 is Belizean Independence Day, and the entire month of September is filled with celebrations, with the town and businesses all decked out in red, white, and blue decor and Belizean flags flapping everywhere.
We took this photo in Central Park, where the schoolchildren were celebrating Independence Day today. You can read more about today's activities here: http://www.ambergristoday.com/content/stories/2011/september/16/patriotic-childrens-rally.
Our final stop in town was at Castillo's Hardware, where we purchased a few small household items, parts for Barry's projects, and this laundry basket. Barry had no problem carrying it back on his rear rack.
Note carefully the dappled sunshine in the photo above. How quickly things were to change. When we headed north to ride back to our place just moments later, we saw a huge black cloud coming our way. Barry attempted to take a photo, but the camera's memory card was full (my fault), so that did not happen. But it looked a lot like this approaching storm from a couple of days ago.
So far we've been very lucky and have managed to outrun these, but today was not one of our lucky days. Despite our best efforts, it started raining just a short distance south of Chico Caribe, and we were absolutely SOAKED as we rolled past the entrance to Grand Caribe. As we rode by, we received waves and "hellos" from many of the staff, who were standing under the overhang to avoid the rain. I am sure they got a kick out of seeing a couple of dripping wet gringos who didn't have enough sense to take cover from the storm. Too bad I don't have a photo to share!
When we got inside, I realized that I had neglected to zip up the top of my backpack after our final stop, so everything inside of it was wet. I must have left my brain back in North Carolina as I have done quite a few stupid things like this since arriving in Belize. Fortunately, with the strong breeze today, we were able to open up the condo, and everything hanging up dried quickly.
In home improvement news, Barry was able to find the part he needed to complete the screen-door latch project at the hardware store today, so no real "MacGyverisms" were even required. He finished up the project today, and it works great. We can now have the front door open while letting the breezes blow through.
Finally, a nearly all-dry day (just a very brief passing shower during breakfast), and great easterly breeze, whisking the mosquitoes away and giving us a chance to turn off the A/C and open up. We started the day with a nice walk. Paisley got to do a bit of swimming to cool off in the hot sun (she's a natural), and discovered coconut meat for the first time.
After a quick dip in the pool and breakfast, we rode our bikes into town, as usual. We had a lot of places to go today, including the bank, GoNature health food store, Maria's fruit stand and Healthy Belize for produce, and Super Buy for a couple of other groceries. I also dropped off our bedroom curtains to be hemmed (they interfere with the dresser), and commissioned a simple valance for our living room window from Sew What.
Unfortunately, with all those stops, a very long wait at the bank, and getting a late start, we were riding home right at noon, when all the workers up north ride their bikes back into town on their lunch hour. In a few places, the sandy path along the beach is quite narrow, and I came upon a local going the other way on his bike in one of said places. I veered a bit into the soft sand to give him room, lost traction and went down on my left side. Fortunately, in the sand and at slow speed, this was a very minor spill. My basket and front stem were a little wonky afterwards, but aside from my left side being covered in sand, my body felt okay. It was only later in the day that my left knee started aching; I must have twisted it a bit or something. It felt better after the application of ice, so hopefully the injury is superficial and won't prevent me from doing any of the things I want to do here.
In the afternoon, I did some sweeping (lots of sand gets into the condo) and made a black bean, mango, and corn salad for our dinner. The mangoes we have been getting lately are huge, juicy, and delicious, and appear to be the same variety my "Papa" grew on his tree in Ft. Myer's, Florida. Major yum! I also did a little yoga and Pilates, and some reading.
Barry kept busy with home improvement projects. He got a hasp and lock installed on the doors to a storage area where we can keep our bikes, which allowed us to move them (and all the sand they bring in) out of our condo. This made me very happy! He then started working on installing a handle and latch for our screen door. Screen doors here do not come with this very essential part, as I guess they leave it up to the owner to install the hardware they prefer.
Unfortunately, he dropped a part of the latching mechanism on the tile floor, and it shattered. It was very poor quality. It's difficult to get good hardware here, and the selection is quite limited. There are hardware stores, but nothing like Home Depot or Lowe's back home, with their almost overwhelming array of choices. Hopefully he can find some small piece of hardware that will complete the installation without re-buying the whole mechanism again. Barry has got a good bit of McGuyver in him, so I'm betting on it!