Trying to get back to normal life I decided to write up a little bit about my honeymoon trip the week after Labor Day, enjoy!
Day one arrive Tuesday:
no sleep for practically two days with all the wedding frenzy and then have to get up at 4 am to catch flight to Belize
Get to Belize City pouring rain
Tropic Air is an adventure, flight a little choppy due to rain, but we make it just fine, once we get to AC there is nothing but sunshine for the rest of the week. A taxi is waiting for us and we are at the Victoria House within minutes sipping rum drinks. My new wife sacks out in a hammock, and I have a few Belikins and sit by the pool and soak everything up.
Dinner that night at the Victoria House. The food is outstanding. I get the catch of the day and decide to eat fish the remainder of the trip. We called it an early night (hey it was our honeymoon afterall).
Breakfast at VH I didn't experiment and just get fried eggs and sausage (It was good but I learned it was a mistake later on). Relaxed and went for a swim in the beautiful Victoria House Pool.
Rented a golf cart and started to explore the island. We went up north to Sweet Basil's for lunch, tried a bunch of appetizers (the shrimp cocktail is to die for), as well as an excellent assortment of cheeses, I had a few Belikins and my wife had the Sangria. Getting there was a bit of an adventure the road to the rope ferry was underwater anywhere from 6" to 1'. I just floored the golfcart and made it right onto the ferry and almost drove right off it. We also managed to get a little lost in San Pedro (believe me that was hard). We gave a ride to a hitchhiker who directed us to the rope ferry. Once across we also gave a ride to an elderly woman who was trying to carry too many groceries. All of the native residents were very friendly our entire trip.
After Sweet Basils we went into town to get souvenir shopping out the way. It was hot, once you get away from the Ocean breeze it can be unbearable. After an hour or so of the seeing the same old knick-knacks I was thirsty. We went to Fido's to quench that thirst, I had a couple of Belikins and my new wife tried the Lighthouse beer. Inside Fido's there is a local art store that was neat to check out and a jewelry store. My wife picked up some interesting hand-made jewelry for practically nothing. An interesting side note about Fido's. In overhearing a conversation with a local, and someone who appeared to be an owner they were talking about waiting for a building permit to tear down Fidos.
We then made our way down to the Spindrift for a few more beers to find out about the Chicken drop, they told us it starts about 6, since we were carrying stuff around we decided to go back for a swim.
We made it back about 6, and bought our squares, at 7, only about 1/2 were bought and we were hungry. They told us no drop until all of the squares were bought. So we decided to get something to eat, and headed over to Elvi's.
After all of the hype I heard of Elvi's the dinner was just o.k. I don't know what we were expecting, but I had the garlic roasted lobster, and my wife had a shrimp pasta dish and it was one of the less memorable meals of our trip, and we thought it was a little pricey for what we got. Anyway, back to the Chicken drop, and we just missed it (oh, well maybe next time). My advice is don't worry about being at the chicken drop promptly at 6. I have know idea if it gets a better turn out in-season, but it was probably 7:30 or so before it actually took place. We called it an early night (it was our honeymoon after all).
Thursday, day three. We went on a day trip to Altun Ha. We were leaving early so we ordered the continental breakfast in our room. It was just simple foods, but that was one of the best breakfasts I had ever had. First was freshly made breads, then a fresh fruit salad to die for. The best part of the meal was a home made granola mixture with freshly shredded nuts, grains with just a hint of coconut. I am not much of a cereal guy, but I if I ate nothing else beside this granola the rest of trip I would have been happy (as well as very regular). There was also fresh yogurt, and fresh squeezed pineapple and orange juices that were out of this world. I don't know if I'm just used to the overly chemical-preserved stuff here in the states, but I would recommend this fresh simple meal to anyone.
On to the trip. We get on a small boat that took us across to the mainland, and then up a river surrounded by Mangroves to a small village called Bomba, on the way our guide Herman was great to point out various flowers and wildlife, including some bats sleeping in the trees. Herman said he was originally from Bomba and new a lot about the area. After a brief stop to check out some carvings, and getting talked into purchasing some items, we get in a van that takes us to Altun Ha. I am always impressed with the Mayan Culture, and am always in awe when I see what they left behind. I am also very surprised that they still allow people to climb on some of these significant monuments. I don't know how off-season we were but there was only two other couples on our trip and we didn't see another groups the entire trip. It was sort of eerie being the only people there at the ruins. Having been to Chicanitza (sp?) in Mexico as a comparison, Altun Ha while still amazing is quite smaller. If you want a better feel for the Mayan culture another couple we met up with said Lumani is a better trip but much longer.
Be prepared to be bounced around on this trip. The boat ride over to the mainland was quite bouncy, don't expect a pleasure cruise, at times it was quite intense. Once we got to the mainland however the boat ride up the river was quite pleasant. It was a fun stop in Bomba, we bought a couple of carved bowls and the locals were pleasant.
On the way back from Altun Ha we stopped at the Marumba Jungle Spa. This was a unique place. We had a really nice lunch, in sort of an elevated balcony in the trees. They had wild game on the menu, and I was told it was a "must eat", however we were told they didn't have it when we got there. I opted for the lobster once again and it was delicious. My wife said her Pina Colada was one of the best they had. She then opted for an aroma therapy massage, and I went and lounged in the pool (with a couple of Belikins of course). The two other couples we were with seemed to be lost there like they didn't know this was part of the trip, they didn't bring their bathing suit or take part in any of the spa offerings and looked impatient and bored while they were waiting for us.
The trip back was a little rough, and downing a quick Beliken before didn't help either. Both of us were a little green under the gills, and headed right to the Victoria House bar when we got back. While my wife opted for a rum punch, I has a really great margarita (on the rocks, no salt). The bartender actually juiced the limes right in front of me, my body was going into shock from all the freshly made juices and food.
That night we were craving beef, we went into town to try to find some local fare, and were directed to HL's dubbed the "Burger King of Belize" We both opted for cheeseburgers, fries, and I had to try the chicken wings, delicious. We then went on a quest for live music. On the first day here we gave a ride to a guy who said his reggea band was going to be playing at Mr. Cs sports bar, so we decided to try there first. We walk upstairs only to find a few locals staring us down, but the bartender who couldn't have been more than 15 was more than eager to serve us. Two Belikins $6, I pull out $6 U.S., and he says no $6 Belize, I do the math and figure that is $1.50 a beer and decide we can hang out here for a while. The bartender takes us upstairs to a small patio area and says that it is the highest point on the Island. He left us alone up there and told us to come back tomorrow for the best vantage point to see the sunset. At night however it was a great romantic vantage point to see the stars. We could have stayed there all night, but....... I needed another beer, and my honey wanted to play foose ball. Well the bartender challenged us to a couple of games, after beating us about 7 times, we finally managed to win a game, then he challenged us to pool. I then thought here we are on our honeymoon, in a sports bar, drinking $1.50 beers, playing foosball, watching the U.S. Open on a large screen T.V., and I got to eat chicken wings for dinner, did I marry the best girl or what?
On our way back we were going to try to stop in one of the dance clubs, be we decided to skip it (it was our honeymoon after all).
Friday, we decided to take it easy in the morning and just enjoy the beach and do a 1/2 day snorkeling trip in the afternoon. Victoria House has a nice swimming area at the end of their dock and some lounge chairs out there. It was very peaceful, there wasn't another soul around and it felt like we had the entire island to ourselves. After a we got enough sun we decided to bike it into town for lunch and ended up at Celis. My wife opted for a salad and sprite, and I went for the fish and the Belikin, both were good.
After our bumpy Altun-Ha trip we chose the slow glass bottom boat for the snorkeling trip. It was a nice leisurely ride, but not much to see on the bottom until you get to the reef. First stop shark-ray alley. It was really intimidating to see all of those sharks and sting-rays (especially through the glass bottom boat), but they wouldn't let us do if it weren't safe, right? While my wife didn't go in, I'm glad I did, that has to be one of the coolest things you can do (if you don't dive). You can actually swim right up and touch the sharks and sting-rays. Next stop was the Hol-Chan national park. Here we were assured the water was shark-free, so my honey decided to give it a try as well. I helped her get in the water, and first thing we saw was a giant nurse shark stareing us down. I never so anyone jump back in a boat so quick as my wife did. After a few minutes (and after we all stopped laughing) we talked her back in the water, and she never regretted it. The scenario was unbelievable, our only mistake was only doing a 1/2 day snorkeling trip. This is a must-do for anyone coming out to Ambergris Caye.
Even though the boat ride back was nice, we decided to hit the VH bar again for those margaritas. That night we decided to eat-in at the VH again (grilled lobster tail and it was great), we decided to call it an early night (it was our honeymoon after all).
I have no idea what we ever did to Montizuma, but his revenge is hell. It hit my sweety soon after we returned from dinner. We had cave tubing planned for early the next day, but had to cancel, it was just as well, this was our last full day. The morning was spent close to the room, I curled up with a good book out on our Plantation Room porch (of course after eating some home made granola). By early afternoon my wife decided with the help of Amodium AD that we should try to venture out, and we headed up again to Sweet Basil's for some cheese.
Feeling better, we then head up North to Palapas for some cold ones. This is a great outdoor bar with lots of atmosphere, loud music and friendly people. We then ventured back into town for some last minute shopping and back to rest for our last night on the town. We stopped in the grocery store to buy a Beliken six-pack so I could bring some home with me (I also picked up a Beliken stout that I have yet to try). Earlier we noticed that Fido's had a live band so we headed up there for dinner and some music. First we made a stop at BCs to finally see the place everyone on this board talks about. It was a great open air place, but kind of quiet and everyone kept to themselves (again must be an off-season thing). We asked about dinner and they said that we could either get one of their world famous burritos or make us a sandwich if we wanted. Since the Mrs. was just getting over Montizuma, we decided to pass.
Dinner at Fido's was o.k, I think we just got spoiled by the great food at the Victoria House, we both had differing fried shrimp dishes. I will have call the live entertainment interesting to say the least. If you get a chance you have to see Pineapple Willie. My best description would be Sting, doing an Elvis imitation, singing Jimmy Buffet songs. At first I didn't know if it was supposed to be a comedy act, but it was entertaining anyway (we never did get to see a regge band). He played guitar with some pre-recorded muzak, and had a drummer which was funny, since the pre-recorded music had drums. A few times I think he started to play the wrong song with his recording then switched halfway through. He did get better as the night went on and after each Beliken.
Sad to say we had to leave on Sunday. After a leisurely breakfast brought to us on our front porch, we took one last swim in the ocean, before the long trip home.
I would like to thank everyone at the Victoria House for making our honeymoon special.