Have you ever thought of escaping the rat race to go live on the beach? Or move to a tropical paradise? We did too. Will and I were workaholics who were fed up with the fast-food culture, insatiable consumerism, and “things over people” values of today’s society in the United States. So, we gave up our lucrative careers in Dallas to move Hopkins, a small fishing village of about 2,000 people.
While we were taking it easy from the demands of our former lives, we were presented with the opportunity to run Hopkins Inn, one of the oldest bed and breakfast establishments in the village. We weren’t looking to run and inn, but we did want to provide the Inn’s dog, Lucy, with a good home. When people ask if Lucy came with the inn, we laugh and say “no, the inn came with Lucy.”
We did miss entertaining like we frequently did in the states and believed running the inn would merge our passions of good food and conversation. Hosting breakfast for guests is like having a dinner party every day. Our hobbies of entertaining, socializing, and restoring homes, blend well with running a bed and breakfast. I get to garden and arrange flowers, while Will gets to build and renovate. Best of all, we get to do it together.
How did we decide on Hopkins? We arrived late, pulling off the highway as darkness snuck up on us, the rain poured, and the windshield wiper on our rental car didn’t work. We were headed to PG (Punta Gorda) but knew there was no way we could continue any longer given the circumstances. Back in those days, it took 45-minutes to go the four miles down the unpaved, crater-filled Hopkins Road. There were no lights on the highways or Hopkins Road (and still aren’t any today.) Thankfully, Will maneuvered the road into the village successfully and we arrived in the village just in time to watch the full moon rising over the Caribbean Sea. It was magical.
So magical, it seemed like an Elvis Presley set at the restaurant we made it to—tiki huts, waves softly lapping, and this amazing moon coming out of the sea. It didn’t seem real. And that was our very first night! Listening to the faint drumming sounds over a meal of fresh fish while the rain turned to a slow mist, melted what stress we had brought with us.
We traveled all over Belize, but Hopkins enticed us to make her our adopted village. We came back and stayed at Hopkins Inn. We liked it so much that we came back. And back. And back again– even staying once for 21 days in one of the Hopkins Inn beach cabanas! We affectionately named it the ‘Magnolia Cabana’ in tribute to our southern roots (being from Kentucky and Mississippi) and a reminder of those early years escaping long hours and demanding tasks to a little beach cabana at Hopkins Inn.
When the opportunity presented itself to run Hopkins Inn, we were excited. After all, it was the place where we fell in love with Belize. We continue to run it the way we remember it as guests, while adding a few of our own personal touches for the best experience for visitors.