But it was long enough to take me out of my regular day-to-day and shake up my world a bit -- different landscape, new people, grown up travel and conversation, pretty fishies. A great little get-away.
I had been to Belize once before, a long time ago -- exactly 13 years ago, in January of 2000. I didn't get back to the two places I stayed on that trip, but the general vibe was the same - same warm people, same amazing sea food, same Belikin beer. It's a gorgeous country, lush with rainforests, white sandy beaches, and the second-most extensive barrier reef system in the world, after Australia's great barrier reef. I was trying to track down their previous travel slogan, my memory was that it was something akin to "You better Belize it!" (which is admittedly corny, but I'm a sucker for all plays on words, so I kinda liked it. [reference title above]), when I came across this funny:
Belize is where Jacques Cousteau and Indiana Jones met.
This fits, in the scuba/snorkeling meets Mayan-ruins kind of way. Apparently in the interim between my visits, the long-time slogan was "Mother Nature's Best-Kept Secret," which also fits. I mean, not everyone is flocking to Belize, are they?
Below is their new, retro logo and slogan: "Discover how to be." It's a little abstract. But I like it, and I like the toucan (their national bird). And the pretty colors.
You'll actually see some pretty birdies in my next post, in which I will steal numerous photos from my mom's much more extended trip to Belize.
Today, however, you're confined to our hotel grounds (the only place I ever got the camera out). Victoria House was a real gem. Luxurious but understated, all whites and wood, and small, with a white sandy beach running the length of it. And the service was amazing. Those peeps were on the ball, and friendly, and real.
My one complaint is that the welcome drink they give you, pictured below, although completely delicious, was alcohol free!!?
Luckily I had the foresight to buy some provisions in the Belize City airport prior to arrival.
|Ah, much better.|
|The view from the room. Hello Caribbean.|
|Oh, and there's the pool and jacuzzi for our Plantation Room building. Hello tiny pool.|
Yes, I did make it off the deck.
And although it was wet and cloudy on arrival, and rained the majority of the next day, the sun did shine down upon us the rest of the trip.
|Hello ray, right off the dock.|
|Oh, yeah, you do get 1 pretty birdy today. Hello egret!|
Quick aside here. One of my favorite conversations with my mom during the trip, and there were many, was regarding the kayaks tied up next to the dive shop.
Beth: "Hey, you know, there are kayaks we could take out."
Pat: "Oh, yes. Do you want to take one out?"
Beth" "No. Do you?"
And just to put it in context, so that you don't think us lazy lay-abouts, it was our first sit-around-the-pool in the sunshine, after a crazy, stormy, cold-as-a-welldigger's-ass snorkel trip. So cold was this outing that the peeps from Colorado Springs got the tarp out and huddled under it during the entire boat ride back. The boat ride back that the 6 of us unanimously agreed to take after the first stop, no second stop for us please -- screw seeing those sharks -- the crashing thunder, blinding lightning, and pounding freezing rain upon our mere mortal backs were thrill enough.
But don't feel sorry for us. There were hours and hours with skies like these...