Tuesday, March 31, 2009
yesterday the thatchers came and put the roofs on the beach casitas/palapas. now we have large shady, palm leaf covered places to enjoy the sea breeze while staying out of the hot caribbean sun. at the same time we started to move the kitchen , bathroom cabinets and furniture into the pineapple house, exciting times !
Thursday, March 19, 2009
I started a little tradition during the construction of the Pineapple House, “staff lunch Saturdays.” I usually do a fish or chicken Thai curry with rice and it’s the first time I’ve ever cooked for more than 6-7 people. It’s a fun way to do something nice for the guys, after all, they bust their humps for me in the hot sun, six days a week and never complain. Plus I get to feel good too. When I remind them on Friday at knocking off time that its staff lunch tomorrow, they all cheer! They’re a great group of guys and a real bunch of characters, most of them have been with us for 3 or 4 years now (I know they all look like kids but they’re all in their twenties).
As usual our foreman Peter Howell and the crew have done an amazing job on the Pineapple House, the fit and finish of every post and beam is perfect. Aside from the beautiful woodworking done on site, Peter has also made me some beautiful furniture in his woodshop on Pigeon Cay. I have to say the bedroom furniture, bathroom counters and kitchen cabinets I designed have all been constructed impeccably by his cabinetmakers, I’m really pleased.As much as I look forward to Treasure Beach no longer being a construction site, it’ll be strange not to have the crew around the place everyday. Hopefully we’ll all be starting a new job next month, a water front restaurant about a mile west of Treasure Beach for our friend Sebastien, a chef from the south of France.
Monday, March 16, 2009
this week we're putting the final touches on my most beautiful project to date, the pineapple house at treasure beach. paint touch ups and landscaping today, followed by the installation of the kitchen cabinets and appliances, bathroom sinks and moving in the furniture and lighting. an exciting week for me and the crew.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The trip to the mayan ruins at Copan was fun and really interesting. the ruins are well worth a visit and i highly recommend using one of the guides that work at the site, ours made it incredibly interesting and informative ($40 for 4 hours). the museum is a must do, it holds a lot of the most beautiful and powerful sculptures, as well as a recreation of the main alter, painted as it would have been, when the city was inhabited thirteen hundred years ago. we stayed at a very nice little b and b called "casa de cafe", the rooms were simple but comfy and the breakfasts were really good, all for $40 a night. we had dinner one evening up at hacienda san lucas. try to get there at around 5.15pm for a lovely sunset view across the valley, river and coffee plantation. our meal there was the best honduran food i've ever had. my Mum headed back to england via miami and after i'd seen her off at san pedro sula airport i took the bus back to la ceiba, jumped on the ferry and headed back to utila. it's time to wrap up work on the pineapple house. all that's left to do now is install the kitchen cabinets, landscape and move the furniture in. the fun part of the job !
UTILA : MY TOP TEN PICKS FOR FOOD & DRINKS
- DRIFTWOOD INN - great for a cool breezy lunch on the dock, bruce on the b.b.q. at night (his brisket is famous on the island but i like the beer battered snapper). a favorite amongst the expats, horse shoes on the sand & u.s. sports on t.v. sunday afternoons.
- LUNCH AT THE CAYS- wether you choose beau's "fishburger" or mr. hermans "cay view", no trip to utila is complete without lunch on the cays. everyone goes for the fish burgers but i prefer the chicken or lobster (in season). great places to spend a surface interval, bring your camera.
- MANGO INN-best pizza on the island, authentic thin crust italian style from the brick oven. beautiful gardens, watch the hummingbirds feed by day, bats at night.
- THE INDIAN WOK- consistently good indian/asian cuisine, a welcome new addition to utila.
- THE PURPLE PELICAN-my new favourite place for lunch. located at pine point one of utilas prettiest beaches. nice food, beach chairs and lovely water (i've never seen so many starfish). stay for a couple of hours, eat, drink, swim and relax.
- THOMPSONS BAKERY- the place to stop on your way to that first dive of the day. great coconut bread and cinnamon rolls.
- TRANQUILLA BAR- a favorite of backpackers and locals, great place to sit on the water and watch the sun go down. an eclectic music selection fuels the party as the evening progress', an institution on utila.
- TREETANIC BAR- located in a treehouse on the grounds of the jade seahorse. atmospheric , hip bar thats a favorite of the divemasters and younger expats. things usually get going around 10pm,. nice crowd, good vibe.
- ULTRA LIGHT - great falafel sandwiches and chicken schwarma . very reasonably priced, quality middle eastern food.
- UTOPIA RESORT- for a special evening out of town, chef hugh prepares the best food on the island (probably honduras), his menu changes daily . try the blackfin tuna if its available, amazing ! accessible only by boat from town, contact the hotel to make reservations and transportation arrangements.
- my adventures in island living . after visiting utila as a diver for four years (it reminds me of ambergris caye belize, 20 years ago) i bought some beach front land in 2005 and built a home for myself in 2007. i'm located on the beautiful southwest shore opposite the utila cays at treasure beach. now i'm in partnership with my builder Roger, designing/building beautiful homes for our clients (we've completed 5 so far) and living my island dream !