Thursday, April 5, 2012

Belize Day 1

We just got back from the most lovely vacation, and although I am not always a faithful blogger I wanted to be sure and get this trip documented before I forget some of its finer details.

First off I need to explain how this trip came about, because that in and of its self was miraculous. Way back in December Mason had THREE WEEKS off of school for Christmas break. Now I tried to be resourceful and fun and keep everyone busy, but since the Idaho weather prevented us from going outside by the end of the break we were all climbing the walls. So I looked ahead to spring break and decided we'd better plan something. The other reason I really wanted to plan something in the sun away from home was for Shane. To put it simply this last year has been hard for Shane, and his new job which we are grateful for, is extremely high stress. This guy needed a vacation. So I started shopping locations. On a random website I found a post about visiting Belize, and I was intrigued it seemed like just the right mix of adventure and relaxation, and its most attractive feature... our cell phones wouldn't work there, for one blissful week Shane could be free from other people's demands.

There was just one problem Shane's job said there was no way he could be gone for a week. There was just too much to be done. I couldn't quite give up the idea of a fabulous vacation though and kept on researching, I decided where we would stay and what we do just in case. Then one night about six weeks before spring break I couldn't sleep. I was thinking about passports... The kids needed passports, but then I would tell myself there was still no way we could get away so I shouldn't waste the money on passports. Finally after a week of this relentless urging to get passports I turned in the kids applications, telling myself that we still couldn't go, but at least I'll feel at peace.

Finally a week and a half before spring break things at Shane's job took a turn for the better. The software he had been working on for nine months was up and running and running well. The office in general was very happy, and Shane got the go ahead to be gone for awhile. I was so happy Shane would get a break from work and I right away started to look into options. With it only a week away, flights to anywhere were crazy expensive, but then a feeling told me, to check flights leaving on Monday... so I did everywhere was still quite expensive, except for... you guessed it... Belize. The flights were actually less expensive than when I had looked several weeks ago. I called the resorts that I had tentatively decided I wanted to stay at, and sure enough they had room. It was a frantic two days or so of calling around and scheduling different things, but for the most part it worked out perfectly. I know it sounds simple, but I really felt like this vacation was an answer to a prayer, that the Lord knew how badly Shane needed to get away and spend time with his family, what a blessing.

And just for those who may be interested this is what packing for four people for eight days looks like. It was quite the undertaking, but I got it done just in time.

To book our affordable flights we had to fly out of Salt Lake City, so on Saturday we headed to my parent's house. It was fun to get a little time to visit with them before we left. Another stipulation of our flight was that it left at 6 a.m. which at the time of booking didn't seem so early, but when you add in the recommended two hour buffer and the 30 minute drive to the airport, had us getting up at 3:00 a.m.

My dad was kind enough to take us to the airport and then my mom was kind enough to follow him 20 minutes later with the suitcase that we forgot. Seriously my parents are the BEST.

The bulk of Monday was spent flying and waiting for flights and flying some more. The kids did a really great job of being patient and surprisingly well behaved for having gotten up at three in the morning.

This is picture of the kids riding the tram around the Dallas airport we had a three hour lay over there so we had to be creative.

When we finally arrived in Belize the first thing I noticed was the humidity. It was HOT, but it felt so good. We picked up our car at the airport and headed towards San Ignacio. I was a little nervous about driving around in a country I'd never been to before, but it was no big deal. Shane did most of the driving, and had no problems at all. We didn't even get lost, and it was really fun to see the country as we drove across it. When we arrived at the Maya Mountain Lodge our first destination we were so glad to finally get there. It was definitely a more rustic location, but the kids loved it. Our little cabin consisted of one room and this hammock on the porch that the kids were in love with.

By Monday night the kids were exhausted, and dinner was a little bit challenging. The owners of the lodge were right there on sight and Suzy one of the owners also did much of the cooking. The food was wonderful, but unusual to my grown up palette but for the kids who had been up for way too long, it was just weird and they would have none of it. This is when we learned something about Belize...meals are long and slow and meant to be enjoyed... Our poor kids, they really had been great all day long, but it was a miracle that they made it through dinner without melting down into a weeping, whining puddle or two. We had a little reprieve when a table over from us a lizard fell from the ceiling and scurried across the floor. Bart the other lodge owner looked at it casually and said something like, "oh a lizard." We definitely weren't in Idaho anymore.

After dinner we dragged our tired selves back to our little cabin and went to bed I think we all were fast asleep by seven thirty. We were exhausted, but excited to be on an adventure together.

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