It is hard to believe that on October 2, we will celebrate our three year island anniversary. Still seems like yesterday when we were selling everything we owned and moving on to the next chapter in our lives.
Year three – you were filled with more firsts, some seconds, a few inventions and fun adventures – but unfortunately some sadness as well.
This was the year when it became clear that island life Is not a vacation, It’s life in a vacation spot.
Here we go!
We attended the SAGA Halloween party, where Dooley Bear put his “best paws forward” as always…..he strutted his vampire stuff and won “Scariest Costume” prize!
Later that month it was our turn to get into the Halloween spirit. We helped with the construction of the Haunted House at Wayo’s Bar and then worked the haunted house for two nights. You wouldn’t believe the joy you can get out of scaring small children!
We took a trip up to Arizona to visit family and friends for Thanksgiving.
This was the first year we entered our boat in the holiday lighted boat parade. Our theme? “Marlin Christmas”. Construction took hours, and hours, and hours, and hours (read all about it here)….but it was worth it.
We won first place in the parade!!!
We couldn’t have done it without our hard working crew of elves! Thank you!
This event also inspired Ronnie to create the “magicleat”. (This was island invention number one of this year.)
We were invited to read our Dooley Bear Adventures – Belize! book to the literacy program at the Holy Cross School. The students were even treated to a visit with the real Dooley Bear! Read all about our fun morning!
Christmas Eve arrived and it was time for another Christmas party-golf cart parade-toy give away.
Here is our fun crew before taking to the streets of San Pedro to pass out toys.
Little did we know when we took the above picture, that we would only have Big Eric with our island family for 6 more months. We miss him so much and our island will never be the same.
We don’t like losing coconuts from our coconut tree.
Ronnie “jumped out of a perfectly good plane” for the very first time! Click here to watch “Skydive the Movie!”
And survived to tell the tale. Read all about it!
Lisa’s parents came for their annual visit and we had lots of fun.
We had a “vacation day” at Harvest Caye. Here is that tale.
Knocked down a bunch of pins at Jaguar Lanes in Placencia. That was a super fun night!
And stopped at the Belize Zoo to visit some sweet animals.
We released two new books in our Dooley Bear Adventures children’s book series! That’s right! We now have 5 award-winning titles available! Read all about the fun book series here! We are also almost ready to release our 6th book in the series – this one, we promise, will be magical!
We were invited to read our Dooley Bear Adventure’s Belize book to the sweet kids at the San Pedro Quality Childcare Center. How fun is it that the book reading took place on the beach?
What’s better than a book reading? A book reading on the beach where everyone is barefoot!
We competed in the La Ruta Maya canoe race again! Apparently, one, 4-day, 170 mile trip down a river in a canoe wasn’t enough.
It was just as fun as last year and, we came in third place again! (Not surprising since there are only three teams in our Master’s Division and we are the slowest.) But hey, a win is a win and we will take it! Click here to read about our 2017 Ruta Maya. Don’t feel like reading? Here’s the video!
There was another St. Patrick’s Day full of shenanigans at Crazy Canucks:
Raise Me Up held a fancy and super fun charity event on the beach: A Night in Monte Carlo. There was food, gambling and drinking on the beach all for a great cause! They were raising funds to start construction for Hope Haven – a desperately needed women’s and children’s shelter on the island that will also offer free mental health counseling. Check it out!
We are now working with a local printer: BRC Printing in Benque Viejo. They are printing all of the Dooley Bear Adventures – Belize! books right here in Belize! We love that this book of ours is now 100% a product of Belize AND we are still donating 10% of all proceeds to the SAGA Humane Society in San Pedro. We had the opportunity to visit their offices and see our books on the production line!
Our Mr. Dooley Bear celebrated his 10th birthday!
Can’t you tell that he was just so excited to celebrate???
Ronnie’s brother and his wife came for a visit and we had tons of fun with them!
May arrived and it was the trip we had been waiting for: helping our friend move 2 – 50-foot catamarans to Roatan, Honduras to open up a new shop “Ecologic Adventures Roatan”. This was a trip of a lifetime and it was filled with laughter, beauty, and terror.
The first few days cruising around Belize waters were pure bliss. We saw a giant pod of dolphins, spent two nights at Half Moon Caye and were able to snorkel the Great Blue Hole.
The scary part came during the overnight crossing from Belize to Roatan…..Click here to read about our tale of terror on the high seas!
Once safely in Roatan, we got to hang out with sloths and monkeys!
June brought Ronnie’s birthday month and visits from friends.
Since we love George so much, we had to treat him to the joys of tarpon feeding! The video – it’s the best ever!
We unveiled our second island invention of the year: The Nut Hooker 2000.
Scott came to celebrate Ronnie’s birthday and Lobsterfest.
I do believe that Scott broke a record during Lobsterfest: the amount of Lobster that any human could possibly consume in three hours.
We traveled to Illinois and Indiana to visit family and friends. Here’s the full tale on that trip! (It has LOTS of pictures that include a Malort face!)
When we returned to the island, 15 pounds heavier from all of the pizza and beer, Lisa volunteered at Camp Starfish.
Camp Starfish is a summer camp for special needs children here in San Pedro.
Dooley Bear even got to stop in for a visit! Read all about his fun day at Camp Starfish!
All of the kids loved the Dooley Bear stories and the opportunity to meet and pet Dooley Bear!
During all of these months, we continued to go out fishing….driving around and around trying to catch our dinner. We are proud to announce that our fishing skills have greatly improved. Check out Ronnie’s latest Dorado catch!
Dooley Bear’s best month was August.
One day we were out driving around on our boat when we saw some friends on the YOLO. We got out to swim with them….and…..little did we know that the Costa Maya beauty pageant contestants were also on the boat!
Dooley Bear just couldn’t get enough love from Miss Costa Maya 2017!
I’d say, based on Dooley Bear’s smile, that he had a pretty great day!
Just a few days later, tropical storm Franklin was headed toward our shores. We all took the necessary hurricane preparations, which included fostering a dog from the SAGA Humane Society. Here is Miss Dopey:
She was such a sweet and gentle puppy who got along great with Dooley Bear. Luckily, Franklin spared us – but Miss Dopey is still up for adoption at SAGA. If you know anyone who would love to give her the forever home she deserves, message us or contact SAGA directly! There are programs to help with the costs involved.
We were asked by our friends at Raise Me Up if we could design an ad campaign. That’s a first for us, but since Ronnie is such an amazing illustrator, we gave it a shot – here is the end result:
How cool is that? Dooley Bear is the face of the ad campaign to report and stop child abuse. This campaign is going to run countrywide and be painted on walls and signs everywhere! We are so happy that we are able to help out where we can.
Here is one of the signs in San Pedro:
September brings Lisa’s birthday month and the last month of our third year here in Belize.
We were lucky enough to be invited to a birthday celebration extravaganza on Half Moon Caye. Our friend Rochelle was celebrating her birthday and only one celebration would do: boating over to Half Moon Caye and camping. How lucky are we that we got to visit Half Moon Caye not once, but twice this year!
Click here to read all about the 26-hour birthday extravaganza at Half Moon Caye!
To celebrate our three year island anniversary we are leaving the country….funny, but true. The last week of September, we will be traveling to Italy! It’s our very first European adventure and we have ZERO knowledge or experience using public transportation.
I can only imagine the funny and adventurous tales that will be coming your way in October!
Cheers to life. Live it well!