Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Rest of Belize

Sunday morning we decided that we wanted to go to church... We really wanted to meet some of the local members and experience the church in a different culture. It was actually conference weekend, but we figured there might still be some people at the church watching it there. So we headed out for Dangriga, a bigger city about a half hour away. In the city we spent a lot of time looking for the church only to find it all locked up. I guess in Belize everyone watches conference at home too. The trip into Dangriga wasn't what we expected, but it was interesting to see another city.

We headed back toward the resort, and after our scenic drive spent the rest of the day swimming.

 Max giving two "thumbs" up

That night was the start of Easter week, which is a very big deal in Belize, the resort really filled up and our wonderful dinner was supplemented with live entertainment. This group were local Garifuna drummers. They were very enjoyable to watch, each song they sang told a story.

The next day was supposed to be our last full day in Belize. So we decided to go into the nearby rainforest for a hike and try out the zipline. This activity was a big surprise, we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. On some of the platforms we were fairly high up and the kids were not even phased by it.

Max demonstrating how his all of his days on this vacation ended... With a smile, a sunburn, and an ice cream sundae

Tuesday was checkout day, it was a little sad to leave all the adventure and fun behind, but we were ready to go home after being gone eight days. Our flight wasn't scheduled to leave until 3:30 so we had most of the day to make the two hour drive back to Belize city so we stopped for a short hike to a cave. Mason really thought the cave was cool.

Finally we arrived at the airport and after waiting several hours learned that our flight had been cancelled, and we would not be able to fly home until tomorrow. So we got to spend another night in Belize. We checked in at the closest available hotel and spent the evening swimming in the pool.

The next day we arrived early only to find that there was a problem with our flight again. We took our tired kids up to the ticket counter and had them make sad eyes at the agent and pleaded with her to find us another flight home. Probably fearing a riot of weary travels she told us that if we didn't tell anyone she could book us on another airline. We were so relieved and grateful. So finally after much waiting we were on our way home.

It was a wonderful trip, but we were also so happy to finally be going home.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Belize Day 5 and 6

The first full day that we spent at the resort I didn't take a single picture. We had been on the go so much since we had started our vacation, that we decided to just spend this day taking it easy. So we spent the entire day swimming in the pool and in the ocean. It was lovely. The kids had such a great time. I still can't get over how much they wanted to swim. I'm so glad that I had Shane with me, and have to say that he spent much more time in the water with the kids than I did. He was such a good sport.

 In the afternoon we borrowed some snorkel gear from the resort and let the kids practice with it in the pool. They both did ok with it so we decided to sign up for a snorkeling trip the next day.

I was a little nervous about taking the kids on the snorkeling trip the next day, but for the most part they really did great.

We got up early and met the boat at the beach. It had been a bit windy since we got there a few day ago (not Idaho wind, but warm lovely sea breeze wind), but today there was no wind and the ocean was calm and glassy.

Max was a little nervous on the boat ride as it started to speed away from shore, and we realized that Max had never really been on a boat before. After a 40 minute boat ride we arrived at the reef. It was amazing. The water was like glass and I could see the reef all around us. We got in the water and started to look around, it was beautiful. Shane and Max swam together and Mason stuck with me. Both kids really did great and got excited to see all the colorful fish. Mason was especially excited until our snorkel guide pointed out an eel hiding in a rock. Now think to yourself... what does a seven year old know about eels... well they are sinister creatures that do things like KILL NEMO'S MOM! Yup, after that Mason was done snorkeling. He never did say that it was the eel that made him want to get out, but his polar change in enjoyment level after was hard to miss. We got back on the boat and I tried and tried to talk him out of his worry, but he was done. I decided not to push him and instead to try and salvage the memory that he would take with him of snorkeling, we talked about the colorful fish, and I praised him for being such a good swimmer up to that point. A few minutes later the rest of the group rejoined us and after a another short boat ride we stopped at South Water Caye. It was a beautiful island and made me wish that I had put exploring some of the nearby cayes on our itinerary. The water was clear and calm right up to the sand and standing on the dock the kids could see sea urchins, sea horses, and several kids of fish. It was so beautiful.

After a short rest at the Caye we were back in the boat and headed to another snorkel spot. Mason was adamant about not getting back in the water and finally pretended to fall asleep on the bench in the boat. I felt a bit torn, but finally decided to leave Mason on the boat with the other tour guide and joined the group. Max stayed with Shane in the water for most of the time so I was able to have a lovely time snorkeling all by myself. It was a wonderful excursion we saw so many colorful fish, sting rays, a lobster, and of course the eel. I was really proud of both kids for giving it a try.

When we finally got back we were exhausted, and sunburned. We spent the rest of the day just lounging around. Shane took this picture with his phone later in the day and it pretty much sums up how we were all feeling.