Oh yea, and we are back from Belize! Got back last Sunday, actually. It was amazing. Here’s a quick summary of our week:
Saturday: Finished up packing, dropped off the pups, and left for the airport around 9pm for our 12:55pm flight.
Sunday: Slept in the airport (some) and on the plane (some). Caught our layover and met up with Danny’s family in Charlotte Sunday morning. Took a plane to a plane to a smaller plane to a taxi to a boat – and finally reached the resort (the flight to the island was spectacular) on Ambergris Caye. Once we reached the dock, the resort had someone there to take our bags. During our walk to the front desk, we were given rum punch, and they had a lady waiting to give us massages while we checked in. Once we got settled in, we wandered over to the dive shop right down the beach and signed up for diving later in the week.
Monday: Woke up to the most amazing weather. Other than the fact that the humidity killed my face (it’s like I’m going through a second puberty, because life didn’t think mine was bad enough the first time around). Basically just bummed around between the beach and the pool all day. Hung out with the iguanas and the crabs and the geckos. They had kayaks, bikes and a Hobie Cat there to use whenever you wanted, but we were still getting over the red eye and I really enjoyed my quality Kindle time (I actually finished 3 books during the week… so nice!).
Tuesday: Learned the deliciousness of fry jacks at breakfast. Met at the dive shop to turn in our medical slips (signed our lives away). Danny found an island kitty (named Pepper) to play with. Then we took the pool version of our diving lessons. I had some anxiety issues even in the pool, but they slowly subsided toward the end of the lesson. In the afternoon, we went with the whole diving group out to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve area where I faced one of my biggest fears. I’m not sure how far we actually went down (didn’t seem very far… and my beginner instincts to take deep breaths were making me very buoyant, so I had a hard time getting to the bottom). But it was actually pretty awesome. I’m eventually going to steal the pictures we took on Danny’s madre’s camera… gotta have that proof that I was really there. :) I’ll admit, I wasn’t ready to jump right back in, but I would definitely give diving another try in the future. After the dive, we snorkled with the fishies at Shark Ray Alley. They toss out food so the boat basically gets bombarded with sharks and then they say “go ahead! jump in!” :) Most of our meals were spent at our resort, but that night we went to the restaurant that picks you up by water taxi to go there. I had my first fish of the vacation (grouper).
Wednesday: Took a little golf cart trip into town. It was more like a roller coaster with the roads as bad as they were. It definitely reminded us we were in the 3rd world. It was weird thinking that if I had deployed like I was supposed to, I would have been visiting Belize to provide medical support… and instead I was just there laying on the beach. I felt bad while we were there but also was glad to stimulate the economy even in a small way (tourism is a big portion of their country’s income). Got back, had lunch… shared some with the iguanas… and enjoyed some more relaxation time.
Thursday: Finally took out the kayaks. Saw a shark while in the kayak. Danny said, “quick, paddle toward it!”.
Friday: Our all-day excursion! First we flew back to the mainland (I got to be co-pilot). Then we hopped on a bus with Andre our tour guide and first drove to the opposite (Western) side of Belize, almost to the border to the Xunantunich Mayan ruins (where you had to take a hand-crank ferry across the river). From the top of the ruins, you could actually see Guatemala. It was really cool. We also saw two kinds of monkeys! Then we wandered back and stopped to do zip-lining through the jungle and cave tubing. Both were amazing, although my favorite was the cave tubing. I was kicking myself the whole time because I didn’t bring a waterproof camera. The views were spectacular… nothing like I’ve ever seen before. We made it back just in time for dinner.
Saturday: I got up early to catch the sunrise… but there was so much humidity most of my pictures ended up blurry. It was beautiful nonetheless. Spent the rest of the day enjoying our beach/pool time, riding bikes to find a random toilet in a field, and packed up to head home :( Sunday all day was a travel day.
Successfully made it through the week without a sunburn (Danny can’t say the same), although I did get quite a few bug bites. It was probably the most relaxing vacation I’ve ever been on. When we left, the guy at the front desk said “see you next weekend”. If only that were true.
Goodbye, beautiful oasis… back to reality!