Saturday - My boyfriend Monte and I drove to the airport and check-in at Air Jamaica was relatively quick and smooth. We got breakfast and mimosas on that flight to Montego Bay. In Montego Bay, being big Parrotheads we were pretty darn happy to find a Margaritaville right across from our gate so went right in there for a couple of Red Stripes. Then it was time to board our next Air Jamaica flight to Belize City. Met some folks on the plane who were staying at Captain Morgan's so gave them some info on where to go bar and restaurant wise. At BZE we got through the maze of form completion and checked in for our Tropic Air flight and went straight in the departure lounge and to Jets little airport bar for “the best rum punch”. Be sure to stop in there when you are in the airport. Jet's Bar is tucked back in a corner by the Continental Airlines Gate. If you are in the law enforcement profession, be sure to bring a patch or sticker or something to adorn Jet's collection on the back wall. Let us know if the little Conch Republic flag we gave him is still by the cash register too!
At Jets, we started talking to a couple from South Carolina who were also headed to AC. The guy was trashed already and insisted on buying us shots, I think that shot of Crown Royal was what did me in that day. We got to AC after a stop in Caye Caulker to drop off this girl Amy we were talking to on the flight. Then finally got to AC, hopped a Cab to Banana Beach. Checked in and found most of our group on the beach already. One of the gang was supposed to have come in today but had a problem with his passport. He is moving to St Louis after the trip and had taken most all of his stuff up there from Atlanta the weekend before. Unfortunately that included his passport! He didn't realize this until the night before he was supposed to fly to Belize, so had to run down to Atlanta airport, do major negotiations with the Continental Airlines desk to get his Belize flight pushed back a day without the $500 or so fee and fare difference… then had to drive roundtrip from Atlanta to St Louis to retrieve his passport. Not a fun way to start his vacation!
Anyway, we unpacked and hung out for a bit on the beach, then after many drinks I decided to make Jello shots to take to BCs the next day but was somewhat drunk already so used the wrong rum… namely the 151 versus the regular stuff we had bought! Oops… ! Met Jackie and Islenutt (Jan) and they came to dinner with us at Casa Picasso. They had already met my friends Scott, Maria, Sassan and Dan who had arrived earlier than we had. Met Chris (Beachy) there and had a great dinner of tapas, pasta and drinks. After dinner some of us hit the Hideaway and then started our pubcrawl of a few of the more local bars like Juvenas, the Riverside where we ran into Sharlyn, our Mata Rocks bartender from last year, we were happy to find she remembered us all! After that it gets a bit fuzzy a night… might have been the fall off the golf cart (provided a nice bruise the next day) but we made it down to Barefoot Iguana where they were having foam night. Problem is with all the foam you can't see the darn steps by the dance floor…. So I went splat a couple of times (additions to the bruise collection). It was fun dancing in the foam though. We eventually called it a night and a few of the gang jumped in our pool fully clothed to de-foam when we got back to the hotel.
Sunday we got up real early, that sun just comes right in the room and is like a spotlight on your face! So it makes it hard to sleep in. So we got up and started the day at Mata Rocks bar… as my friend Dan says.. Retox not Detox! Around noon-ish we filled up the golf carts and headed to BCs, Islenutt (Jan), O Jackie (Jackie), KathyMLT (Kathy) hopped rides there with us on our carts.. I had my cooler of deadly Jell-O shots so figured that was a good way to walk around and meet folks. We got into an already crowded BC's, placed our food orders and found an area to hang out in. I then walked around with my Jello shots to see what boarders were in the place. I met Captain Jeff and his young friend, Chucklebutt's group who really seemed to like the jello! Met Gene and also River Shark who talked diving with my boyfriend Monte, plus the famous (or is it infamous) Pedro (Peter). I was surprised to learn he was a Brit.. but then that explains the sarcastic humor of his postings which, since I am a fellow Brit born in Coventry (with no accent left though, been here since I was 15…) I appreciate that sense of humor! Met his gorgeous white dog Charlie as well. After another great meal at BC's we handed out the rest of the Jello then headed back to Banana Beach to see if our last two group members had arrived. We found Pam and Lyle sitting over at Mata Rocks bar so got them and hopped back on our golf carts to head up to the Palapa Bar. We partied the afternoon away at the Palapa bar which had moved since last year and was now out over the water. We had fun listening to Dennis Wolfe, singing along and dancing. Then as the band ended we took our carts back into town for dinner at Caliente. We sat outside on the beach and ate fabulous food in candlelight. After a delicious meal we were all pretty full and tired so headed back to Banana Beach. We actually made it an early night since we had started the day early and knew we had to be up early the next morning.
Monday – Got up as the sun streamed in our room again, walked across the street to the little store to get some bread for toast and some water. Briefly met Becky who was sitting with Jan in Banana Beach's outside dining area. Then it was time to gather our things for the day and meet Seaduced at our dock. We had my group of 10, plus 9 folks from New Jersey who were staying at our hotel, and about 8 other poor souls who elected to take the trip that day. We started the boat ride with some folks getting wet due to the waves. This one girl from New Jersey started whining and crying about getting wet….. gee princess, what did you think would happen when you are on a boat?!? The rest of us enjoyed the ride and the narrations by Elito as we passed the various islands on our way to Swallow Cay. Once we got there we rode around real slow so as not to disturb the manatees. Elito managed to spot some so we watched them go by in the water and occasionally surface for a breath. After that we motored south towards Goff's Caye, which was just beautiful. Belikens in hand we hopped off on the dock, put our bags in the palapa and headed to the water while the Seaduced guys unloaded the boat and started to get lunch cooking. Some folks went snorkeling while others just relaxed and enjoyed the water and a couple of the Jersey girls went out to one of the peninsulas for some topless sun bathing. Lunch was fantastic, they had fish or chicken (since I asked for chicken in advance as some of us don't eat fish), coconut rice, potatos with onions and spices, pesto pasta salad and brownies for dessert. Plus of course Marie Sharps hot sauce for those who wanted it. It was absolutely delicious, everything was just so tasty and heck, better than a lot of the restaurant meals I had!!
After lunch we headed back into the water. Some of us hung near the boats since that's where the Belikens were and just partied in the water. Elito tossed us a bottle of rum which folks passed around. They were making rum punch on the boat too. Eventually it was time to leave, though none of us really wanted to as that island was just beautiful. We motored off towards Caye Caulker with a snorkel stop en route at Shark Ray Alley. There definitely were less sharks there than last year but a few did come around. After that it was back on the boat with the rum punch flowing and we docked at Caye Caulker where the water taxis come in. They told us they would meet us down at the cut at a certain time so everyone went wondering around the island. We did a mini pub crawl starting at the Seaside Cabana's bar and continuing down the street towards the cut. Our friend Maria had consumed a few drinks and was walking round town with her snorkel and mask still on her head! We eventually made it down to the cut where the Lizard bar was located. Then it was time to get back on the boat and head back towards Ambergris. We started off fast and then slowed down and they cranked the dance music and folks got up and were dancing in the boat and on the bow. We didn't realize that they had actually run out of gas until we ran out of drinks as we were having too much fun to notice….it was dark by then but a boat shortly showed up that they had radioed for and we were again on our way with gas in the tank. Back on the island everyone stumbled off the boat and back to their rooms to get cleaned up.
We decided to just do dinner at El Divino though I don't think some of my gang actually recalled dinner the next day. While my boyfriend was leading a sing-a-long with this older group of two couples at the next table I got the conch fritters and the pineapple chicken pizza, both of which were delicious. He eventually came back over to the table to scarf down the rest of the pizza (he being one of those who asked the next morning whether he had dinner, and was it any good..!). Most of our group crashed right after dinner, though a couple of them looked like they were going to fall asleep during it! 4 of us made it up to Crazy Canucks for the Punta Band but by about 11:30 I headed home to sleep after a long day.
Tuesday – We hung out on the beach most of the morning. Some of the group had gotten up real early, having gone to bed so early the night before after dinner. Mid morning some of us decide to head into town to walk around and do a little shopping. The boys quickly give up on the shopping concept and head to Cholos for “the coldest beer on the island” which seemed true since my beer did come out with a chunk of ice attached to the bottle. We hang at Cholos for a bit playing foozball and pool and then start to get hungry so walk down the beach and into Fidos for lunch. Those who got the shrimp burgers raved about them. And the strawberry daquiris and other frozen drinks went down pretty well too. After lunch we walk around a little bit more then head back to the hotel. Some of us take naps while others head to the Squirrels Nest. After some drinks at the Squirrels next folks get cleaned up and we head into town to Sharks bar for the evening. We get there before the crowds and get a big long table for our group of 10 and 2 new adoptees from Arizona, Deedra and Darren. Be sure to try their stuffed jalapenos, different than the pre-packaged ones you usually get and with a good kick to them. After dinner the music kicks in and we take to the dance floor for most of the evening. The place gets pretty crowded by 10pm so it was nice to go out to the deck every now and then for a breather.
Andrea in Atlanta