My Life in Belize August Wrap-Up: Highs, Lows, Books, Shows and Eats

I really liked doing my July wrap-up – a month spent with visitors meant trips, crazy croc captures and lots and lots of good food.  August was relatively quiet as things slow down on the Caye and in Belize.  Here’s my August wrap-up brought to you a bit late – my first full month of being 44.

Best trip:  This was my only trip this entire month – 3 nights spent at Cayo Frances Farm & Fly on the West Side of Ambergris Caye.  There is a full time resident camp manager – but he headed home to Corozal for a one week vacation.  I spent three days in the middle of nowhere on Ambergris Caye.  It can be done!

Best Food Eaten: Sushi Lunch for my birthday at Jyoto Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Really REALLY gorgeous sushi for a very reasonable lunch prix fixe price.  I need to do this again very very soon.  Take a look the beautiful restaurant.

High:  Turning 44.  I know everyone says it but my 40s have been my best decade so far.  No….it’s not older people saying stuff like that to feel good about the slippery slide to the grave…IT’S TRUE!

Though that being said, I am in no GIANT rush to get to my 50s.

Low:  STORMS!  Good grief.  We had a near miss with Hurricane Franklin

…and a scare with Tropical Storm Harvey.  In both we got very lucky.  We all know some of the damage that Harvey went on to do and the horrible destruction across the Caribbean with Hurricane Irma.

Perhaps it was the influence of a birthday…I made a big decision this month.  Stop fooling around with mediocre books – the books that Kindle recommends to me at low low prices and  pony up $9-$12US for GOOD books.

It’s a big expense but I LOVE reading…love love love…this is the best decision that I’ve made in a long time.  After scouring Best Books lists and award winners, I read some awesome ones in August.

Murder on the Orient Express Agatha Christie was such an INTERESTING person – and the most widely read writer after Shakespeare and…the Bible (writers).  That being said, I found her most famous book a bit staid and predictable but I guess that’s not super surprising.  She invented the genre for goodness sake.  I won’t be reading the entire Agatha Christie library but I would like to find a good biography on the author.  Recommendations?

Art of Fielding – on the surface, it’s about baseball but I don’t think you need to know the sport to LOVE this book.  It takes place at a college on the shore of Lake Michigan…the five main characters are so perfectly drawn.  I was hooked…emotionally attached from the beginning.

I want to know what they are doing now.

State of Wonder – As of now, Ann Patchett may be my favorite author.  She writes about so many different subjects….this book takes place between a lab in frigid Minnesota and the Deep Amazon with scientists on the verge of a few MAJOR discoveries and then…

Bel Canto (also by Ann Patchett) about a terrorist kidnapping at an embassy in a fictional third world South American country…a book about imprisonment, music and opera, language barriers and socio-economic class and love.  I couldn’t put it down and I can’t believe I hadn’t read it before.

Station Eleven – this one took a few chapters to hook me and then I was ALL IN.  A novel that dips between the past, present and future – one where a virus has wiped out 99% of the population and leaves the survivors roaming like nomads in a very dangerous world.  It’s about relationships and art and…then the way all the seemingly random characters are then tied back together?   It’s such a good book.

Next in the queue:  Perfume:  The Story of A Murderer

Netflix binge-watched:

I also got lucky in August with my television!  These two shows are totally awesome and if I had any doubt – their numerous Emmy nominations confirmed it.

Master of None – Aziz Ansari is a famous comedian and actor and I had seen exactly NONE of his work (the tv show, Parks & Recreation is his best known) before this show.  He is the writer, director and star of “Master of None”.

I didn’t “get it” for the first few episodes – but this show becomes so charming and funny – ESPECIALLY IN THE SECOND SEASON – that I am still daydreaming that the cool, funny, quirky characters…Dev and Arnold and Denise are my best friends.

With his impossibly gorgeous apartment for an under-employed-30-something-in-NYC and his also impossibly gorgeous trip to Italy, I’m SO hooked and SO need to know what happens next.

Stranger Things – Sci-fi horror focused on tween boys?  Yuck.  But so many friends were RAVING…a MUST WATCH.

So I did.  And if you grew up in the 80s watching Goonies and ET and Ghostbusters and Poltergeist?  You will love this show that so carefully and lovingly draws on all of these movies and more.

It even stars Winona Ryder.  What more could you want?



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