Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lessons Belize...

I learned a couple of things over the last couple of days....

Some of the Grand Caribe Pool Bar Guys
"Another damn picture for the tourists???"
The Grand Caribe pool bar crew are the best around.  They took good care of all my pool bar needs - and were very understanding of my random loss of mathematical skills.  Resort bar/restaurant prices are listed in $USD. They accept payment in $USD or $BZ. Change is almost always given in $BZ.  Figuring out the $BZ cost, or the $BZ tip - because after a day or two you have lots of $BZ money you got in change that you want to use up  - can be fun. Or not.  Yesterday morning, right before morning happy hour ended, I ordered a $7USD drink to go , handed the bartender  $10 BZ, and walked away thinking I gave an ok tip. Ooops.  He did did not bother to correct me until I finished the drink and was returning the pool bar glassware.  Which may or may not  have been a good plan, because after the drink I lost all currency transfer capabilities.

Lesson #1: I should figure out the amount of tip I want to leave in both currencies (just in case  get surprised in the change department) before I consume the drink(s).

In case you missed it, there were drinks.  I went back to the pool bar for afternoon happy hour - because, why not? I am on vacation on an island and drinks are half price in the hot afternoon sun by the pool.  I had intended to have just one LI because I did not want to feel like I had after two earlier in the week.  I do want to enjoy my evenings.  Well, there were a couple of young girls at the bar waiting for their husband/boyfriend to return from a fishing charter.  We started talking and somehow they convinced me that I should try a panty ripper, because, as they explained, we were in swimsuits so there were no panties to rip, so all was safe.  I had just about finished my LI and happy hour would be over in 4 minutes, so I had to decide quick. With a little encouragement from the pool bar boys, I added a happy hour panty ripper to my tab.  Even tho there were no panties to rip, I felt those two drinks well into the night. 

Lesson #2:  Just because the second drink is not a know the rest.

This is the drink that started it...
This pretty lil thing can be quite dangerous.

By the way, I had a (one) Belikin with my pool bar lunch today.  It is almost 9:00 PM and I am still awake and feeling good enough to walk out to the dock to look for sting rays and barracudas.  Which brings me to...

Lesson #3:  It may be terribly buggy out at night, but nighttime is fun time and I should have been covering myself in bug spray, taking a couple of preventative benadryl,  and walking out toward the dock in the late evenings to see what is happening out there. (Update: Not a lot going on. I was the only human out there.  I did see a few stingrays jumping around and a barracuda that I hope was sleeping, because, otherwise......)

But let's back up a few hours.   I was determined to visit Caye Caulker this trip. Since today  was my last full day here, it was now or not till next year.  So, I took the early morning Coastal Express to town and the Belize Water Taxi  to Caye Caulker.The taxi goes to Caye Caulker and then on to Belize City.  At the Caye Caulker dock, no one was getting up to get off; so I assumed everyone was waiting for the crew to tell us when to disembark.  And then the taxi started pulling away from the dock. Ooops, I assumed wrong.  I jumped up and made it known that I had missed my stop.     How embarrassing.  They crew mates were kind,  redocked, and helped me ashore.  

View of Caye Caulker from the
Belize Water Taxi Dock

And from the other side of the dock...

And then I walked onto Caye Caulker and realized why no one else got off.  It was too damn early in the morning for anything to be happening on that island. I had hoped to have an early lunch at Lazy Lizards, but there was just not enough happening in the town to keep me there for two hours.  So I did some quick math and figured that the next scheduled ferry back to San Pedro could not possibly be the same ferry (crew)   that got me here.  I could cut this trip short and  save myself having to face that same crew again today. And so I did.  The ferry from Caye Caulker to San Pedro was packed - and everyone disembarked at San Pedro - including yours truly.

Lesson #4:  I should attempt to understand water taxi protocol and island time before I make plans that include each.

Early morning at the Lazy Lizard

And finally, I have tried all week to take a beach selfie - just in case someone back in Ohio wants proof that I really was in Belize the last 10 days.  I am not photogenic. I am happy to be here, really - despite what my face is saying in these pics.  Believe me, these are the best of them..

Happy to be in Belize!
Lesson #5: I do not need smiling pictures of myself to prove to myself (or anyone else) that I had a great time in Belize.

Focus on the sunrise...

I've learned my lessons.

Disclaimer: I started writing this last night, but am finishing  now as I am drinking my coffee on the porch, enjoying the morning sky through a light rain...

Much love, from Belize....

Monday, December 7, 2015

I'm on Island Time...

Yesterday morning I woke up bright and early intending to walk to town for breakfast at Estel's.  A quick look at the weather forecast made me rethink that adventure. I opted for a quick walk along the beach instead.

Breakfast was self-made - eggs and a bagel with coffee - and enjoyed on my patio.

Once the rains cleared a bit, I made my way to the pool bar for my morning dose of Mimosa.

I headed inside when the rains returned,  and actually did a little bit of studying for a Project Management Certification I am hoping to test for in a few months. Studying  seemed a better option than watching the Browns lose.

The skies cleared a bit again  again just in time for lunch at the pool bar at the tail end of happy hour.  I held myself to one Long Island Iced Tea with a Mozzarella Shrimp Sandwich. Even one LI kept me feeling good for a couple hours.

There's a bird in this photo - doing a happy dance.

Not so good that I did not feel the bugs biting on an attempted beach walk.  I actually had to leave the beach path and walk along the road because my dance skills are not enough to make constant smacking at mosquitoes and flies appear graceful.

All in all it was a lazy Sunday.

This morning, I did get up early and walk to town.   I had a shrimp omelet with fruit and fryjacks and, of course, a tall Mimosa, at Estel's Dine By The Sea! It was as awesome as I remembered from my last visit. I sat at a table on the beach and enjoyed looking out over the Sea.

The beach at the North end of town

The view from my table at Estel's

I shopped for an hour in town but still had an hour before the 10:30 water taxi back to Grand Caribe.  So I stopped in and visited with Eduardo at the famous Fido's.  Eduardo made me a Bloody Mary just the way I like it - vodka and V-8 and olives - that's it.  No all. I am a wimp, but I know what  I like. I took a picture at Fido's, or so I thought.  Apparently the Bloody Mary kicked in and the photo I thought I took was a short video of the steps leading from Fido's to the beach.

Back at Grand Caribe, I spent sometime in the lap pool before the rains returned.  

And then I napped, because that walk to town wore me out today.

I intended to revisit the Truck Stop for dinner, but apparently they take Mondays off. So dinner was a lobster quesadilla and a couple of Belikins from the pool bar.

And that's my story  - from my dining room table in Grand Caribe, Ambergris Caye, Belize, CA.