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December 2017

Travel

I Belize in a Thing Called Love: Part 2

Welcome back for Part 2 of my Belize adventure! For a Part 1 recap head here…..

The next day we packed up and started heading back to the capital to turn in our rental cars and so some people could get in some scuba diving before going home. Three people couldn’t stay the whole trip and about half the group was really into scuba diving so they broke off to go do that, but since we took care of the car situation we got to head to our next place early and get the first pick of the rooms. I had to pretend to be Danielle to turn in the rental cars since they were under her name, but she was off scuba diving. Thanks to my extensive theatre background it went off without a hitch 😉

The car rental people were nice enough to take us to the water taxi station where we got a QUICK breakfast and then headed to our next destination: Caye Caulker. The water taxi was about 45 minutes and very efficient. We got to the island and Blair let our new host know we were there. Caye Caulker is one island, but has two parts. There was a hurricane a long time ago that split off a little bit of the end which is where our house was located. Our new host, Cody, was coming to get us with a small boat to take us to our own dock. The boat was only big enough for two people and the luggage so Carly and Blair took the first ride while the rest of us headed to the bar.

We had some drinks and they gave us free shots before we had to make our way for our own boat ride. The new house was super awesome and the air conditioning worked very well. We had like a sea of hammocks on the first floor of the house. The second level had some rooms and the living room with the kitchen. The third floor had the rest of the rooms and bathrooms. The fourth floor was just a sun deck with some chairs, a hammock, and the best view of the whole island. Carly and I immediately made use of this for an impromptu photo shoot before the rest of the group joined us. 😉

We immediately change into our swim suits and head to the nearest beach: Koko Key. It’s a future site of a new resort so they’ve already fixed up the Beach section with inflatable water toys, an awesome bar, and an infinity pool. We spend essentially the entire afternoon here drinking, eating, and having a wonderful time.

After probably four or five hours, we notice the infinity pool and want to get in to take a picture. We gather all of the girls and get Hector to take our picture. We aren’t even in the pool two minutes before a member of staff comes rushing over YELLING at us to get out. Apparently this is a VIP section and you need a $35 wristband to enter. We hadn’t seen the signs (honestly) and immediately got out with our apologizes. The staff continues to yell and Hector interjects on our behalf. Blair is also super upset that someone yelled at us and tries to reason with the manager about the misunderstanding. The manager doesn’t care and charges us each $35 for the wrist bands that we never even use… We close out our tab and vow to not return. On our way back to the house we run into the rest of our group back from scuba diving. They are hungry so some still head to Koko Key despite our protests. The rest of us get Chinese food and hang out back at the house the rest of the night.

 

The next day most of the scuba crew goes back out for another day of diving. The rest of us head over to the main part of the island for breakfast and to explore. We decide to take up residence at The Lazy Lizard which is right on the split between the main part of the island and where our house is. There is this cool little section where you can wade and snorkel as well as sit on bar stools in the water. The few that have to leave early hang with me for the morning so they can get a little more beach time in before having to go back to reality.

Becca and I decide to explore a little bit and I find a little stand on the beach that has massages. Obviously a massage on the beach is a dream so I indulge and it’s amazing as I hoped. I head back to group and get some snacks at the bar. We meet some interesting people and have a great time watching other bar goers jump off this tall platform into the ocean. I jumped in earlier and it was super fun, but you basically are jumping into open water and my fear of sharks takes over so I only do that a few times before I’ve thoroughly freaked myself out and can no longer continue.

 

Eventually the scuba people catch up with us and share what they have seen that day. I hear about more sharks and feel very confident in my decision to avoid scuba diving for the rest of my life. We consider snorkeling for another day and continue to enjoy the afternoon. We have lunch at this amazing place with like every seafood option you can imagine. Drinks included it ended up being like $15 a person… crazy right?? So delicious.

Becca and I spotted an ice cream place earlier so we grab Ben and indulge before meeting back up with the group. We stay at The Lazy Lizard the rest of the day and then head back to the house. We have this app on the tv called Kodi that basically can stream any movie ever so we pick something, play Cards Against Humanity, and eat dinner. Now that three of our people are gone I get a whole room to myself for the rest of the trip! We turn in and look forward to another day in paradise.

The next day is more of the same. Becca and I discover this amazing iced coffee place and we get Fry Jack from another vendor. Both are delicious, per usual. Today is snorkel day and I am told that we might spot manatees! Unfortunately it is manatee mating season so we try, but no luck. I do get to see a few little baby sea horses and these huge fish that scare me.

We get to the first snorkel site and it’s really cool to see the coral and fish. There also happen to be two sharks in a little coral cave so as soon as I discover this is swim as fast as my little fins will let me to safety.

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The next stop is specifically for sharks and sting rays. I choose to sit this one out and observe from above the water. The boat guide keeps trying to get me into the water, but I will not be swayed by peer pressure. Everyone I think also gets a little freaked out by the sheer amount of sharks and we don’t stay at this stop very long (to my relief). The next stop is just more coral and fish which is nice and calming. A few people have brought their Go-Pro cameras we got tons of good videos and pictures from the day. We also saw an Eel swimming around which was exciting since I’ve only ever seen one just chilling in a cave.

We head back to shore and grab some lunch at the cafe where Becca and I have been getting our iced coffees. After lunch we head back to hang out at the house and get ready for the night. We go to a seafood place for dinner and the ocean nearly takes my phone as captive. Fortunately I have the iPhone 7 Plus which is waterprooffffff. Saved my life!! We continue to dinner and the rest of our evening. Dinner is delicious and I got octopus! We then head out to the bars for some drinks and karaoke. We get there before karaoke is in full swing so my song is quickly picked and I get Hector to help me sing “I Love Rock and Roll” a la Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Becca puts her song in, but it doesn’t get picked until we are about to leave. I help her sing the Shaggy classic “It Wasn’t Me”.

 

The next bar is playing a really good mix of top 40 hits and I am having a great time dancing with my friends. We go outside to catch our breath and then Cody suggests we go to this other bar. We follow the DJ to the other bar and stay there max 20 minutes before we start to see the storms rolling in. We quickly head back to the boat and make it home in time before he rain hits.

The next day the wind has changed so the bugs are out in full force. We try to avoid them at The Lazy Lizard and then after a great day there we head home to hang at the house. The house also has a saltwater pool that we get in to avoid the bugs. Most of the group decides to make our own music videos while the rest of the group cooks this amazing seafood feast for us. It’s a great night and a perfect end to our trip.

The next day rudely comes in the form of a monsoon where I even question our ability to get off of the island. We manage to get everyone to the dock for the water taxi on time and we say our goodbyes to Cody. After our water taxi ride we get breakfast at the station and then head towards the airport.

Several people are flying to other places or on different airlines so we say our goodbyes and make our respective pilgrimages. We get through security at Houston fairly quickly mainly because most of us have Global Entry (again this is amazing and if you travel internationally semi regularly it’s a great investment).

We make another Bucc-ee’s stop on our way back up to Dallas and arrive without an issue. I end up having some car problems shortly after coming back to Dallas thus prompting me to consider just staying on vacation permanently.

Conclusion: Belize is an awesome tropical destination that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. The people are great, the food is tasty, the alcohol flows freely. Get yourself there and don’t look back!

Happy Reading!

-Savannah 

Travel

You’d Better Belize It! Part 1

Where to even begin??

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Let me just say that when the group first told me that we had picked Belize as our yearly travel destination I was VERY unsure. I hadn’t heard too many things about it and my desire to go to Central/South America over Asia or Europe was low. However I decided to “lean in” and book my ticket moments after seeing the flight deal information. $300 round trip the day that United has a major debacle?? Awesome. 🙂

We booked the trip in early April, but didn’t actually go until the end of September (narrowly missing rainy season). Months of excitement from the group worked its way to me to pump me up for this new adventure. I had ample time to research everything about this little known (to me) country.

Some quick stats about Belize: 

  • Most people speak English, Spanish, or an Indian dialect.
  • They use the American Dollar as well as the Belizean Dollar interchangeably. The American dollar is worth two Belizean.
  • Most places prefer cash to cards
  • There are A LOT of bugs in the jungle as well as near the ocean
  • People are super friendly!!
  • The food is incredibly tasty!!!!!!!!

We all met early one Saturday morning to caravan down to the Houston International airport to fly out. I got to ride with Travis, Danielle, and her boyfriend Blake. We of course had to make a Buc-ee’s stop because what Texas road trip is complete without one?

We get to the airport, get through security, and then Ben and I try to get into the United Lounge with everyone else but our attempt is foiled. We instead head down the way to another restaurant where we had some drinks and food to pass the time. I updated Ben’s online dating profile and he watched the A&M game with another diner who was rooting for the rival team.

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We made our way to the plane and friends just in time to board the plane. A very short two hours later we land in Belize City and meet up with the rest of our group. We get our rental cars situated and head out to our first location. I love Air Bnb so when Blair announced we were doing Belize I came across this super awesome nature resort and sent him the info. He agreed that it not only was cool, but it was a super great deal too and booked it for all of us. We spent the first half of our trip being so chill, listening to monkey noises, and eating the most delicious food I’ve ever had. We were the only ones staying at this nature resort save for this one other guy and his wife for part of our stay. The resort only recently had listen themselves on Air Bnb so we had really gotten there at a great time.

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The first night we really just got there, figured out the room situation, and ate dinner. My roommate for our little cabin was Rachel since we were the only single girls in the group. Couldn’t have asked for a better roommate! We cranked our air conditioning, read our books, and had a very chill time. Each cabin had a hammock so we would all jump around to other cabins to hang out, swing, and chat. There were some dogs and horses on the property too that we hung out with and named.

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The next day we awoke for THE BEST COFFEE and breakfast before heading out to go Zip Lining and Cave Tubing in the jungle! That was Carly’s one request when we booked the trip and it was such a fun suggestion. I had never done zip lining for more than one run at my childhood summer camp so this was awesome to be able to just zip through the forest so high off of the ground. Some had fears, but we worked through them and had a great time. After the zip lining we traded our cables for tubes and made our way to the water. Our guides were awesome and hilarious as they led us through the river and into the caves. We had little head lamps that also would blink like you were at a rave. The tubing was so soothing and I was so relaxed I almost fell asleep on the tour.

After the tour we climbed back into the van and picked up some snacks since it was still going to be awhile before dinner. After getting back to the cabins we all just took a very long nap and then had another delicious meal prepared by our new favorite person, Marcilena. Originally we were only going to eat like two meals at the resort and find food elsewhere. After scoping out our options we asked if instead she could just cook for us the rest of the time and fortunately she agreed. It was consistently amazing and we were a very happy group.

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The next day we got coffee, but before breakfast we went on a short nature walk through the jungle that was across the street from the resort. Our guide showed us how you can use different plants from the jungle to heal a variety of medical conditions or illnesses. We got to finally see a few monkeys and I even got to feed one!

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After the monkeys we went back to the resort for breakfast and to get ready for our trek out to the Mayan Ruins. Hector almost got left at the resort, but fortunately Rachel remembered him and we all made it there without a hitch. I got to sit shotgun in the car so I asked our guide a million different questions and also tried to get him to let me drive. #nodice.

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The Mayan ruins were much cooler than I thought they were going to be. There were hardly any other tourists there so we basically had the place to ourselves. I also got to hold three baby crocodiles that some random guys were showing tourists. I also saw part of a tarantula which was freaky! I wouldn’t say that I’m scared of spiders, but I totally would never want one crawling all over me especially one that huge.

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After the ruins we got to visit a “winery“. Belize grows currants as well as cashews so the locals have started making wine out of them. It was super cheap so I bought a little bottle of each, but I wouldn’t say that I am a fan. I don’t like cashews anyway so it just tastes exactly how you think cashew wine would sound.

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We headed back to the resort to hang out, have dinner, then hang out and drink. We watched Ben and Travis dance to throwback rap and we tried to make Melissa twerk. Some ants crashed the party and we were momentarily distracted by treating our bites but it was still a great night.

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That wraps up Part 1 of the adventure. Stay tuned for Part 2!

Happy Reading!

Savvy