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When was your first time to San Pedro?

Posted By: flip flop

When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 01:26 AM

This should be interesting. Maybe someone can do a chart?

Our first time was Thanksgiving 1989 with friends. We brought a frozen turkey w/the fixins in our suitcase. The other suitcase had chlorine tablets for the pool. Customs? hahahahaha!!! We brought a cooler of hams, steaks, and ribs the next year.

We've met quite a few people who have been coming/living here even longer than us.

How about some shout-outs!?

When was your first time?



Posted By: lakegirl

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 01:39 AM

2004 and fell in love with the place, have been back every year since and wish we could come more often!!!
Posted By: flip flop

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 01:49 AM

Wow! So you've already seen a lot of changes - i.e. cobblestone streets and more condo complexes and grocery stores.
Posted By: Otteralum

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 02:03 AM

2005 on the cheap in September at Belizean Shores. Visited Xunantunich, did BC's BBQ, took a waverunner trip around the island, bought a cane from Paisano and Lacy gave us a golf cart tour. Will always remember it. 5th trip coming up in 2 weeks!
Posted By: divingcowgirl

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 02:06 AM

June 2006. And although the person I was with at the time made the trip "not so enjoyable" I fell in love with the island and everyone there. I have to laugh because my passport shows Roatan, Belize, Belize, Roatan, Belize, Belize, Belize, Belize, Belize, Belize, Belize and I will be adding stamp #10 in...A WEEK!! YEAH!!! I may never have the chance to live there, but as long as the custom agent lets me through and tells me "Welcome Back" and I have the strength and $$ to go... I'll be there!!
Posted By: lovey and thurston

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 02:09 AM

First visit with out kids in tow was 1973. When we walked down the streets at night, we always spoke is a whisper as all the fisherman were in bed asleep getting ready to go out the next morning. No gift shops and the only thing our kids could buy was an orange or some bread at Martha's. Two vehicles on the island. Marciano and Nando Trejo. What a great time! Bought our house 28 yrs. ago. No running water or electricity. Now I bitch about having to put the dishes in the dishwasher.
Posted By: TIMO

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 02:12 AM

late jan/early feb 1995...back for trip #30 march 12th. many changes, especially to the north.
Posted By: flip flop

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 03:51 AM

Does anybody remember when the only grocery store on the island was Rock's?

It's the purple grocery store on middle street - sometimes change IS good.
Posted By: flip flop

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:01 AM

Originally Posted by lovey and thurston
First visit with out kids in tow was 1973. When we walked down the streets at night, we always spoke is a whisper as all the fisherman were in bed asleep getting ready to go out the next morning. No gift shops and the only thing our kids could buy was an orange or some bread at Martha's. Two vehicles on the island. Marciano and Nando Trejo. What a great time! Bought our house 28 yrs. ago. No running water or electricity. Now I bitch about having to put the dishes in the dishwasher.


Even in the early 90's we didn't party too hard in town, but still managed to drink a lot. Big Daddy's and "jump up" at the Tackle Box were about it - of course the English soldiers always kept the parties going. Trying to get a taxi after 11 pm?- Good luck...walking home was dark, too.
Posted By: 1BKeeper

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:03 AM

Five visits to that wonderful place! We went with a group of friends when I retired and returned each February. My husband died in 2008 and I doubt that I return. Our friends are there now... I guess the reason I'm checking the weather and reading the message board. I used to mostly lurk on this board (a lot!)and felt like I knew many of you.

I saw the streets cobblestoned,the bridge and a school built, and Papi's closing during that time. The number of vehicles increased dramatically, too. Each time we visited, I was never ready for it to end.
I'm so glad to have the memories of us in San Pedro.
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:04 AM

First trip in 2000 and I remember partying with the British soldiers...we did cannonballs in all the pools around midnight. LOL
Posted By: RMT

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:10 AM

1999 was our first trip....been awhile since we have been back however.

Laurie, we need more details...LOL..please elaborate....
Posted By: KC Jayhawk

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:28 AM

November 2005 . . didn't know a soul, but we were ready for an adventure. Got snookered into a tour of condos at Banyan bay our very first morning . .learned that lesson early on!! Fell in love with the people and the place, and through this board have made wonderful friends. Back for trip #6 in April!!
Posted By: scrumbum

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:52 AM

June 1994. Arrived at Goldson with no plans and literally decided on AC by asking around at the airport. After a very interesting taxi ride upon arrival at SPR, complete with complimentary "island herb" decided on staying at the Playador (Exotic Caye) and still remember some crazy, drunken golf cart adventures with Harry and Whyo, fierce domino games at Crazy Canucks - remember Kit Lokey? He was practically a fixture there. I can't remember how many times I've been down since then, but adding another stamp to the passport this Saturday. Can't wait.
Posted By: Wendy

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:57 AM

March 1992..newly single mum with 2 kids in tow! 26 visits later I continue to love Belize.... laugh heart
Posted By: Wendy

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:00 AM

I remember those times too Scrumbum!! blush
Posted By: Sirenia

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:14 AM

I am such a newbie...had been going to Cozumel for 15 years, then the hurricane hit there, so we tried Jamaica, decided we needed better snorkeling so my mom and I tried on San Pedro for size. Made a promise to myself to come back every year and save my pennies but I lied. I come here twice a year now and got a second job to save more pennies. Now, I plan on staying for 4 months next year...I think I need an intervention...
Posted By: Sirenia

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:15 AM

By the by...I love hearing the stories...keep 'em rolllin'!
Posted By: Richard Chambers

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 03:01 PM

My first trip was June of 2000. I accompanied a friend that had been to the mainland and Caye Caulker in the early 90's. He once drove an "old" EMT vehicle thru Mexico with a couple other guys to sell it in Belize. Not a very successful financial adventure but packed with fun!
We spent the first 8 days touring the mainland before heading to SP for the next week or so. Met lots of great folks that made our stay special. We spent the first nite at Coconuts And the rest of the stay at Playador/Crazy Canucks. Went to the 2000 Lobster fest on CC. Met Charlie at Estelles and Casey,Dennis Wolf and a covey of memorable others! Went every couple years after but not lately due to personal reasons. Spent 5 days on CC the last time and did the Raggamuffin trip to Plancencia the last trip.
Gotta get back soon tho before the changes are too great.
Really miss the place.
Richard
Posted By: Gela

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 03:13 PM

My first trip was May of 2001. It was just a little over six months after Hurricane Keith - AC had recovered to the point where you wouldn't have even known it was hit hard.

I watched this message board for those six months before arriving and knew I already loved the island and its people.

9/11 happened a few months later, and in defiance, I got on a plane in December for my second visit. I've had a total of 10 visits, and can't wait to plan the next one.
Posted By: Bill Mc Ghee

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 03:14 PM

My first trip was in November of 2006. I took my children , their Husbands and my only grandchild with me. I had seen and heard of Belize back in the late 80's ( watching a fishing show that featured Bone fishing) and put it on my list of places I would love to visit. Time, and circumstances kept getting in my way for that visit.we knew nothing about the place, except that it was warm, and a much better place to spend Thanksgiving than snowy Colorado.
When we arrived at our accommodations we were greeted by the staff like we were long lost friends. Every person we met, every place we went we were treated like we always belonged there.Somehow , we fumbled our way through each day enjoying each and every minute of the trip. Stumbled on to Caye Coffee, and found a place to buy 2 whole chickens for our thanksgiving dinner. went fishing 3 times, combined the catch with the chicken , and had probably the best Thanksgiving dinner in my life.The highlight of the trip came unexpectedly when , our neighbors at Xanadu happened to be laurieMar and Gela.we spent the evening with them outside drinking a few beers and singing that ridiculous song " The theme from Gilligan's Island.".All too soon it was time to leave. And we left with a heavy heart But my wife and I looked at each other and almost simultaneously said. " I think we have found THE place we will be coming back too"
Finding this board( thanks to Gela, and lauriMar) we met so many more people who loved San Pedro as much, if not more than ,we did.through them we have since traveled from the east coast to the west coast for meet ups , and special adventures. going back to SP has now become more special due to the many many people we have met who both live on the Island or visit it on a regular basis.there are way too many to mention, but you who are reading this will know who you are. Both Becky and I value your friendship, and plan our travel to make sure we see you all again.It's impossible to convey the absolute enjoyment we feel when we are on that little piece of paradise. The people, the food, the fun, and of course the beer ( OK you all knew I would throw that in).
Becky and I will be there once again in 9 days , and a bag drag ( that was for you lauriemar smile ) it will be our 7Th trip and with any luck NOT our last.There is a sad side to this upcoming trip, It is that some of the wonderful people we met will not be there this time. you know who you are! We will miss you, but try even harder to have as much fun , for you. I will do my level best to drink 2 or 9 beers for you all. smile
Posted By: LaurieMar

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 03:53 PM

smile

Bill, I don't think either Gela or myself will ever forget that night! A "few" Belikins, yeah right! Some day I will have to show you and Becky my journal when we were trying to figure out the "correct" lines to the Gilligan's Island song. I recall that went on for a few hours.... I still laugh about it to this day!

Posted By: JZB

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 03:54 PM

May 2001 was our first visit. Only spent 3 days on the island but ended up moving here 4.5 months later.

Gela, we noticed the same thing. We couldn't believe how quickly the island recovered from Hurricane Keith.
Posted By: tortuga.chica

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:18 PM

1st visit to SP Feb 2006. Had gone to Cozumel & Playa on previous holidays.

Felt a bit adventuresome on my first trip to Belize. Bought an airline ticket, took a taxi to the water taxi terminal, took the water taxi to SP. When I arrived in SP, then I started looking for a hotel. Found a room @ the Spindrift. Loved it.

Unfortunately, I was unable to make a return trip until Nov 2009, and what a trip it was!! Met some great new friends, went to the Blue Hole, saw parts of the island that are "off the beaten path" (thank you, David). Stayed @ Ruby's. Best price for what I needed.

Am coming back in August--with donations for the SP Library and Be Kind Belize.

Plan to have more great adventures with my new friends!

I love SP!
Posted By: D.O.A.

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:23 PM

1977 or 1978, came as a wee lad with my dad for some site surveys. Spent a week in the cayes fishing. Got my first taste of Belizean beer (Charger, remember them?) but could not tell mom because I would get dad in trouble. Remembered playing in the sand, british soldiers, and games with local kids.

Returned in 95,96,97 as a college student doing some intern work. Would go up to San Ignacio and chase the female archeology students doing excavation work at Xunantunich sometimes, other times would dive and fish until we were waterlogged. We spent more on beer, diving and fishing than we ever did on rent. Still remember the carnation milk in a can; with the holstein cow on the label..... yummy metallic milk eek

To date I have been a total of 12 times, my wife has been four times and our oldest daughter 3 times. Everyone has the bug including our daughters and I am sure we will continue to re-appear until we can no longer make it. Unless of course by then all the streets will probably be paved with side walks and wheel chair ramps so you never know wink

Then I can be the "old timer" and tell my grandkids I remember when they used to turn the power off at night....
Posted By: tacogirl

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:23 PM

Jan 2003 was our first time here and our first vacation together.

tacoboy had never been anywhere tropical before and I told him I hope he liked it as while I could not say this was the place moving to the tropics somewhere was a non negotiable for my future.

Of course we both fell in love on our 3 week vacation and never wanted to leave. 2 years later we moved here.
Posted By: Marty

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:28 PM

My first time down was 1995. I was to start putting together a website for the island! I hung out with charles payne and his sistah, richie woods, norman eiley, bruce and victoria collins who owned the san pedro sun at that time, and julian rivero. norman kept the adults busy while i snorkeled for 5 hours off his old boat the royal piper. i had found heaven.
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:28 PM

1993. we stayed at ramon's after 7 days in cayo - it was amazing - really had a blast. then a long hiatus until 2000.

Originally Posted by LaurieMar
First trip in 2000 and I remember partying with the British soldiers...we did cannonballs in all the pools around midnight. LOL


omg laurie - i remember you posting that on the old board back then! wow good memories for all of us. LOL!
Posted By: captjeff

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 04:50 PM

I came here first time in late 2002 bought my place the love shack in 2004 never looked back .I have some great friends here , it is very cool place ..I know things have changed some good ,some not very good ,But still beats the snow and the bull shit home ..SANPEDRO MAKES LIVING THE DREAM FOR ME EASY ..
Posted By: 1bzman

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:08 PM

I first came down in late 1979. Met Ramon,Jerry and lots more. I rummaged around and found and old "Coconut Wireless" paper from '88. Then a '87 flyer with ads for the Hide-A-Way, 3 nights including airfare from Houston for $375.00
Posted By: JeanH

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:19 PM

We started coming to Belize in June of 2003. First stay was at Blue Tang. Since then, it's been a couple of trips a year, until this year. We bought a condo in 2006, and are now here for the winter.
Posted By: lovey and thurston

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:22 PM

For years we took pics of the Good Friday Procession. That was when all the ladies wore white blouses and dark skirts and the men long dark pants. We found them a few years ago and gave them to the Church for their archives. I remember there was one picture of a very "skinny" Eddie Halliday.
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:23 PM

we met a another couple at ramons rented a cart for a day and with our 4 killer hangovers, drove all around. once we left sp proper - there was nothing. we drove and drove, and other than a house here n there, nothing. we took video, and i still have the tape in my closet (rated R for language and content!!) smile
Posted By: azbob

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:31 PM

March 2008 and returning for my 5th trip within 2 years. Beutiful place, beutiful people and wonderful friends. Absolutely amazing and I've been around the world a couple of times and there is no other place in the world like it! I don't heart it much!!!!
Posted By: Chloe

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 05:42 PM

First trip
August 1993 with husband.
We could not keep the secret of paradise, now the whole family is in love with Ambergris. Many trips since, some alone, two trips with the family. Grand Daughter and Ariel had their wedding at Journey's End November 2008. Now his family is in love with the island.
Posted By: reaper

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/10/10 09:11 PM

I was booked for a September 21st arrival in 2001 with another fireman pal. We all know how that went. The airline honored my ticket and I rebooked for April, Easter week, 2002. I met Kristine in October and decided to bring her along, as she is MUCH cuter than my fireman buddy.
When we walked out onto the Belize Yacht Club property and saw the sea we both looked at each other and said "we're home".
We went up to the Palapa Bar and watched Dennis Wolf play and see a little kid with a mullet on drums. I have to look up now to that little kid now when I say hi.
Tanisha took us to Lamanai and Daniel invited us to his sons 10th birthday party. We stopped in and met the entire Nunez clan. That little 10 year old kid is featured in an ad to your right on this page.
As we rode up to the north across the hand ferry we saw a giant open field with two houses on it. I looked around, looked up and sighed. Kristine asked, "Is that all you think about is skydiving?" I couldn't stop thinking about how cool it would be to have a boogie there.
I went to the Tropic Air office and met Johnny Grief. I told him I needed a plane and the doors off and seats out for a week. He laughed, was nice and kindly said "no way in hell will the GOB let that happen".
I told some of the local BC regulars about my plan to bring jumpers. They were polite, but all thought I was nuts. (I am, so what?)
When we got on the plane we were so damn sad.
So all these years later have been amazing. We think of SP as home. We have spent wonderful holidays with great friends. We got married above the Blue Water Grill.
It's been a hell of a ride so far! I dream about being in freefall over the reef all of the time. Those of you that have experienced it can relate. Skydiving has taken me around the world, but nowhere is as amazing to see from above than Ambergris Caye. I think Monday is trip 19 or 20.
I'm so looking forward to Chapter Two.
Posted By: beck

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/11/10 10:13 PM

Our fist time was February of 1987. We arrived to dive for a week, stayed at the Paradise Hotel in a palapa. The weather was so windy that we couldn't dive every day, and ended up not using the "package" we'd bought....so Jerry McDermot who owned the Paradise said, "wish you guys were staying as I'd sure let you use the rest of your dives from the package" Little did he know that we WERE staying, and ended up in our friend Dottie's house behind the hotel for another two weeks (6 week trip in all!) and used all of our dives and then some. Claudio Trejo was our dive guide - he was the best. His son has returned to SP in fact. Jerry got us back though - he let us keep a tab at the bar while we remained on the Caye (does anybode else remember the Paradise bar? It was a blast!) and by the time we left, the tab was far more than the room would have cost!!

We have been returning ever since - lost count of the number of times two passports ago. Other memories are so profound and so dear, but I won't bore you all with them - it's still a magical place!! We now have a second home in Belize - and it's always in our hearts.
Posted By: Loansum-Al K

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/11/10 10:30 PM

May, 2003......my daughter called me and announced that her and her fiance wanted to get married on Ambergris Caye, Belize.....my first reaction.......where the hell is Belize?!......we spent a week on the Island with the wedding party and fell in love with the it, particularly the people. Kept going back several times a year and decided to buy our own place in February, 2005 and will retire there eventually.....would have been sooner if it wasn't for the "great" US economy!
Posted By: SimonB

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/11/10 10:59 PM

I first came out in September of 2000 for my birthday. I was living on the mainland at the time. I remember getting up on stage with the Punta Boys at the old Fido's but not a whole lot more.
Posted By: fordshouse

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/11/10 11:09 PM

My wife and I's first time will be March 1st 2010. Having been reading on this site for a while and we are looking forward arriving. Staying at Coral Bay. Count down has already begun.
Posted By: carbunkletrumpet

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/11/10 11:20 PM

A good friend of my parents had just graduated from UVA Law (1970ish) so he and his brother wanted to ‘road trip’ south of the border and see how far they got with out running out of money. They ended up in Belize City and were in a bar when this island girl came up to them pimping her hotel on an island right off of the reef. She asked them if they liked to fish and eat good food and they of course said yes but asked her “what if we don’t catch anything or don’t like it?” Her reply was “You don’t like it, you don’t pay” so off they went to Ambergris Caye and stayed at Holiday Hotel with Celi McCorkle playing that island girl.
I think it was ’78 when my parents made the trip down for a week of fishing with Manuel and they were hooked from the moment they landed in Belize City and met this little airport bar owner named Jet. I finally got to go down there in ’79 and when I didn’t want to go fishing (like everyday) I was able to explore, play soccer with the school kids when at recess, and able to run wild all over the island on a bicycle, it was great.
The last time I had been down to San Pedro was in 1995 as my parents had divorced and I had just gotten married and was doing cruises and trips like that. I think it was 2003 when Ms Trumpet, our NYC good friend/traveling companion and I talked of making a trip to Belize and to the island. Maria had friends who spent a week at XXX resort and they loved it and we should all do that and also rent a villa. I recall standing there making the ‘No Face” and explained that if Celi or Ms Kim found out that I had snuck onto the island and didn’t stay with them at Holiday then that they would kick my arse up and down the island. You see those two women used to look after me when Chico Flores and I would ‘get into trouble’ and they kept it from my parents, so I have some good history with them. We made the trip and both Ms Trumpet and Maria fell in love with the island, the hotel, and the friends that we have made over the years and the rest is history.
Posted By: Loansum-Al K

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/11/10 11:39 PM

Originally Posted by fordshouse
My wife and I's first time will be March 1st 2010. Having been reading on this site for a while and we are looking forward arriving. Staying at Coral Bay. Count down has already begun.

It may be your first, but I can guarantee you it will not be your last! grin
Posted By: elbert

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 12:13 AM

Lester Langdon put ad ad in the Wall Street Journal that read "100 acres $100. per acre call 501 226-...."
I called.
I realized it was a fake ad but got intrigued by Lester enough to visit December 1986. I stayed at the Lajoya, Micky, Ramon Nunez's wife, was the cook and it was owned by some guy that was half Salvadorian and half New Jersey he introduced me to Ivan Stanes,we became friends and I started bringing down dive groups.

Posted By: SP Daily

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 03:09 AM

Fake ad??? Oh no..not Lester...
Posted By: Hon

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 04:56 AM

My mister first went to Belize in 1975 on a Brock University Environmental Biology field trip to do research on Tobacco Caye. Our first Christmas together in 1976 he gave me a beautiful leather carry all with a promise that he would take me to Belize one day. That day came in honour of my 50th birthday in 2005, almost 30 years later.

This January we made our 6th trip in as many years. Why? I can't really put an exact finger on it.

We live in a small town so friendly locals are not unique to us. Our house is within spitting distance of beautiful Lake Huron so we are very used to fishing, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling etc. in gorgeous clear blue waters. I have wonderful friends and family nearby whom I love dearly.

Perhaps it's the food, the beer, the smiles, the rum, the never failing welcome, the relentless pounding of the surf on the reef... the je ne sais quoi. Whatever it is, it keeps calling until I can not resist and absolutely must book another trip.

Ya, I drank one too many pantie rippas tonight so I'm a little sentimental. But once this bottle of Traveler's Coconut Rum is gone I'll be following my heart and making my plans for 2011...and, because he made me wait so long, the mister had just better toe the line. smile
Posted By: wannaBEthere

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 04:57 AM

2004, two tired and weary souls in need of some R&R.

Like many, got bit by the AC bug : )
and managed two more trips. Almost made it last year, but had to cancel due to health reasons.

Will we make it back, probably not, BUT will always, always, have the memories stored safely in my heart.

"The truly happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery even when he must take a detour" - Anonymous




Posted By: ExOkie

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 07:26 AM

I feel like such a newbie. I first came down in January 2008 for Jerry Jeff's Camp Belize. I'd known Lil Red many years ago and she introduced me to Dennis Wolfe, Drummer Dan and a lot of the island musicians. Also on the second day my friend and I were having breakfast at Estel's when an old man asked if he could sit down and talk with us. That was the first time I met Charlie Worthington and I ended up spending most of my daylight hours that first trip listening to and talking about music with him. Everyone I met up and down the beach smiled and said Hello when we passed. The food was excellent and the music was even better. Jerry Jeff is right. Your heart never leaves once you've been down in Belize.

I loved the place so much that when Jerry Jeff announced a 3rd week at the end of May 2008 I was one of the first to sign up. Even though Tropical Storm Arthur tried to stop the party mid-week the music went on throughout the wind and rain. I made even more good friends (JJWers and locals) on that trip and I was pretty much hooked.

I've been back at least once a year since those two trips and I'll keep coming back every chance I get. Now I don't come down to see Jerry Jeff (thought I'm still a huge fan of his music), I come back to see my friends.

I've been all over the world and no place made me feel as good as I feel when I'm in San Pedro.
Posted By: Craigswench

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 02:09 PM

Lots of great stories on here, and I know there are so many more.
I first went to AC Feb 01, just 3 weeks after my son passed away. It was supposed to be a "get-away", little did I know it would be the beginning of such an adventure. We stayed at Playador, and I met so many people. We went looking at properties our next to last day, and on a whim, made an offer on a house. The next morning, our agent called and said "congrads, you own a house in Belize". OMG---- anyway, almost a decade later, one divorce, one business venture later, and over 25 plane trips down, I can tell you one thing. "I made a lot of friends I'll keep for life".
Posted By: 6string

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 05:10 PM

Spring Break 2007, after a couple of years doing the "break" in Cancun (fun but too many young-ins) then Domincan Republic (major depressed and not allowed to venture onto other properties) then Ambergris. Been back every year since... and will be there again 40 days!!!! We miss all our favorite bartenders!
Posted By: CAPTAIN bigzeke

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 09:37 PM

1998 and I was with my best friend, his son, and my eldest son. We took them there for a week bonefishing and diving. We were staying at Ramon's and as luck would have it so were the Boston Proper models doing a shoot. A lot of them would sun them selves topless on the beach and at the pool. I thought heaven has nothing on this place and thought that was the norm. After being back about 10 times I realized I just hit the lottery that time! Well of course the girls could not keep their hands off of me and when I got home my son told my wife. Been single ever since:0( HELLO JANE,VICKI,DEBBIE,CHOOCH, and all!!!! I need my man Tulu back on AC!
Posted By: grant3wishes

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/12/10 09:57 PM

1983, with the British Forces.

Flew in by helicopter, picked up by landrover, one of the few vehicles on the island, stayed at the Barrier Reef Hotel, now a bank.

Spent happy hour drinking rum with some local fishermen at the then very respectable 'Big Daddies'. Arranged to meet them the following day for a Sunday afternoon barbeque at a 'Brit Bar', this was 'getting off the island' for them. Off we went by boat. Great bar, one of the few cement buildings, cold, cold beer, and great food. Bar qualified as a 'Brit Bar' as it had a dart board.

We had a great afternoon, all that was promised was delivered. Bar is still there, it is the bar at Victoria House. this was considered getting 'off-island' by the locals in 1983!!!

Would never have believed it then, but I have now lived here for fast aopproaching 18 years..... Where did they go???
Posted By: big daddy

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/13/10 01:39 AM

October of 2009. Picked up a week at Costa Maya Reef Resort at an auction for dirt cheap. Best money I may ever have spent. We explored all over the Island, and spent a little bit of time on the mainland as well, snorkeled all over, fished, rode bikes, golf cart day in town. By far the simplest and most enjoyable vacation I can remember. Renting a house for the next time we go for the month. I will always love this place.
Posted By: krehfish

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/13/10 04:57 AM

I was a hopeful flyfisher in the '90's. Spent a few years in the Keys, but I kept seeing TV shows with BZE clips. At the time the published price in the newspaper(ST. Paul PP) was $1100. I was a late bloomer to the internet, but in '01 we made it-wife and 12yo daughter. Good trip for a first timer. Capt.Morgans(pre-condo) with the taxi and boat waiting. I'll never forget the morning the toilet plugged, about the same time the staff was coming back from town(sun. am)(I learned something). Got alot?! of help. Next year it was Paradise Villas, and we learned alot about the town, esp, the food. Fishing was wonderful(thanx Wendy). I also wondered at the time what kind of nut-case would build on the lagoon side,oh well. Since then it's been 2 or 3 times a year. Interestingly, my daughter(the soon to be CPA) wants to be married in Belize-loves the pics she has under the "arch" looking out at the reef at BB.
Posted By: buzzbean

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/13/10 03:49 PM

November 2002. Went down for diving. Just returned from my fourth trip, got married while down there and the wife loves the place too. When I first went down, everyone asked "Where is Belize?" Now when I say I'm going down there, everyone knows where it is and is jealous.
Posted By: sandyb

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/13/10 11:22 PM

My first trip was in 1980. Loved it then, still do. It's changed quite a bit but still has the same laid back warm spirit. I've travelled to many parts of the world since but nothing compares to the feeling I have when in San Pedro, the people are one of the best things about it! Just recently bought a place at Oasis and plan to be down several months a year.
Posted By: lakegirl

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/14/10 12:27 AM

I just love reading this stuff, so much of it is how we feel!! There have been lots of changes but it is simply magical....I remember Papi's, the sandy streets, the hand pulled ferry (which our golf cart almost fell off of!!!) and after traveling all over there is no place like Belize and AC, love it!!!! We hope we are lucky enough to retire there someday and I envy all of the people who have the guts to just move there!!!
Posted By: Captain B

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/15/10 04:06 PM

Our first trip was 2003 on a cruise. We took a snorkel trip to Geoff (sic?) Caye and dreamed of returning one day. Did a lot of research online and decided to look at property. Returned in 2005 and rented a car, got lost in the jungle (quite an adventure) got fed up trying to find the land we wanted to look at and asked at the airport where is the best snorkeling. Flew out to San Pedro, stayed at the Sands and went snorkeling with Patejo's(sic?). What a fabulous trip it turned out to be!!! Our last day on island we passed a realtor ad about Reef Village and decided to take a look. We purchased a third floor one bed that day and have enjoyed many return visits since!! Our absolute favorite day is fishing, snorkeling, and BBQ on the beach. The reef, the turquoise waters, the beach, the friendly and welcoming people, the many friends we have made, the beautiful children, the peace and tranquility, the fabulous colors, the wonderful food--all these are our favorites!!! We purchased a lot in Tres Cocos and plan to build our retirement home there--hopefully in the next year or so. Will be back again soon!!!
Posted By: Bobber

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/15/10 04:45 PM

Our first trip was Feb of 2000. We had been going to Cozumel for years, and a lot of other islands between Coz trips. Then the the cruise ships started coming and the island was turning into another Cancun, so we moved south. My wife did a lot of research and we decided on San Pedro. We came in the first day, and it was getting dark when we landed on the island. My wife and I, a few relatives and friends piled into a ratty little van for the trip down middle street to Paradise villas. I said to the wife, "what the hell have you gotten us into?. After settling into our villa, we hoofed it downtown and ended up at the Barrier Reef (where the bank is now) on front street. This is where I met up with the first lobster the size of my forearm ( I believe it was about $12 US). A few Belikins and we were hooked. 6 trips so far, and a lot of good experiences, good food, new friends and great memories. We still hit a few other islands, but Ambergris is our "comfort" place. Right now we are trying to plan for Lobsterfest this year. Like a lot of others, we remember when the bridge was just a pipedream and the hand ferry was reality. Papi's was the best. Mornings at Estels (thank God some things don't change). I remember my first Belikin Calendar, a gift from a waiter at The Reef, because the disty didn't have any left. Fishing trips ending up with a beach luch complete with fresh ceviche and fish done up in tinfoil, and lobsters on the side. And Belikin. All of those mornings on the pier with a cup of coffee watching the sun come up. The kids playing in the streets, happier than children seem to be elswhere. Kids going to school in uniform, and getting rides in golf carts from the tourists. Picking up hitchhikers on the carts away from town, and making new friends. The smiles on the people, and the overwhelming feeling that you were a guest on the island, not interlopers. Heavy Sigh.
Posted By: Captain B

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/15/10 05:16 PM

Just updated my profile to include my favorite pic of my life
Posted By: Bobber

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/15/10 05:20 PM

Still one of my favorites.

//ambergriscaye.com/pages/town/article42.html

Posted By: natalie p

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/15/10 05:29 PM

My first time in San Pedro was in 1956. It was a tiny fishing village. No hotels, no electricity, no motor boats or island hoppers. It was serene and absolutely gorgeous.
Posted By: LoveH20

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 02/15/10 06:29 PM

I also went to Cozumel for many years...then Jamaica..then ended up in San Pedro. This will be my 4th year. I hope to have as many stories as have been mentioned above...We started out at Banana Beach and now love to stay right in town.. and we stay longer every year.. We now have some great friends there.I hope to come back as many years as this aging body will let me!
Posted By: Timmy

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/16/10 09:21 AM

I came to SP in 1974 and stayed 4 years. It was great. George Stefanko owned Ambergris Lodge,Jerry and Holiday. Fido's had a dance under the stars with "Los Malos".We had the trouble with Guatemala and HMS Cruiser, Puma copters, Harriers and the Scot Guards and Black Watch went to high alert. Maya Air was painted camo colors. Prince Philip visited on HMS Britania right after.BBC news at ten and Radio Belize went off air. So did town electrics. The Krugers owned ElPescador and their closest was Peter&Peggy Hancock.Jerry's Bar was washed out in the Hurricaine and he setup in a geodesic dome made from ferro cement bulit by Rayford Perry(dime store fame) it had a yellow light on top and some called it the Big Tit. Met Lee Marvin and Ernest K. Gann and Yvette Mimuex. Notable character were Bruce Birdasse, Duke of Shropshire and Founder of Men of the Trees. The Lioness of Africa flowed with chiffon and gin. George Ball and his wife leased Blake House (masonJars)and had a pet pig that greeted you at the bar.Steve Goodman wrote the song Down to Banana Republic as he played guitar at bars. I remember when he played it just before he left..it was about British Honduras and San Pedro. Jimmy Buffet recorded it and made it famous...but it all was written by Steve in SP.The time was magic.
Posted By: Chloe

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/16/10 02:45 PM

smile Lovely seduction of Ambergris Caye.
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/16/10 02:56 PM

Great Stories. First visit in 90. Permanent move 92.

Elbert was our landlord for a few months whilst we built our house.

First Christmas was at Los Renegados with Jim Wade, Elbert, some BDF guys and Tulu.

Couldn't find the meat market so we ate conch for our first six months on island.

Had an old heavy 17 foot mahogany skiff with a 35 HP outboard on it. Got a job. Traveled to town 6 days a week (to get to work) in that thing - the darn boat was so wet that I wore my bathing suit in the boat, changed into dry clothes in the office. Without cargo or passengers it took 25 minutes from home to town (5 miles) - if Stu hitched a ride it took 45.

We met Richie Havens at Jerry's bar at Paradise.

Miss Peggy rowed her boat to town every day to work in the pharmacy.

Tried to talk Clarence and Annabel out of opening Capricorn (we thought nobody would travel that far to eat)

Lots and lots of other stories ........ lots.

Posted By: tammdann

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/16/10 04:46 PM

January, 2005, we were on Isla Mujeres for the 3rd time, when we got an email from my husbands sister. They were on AC, purchashing their piece of paradise, and told us we should come on down. So, my husband phoned his boss, I phoned our baby sitter (my mom), changed our flights home and hopped the bus to Belize!

Of course we fell in love with AC immediatly, went home and took out a second mortgage on our home and returned in March to buy our lot to build our future retirement home. Our 4th and last child to leave the nest is moving out in June, so another 4 or 5 years and we will be on AC with hammers in hand!

We've been back about 5 times now, the best time was with my parents. We took them the backpacking by bus route, through Cancun, stayed a few nights in Tulum, then more buses to the Corozal airport and finally, beautiful San Pedro. They both agreed that it was the best trip either of them had ever had!

We're looking forward to our next trip, Jan 2011, already completly booked!!!
Posted By: GAY AND DAVID

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/19/10 08:10 PM

1999 - after visiting the cayo & placencia, we found ourselves in san pedro. it was like a honeymoon.
Posted By: travelqueen

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/19/10 10:29 PM

tammdann, mine toooo! Jan. 22, 2005!
Posted By: klcman

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/20/10 12:15 AM

and now Gay knows where there is a cute little condo with a chandelier to have her hubby swing from while.............oh nevermind blush
Posted By: GAY AND DAVID

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/20/10 02:45 PM

Oh, you make me blush! Now everyone knows my secrets! HA!
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/20/10 04:12 PM

thanks for bringing this thread back up. i read the whole thing all over again - i love every one of your stories. for all the reasons you all mentioned, we just made trip #14 for me & #10 for my hunny in april, and the gods willing, we hope to be back in august. smile
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/20/10 04:47 PM

Add my many thanks too. Like Jane I just read all the post and got a little teary eyed. My story is a long one but I will work on it.
This place is magic and it can make you crazy in so many ways.
Posted By: Beliznadian

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/20/10 07:03 PM

Febuary 1995....after a month in placencia...three days divided btw Caye Caulker and San Pedro....did more of the gringo trail...back to the Cayes for close to three years....CC was my home...then nothing...till 2009...but i followed the country for years and people would say..."ever heard of Belize"...(suck teeth)..."me stay there longtime...."....to this day....still some of my best memories and when things don't feel right...i remember..."shit..it's that piece of my heart that is in belize.."...and i kinda miss waiting for the boat to fill...you were sure to meet all the people going to the Caye....XO
Posted By: Welland

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/20/10 11:53 PM

April 1998. Fell in love with the Island and people.Been there every year since except this year because of a trip to Egypt. Hope to be there soon. Miss the sand streets the ferry and the old San Pedro. Guess I don't like the change.
Posted By: klcman

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/21/10 12:03 AM

Feb 1991.....lost track of #'s but well over 40 for sure........nuff said. smile
Posted By: sandyb

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/21/10 12:28 AM

1978, I think, have loved it ever since, although it has changed quite a bit! hope to be able to spend half of the rest of my life there...
Posted By: A C

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/21/10 12:54 AM

the day i moved here smile.

unless you count a shore excursion on a cruise line. - i dont

AC
Posted By: Iron Fist

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/21/10 05:40 PM

September 2009. San Pedro was nice. Wife and I stayed in Ambergris Caye (Coco Beach Resort) and then Ian Andersons Cave Branch Jungle Lodge (Belmopan). Can't wait to return, would like to buy something cozy actually...
Posted By: luv2travl

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/21/10 06:45 PM

Love all the stories! My husband and I first came down in May 2009 and fell in love with the relaxed atmosphere and the friendliness of the people. Heading back in less than three weeks with five other couples ... I hope they fall as hard and fast as we did. (I have to keep checking back here to remember how wonderful it was because some of the other posts are making me a little nervous!)

Posted By: changosgal

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/21/10 09:24 PM

April of 2009. My husband and I went for our anniversary. We fell in love with San Pedro. We will be back this year and hopefully moving there in the very near future.
Posted By: BZE Me

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/21/10 11:41 PM

First trip January 1989, for two nights (we were staying for most of our holiday in San Ignacio). We stayed at a hotel off of the beach named the “White House” near where the Belize bank is. When we walked there from the beach around where Ramon’s is the only vehicle we saw was a golf cart with a police stencil and a blue light on a pole I think it was only about 10 p.m. The two night stay was enough to make us want to return but unfortunately not for 3 or 4 years.

Since then it has been once a year for a week, once a year for 2 weeks, twice a year for two weeks twice a year for three weeks etc.….we are up to twice a year for 8 weeks. I truly hope the trend continues!!! We still come home for Christmas.

I still recall saying when we made our first trip for a month “I think I will finally get Belize out of my system” even now after 8 a week stay it is very, very difficult to leave.
Posted By: Timmy

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/22/10 12:30 AM

I remember swimming to my little chicken wire fish trap just south of the village..nothing but coconuttrees back then, I was invited to a lunch and said I would bring the fish..usually just striped grunts but that day some parrot fish..dutifully cleaned and served to a guy from the UN studying conch. as lunch finished up he said the fish was delicious and said he would eat anything but parrot fish because they can be poisionous. I asked how long after you eat them are the effects??he said about 45 minutes. We all had another Appleton and coke and sighed in relief after about an hour. Glad the UN guy made it. What always was a problem was where to go on vacation hen you already lived in Paradise?? We just stayed or sailed to Caye Caulker for a party. The old steel houseboat that was beached above the Habcocks had a nice couple that lived on board. When I went back they were gone and the rickety old steel houseboat. The days of Smitty keeping you in a circle of sand when you became too boisterous has passed but the tradition of welcome welcome endures.
Posted By: PSUhorty

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/22/10 05:00 AM

March, 2008. Was my first vacation with my THEN sweetie (some may remember my thread from a year or so ago, haha). Anyways, I’m still captivated by that place. Why else would I keep up to speed on SP with this message board?

Favorite memories were:
1. Landing at BZE (oh the excitement!)
2. Landing on AC and IMMEDIATELY getting a six pack of beer at the store before heading to our hotel (Spindrift)
3. The snorkeling
4. Bar hopping, drunkenly, each night: Fido’s, Crazy Canucks, Tacklebox, etc, etc, etc.
So much fun I had there. There is still a part of SP in my heart for sure. I think about it daily (really!) and will return for sure. Perhaps for a long time.
Posted By: Barefoot Skinny

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/25/10 07:01 AM

My first visit was in 1992 when Caesar Sherrard, (Caesar's Place),invited me to go play music with Bearfoot Gibby at Fido's. I had such a great time that I returned from the mainland every weekend to play with Gib for the next 19 weekends. I finally moved there after all that to continue in the fun.
Posted By: reefenit

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/25/10 10:09 AM

Lucky bass............ catcher! what fun to have a piece of one of our four fathers to brightin up a day, So. Afrifica way. Al zee.......... one way. Black rock. Julian,watch my back.

Crystal, commin into heat, release her in the next week or two

Is it Just plan Ceaser's now?
Posted By: Danny2

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 05/26/10 03:22 PM

First time for us was March 2004 and stayed at the Banana Beach for a couple of weeks. We met Obie and Becky that year as well as many other fun people. We returned the following year and again stayed at the Banana Beach for almost three weeks in April and that year we met Swanno and Maryann at the Banana and other fun people. We were back in 2006 for a couple weeks and again stayed at the Banana Beach and had great fun and fishing. Because of family reasons we have been unable to vacation since then but if we could we would for sure return and stay at the Banana Beach just for fun. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Posted By: tortuga.chica

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 03:51 PM

Maybe we have some new members that would add their stories???
Posted By: ibirie

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 05:33 PM

First trip was in April of 2000 for our honeymoon. Stayed at Journey's End but came into town every day for lunch at Rasta Pasta. BBQ snapper and giant burritos. We even ran into cast members of Drew Cary's TV show "Who's Line is it Anyway" while we were there. Been back twice since in 2005 & 2007 and have a trip planned for next March. Just wish we would have bought property on the island on our first trip.....
Posted By: brendacamp

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 05:52 PM

1994 for hubby's 50th birthday. Been back every year since. Beginning to look for a place to retire to.
Posted By: JZB

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 06:14 PM

Originally Posted by ibirie
First trip was in April of 2000 for our honeymoon. Stayed at Journey's End but came into town every day for lunch at Rasta Pasta. BBQ snapper and giant burritos. We even ran into cast members of Drew Cary's TV show "Who's Line is it Anyway" while we were there. Been back twice since in 2005 & 2007 and have a trip planned for next March. Just wish we would have bought property on the island on our first trip.....


Ibirie, ten years from now you may be saying "I wish I bought property when we were there in 2011!" wink

Posted By: champion

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 06:18 PM

Yep, I agree!
Posted By: Eskimo

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 07:05 PM

My wife and I first visited Belize for our 25th anniversary in 2002. I must admit that Belize wasn't our first choice that year.

We were all booked and ready to head for Bali when those terrorists blew up the hotels there. Travel there wasn't recommended after that so we looked around for a new destination. Our criteria changed after that incident and we opted for somewhere in the Western Hemisphere and where English was spoken. Also Belize was next alphabetically. smile
It must have been fate as we've returned every year since.

The first year we stayed at Captain Morgans, the next few at Belizean Shores and then finally two or three years ago, when the Canadian dollar was at par or higher than the US, we bought a place at Cocobeach.

We always spend two weeks or so travelling around the mainland, sightseeing and visiting all the friends we've made and then finish up with a week or 10 days on Ambgeris.

No sooner than we get home again, I find myself yearning to return, enough so that I drive Joan crazy updating her on the news stories and storm status almost daily. I can't wait until we are able to spend a few months at a time in Belize. grin

Ollie
Posted By: Wizardofaahs

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 07:24 PM

I visited AC waaaay back in 1979! Fell in love with it and have dreamed of returning since. Figured I'd just get on a plane one day with a sewing machine and a suitcase full of fabric....make swimsuits and sell them on the beach. The plan is to move there within the next two years. A yearning for a simpler, sustainable lifestyle is fueling me to pursue this dream! Joined the board to get answers about the process! Personalities are emerging, it's delightful.
Posted By: Cee

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 11/19/10 11:15 PM

My first time was the last week of February 2010 with 5 girls for a 40th birthday. Met a very cool guy and came back in September for 2 weeks. Next scheduled trip, 2 weeks in March. Already planning a move. There is no place like it. : )
Posted By: Chilled

Re: When was your first time to San Pedro? - 01/11/11 04:43 PM

My first time in Belize was for our church's first mission trip to Holy Cross Anglican School in San Pedro. I had never been out of the country and didn't know what to expect. Besides the amazing feeling of helping out those students and the spiritual connection I felt while sitting on The Tides pier as the sky grew pink, I had a LOT of fun. Fellow missionary Tanisha and I drank Belikins at the palapa, snorkeled with the Patojos boys, danced at the Jaguar, played flip cup at the Tacklebox with boys from The Tides, and bet on the chicken drop at Caliente's. We roamed San Pedro meeting students everywhere we went, and took a sketchy taxi ride to the soccer field to watch the kids' last game of the season. I made lasting friendships and cried like a baby when the flight from Belize City took off. I think about Belize all the time and can't wait to go back in July 2011 on another mission trip--hopefully with my husband, although with his job there is little hope. But I still hope!
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