We worked hard, had lucrative careers, and decided we weren’t getting any younger or healthier sitting in an office, working 80-hour weeks. Most people thought we should start a family, go to ball games, and move to the suburbs. Or at least purchase a TV. But we wanted adventure and excitement. We wanted to get outside of our comfort zone and live more passionate lives. So, we moved to Hopkins, a small fishing village in Belize, Central America to enjoy a different pace of life.
While we were taking it easy from the demands of our former lives, we were presented with the opportunity to run and own Hopkins Inn, one of the oldest bed and breakfast establishments in the village. We weren’t looking to run an inn, but we did want to provide the Inn’s dog, Lucy, with a good home. When people asked if Lucy came with the inn, we'd 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, blended well with running a bed and breakfast. I got to garden and arrange flowers, while Will builds and renovates. Best of all, we get to do it together.
When Lucy died at the ripe age of 12, we decided our capable team should take over the day to day operations. We travel more. We share one vehicle. We try new things. We like to be outside. We enjoy yoga, hiking, riding our bikes, and kayaking. We spend too much time having conversations about the world’s challenges. Seriously. We call “home” wherever we are at the moment, but we do maintain physical houses in both Hopkins, Belize--our home base--and Columbus, Mississippi where we have more projects than time.
Odds are, we will probably be at the inn when you are too! We stay in the cabanas, just like tourists. We still have big dreams and plans for the inn and are constantly working on new ideas and projects. We don’t want to miss out on anything!
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—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.