Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Belize: the first 2 days

The conception of this trip was due to air miles burning a hole in our pockets. We knew we wanted to go on a trip with Micah and Rachel soon, but didn't know where or exactly when. A week before our trip, Micah's passport came through, we finalized plans, and booked our tickets. The car/home rentals would be figured out via email while traveling - classic Micah/Eric trip :) We decided we'd only take Ivan since we'd have to buy Reese a ticket too and we didn't know what to expect (whether she'd eat the food, if she'd get sick off of it, how safe it is, etc). That was a good idea, but we missed her dearly!!
Sadly I didn't remember that my maiden name is on my passport, so we booked the tickets with my married name. When we were checking in at the airport the lady working told us I wouldn't be able to go due to the differences in name. Luckily I had Eric with me who doesn't take no for an answer. After questioning the lady over and over as to how we can fix the problem, she finally changed the name on the ticket, charged a fee, and we were on our way.

We had an overnight layover in Dallas so we found a hotel, hit up Denny's for a late night dinner, and made last minute phone calls before going out of the country. The hotel we stayed at had a shuttle that not only would pick you up/take you to the airport, but anywhere else you wanted. It was pretty cool.

On the plane ride from Dallas to Belize City we sat next to a kind lady who moved over a seat so Eric and I could sit together. We chatted quite a bit. Ivan was somewhat fussy, which I felt bad for. I'd apologize to her and she'd just say, "It's OK, I don't have to do anything about it, so no worries." So I was already feeling indebted to this lady and then the worst happens. I smell a slightly weird smell, I look down at Ivan, who is sitting peacefully in my lap, and see yellow stuff running down my thigh and all over the plane seat (the side near the lady). OH MY GOSH, let me hide in a cave! Eric grabs the wipes out of the overhead bin as well as the onesie I packed for Ivan (I had a feeling to pack an extra outfit for both me and Ivan in our carry on in case something like this happened, but opted out of packing one for myself). All 3 of us walked back to the bathrooms, as people notice my mess and quickly moved their elbows out of the aisle as far away from me as possible. I use many wipes trying to get Ivan clean (of course there was almost nothing in his diaper, just all over his clothing) and then go to work on myself. I'm a mess! I have it all over my left thigh and all over the front of my shirt. Awesome! Cute! I wipe away as much as I can, but the mustard yellow shines bright on both my dark blue jean shorts and my blue shirt. Once back to my seat I do a secretive change out of my shirt and into my fleece jacket, glad we're going to one of the warmest, most humid places :)

We got a rental car at the airport. I've never felt such humidity before. We were all soaked the instant we stepped off the plane. And yee-haw, I've got a fleece jacket on! Thankfully the car has a/c! I was told that I could only pack a car seat if I wanted to carry it on my back the whole way so I didn't pack one. Ivan liked the change, I got used to it and then wished it weren't so necessary to use car seats since it is great to just feed on the road, without pulling over. I'm also glad I didn't bring it because the majority of the time we were walking, biking, or in taxis, boats, or golf carts.
 The drive from Belize City to Placencia was a few hours long, but it was so neat to see all the jungles and little villages.
 They do a lot of controlled burning in the jungles. It was crazy how many fires there were.
 So we got to Placencia and found the house we had rented. It was way bigger and way nicer than what I was expecting to be staying in. We had the top floor, which looked like a cabin inside.
It had multiple balconies and beautiful views, only problem was that there was no a/c. It didn't matter all that much because we spent most of our days outside anyway, and at nights we'd blast fans straight on our bodies to keep us cool.

Placencia is known for great diving, snorkeling, and beaches. Sadly there weren't many public beaches, the nicest ones were at the private resorts, and other than that they were in short supply. Nonetheless, they were breathtakingly beautiful. The snorkeling off the shore wasn't great, the clarity wasn't good while we were there and since there is no reef there aren't a lot of creatures to observe. While in Placencia we didn't go on any dive or snorkeling tours, I'm sure if we did we would've seen more impressive things. We did learn, however, that in just a few days tons of people would be flocking to Placencia for the full moon when the Whale Sharks can be seen.

 Ivan liked his floaty. He especially liked to lean forward and get tastes of the salt water. We had to re-situate him many times to keep his body laying backwards so he couldn't drink the water. I think he'd purposefully spit his binky out so it'd get more salt water on it and he could have another taste when we popped it back into his mouth. When we'd get him out and hold him, he'd lick the salt off our skin.
 The first night we ate at the Hungry Gecko. It was delicious and had such a fun atmosphere. One of my favorite things about going on trips is the food. I have an obsession with exploring new flavors and menus. I had beef tacos, Eric had a fish burger, and we both had panadas, which was like a scone with chicken and salsa on it. The food in Belize has flavors that remind me of mexican food and cajun style food mixed. Eric of course got his glass bottle of orange fanta, which is classically Latin/Central American. Though English is the primary language in Belize, our waiter only spoke Spanish. Thankfully Eric did all the questioning and ordering. I always enjoy hearing him talk to people in Spanish, and love the way the people's eyes light up when they feel the relief of someone being able to converse effectively with them. Eric ended up having to use his Spanish a lot on this trip.

The table next to us was filled with 8 or so men playing poker and smoking their cigs. We chatted with them for a while. One guy was from BC, like Eric, and the rest were self-dubbed "Belizeans". They had retired and moved to homes in Belize. What a life.
The next day (or maybe the same day, it all kind of meshes together) we decided to try out a different beach. This one was behind a church and right next to a resort beach, so the beach was combed and the water was cleared from seaweed.

Eric and Micah snorkeled some more and Rachel, Ivan, and I enjoyed the shallow water, beach, and the little white fish that would nibble on the backs of our legs.


Cason and Marie said...

That looks sooo dreamy! And I love your kids. They are darling nakita.

Oh my word! I am so sorry about the airplane story. I am sure you just laugh now.

 Natalie said...

Nakeets, you are so cool. I'm so happy that you and Eric are still adventurous - and I love that you were able to take Ivan with you. And I def laughed out loud for real at the airplane story. My biggest fear about having kids is how much I'll get embarrassed.