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Jetplane Gypsies in Placencia, Belize

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Melissa and Danni.

Dylan wields a coconut.

Danni and her new best friend Enzo.

By Danni and Melissa

 

Jetplane Gypsies’ first trip together was to Placencia, Belize. We arrived in Belize City and were picked up at the airport by Lynn—a friend of Melissa’s from Alabama—and Dylan.

 

We made the four-hour drive to the coast and stopped in Belmopan to see the marketplace and eat at the local cafes, which offered a variety of authentic Indian and Caribbean cuisine. We passed several Belizeans on the side of the road selling breadfruit, so we decided to buy one and see what the hype was about.

 

When we arrived at our adorable little jungalow in Placencia, we settled in and then rode in a golf cart down to the locals’ favorite Tiki bar, Yoli’s Over Da Water, where everyone already knew who we were and were waiting with a potluck dinner.

 

They greeted us with hugs and smiles, and made us feel at home under their thatched roof. As the sun set over the Caribbean, our first night in the village was filled with the laughter of expats, the scent of ylang ylang (the flower that inspired Chanel No. 5), and the stylings of local musicians who were more than eager to allow us to share their stage. We closed out our first evening playing some of our favorite songs with our newfound friends.

 

One couple in particular really resonated with us. They are very reserved and private people who moved to Belize to enjoy the slow-paced island lifestyle, away from the prying eyes of cul-de-sac neighbors and HOAs—thus, we respect their privacy (because it truly is a small world), and will refrain from using their true names here. We will call them Sonny and Cher.

 

Sonny and Cher both have long, gorgeous salt-and-peppered hair and glowing tan skin to match their glowing personalities. They have no qualms about walking barefoot, connecting with the Earth. They are old world hippies, the kind you see in mud-covered bellbottoms in photos from Woodstock.

 

We spent all of the next morning at Sonny and Cher’s private beach, soaking in the briny sun and drinking frozen breakfast cocktails. Their home is unlike any beach house we have ever witnessed in the states. It has no air conditioning, but is instead cooled by cross breezes.

 

Rather than cliché paintings of wetlands and sculptures of turtles littering the surfaces, their space is filled with hanging plants, Belizean tapestries, signs from bars they loved that were washed away, shells they found on their beach, and a king size poster bed as the centerpiece—a reminder that life should be lived outdoors, and the home is for shelter when sleeping.

 

Outside, they have a fabulous garden of various species of palm trees, hanging bromelaids and mosses, handmade benches, and artistically placed conch shells. They rescued their puppy Ella from being a bait dog in dog fights. They have given her new life, which is very apparent in the way she splashes and chases fishies on the banks.

 

After our morning on the beach, we went into the village to shop the markets for local produce before heading to a pool party. At the saltwater infinity pool, located right on the lagoon, we made several more expatriate friends, my favorite of which was Enzo, a black Lab.

 

Enzo would swim the seven seas to retrieve his tennis ball. Classic love story. We returned back to the house, where Lynn’s boyfriend Mark hacked a coconut down so that Melissa could try it for the first time. Then we spent the rest of the evening frying up breadfruit (which tastes like French fries) and plantains, which is my specialty dish.

 

Danni and Melissa are well-known Beachcomberland musicians who now share travel hacks and secrets while documenting their experiences around the globe. You can read more about their trip to Belize at jetplanegypsies.com. At press time, the ladies were headed for Costa Rica.

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