I went to Belize

Sunday Nov 18
HOME!!

Carrie got up this morning early – like 630 to participate in the Walk for Hope… I was supposed to but declined. By the time we got home last night and to bed it was about 1AM, so I thought about walking for hope – but then… didnt. I packed up and left around 10AM and meandered my way home. I stopped for breakfast, and continued my book. I’m about halfway through – its pretty good. I stopped in Santa Barbara to get the peppermint foot scrub and gas. I stopped at Costcoe in Santa Maria to pick up prints of my pictures, and I also got the new James Patterson book – and then I stopped at my Moms to show her the pictures and visit for awhile. I hit the Trader Joes on the way home for some dinner items and then got home around 4:30 this afternoon. I was smart and instead of lugging my overweight suitcase up the stairs, I stopped in the laundry room and dumped all the clothes into the washer, so that I could do laundry. It took a few hours to finish, but its now sitting on my sofa waiting to be folded. It might half to wait a while longer. In anycase, its back to work in the morning, and I loved my vacation. I’m not a scrappbooker – but I plan to put this and all my other photos in an album of some sorts for memories – what a fun vacation!

Saturday Nov 17
THE ZOO AND THE FLIGHT HOME

We decided to go to the zoo before our flight this morning. Our flight wasnt until 5PM, and so it didnt make sense to hang around the hotel until our puddle jumper to the mainland at 3, so we switched our flight to the 9AM puddle jumper and went on an adventure. It was my job to get this all figured out on Friday while Carrie was snorkeling – and I think I did pretty good. We arrived at the Municipal airport on the plane pictured below, and Selena was there with our rental car – which really wasnt much smaller than the plane we took.

 

 We assumed our regular roles – Carrie is the driver, and I am the “Naviguesser” – which basically means, I hold the map. I don’t read the map… I just hold it. I don’t do well with maps – most of the time I am not looking at it the right way – its usually upside down or sideways – so my role is “Naviguesser”… Carrie drives and when we occasionally need to consult the map – we pull over to the side of the road. The car was a good size car – it fit us and our stuff, and that is it. The roads were easy to drive on, and it was nice to be on the road. It was cheaper than hiring a guide and really – I trust Carrie to wheel us around a foreign country. We went to the Zoo first and had a great time. Here are some of my favorite pictures of the animals that we saw. Junior the Jaguar and the Black Panther were my favorites…

            
Emerald Toucanette                                                  Macaw


Coatamundi                                                     Grey Fox


The National Animal – the Tarpin… a Mountain Cow

 


Junior the Jaguar – born Feburary 2007


The Black Panther

 About halfway through the zoo – we turned a corner and there was Mr. Netherlands and Mrs. Houston and Ava and Ellie. It was funny to see them at the zoo. After the zoo, we had lunch at Gran Farm. This is a day resort for cruise ships. They seemed a bit suprised to have us wander up, but were very nice and we had a lovely lunch of snapper and fries. More pictures of that to come. After that we explored an eco tourism hotel and giftshop and then headed to the airport. When we got there we found out our plane was delayed… very sad, but we did see some of our new friends. Lady in the Blue Swimdress and Her White Head Friend were there, and Mr. Grumpy Flip Flops and his two ladies were there, they nearly missed thier flight. We hung out in the airport restaurant and then boarded our flight for home. The flight back was just as cushy as the flight to and we arrived home around midnight! On the plane I started and finished Into the Wild – which was just turned into a movie, and started The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritson.

Friday Nov 16
NOT MUCH OF ANYTHING

I spent today doing not much of anything. I really enjoyed being adventerous, but I was also looking forward to being able to get some down time, and just hang out and do nothing. I didn’t take my computer with me, so I wasnt able to check work email – which was good. I just sorta hung out. This morning Carrie got up and went snorkeling at Mexico Rocks and Tres Coco’s – and I stayed behind. I slept in until about 9, and then hung out at the pool for the rest of the afternoon. I finished the last book that I wanted to before we left Belize and made friends with Mr. Grumpy Flip Flops. Really – I didnt make friends. He was waving at me, and then tripped on a piece of wood in the deck and I laughed… which didnt solidify our friendship, but we did make some small talk. I was also highly entertained by Ava and Ellie in the afternoon. Mr. Netherlands was giving his wife Mrs. Houston a break so they were doing laps around the pool. I heard all about Avas brown dress, and her little braid and Ellie had a pink hat… and no clothes on. For those that are curious – these are the books I’ve read since departing Los Angeles: Book of the Dead – Patricia Cornwall, Switching Time – Dr. J Baer, The Accidental Mother – ?, But Inside I’m Screaming – ?… I have 3 left and saw the commercial for the new James Patterson which I plan to purchase and read when I get back. Below are some pictures of our resort and the grounds.

 

 

Thursday Nov 15
SNORKELING AND PIZZA

Today was a great day, we woke up early and went snorkeling. We went to Hol Chan and made some new friends. There were 8 other people in our boat: Mr and Mrs Never Snorkled, and thier son, Mr and Mr. Not Gay German, Swims with his Clothes on and his wife, and the people from our resort who wore gym shoes to the snorkeling. We were on the Alfonse boat – who we are guessing was driven by Alfonse? but we aren’t sure. Hol Chan was pretty good snorkeing – we saw lots of snapper, and some other tropical fish. I am pretty good at the snorkeing part, but the getting on and off the boat was the hard part – I’m not so good at the just “jumping overboard” and the tiny ladder was a challenge getting back on. We saw some Moree Eals, and some parrot fish, and some other pretty fish. I also saw alot of Mr and Mrs Never Snorkled fins because they were not good at all at floating, kicking or directing themselves. It all worked out in the end though. After Hol Chan we went to Shark Ray Alley – where you got out of the boat and swam with 20 Nurse Sharks and some Sting Rays.. I stayed in the boat. Yep – I didnt do it. I contemplated it – but really… I just couldnt. So I sat in the boat with Mrs. Never Snorkled – they are from Sacremento via Vietnam, and we discussed our travel plans. They are planning on staying at Caye Caulker which is where we visited for about an hour the other day – for a week. I relayed this information to Carrie and we are very worried about them and that plan. We’ve discussed tonight calling Costa Maya – and telling Jackie and Jan to go on the Alfonse to snorkel – because he will teach you how to kick if you need it, and Carrie wants to walk to Banana Beach to tell Mr. and Mrs. Never Snorkle and thier son not to go to Caye Caulker for a week…  Anyways – we got back from snorkeling about 12:30 and decided to walk into town for lunch. We had lunch at a Tortillairia – which was good, and we walked back… its about a mile to town… and a mile back, so we are doing alot of walking. Well I am doing alot of walking – Carrie doesnt consider this alot of walking… but I do. So currently, I am hanging out in our condo and Carrie is wearing herself out kayaking, and tonight we are going to hang out at “home” and order pizza for dinner. It’s supposed to be really good – so I’m looking forward to that.

I think that’s about it … We are trying to figure out what to do on Saturday, it looks like we might take an early flight in and do stuff in and around Belize City… we might go with a tour guide, or rent a car… either way it should be fun. Tommorow Carrie is going snorkeling at Mexico Rocks and I am going to hang out here… which is perfect in my book!

 

Wednesday Nov. 14
A DAY OF NOTHINGNESS

I decided that today would be a day of nothingness. I wanted to sleep in, do nothing but read books and lounge by the pool. It was a great day! I have finished 3 1/2 books and have 2 1/2 left to go, so I was glad to get some good book reading time in. We snacked through lunch, so walked in for the big night of entertainment in town. We saw some of our new friends from Tuesdays adventure there. I forgot to mention that since we never learned anyones names on our Manatee trip, we started making up the names for them. Staying with us at the hotel are Mr. Netherlands and Mrs. Houston – they have two girls Ava and Ellie – both very cute. We see them often, and Mr. Netherlands father was an IBMer for 25 years… so that was an interesting factoid. On the Manatee Trip with us we made friends with… Lady in the Blue Swim Dress and Her White Haired Friend Jackie and Jan, Trevor, Trevors Mother, Trevors Father and Stuck on the Corral. Stuck on the Corral was named because she… got stuck on the corral during our snorkeling adventure… So anyways, when we got into town we ran into Jan and Jackie, and Lady in the Blue Swim Dress and Her White Haired Friend. Stuck on the Corral was back at the hotel for the night, and the Trevor People were all too hung over from Rum Punch to come into town. We hung out at the Chicken Drop – which was fun and basically Cow Pie Bingo but with a Chicken. We stayed for the first round of Chickening, and then we left to have dinner at Elvi’s. After that we headed for home. I should mention that while I am working on being Adventorous Alison, Carrie is working on being… Calm Carrie – so while we had a day of nothingness, Carrie started her day with a 5 mile walk up and down the beach, and then she was pretty good at the nothing.

 

 

November 12, 2007
SNORKELING – BOATS – RUM PUNCH

 

Although it was drippy this morning we decided to get up and go on our Manatee Cruise this morning. The boat picked us up at 8:40 Belize time…. so really 9 AM, and we headed off. We learned our boat and 2 speeds… FAST and OFF. Aaron, one of our guides was great – but he either went speedy FAST or, not at all. So we went FAST for about an hour on the boat to the Manatee park and got to look for some mammals. It was a great time and I got some beautiful pictures of the ocean and all of us looking for Manatees and then at the end I finally got a manatee head… I think. They really are quite cute and LARGE. Check out the photos – There are 20ish of water, and 1 Manatee – I’ve included my favorites below.

 

After this we went FAST to the Goffs Caye where we snorkled for the first time. It was a bit windy… okay alot windy, and I was freaking myself out about snorkeling in the winde, but since I’m Adventerous Alison this vacation, I did it. It wasnt bad. The water was choppy, and murky so we didnt see many fish, but it was nice to be out of the boat for awhile. After our 45 minutes of snorkeling – well 40 minutes of snorkeling and 5 minutes of watching a lady get stuck on the coral… shes fine… and it wasnt me… we had lunch and then took off for our next destination.

Again – we went FAST which was our only option. It occured to me during this portion of the day that we were in the open ocean, the sea, the channel – but I didnt it let me freak out too bad. We stopped and sting ray alley and got out to swim with the rays. AFter I panicked about how to get out of the boat, I went down the ladder and had a nice time swimming with the sting rays. They freaked me out a bit because they rub right up against you, and go under your feet – but I wasnt the only one to freak out, and I didnt freak out the most so that was good. After this we headed to Caye Caulker, which is nothing spectacual and then came home. Here are some of my favorite photos from Caye Caulker. You’ll notice they have Simon-cats in Belize as well. This particular cat was in an area we discovered with about 30 other cats. Cats as far as the eye can see…

 

 However, I should mention that as we were wandering Caye Caulker a guy from our trip (Trevors Father) offered to take Carrie and my picture together infront of the Lazy Lizard. He’d seen us taking the below photos of each other in front of The Lazy Lizard, a sunny place for shady people.

We’d noticed that he’d been drinking rum punch on the boat – but didnt think he’d had that much. They had started serving Rum Punch on the boat as soon as we saw the Manatees. By the time we got to Caye Caulker, we were all covered in Rum Punch – since it’s very hard to drink it on the speedy FAST boat. Anyways, Trevors Father – we never knew his name, so we called that group Trevor, Trevors Mother and Trevors Father. Trevors Father took the following picture of us, and he was SOOOOO excited to take it, and very proud of it. 

On our way out of Caye Caulker, we stopped at the Belize Seahorse Park and looked for Seahorses. The guides caught one, and we were able to take some photos with it.

 

We got home around 5:15 PM, and went into town for dinner. We went to the Sunset Grill and had some of the best seafood on the island. Carrie had the mixed grill, and I had snapper – DELISH!! That’s about it for today.

 

Monday – November 12, 2007
I DONT LIKE BIKES

This morning I slept in, until 11… whoopies! It was nice though to get some decent sleep. Carrie was up at 7AM and so by the time I surfaced she had alreayd walked into and around town, explored the beach, scaled a building… you know, the normal things. We spent a couple of hours reading by the pool, and then headed into town to explore and go to the market.

We decided to ride bikes, which I was game to do. I picked a pretty purple bike… and it had a basket, and a bell and off we went. I made it about… a quarter mile, before I was done. FYI – in case anyone is wondering, I HATE BIKES. OMG pain … shooting pain in my knee, my butt hurt – it is not the adventure for me, so we found a place to park the bikes and walked into town. I very nearly had a 2 year old moment and threw the bike into the weeds, and left it there but I decided not to. We wandered around town and had lunch at WIld Mangos – I had fish tacos, Carrie had a salad, got frozen custard, and stopped at the market on the way home. We hung out at the condo for a bit – and then decided to try our snorkel equipment in the ocean. As you know, I’ve been “practicing” vacation skills, so this was me practicing my snorkel gear… before we went to practice it outside.

 

It was choppy and windy and starting to rain, so I didnt like that plan and came back to the condo. We ended up at the Blue Water Grill for dinner, and it was very good. Rico’s turned out to be the least good of all the places we went to. Blue Water was great – I had chicken… After dinner it was raining so hard, we took a taxi back to the hotel. We hung out and watched TV and went to bed early, preparing for tommorows adventure…

 

November 11, 2007
WE MADE IT

This morning started bright and early at 4:30AM. Carrie and I got up and showered and dressed and ready to go to catch our cab at 5:15. We did not – as both sets of my parents request – get to the airport by 5AM, we arrived at 6AM, with plenty of time to go through the First Class check in and security. The flight to DFW was uneventful, I’m happy to say I sleep just as well in First Class as I do in Coach. We had a short layover in Dallas, where we were able to get caffiene – which for me was much needed by that point. The flight to Belize City was great, I watched a great new sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”… and LOVED the First Class treatment. We started with warm roasted nuts, a salad that had artichoke hearts and tomaotes, and then a lunch of either seafood or beef. The seats are SO comfy, and all in all it was a great expiernece. In Belize City we waited for our puddle jumper to San Pedro, Belize. It was sorta like waiting for a bus, you just showed your ticket and got on – very little concern about times or seats, or identity. Our plane sat 15, including the pilot and was VERY VERY tiny.

 

It had just rained here so, the 15 minute flight was very choppy!We touched down in San Pedro and made our way to the Xanadu Resort. It was dark when we got here, but it is very secluded and nice. Currently, I”m sitting on a wooden lounge chair, in the darkish by the pool typing the update. After we got settled we found a restaurant for dinner, and had a nice dinner. Ricos is probably fancier than we’ll hit the rest of the week, but it was a nice way to start the evening. I’m getting eaten by bugs at the moment, so I’ll write more tommorow! 

 

November 03, 2007
OH CRIEKY.

Belize in a week.

 

October 11, 2007
And…

I’m going to Belize, and… I’m going FIRST FREAKING CLASS!! Thanks to Brian, Carries boss, we are now travelling in style to Belize. As her end of season gift, he upgraded both of us to First Class for our trip to Belize. I am SOOO excited! I can’t wait to sit in the roomier seats, and have a lovely trip. They feed you and the booze is free – so I’ll be happily declining free alcholic beverages, but the trip will be comfortable, and even more fun!

Thanks Brian!!

Alison

October 10, 2007
I’m GOING to Belize!!

Well, it’s official. I am GOING to Belize. I am super excited, and practicing all sorts of vacation skills, so that I’m ready to go. If anyone has suggestions on how to practice kayacking, without actually going in a kayack… let me know. Until then, check out where we are staying… looks like fun to me!

 http://xanaduresort-belize.com/

We leave in about a month, so check back then for a vacation blog.

Alison

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