Barefoot Diary’s Podcast

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EPISODE 1: Pinky and Big Blue

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MAY 28, 2017 ~ Carrollton, TX, USA

Getting ready for our lifestyle change and big adventure in house sitting was an ordeal, to say the least!

I’m not a froo-froo girly girl.  Really I’m not.  But there are some things a girl just can’t do without…like a good pair of scissors…and a widescreen monitor to plug into a laptop.

Thus, choosing a "proper" piece of luggage to complete our luggage collection was a lot like casting for a multi-million dollar Hollywood blockbuster movie, and I just knew I had found an Oscar winner in Pinkie! Unfortunately, I was wrong, wrong, WRONG!

Listen to how I fell down the luggage rabbit hole with my luggage choices and how John coped with my "big mistake" in this story called Pinkie & Big Blue

It's also available to read or just look at the pictures on our website, Barefoot Diary, at: Pinkie & Big Blue!

EPISODE 2: Final Goodbyes – Hug. Cry. Drive Off. Repeat.

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MAY 31, 2017 ~ Carrollton, TX, USA

"Goodbyes are not forever. They are not the end. They simply mean I'll miss you, until we meet again." ~ Anonymous

We knew that telling my family goodbye was going to be tough. They thought we'd lost our minds with our selling of everything we owned and hitting the road. I guess it's kind of embarrassing to tell folks that your daughter and son-in-law are officially HOMELESS!

In this story, we share with you our final days in Carrollton, Texas, before we jumped into the house sitting rabbit hole!

Hope you like it!

EPISODE 3: Goodbye Dallas, Hello San Juan

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JUNE 1, 2017 ~ San Juan, Puerto Rico

Tasks for the day:

  • Wake up.
  • Stretch.
  • Walk around a bit.
  • Go to the airport.
  • Get on a plane.
  • Never return.

You know how it is when you know you have to get up early in the morning to catch a flight, and you are scared your alarm won't go off and that you will oversleep and miss it...so you don't sleep at all? Have you been there? 

Well that's where we were the night before our big adventure to Puerto Rico, thus, we were pretty wasted by the time we got there...but we were SMILING all over ourselves...cuz we did it!

Enjoy the listen or check out the written story at: Goodbye Dallas, Hello San Juan

EPISODE 4: Old San Juan

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JUNE 2, 2017 ~ San Juan, Puerto Rico

There's something really cool around every corner in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. And, the colors make it look like the Rainbow Fairy did overtime with her wand. It is beautiful!

Listen to the awesome things we experienced as we wandered through this magnificent city.

Or, you can read about it and look at the photos at: Old San Juan

EPISODE 5: Luggage Lampoon

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JUNE 3, 2017 ~ San Juan, Puerto Rico

Our plans were to wander, as tourists, around San Juan before traveling to Fajardo then catch the ferry to Vieques. John booked us two nights at two separate hotels. 

The hotel switch over happened today and was a bit traumatic.  The events of the day sealed the doom for Pinkie.

If you want to read the story and check out the photos, click here: Luggage Lampoon

EPISODE 6: Adios Pinkie! Hola Stripe!

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JUNE 4, 2017 ~ San Juan, Puerto Rico

Nothing like a relaxing Sunday morning stroll to get the spirit invigorated!

We figured we'd take a leisurely stroll through San Juan, get an incredible deal on a new piece of luggage and then stroll back to the hotel. 

A perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday morning in a beautiful city, right? Remember, we're the gringos that defined the word "lost" in the travel dictionary. It doesn't take us much to get completely turned around. We're really good at it!

To read and check out the pictures, check our story of woe here: Adios Pinkie! Hola Stripe!

EPISODE 7: The Zapper

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JUNE 11, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

John is a mosquito magnet.  He’s been this way since I’ve known him.  No matter how much toxic bug repellent he slathers on, they still seem to love taking a bite out of him.  Chiggers are worse, and wasps and bees buzz with delight when he walks outside.

It's great for me.  I don't need to bathe in repellent, or even use it all...I just walk close to him, and they just leave me alone!

In this piece we explore the best anti-bug solutions we've found, including John's favorite, his cherished super, duper, atomic ZAPPER!

If you want to read this piece and look at the photos check out: The Zapper

EPISODE 8: Doing the Mango Tango

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JUNE 12, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Growing up in Dallas, I can’t remember eating mangos or even seeing them in the grocery stores. Mangos were just not on my radar. That completely changed when we arrived here on Vieques.

Listen to this "syrupy" account of how we managed the mango harvest during our house sit on Vieques, Puerto Rico. Or you can read our account here: Doing the Mango Tango 

EPISODE 9: Mango Munch Festival - Horses Welcome

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JUNE 20, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

I'll bet you never knew that mangos and horses are besties! At least here on Vieques, Puerto Rico, they are.

Listen to how wild horses helped us manage our over abundance of mangos, or you can read the story at: Mango Munch Festival - Horses Welcome!

Neigh! Neigh!

EPISODE 10: El Perro Negro and the Flip Flop

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JULY 1, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

We love swimming, exercising and running at the beach. Listen to how John ended up donating his flip flops to the canine population of Vieques, Puerto Rico, by way of one spunky Perro Negro!

Read the story here:  El Perro Negro and the Flip Flop

EPISODE 11: Mama

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JULY 12, 2017 ~ Carrollton, Texas, USA

Today we buried my sweet Mama.  I came home for a few weeks to help make arrangements and help my dad.  John stayed at our house sit on Vieques to "hold down the fort."

I miss him.

I also miss my Mama.  A lot.

Listen to the beautiful tribute my sister wrote to a great lady.

To read and watch the video tribute go to: Mama

EPISODE 12: Monster Mango Buffet

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JULY 19, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Yep, John does have a voice! Listen to his epic story about how he dealt with a MONSTER while I was home for my mother's funeral. 

You won't want to miss the video at: Monster Mango Buffet

EPISODE 13: Mosquito Pier

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AUGUST 1, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

We realize that it's hard to get excited about a place called Mosquito Pier, but hang with us on this one. Where else could you walk a mile over clear, turquoise water?  Where else could you swim with the turtles, and enjoy postcard perfect coastline views that will take your breath away with no crowds, no tourist traps and no city din? No where else but Mosquito Pier on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico!

You can also read this story and take a gander at John's awesome photos at: Mosquito Pier

EPISODE 14: The Legend of Mango Dump Road

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AUGUST 8, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

The house we are sitting, here on Vieques, Puerto Rico, is in a barrio called Monte Santo, which is right smack dab in the middle of the island. To get to either of the two towns on the island, we normally take the scenic route on a corridor we call Mango Dump Road. I've also run, and yep, fallen while running on this road, which to me, made it notorious.

Little did we know that it indeed has a rich history...bandits, hurricanes, murders and a father's dream for his son...all make this phenomenal stretch of pavement a place to remember.

Read along, read or just look at the photos at: The Legend of Mango Dump Road

 

EPISODE 15: Creepy Crawlies

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AUGUST 10, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

One of the coolest things about running on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico, is that there are no snakes on the island. Nope, not a one! I can handle spiders and even mice, but snakes make me go a little spastic. 

But we discovered there were other critters here that can, in fact, kill you or wish you were dead. 

We explore these menacing critters, centipedes, scorpions and millipedes in a piece called: Creepy Crawlies 

EPISODE 16: Chanticleer Alarm Clocks

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AUGUST 21, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Combine a solar eclipse and the clucking, crowing chicken population of an island, and you see (and hear) some mighty peculiar things...things that make you go hmmmmm!

I loved writing this story and John got a lot of exercise trying to get our fine-feathered friends to pose for the pictures. We hope you enjoy Chanticleer Alarm Clocks.

EPISODE 17: Hurricane Irma

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SEPTEMBER 6, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Being a hurricane rookie, I really didn't know what to expect as we prepared for Irma's arrival on Vieques, Puerto Rico. But I sure recognized the hustle and bustle as everyone prepared for Irma's debut. In fact, I'd seen this type of hubbub every year as people all over the world prepare for, uh, Christmas! Hang with me on this one and see if you agree.

You can also read this story and look at the accompanying photos at: Hurricane Irma

EPISODE 18: 20 Things I Learned from Hurricane Irma

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SEPTEMBER 13, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

No bragging on this one, but surviving Hurricane Irma bumped me up a level from being a hurricane rookie to having one hurricane "notch" on my belt! And, oh my, I learned a lot!

Listen to this "down in the trenches" account of things I learned about hurricanes, particularly Irma!

You are welcome to read this story and look at the photos at: 20 Things I Learned from Hurricane Irma

EPISODE 19: They Call this Wind Maria

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SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

This is a day that changed our lives. This story is a play-by-play, hour-by-hour account of the horrific night that Hurricane Maria found us. 

You know, I thought I had gotten over my post-hurricane trauma, in that I could tell the story without tearing up. Evidently not, I kinda lost it on this recording. Brace yourself on this one!

Definitely you'll want to see the photos at: They Call this Wind Maria 

EPISODE 20: Iguana Refuge

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SEPTEMBER 28, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

After Hurricane Maria our property became a haven for displaced iguanas and John, as he was cleaning up the yard, became an iguana keeper and their leader. So, what ya iguana do? Well, we just fed them, spoke gently to comfort them, and uh, well, loved them.

It's not so easy being green, especially after a major catastrophe like Maria. Read the story and take a gander at John's awesome photos at: Iguana Refuge

EPISODE 21: The Bare Necessities

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OCTOBER 6, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Living through a hurricane is tough, but the surviving part builds character. Maria left us with no power, no running water, no cell reception and no INTERNET!!! This geeky girl learned that doing without is sometimes more fun than having it all.  You just have to be more creative!

We so hope you enjoy our survival adventures, and you and always read and look at the pictures at: The Bare Necessities

EPISODE 22: Telephone Hill

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OCTOBER 7, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Chasing all over the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, for ice, food and gasoline was part of our survival process after Hurricane Maria. But, we turned into contortionists and powerful climbers as we searched high and low for the illusive cell phone signal. Never thought (in this lifetime) we'd be playing hide and seek with an electronic "wave." Sheesh!

Listen to the challenges and the foibles that created as we tried to communicate with the rest of the world in: Telephone Hill.

EPISODE 23: What’s My Line?

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OCTOBER 16, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Standing in line for ice, groceries, use of a SAT phone, gasoline, water and relief food was part of our daily existence after Hurricane Maria. In fact, if we hadn't waited in some sort of line each day, we felt like we hadn't accomplished anything for the day. Waiting in line builds leg muscles, patience and character.

Listen and/or read about the many lines we experienced during our survival process in: What's My Line?

EPISODE 24: Bug of the Day

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OCTOBER 17, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

Bugs, bugs, bugs!!! They are everywhere here on Vieques Island, post Hurricane Maria! We coped the best we could and frankly, this was the worst part of hurricane survival for me.

So if this "bug" in your ear is not enough, you can always read and see the cartooned pics at: Bug of the Day

EPISODE 25: Bittersweet Farewell

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NOVEMBER 6, 2017 ~ Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

On November 2nd, we left behind a shattered island that Mother Nature is slowly, but surely, healing. We left behind friends that are, and will be, precious to us for the rest of our lives.  We left behind an island people that continue to struggle with daily existence, recovery, and a rebuilding process that will take months or even years to complete.   

We left behind a part of our hearts.

Read along and check out the photos at: Bittersweet Farewell

EPISODE 26: Acclimation

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NOVEMBER 8, 2017 ~ Dallas, Texas, USA

We traveled back to Texas after we left Vieques to wash our clothes, buy new clothes, take hot baths and showers and hug of family and friends. Even though we had only been away five months is was tough acclimating back to the hustle and bustle of city life. We stalled out a lot on our week in Dallas. This story depicts a few things we just couldn't adjust to!

Read on our blog at: Acclimation

EPISODE 27: The Fun Side of the Wall

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NOVEMBER 18, 2017 ~ Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Hola Amigos!

We love Mexico! This is our first trip together as a couple and yes it is the "fun" side of the wall! Listen to our adventures as we explored the Chapala and Ajijic areas. 

You won't want to miss the photos and videos about this wonderful place at: The Fun Side of the Wall

EPISODE 28: Maybe Mañana

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December 31, 2017 ~ Mexico

Frankly, 2017 was one of the hardest years we've ever experienced, but physically and emotionally. We lost dearly loved family members and friends as well as almost lost our own lives during hurricanes Maria and Irma. These 2017 tragedies have left us heartbroken, but they have also given us a new resolve about how we will approach things in this new year. Life is precious and none of us know that we will ever see mañana. 

This is a reflective piece that gives us hope and new resolve for facing a brand new year. Read it at: Maybe Mañana

EPISODE 29: Rancho San Francisco

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JANUARY 12 2018 ~ Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Once upon a time in wonderful kingdom called Mexico, there existed a magical place called Rancho San Francisco. We were fortunate enough to take care of this marvelous spot and over 100 animals that call it home. 

We're still smiling all over ourselves! Read and check out the photos at: Rancho San Francisco 

EPISODE 30: Meet the Menagerie

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JANUARY 19, 2019 ~ Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Brace yourself. 

SPOILER ALERT!!! Prepare to be wowed by some of the cleverest, cuddliest and cutest animals south of the “wall.”  

This past November and December, John and I were fortunate enough to get to “critter sit” all the wonderful creatures at Rancho San Francisco in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico. From pigs to peacocks, ducks to dragons (iguanas), horses to hummingbirds, and bunnies to burros, it took only a few days for us to be sappy and giddy in love with each one. 
 
Are you ready to go “awwww…?” Ta Da! Meet the Menagerie!
 
Make sure you check out the special photo portraits of each animal at : Meet the Menagerie

EPISODE 31: To Market, To Market

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JANUARY 22, 2018 ~ Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico

Getting lost is just part of our travel adventure norm. While looking for one of the weekly markets in the Lake Chapala area we got lost...real lost. We ended up in a....well I won't spoil it for you, but if you've ever seen the Disney movie, Coco, you'll appreciate this story.

You can read the story and view the photos at: To Market, To Market

EPISODE 32: Shell Shock

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JANUARY 26, 2018 ~ Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico

So, here we are at a wonderful house sit on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, also known as the Mexican Riviera.  It’s gorgeous! We share the beach with many delightful sea and sand critters, and some of the most fascinating are the hermit crabs. These little guys are the ultimate real estate tycoons as they trade up their digs (shells) as they grow. 

You won't want to miss the video we made as well as photos of the occupied and "for sale" shells found on our beach at: Shell Shock

EPISODE 33: Fish Monitor

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FEBRUARY 2, 2018 ~ Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico

I'm kind of a klutz. Balance, grace and charm are not my strong suits and, believe me, I've never been tempted to quit by day job and join a travelling ballet troupe. I've taken tumbles and all out falls in many countries of the world, but this time, here at our gorgeous beach house sit on the Mexican Riviera, the fall served me well and turned me into a fish monitor!

Make sure you check out the story as well the photos on our blog site here: Fish Monitor

EPISODE 34: Food, Glorious Food

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FEBRUARY 22, 2018 ~ Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico

We felt a little like cavemen when it came to finding food during our Xcalak house sit. unlike our time after Maria in Puerto Rico, there was an abundance of food, but it just took time, as in HOURS, to get to it.

Listen to the sago of our quest for food and then make sure you check out the photos (especially the last one!) that we've posted on our website: Food, Glorious Food

EPISODE 35: All That’s Treasure is Not Gold

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FEBRUARY 27, 2018 ~ Xcalak, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Did you ever go on a scavenger hunt as a kid? Fun times, huh? We felt something akin to our childhood exhilaration when we walked the beaches in Xcalak. No messages in bottle, or Spanish doubloons, but we did find some fascinating things that had washed up on the shore. We also found mounds of trash! Not good!

Listen to how John started an area beach clean up program as well as check out the cool treasures we found in: All That's Treasure is not Gold

EPISODE 36: The Magnificent Maya

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MARCH 10, 2018 ~ Mexico & Belize

Growing up, I feel like I got a pretty good education in the public schools of Texas, but since we've explored the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico and Belize, I've discovered that I knew very little about the Mayans. Okay, okay I knew they had slopey foreheads, and some were cross-eyed, but that's about it.

Listen as we share our "aha" moments as we learned about how these wondrous people changed the world. Photos and the written story are at: The Magnificent Maya 

EPISODE 37: Stairway to Heaven

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MARCH 11, 2018 ~ Mexico & Belize

Each time we have visited Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula and Belize we feel like we've been dropped into an Indiana Jones adventure story. And even though we never had to crack a whip and never fell into a pit of snakes, each new ruin site provided us great insight into an incredible people (the Mayans) and a thoroughly entertaining experience.

You won't want to miss the photos as well as the audio clip of the howler monkeys at: Stairway to Heaven.

EPISODE 38: Home Sweet Housesit

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MARCH 24, 2018 ~ Housesitting

This podcast is the first in a series about housesitting. All the time we get asked why on earth we chose a life of taking care of other people's houses and pets, as well as how we find the opportunities. In this series we "tell all." Believe me, we are by no means touting ourselves as experts, but we learned a lot through doing our research, making a lot of mistakes, and every now and then getting it right!

Check out the "read" and photos at: Home Sweet Housesit

EPISODE 39: Where to Find the Perfect Housesit

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April 10, 2018 ~ Housesitting

This is the second post in our series about housesitting.

If you are seriously considering a life as a housesitter, we're here to rescue you from hours of frustrating searching and combing the Internet looking for the next sit. Check out our comprehensive list of housesitting websites!

The Barefoot Diary Housesitting Website List

EPISODE 40: You Don’t Have to Be DEAD fo Have an Estate Sale

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June 6, 2018 ~ Housesitting

This is the third article in our housesitting series. In November 2016, John and I made the decision to join the ranks of traveling, housesitting nomads, which was, for us, monumental. We had a business and a lot of STUFF we had to get rid of to make our dream life happen. So, here’s how we did it.

Check out the text and photos of all our estate sale stuff at: You Don't Have to Be DEAD to Have an Estate Sale

EPISODE 41: Sneak Peek Inside Our Bags

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July 1, 2018 ~ Housesitting

This is the fourth in the series of posts about housesitting.

We travel with 4 suitcases and 4 carry-on bags. Everything we own is fitted into these 8 receptacles.  Because of our pared down minimalist lifestyle, we’ve learned to be smart about what is important for our existence. Here's how we do it!

Check it out on our blog: Sneak Peek Inside Our Bags

EPISODE 42: Beware the TaTa Duende

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July 1, 2018 ~ San Ignacio, Belize

One of the most popular tales told here in Belize, to even tiny children, is one about a troll-like characters called Tata Duende.  He is creepy, tricky and downright scary, so before you listen to this frightening tale, be afraid, very afraid.

You can also read and look at the pictures at: Beware the TaTa Duende

EPISODE 43: Holy Cow!

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May 22, 2018 ~ San Ignacio, Belize

Before coming here I thought that Belize was basically one big jungle. I thought we’d see exotic jungle animals everywhere, like monkeys, toucans, and maybe even crocodiles. But we’ve never actually SEEN any of these remarkable critters. What we have seen is…COWS!  Lots and lots of COWS!

Listen to how my baby brother, David, became a dairy cow ergonomic guru in this a-moo-sing tale of everything you ever wanted to know about cows...and then some.

And check out the photos and read at: Holy Cow

EPISODE 44: Where Everyone Knows Your Name

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July 22, 2018 ~ Bullet Tree Falls, Belize

How does this sound to you? The coldest Belikin beer in Belize with a side flask of Caribbean Rum…with your name taped on it. Or throwing darts with a group of locals and expats that make you feel like family.  Maybe incredible Belizean cuisine sounds yummy to you. Or how about an ex-pat proprietor that knows his way around everything Belize and has the charm and larger-than-life wit of a Vegas headliner. Maybe you’re into that “bar around the corner” atmosphere…the place that feels like home. While we were in Belize, our home away from home was a super place called Remo's Roadhouse. 

You can read about this incredible place and take a gander at the photos at: Where Everyone Knows Your Name

EPISODE 45: Care Packages

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September 10, 2018 ~ Hurricane Territory

September is definitely hurricane month in the Caribbean part of the planet. After what we went through with Hurricanes Irma and Maria, we learned a lot about recovery and the items that could have helped us. This article explores the things we could have used as well as provides a list of things we wish we had.

You can read the list as well as look at John's photos at: Care Packages

EPISODE 46: The Butcher, The Baker and the Chocolate Maker

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September 18, 2018 ~ San Ignacio, Belize

This is the introduction to a series of three stories about the delightful food here in Belize.  On our website we've included recipes as well! Better warn you, listening and reading these three might make your stomach growl and cause excess salivation!

Check out the photos if you want the "full meal deal" at: The Butcher, The Baker, and the Chocolate Maker

EPISODE 47: The Butcher - Bringing Home the Bacon

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September 18, 2018 ~ San Ignacio, Belize

This is the first story in our Belizean food series, and what a way to start...with bacon! There is no one that I know that doesn't like bacon, and I can't think of any other food that isn't a great bacon go-with.

Listen to this story about a cooking contest that John and i entered and an incredible couple that beat the socks off of us with their scrumptious bacon delicacies!

You're gonna love it, especially if you check out the photos at: Bringing Home the Bacon

EPISODE 48: The Baker - Cooking Belizean with Chef Rick

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September 29, 2018 ~ San Ignacio, Belize

If you really enjoy eating, it's great to have good friends that are professional chefs. We lucked out with Chef Rick, here in Belize!

Check out this story about this master chef, his food inspirations as well as his signature recipes at: Cooking Belizean with Chef Rick

EPISODE 49: The Chocolate Maker - Ajaw Chocolate

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September 19, 2018 ~ San Ignacio, Belize

I love chocolate. Always have, always will. But, to be honest with you, I've never given much thought as to where it comes from. I’ve always been aware that there was such a thing as a cacao bean, but frankly, prior to being here to Belize, I couldn’t have told you whether they grow on bushes or trees. I was choco-challenged!

Listen to this fascinating story about the history of chocolate from its "magical bean" roots to what it is today. you can also check out the photos and read the story at: Ajaw Chocolate