Lisa’s parents live in Indiana – and everyone knows what happens in February in Indiana – it snows and it’s windy and it’s very, very cold. So what better time to have them down to Belize for an extended vacation full of rest and relaxation, right?
Here’s how Leon and Gwynn spent their winter vacation!
They arrived on January 29 and after a 12 hour travel day we thought they’d be tired…..but not Leon and Gwynn. They were on their “we’re on vacation in Belize” high so we had them hop on our golf cart and headed over to Hurricanes for their first Belikin Beers of their vacation. After a few beers it was time to grab pizza and head home to unpack. (yes, pizza….we have some pretty good pizza here on the island!)Dooley Bear was so excited when he discovered that they brought him Beggin’ Strips!
The next morning was spent recuperating from the long travel day…but did include a very competitive game of Bag Toss on the beach at sunset. (or Cornhole as us southerners call it!)
We woke up the morning of January 31 to a picture perfect day. No way could anyone stay inside on a day like this….so mom and dad hopped in a kayak and Ronnie and Lisa hopped on their paddleboards and headed out to the reef. After the not-so-long paddle we were a little tired – but more thirsty than tired – so we dropped anchor and opened up the bar – ice cold Belikins for all! On the paddle back home we spotted tons of starfish and a few stingrays.
February 1 was dad’s birthday AND Superbowl Sunday! There’s no better way to celebrate dad’s birthday and the superbowl than at the Palapa Bar. We started around 2:00 at the bar listening to Valentino play great music and hanging out with friends. It was a busy day but we were able to find seats for all of us and even Dooley Bear found a great spot to hang out. We were going to leave at half-time but just couldn’t because the game was too exciting…..we left soon after the game ended because we had a busy day already planned for Monday.
Monday was Groundhog Day and down here in Belize we celebrate it by going on a boat pub crawl. Ok, well actually this was the first year we’ve ever done it – but it will now be the traditional way to celebrate Groundhog Day! We piled into our friend Doug’s boat with about 35 of our closest friends for the 7 hour pub crawl! We popped open our Belikin Beers and enjoyed them as we cruised to our first stop – Tranquility Bay – which was about a 45 minute ride north. We enjoyed a few beers at the bar at Tranquility Bay and then all jumped back into the boat to head south to El Secreto and then the X’Tan Ha. X’Tan Ha was such a fun place!
They had a giant trampoline that we all played on and a great beach bar too. After all of that trampoline jumping (click here to see the video of Trampoline Madness) we were all starving! Time to hop back in the boat and head south to Rojo for a few more drinks and lunch. After lunch it was time for group pictures and then it was time to head back. We all had a great time! Click here for the video.
Can you guess what was planned for Tuesday February 3? Yup, NOTHING. Mom and dad were ready to just hang out and enjoy the beautiful weather.
On Wednesday it was back to the Palapa Bar because Kelly McGuire was playing an afternoon concert there. We all enjoyed sitting under the giant palapa over the sea listening to Kelly and Dean play. What a fun way to spend a Wednesday – great tunes, great friends, great view and cold beer!
Thursday was another rain-free day so we decided that was the day to take our golf cart up north to visit our friends Pete and Tammy….our roads up north can be impassable in a golf cart after a rain, so this was the day to take the trip! On the way to our friends house we stopped at Mambo at Mata Chica for a couple of drinks. After the drinks we headed to Pete and Tammy’s for a Belizean “Porch Party” as we like to call it. What’s a porch party? Just a bunch of friends hanging out on the porch having a few drinks, sharing life stories and enjoying good food. Oh, and laughing. A porch party always has lots of laughter! (it’s just like a porch party in the South, but without the banjos).
Friday February 6 was another Kelly McGuire concert – this time it was an afternoon concert on the beach at Ramons Village in town. Ramons has one of the best beaches on the island and this was the perfect setting to listen to music and dance – no one can pass up dancing barefoot in the sand, right? After the concert we all went to Elvi’s for dinner…..a great experience as always! Mom and dad ordered the fried chicken and loved it!
Saturday was another picture perfect sunny day (do you see a pattern here?) so we all decided to take the kayaks out to the reef again for some more relaxing…..as we were paddling to the reef we saw a giant white thing floating – we were all wondering what it was – as we got closer, and closer we discovered it was a giant island! Dad had discovered his own island here in Belize! Ronnie jumped in the water to snorkel as dad, mom and Lisa just floated and enjoyed the sun on the private island.
On Sunday morning Ronnie took dad out to the dock to teach him how to fish – dad knew how to fish, he just had never used a spinner reel before so the lessons were a good thing since he was going to be using a spinner reel fishing on Tuesday. The evening of Sunday the 8th Kelly McGuire played another concert at Ramons – this time is was a dinner concert under the stars and everyone had a great time listening to the music and dancing.
On Monday the weather was perfect for paddleboarding so Ronnie and Lisa took their boards down to town while mom and dad got a well deserved day of rest! It was a good thing dad rested because fishing was on deck for the next morning.
Tuesday morning Lisa drove Ronnie and dad down to meet Mark and Kathy for a fishing trip. Lisa dropped them off and then it was grocery shopping in town with mom….mom had fun going around to all of the small vegetable stands and grocery stores “hunting” for the freshest fruits and vegetables. Luckily it was Tuesday and all of the fruits and vegetables had just arrived from the mainland – so shopping was easy! Around 1:00 Ronnie called to say they were back….and to get down to town for lunch – the fishing guides caught a bunch of lobster and were grilling it on the beach. So down to town we went to enjoy the beach BBQ of fresh lobster!
Wait, what happened to rest and relaxation???
Wednesday was another boat pub crawl! This time there were only about 30 of us on the boat and instead of north, we all headed south….we cracked open our cold Belikin Beers and enjoyed the hour long ride over to the neighbor island Caye Caulker. Once we arrived we spent about two hours walking around the island and had lunch at the Rainbow restaurant…great food as always! After lunch we climbed back into the boat…..but we weren’t headed back to Ambergris Caye yet – no, the boat captain had a better idea. Let’s feed tarpons! What? Here’s how it played out: “grab a sardine, hold it with your fingers over the water and the tarpon will eat it”….ok! So Lisa went first, holding the sardine over the water and BAM! Giant tarpon not only ate the sardine, but pretty much swallowed her hand and bit her wrist in the process….the thing actually drew blood!
Did this minor injury deter anyone else from feeding them? Nope. Everyone was having a great time feeding the tarpon – even dad fed them! But when dad was holding the sardine a huge tarpon came by for the tasty snack and took part of dad’s thumb nail with it – yes, the tarpon actually took a bite out of this thumb nail….good times! Click here to see the video! Ok, enough with the injuries, time to head back north to finish this pub crawl. First stop was Island Time and the second stop was Crazy Canucks. Canucks was great as always – we even had an impromptu horseshoe tournament!
Have you ever fed a tarpon? Don’t
Can anyone guess what mom and dad did on Thursday? Nothing. Time for some rest and relaxation!
On Friday the 13th we all headed into town for some souvenir shopping, clothing shopping at Rubimoon and then lunch at Victoria House.
This is tiring just writing all of this…..I can’t believe mom and dad did all this! And they’re not done yet!
Valentine’s Day! We spent the day soaking up the sun and then headed to town to Hurricane’s for a delicious dinner of fresh grouper! After dinner we stopped for ice cream….note to self: don’t try and eat ice cream cones while riding in a back of a golf cart when it’s 80 degrees. It gets just a little messy.
On Sunday mom and dad were up for bike riding – so we all hopped on the bikes and rode the 2 miles into town – we were on the hunt to buy some Monkey Bread at the bakery. Oops….it was Sunday (we all forgot that it was Sunday) and the bakery is closed on Sunday. Now what? Guess it’s bike riding on the beach down to Sandy Toes for a couple of beers….and then a couple of beers at Pirate’s Treasure…and then biking home….I’m not gonna name names, but one of us had a slight biking accident on the way home and yes, they did shed blood. Again, I’m not mentioning any names, but if someone did a DNA test on the blood it would be a paternal match to Lisa.
The wind was really blowing on Monday so it was a perfect day to take out the Hobie for some sailing. This was mom and dad’s first time on a sailboat like this…the 5 of us (Dooley Bear had to come too!) hopped on the sailboat and sailed around for about 2 hours – we saw tons of fish and several giant spotted eagle rays swimming by! We really worked up a thirst and an appetite after all that sailing so we headed up to Rain’s rooftop for sunset drinks….and then to town for some El Savadorian pupupsas for dinner. What we didn’t realize was that Carnaval was in full swing….so it worked out great. While we were eating dinner the Comparsa groups were parading down the street right in front of us! Ronnie even got an extra special dance from one of the “Barbies”.
On Tuesday we ran back into town for a little more shopping, beer drinking and ice cream eating.
Wednesday February 18 was the last full day of mom and dad’s vacation as well as the day before mom’s birthday – so we spent several hours at the beach – mom and dad needed to soak up as much warmth and sun as they could. That evening we went to Rain Restaurant and celebrated mom’s birthday!
Those three weeks went so fast….before we knew it February 19 had arrived (happy birthday mom!) and it was time for mom and dad to hop on that plane back to Indiana…and back to the cold. It was 82 degrees here in Belize when they left and about -20 (NEGATIVE TWENY!) when they landed in Indianapolis.
We hope mom and dad had as much fun as we did on their winter vacation 2015!
Maybe you can get some rest and relaxation now that you are back home!