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Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81616
03/03/04 08:24 PM
03/03/04 08:24 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 455
Upstate New York
mikell Offline OP
 
mikell  Offline OP
Why Belize? That’s the question so many asked when we announced our destination for our vacation in February. Unless you are a dedicated diver/snorkeler, it seems that most sun worshippers have yet to discover this paradise and many don’t even know where it is.

Having taken to the underwater world in a big way for my first time last winter in Jamaica, I was hooked on snorkeling. Alan already had a love of sea life and a passion for reefs. The Belize barrier reef was calling him and a need to escape another upstate New York winter, if only for 10 days, made the decision easy. For us, Ambergris Caye combined so many elements of a perfect winter getaway. Answers, advice and encouragement received on this message board confirmed our decision again and again.

Over the last days of February, after a brutal January with plenty of winter still on our horizon, we were able to answer the question - why, out of all the hot, sunny places a traveller can visit on this planet did we choose a place many can’t even point to on a map. We have also become unofficial ambassadors, singing its praises to any and all who will listen to our stories and endure another link to an online photo album.

(This is my story...to be told in several parts...with a link to all our photos online soon)

We left Rochester, NY early in the morning with snow falling and waited for plane de-icing on the runway. We arrived about 6 hours later in Belize City after a very brief stop in Charlotte, NC. A Tropic Air flight was leaving immediately, so we only had a glimpse of the airport as we hurried through customs and boarded the plane. The last seat left was beside the pilot. I eagerly accepted the invitation and we were airborn for the last 15 minutes of our journey to San Pedro.

Breathtaking colour…our first glimpse of the cayes.

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd23b3127cceb9fc4151c1a30000005610[/img]

Touchdown and feel the tropic heat. We are really only a few degrees from the equator. One of our two bags didn’t make the connection and we have to wait 15 minutes for the next plane to bring it. No problem – we’re on Belize time now!

A quick taxi ride through town, soaking in the sights, and we’re checking in to Banana Beach with huge smiles on our faces - matched by those of the wonderful staff who were so accomodating during our stay. Step into our room and head for the balcony and the view we will have for over a week. Don’t pinch me; if this is a dream, they don’t come any better!

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd23b3127cceb9fc461081790000003610[/img]

We change into beach attire, order dirty bananas from the beachside bar and just sit there in the full sun to decompress in silence and awe - with the sun, breeze and knowing looks from others on the beach who have been there awhile.

[img]http://im1.shutterfly.com/procserv/47b4dd22b3127cceb9f9b5ab78ea0000002610[/img]

Eventually, we realize we aren’t dreaming and we have time to walk the beach and search for a place to eat our first meal. We head north with nothing but 10 days stretching ahead of us and no hurry. We pass all the resorts we have seen reviewed and recommended. The reality seeing them up close makes me point and say, “Oh, look – there’s the Crazy Cannuck’s Bar… Ramon’s…” and on and on.

It’s still fairly early and our chosen spot – Blue Water Grill – isn’t open for dinner yet. So we find Mango’s with it’s open air palapa and great view more than inviting. A fresh fish meal is what I’m after and the bacon cajun snapper dinner doesn’t disappoint me. Alan orders a burger which is only OK…but the environment we’re eating in makes up for anything the cuisine lacks (he doesn’t generally rave about food anyway, and unlike me, eating is NOT a passion with him).

As the sunlight begins to fade (and our energy as well), we head back down the beach towards “home”. Oh, to experience a hot “summer” night in February, the walk is a delight. We go for a quick swim in the pool, sit out on the balcony for awhile and we’re in bed by 9:30. Tomorrow will be our first full day and we’ll surely be up before the sun…

To be continued…

Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81617
03/03/04 09:03 PM
03/03/04 09:03 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,052
Macon, Georgia USA
K
KathyA Offline
.
KathyA  Offline
K
Mikell, I've been waiting to hear from you! Loved your first report and can't to hear more. Thanks, Kathy

Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81618
03/03/04 09:36 PM
03/03/04 09:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 112
Doylestown, PA USA
Angelo Offline
 
Angelo  Offline
Hey, cool photos Mikell. Someone either has a really nice camera or really knows how to shoot. Can't wait to see the rest and hear the rest. Ahhh...so this is the balcony from which I'll perch myself at night and enjoy a fine cigar.


Angelo
Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81619
03/03/04 10:44 PM
03/03/04 10:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,675
The Buckeye State, USA
dbdoberman Offline
.
dbdoberman  Offline
great start, Mikell, I cannot wait to read the rest! Those are good pixs, really liked the one shot from da plane.

Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81620
03/04/04 12:26 AM
03/04/04 12:26 AM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 161
Nevada
BNBelizeSoon Offline
 
BNBelizeSoon  Offline
Such beautiful photos, such a beautiful place...37 days and counting.......

Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81621
03/04/04 12:50 AM
03/04/04 12:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 1,192
Houston, Texas
Windjammer Offline
.
Windjammer  Offline
Can't wait to see & hear more about Paradise. Glad you enjoyed. cool

Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81622
03/04/04 08:34 AM
03/04/04 08:34 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 58
new york
coconuts Offline
 
coconuts  Offline
Mikell
thanks for the beautiful pics and sharing the beginning of your wonderful trip.
Please continue.....31 days to go for us, so excited I can't stand it. Travelled to many places and I have never,ever had the "bug" this bad.
Nancy eek smile laugh


looking forward to ac, coconuts
Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81623
03/04/04 08:42 AM
03/04/04 08:42 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 645
Cleveland, Ohio
Now Danny Offline
 
Now Danny  Offline
Great report and photos. Can't waite for more. We will be at the BB in 15 days and hope to have the same view as you had. Thanks again.

Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81624
03/04/04 08:53 AM
03/04/04 08:53 AM
Joined: Apr 2000
Posts: 4,268
Bellaire, Tx. and the World
Denny Shane Offline
.
Denny Shane  Offline
ok mikell... now it's official... i really really REALLY dislike you. laugh eek

Re: Trip Report: Part One – Why Belize? #81625
03/04/04 10:19 AM
03/04/04 10:19 AM
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 12
Central Virginia
hotsauz Offline
 
hotsauz  Offline
Mikkel,

Those are really nice photos. I hope to see more and am looking forward reading the next post. I'll be there at BB in about two weeks. I can barely contain my excitement. And, I just have to say that this is the best message board. So much useful info and cool people. Rock On!

cool

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