285.March 22

Notthingham, UK

I returned the video camera, and took John to Wollaton Park. We ate at the Porter's House, where Becca met us. I took Becca to the train, which she missed because she had the wrong time. She arranged to go again tomorrow. We ate at Muchachas with John. I drank a bit that night to celebrate being done, and finished with a Margarita and a kaluha coffee.


Maya Breeze Inn, Maya Beach, Placencia, Belize

Cabana A, 40 feet from the shoreline.

We arrived last afternoon in Placencia, where we will spend a week and some in the beautiful breezes, barefoot, sun-drenched, and slightly tipsy, if the patterns continue. Rachel continues to meet and greet everyone and asks for ideas about what we should do over our time here of the entire population. She has connected with a lot of cool people, and it makes the trip very fun. She has already gotten a tan and I have tried to remain covered.

The sunrise this morning after we arrived was incredible, with pinks and oranges and Rachel kept waking to see them. We got to breakfast a little tardy (07:00 to 09:00) we arrived at 08:45. I had a Belizean breakfast with Fry Jacks (puffed up tortillas friend in oil to look like doughnuts. You can get them with powdered sugar and they will be very much like hollow doughnuts Rachel had Creole eggs. Marie Sharps hot sauce is provided for us with it, which really gives the eggs some flavor. We paid Helen for our meals after breakfast. She was operating the front desk in the office. Rachel was shown all of her children on their websites. She belongs to a program called Tagged and was told about her hometown named Mango Creek (originally Mangrove Creek) which is located across the bay.

Helen and Rachel arranged to meet up at the bar at 11:00. We went on a walk along the beach on the shoreline.

Just a few cabins down the beach on our walk, Rachel met a couple named Neil and Debbie, who were on vacation from Toronto, and were very belligerently not married. Most of the properties seem for sale or abandoned. The shoreline is not kept up, so what could be white sandy beaches are not, there is too much shoreline and not enough tourists. Very few people are ever out walking with you, though you can run into some going opposite directions. We had fun, and were in a little past 11:15, when we came back. Helen set up the bar shortly afterward, and we spent most of the day there with her and others.

We met Carrissa, and her parents from Rhode Island, who live nearby, and they are regulars at the pool. Helen’s daughter, and a man with a tiny baby came. Helen convinced Rachel to sing opera, and she sang “the Czardas” from her current opera, Die Fledermaus. Rachel is getting us some olives to eat on our Marie Sharps chips. After we came outside, Helen began setting up the bar for the day. There was a Canadian couple with a little girl with two long pigtails who said she could speak Spanish, “But not today.” I sat at the bar for a few hours while Rachel enhanced her tan lines and got slightly red. I worked on my script for “Crime Wave at Blandings” over a few bottles of Belikan beer and a “Panty Ripper”. Rachel sang the Czardas for Helen, and the others at the bar, stunning them and making instant friends with the little Chili sugar girl, which we decided would be an excellent addition to our coffee. We swam in the pool for a few hours, mostly in the shade and overcast, and I got swimming lessons from Dex, the hotel owner who, among his many life stories, he was an Olympic swimmer and gymnast. He definitely has been a swimming instructor. He did a crazy dive off the waterfall into the 5 foot pool. We had a super great pina colada at the pool and then got ourselves ready for dinner at the Bistro, which is down the road about a mile.

While I waited for Rachel to get ready, I met Babette from Kansas City, who had her iPod speakers on the bar playing Prince, and so they sang a duet of Purple Rain. We all made plans to meet up at a house bar named Anca Les Senne, which was a crazy experience, where we met a bible thumping dope dealing hippy who felt sorry for Rachel’s soul, and a Mayan man who wanted me to go to another better bar with him. Helen was there and wanted Rachel to sing every song after other people sang it first, the microphone cable was damaged and so the worst humming was coming from the speakers when anyone grabbed the mic or moved it. There was no order to the play list, the DVD’s and they had just one book in the bar that you could look through. We both had a couple Belikans, which I had to buy at the bar while being accosted by the guys there who wanted us to stay with them at their houses instead of our hotel.

I sang “Everything I do I do it for you,” which Helen wanted Rachel to sing, but she passed it on to me. We thought of sending them a microphone cable and some new DVD’s with more modern music. When we got into Dex’s truck on the way back to the Inn, I cut my finger on some of the broken glass in the door. We went to bed shortly after getting back to our room.


I drove the BMW K75 to work this morning, though it was a bit cold. I took it to lunch at T-bocks, and then home again via 52, Hesper, IA, and Mabel, MN. I got the 220 volt wiring fixed on the front porch for the hot tub. I found on line how to complete it correctly by looking up the word Pig-Tail. Nice.


Seattle, Washington

When we arrived at the airport. Seattle Tacoma, we rented a white Jeep Cherokee and drove to Tacoma where we went to Museum of glass. At the museum there was a glassblowing laboratory shaped like a horn where we watched a Swedish glass blower from Stockton work with the staff to build beautiful pieces of glass bubble. First though we went into city hall building. Used to be a train station. I had Chihuly glass hangings, and there was a bridge we used to reach it full of his glass works.

We also went to the modern mouse café for some coffee. After the museum we took our jeep to Olympia, Washington for lunch at a brewery of Fish Tales. We both tried some good beer and ordered far too many oysters and clam chowder and oyster stew and breaded fish and breaded oysters and fish and chips. We got advice next-door from the owner of our yarn shop how about the local music scene and killer records. After finding a Bikini Kill record and I Smith cd, we left Olympia as it started to rain and set of for Portland, OR. We got off the highway because of some traffic issues and drove along the river get to John’s house where we met him at 4:30 PM.

His Rachel arrived an hour later from work. We then went out to dinner at Akuri after having a flight at a local brewery nearby. We had a few pieces of 200 pound tuna which gets bigger every time we describe it. I think it was a 2000 pound salmon in yesterday’s retelling. We had a few more favorite spots that evening including and ice cream shop called 'Salt and Straw', and a pastry shop to pick up breakfast.