My friend (Big)Mike invited me down to Belize for a birthday party he was throwing for himself and I jumped at the chance. My summer in Washington was becoming kind of boring and a 4 day party sounded like something to lift my spirits a bit.
Landing in Belize City and navigating the airport was like something out of a good adventure film. Passed through customs, grabbed a beer at Jetís and jumped on the next Tropic flight to San Pedro. Mike and girlfriend Kym were there in a 4x4 golfcart to pick me up. We roared south of town to their pad which has changed significantly since my last visit 7 Ĺ years ago. Back then it was just a scrubby quarter acre or so of land and now it is a walled tropical oasis, at least to this city boy it is. Lots of bamboo, palms, flowers, etc. and pretty damn well taken care of too. Mike and I were roommates in the early 90's for about a year after I got divorced and back then he wouldnít even mow the lawn properly. Now heís the master gardener.
I unpacked and settled in for a few cocktails on the veranda. Man, was it hot, so we just kept drinking. Relaxed a while, walked to the beach for a swim and chatted at a cool little hotelís no-name bar. Kym (the current girlfriend) cooked us a great meal that first night and we just hung out, glad to be with my old friend again.
The next day was a busy one as more people were coming to town. I had golfcart duty for the group coming in the morning and by noon, the pre-party was in full swing. We went to the beach again (down the street about 5 minutes) and swam to try to stay cool. We had chips and fresh salsa, lots of local beer and a bottle of rum with us(forgot the juice for mixing so just drank shots.) After a long and drunken day in the sun went back to the compound to get ready for dinner. By 8pm or so we water taxied it up to a place called Rojo. We had 10 people around the table and others joined in as it was pretty slow there that night. I believe we had everything on the menu and it was all fabulous. Water taxied it back to town where we finished out the evening at BCís. Neat place, lots of beer consumed and laughs.
The next day, Saturday, was Mikeís birthday and started early with breakfast at a place on the beach in town. Donít remember the name of it but had the best fry jacks ever and a killer bloody Mary. Most of us decided to walk home and boy was it hot at 10am. I was told that its only a mile back to the house but it seemed like 20 miles in that heat and we had to stop off for a couple of beers and a swim in front of Ramones. We lounged around the house and did a lot of cooking and prepping for the party. Another batch of friends showed up on the 2 oíclock flight and were staying down the street at a fancy place called Victoria House. Nice place. At 6:30 people started to arrive at the house for the big party night which involved a bbq, music, games and later on a bonfire. We all ate, drank and danced the night away and mustíve sang happy birthday about 20 times. It was one of those magical nights where, at some point, you step back to take in the whole scene and life seems to be in slow motion for a minute. Brilliant!!
The following day started early again. This time we all awoke to wonderful smells coming from the kitchen where a breakfast feast was being prepared by Kym and her mom. One thing for sure is that Belizean women can cook. If I lived here, Iíd be fat. Over breakfast, we talked about the previous dayís activities and we all said that few people get to enjoy such a wonderful life filled with fun and friends. I was so happy to be part of it even if only for a few days. I left on the 3-something flight and made it back to Seattle after dark, it was raining.
Thanks Mike and happy birthday.