We arrived at Harvest Caye, Belize and was very surprised to find that we were not on the mainland of Belize. The last time we were in Belize, we had tendered to the port, which was your usual cruise ship experience. There was nothing usual about this beautiful cruise port. It is owned exclusively by Norwegian Cruise Line. It took four years and $50 million to creating this paradise. The materials used to construct port were sourced locally from Belize. Our ship docked and there was a long canopied pier connecting us from the ship to the port. It was a good 15 minute walk down the pier or there were carts to take passengers to the port entrance. On arriving at the port, we were greeted by the lush greens of Belize’s forests, The paved paths lead to different facilities available on the island, starting with the shopping area …
Local artist were commissioned to create wood carvings featuring Belize wildlife. Carving of a large iguana side by side with a smaller iguana is huge, it’s about 5′ high at the head of the iguana and 10′ long from head to tail of the larger iguana. Iguanas are a common sight throughout the Caribbean. This elaborate carving is one of a series of wood sculptures depicting the wildlife of Belize. We were amazed at all the unusual plants on Harvest Caye. The variety of flowering plants included Hibiscus, Jatropha, Jasmine, Ixora, and Heliconia
This was our 12th cruise and our 8th on Norwegian Cruise Line (Getaway). When we first started with NCL we were getting double loyalty points for the cruises. This moved us up the ladder to Platinum level for this cruise. As a Platinum members, we have an exclusive check in line at the embarkation port. Once we checked in we got our boarding number, not realizing we did not need one. Our number was eight and they hadn’t even called one yet. Fred, having checked in on his cruise in September as a Platinum member, knew this wasn’t right. So he went out to find the Platinum boarding. In just a few minutes he was back and we were off to embark on the Getaway. One minor problem, Dee had not reached Platinum yet. But with a few words from Steve and Fred we were on our way to the …
As we entered Colonial/Wisteria Lane, most of us could identify the Desperate Housewives houses. But if you have watched TV shows and movies, you might recognize houses for other reasons. The houses were filmed as these family homes: Munster’s, Hardy Boys, The Burbs, Live It To Beaver, Nancy Drew, and the Matlock. Other shows/movies include: Harvey, The Little Rascals Save the Day, The House of the Seven Gables, and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Save
After driving around looking at other mansions, we arrived at Greystone Mansion & Gardens. It was completed in 1928 for the son of an oil tycoon. The City of Beverly Hills purchased the property in 1965 and became a public park in 1971. The Mansion is now used for weddings, events and filming for TV and movies (Batman’s home). The view overlooking Beverly Hills was amazing. We could pick out different place we had been during the day and a totally different look of Universal Studios from this overlook.
We were driving around in Beverly Hills and decided it was time for lunch. We had seen several food trucks in the area. They were stopped by houses that were either being built or remodeled. Â We stopped at the next one we saw and order a Mexican lunch. We then went to a very nice park, where there were picnic tables, playground and restrooms. It was a very nice lunch.
The 40-foot long Beverly Hills sign, located in the Beverly Gardens Park, is one of the most photographed spots in the city. The sign, today, is a replica of the 1907 sign and is surround by a lily pond. The park stretches for 22 blocks along Santa Monica Boulevard. It has a jogging path, hundred-year-old cypress and fucus trees, gardens, and public art. Beverly Hills is a 5.7 square mile city with 34,000 residents and a daytime population of more than 200,000.
The Spadena House, known as The Witch’s House, is a private home with a purposefully disrepair look with a pointy, lopsided roof, tiny windows and stucco with a distressed paint job. It is surrounded by an eccentric picket fence, made of wavy, warped wooden pickets.The house was built, in 1921, as a set for a few silent films, including Hansel and Gretel, and used as a studio office. It was not built to be lived in. In 1998 the house sold for $1.3 millionÂ
In 2010, the Brody house, located at 360 S Mapleton, was sold for the first time, at just under $15 million. It was purchased by flippers, who then sold it to Ellen DeGeneres for $39,888 million. After a few months she sold it to Sean Parker, a tech billionaire, for $55 million. This is all we could see from the street.
The mansions on Mapleton Drive, in the Homby Hills, are hidden behind high walls with large gates and higher hedges and are the most coveted addresses in Los Angles. With all the people driving by to get a glance of them and their houses, it is understandable that they would try to block views of the house. The Spelling house is located at the corner of S. Mapleton and club View Drive.