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My 9 months in San Pedro!

Posted By: mcjennifer

My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/10/02 10:11 PM

Warning: LONG POST..but HANDY!
Many of you new to this board may not remember me….but I found this board a few years ago like a lot of people, while researching vacation spots. I fell in love with Ambergris Caye long before I ever saw her. I eventually made my first trip and within a month of returning to the States was able to schedule a 1 year sabbatical and make the move. I spent many hours on the board inquiring about working, what to pack, etc. The hardest part was getting up the guts to sell the car, pack the stuff and move all alone to a place I had only visited once. But I did it. And now after 9 months, I am returning to the States a bit early due to an exciting promotion and re-location. I thought it fitting, to end things on the board where it all began.

What a magical and yet frustrating adventure it has all been. I have met many of you, worked too many jobs to count, lived in a shack and a villa and a few places in between, been through the worst experience of my life (Hurricane Iris) and some of the best. I have met wonderful people and have met terrible people…been called awful things and not-so awful things.

I feel different now. I came looking for paradise…milk and honey and wonderful peace. I was slightly naďve. AC isn’t perfect..the problems you had back home will most likely follow you here. Once I got over that, I wasI was really able to get the most from my experience. How have I changed? I walk slower, I talk slower, I chew slower, I know I can subsist on rice and beans and no running water for five days. All those toiletries and make up I packed still sit virtually unused in my bag. I have fought boredom and won, now feeling such contentment on my own that I avoid crowds. I am my own best friend and value everything in my life so much more. For these things I will always be grateful for my experience in San Pedro. Thank you all.

I thought a Best/Worst list would be in order:

Worst Experience: Being on a boat next to Wave Dancer in Big Creek during Hurricane Iris and the aftermath. I have never seen such horrors.
Best Experience: So many days of looking out at the most beautiful blue water, waves crashing on the reef, sitting with good friends.
Funniest Rumor spread about me: DEA agent
Best party: Tie Fidos Hurricane Fundraiser and Rendevous Anniversary Party

Best “Stuff from Home” Grocery Store: Island Supermarket (south)
Best Local Grocery: San Pedrano (in town) and Marina’s (south)
Best Produce: The Greenhouse (town) or CAYO!

Best women’s clothing: Moon Dancer (middle street) and Mambo Chill (fidos)
Best Shoes: La Boutique Elegante (front)

Best random after work bar: Mata Rocks Hotel (squirrels nest)
Best Bar: Sharks on Sun and Tues, Fidos on Mon, Fri, Sat
Best Night Out: Saturday (Fidos, Barefoot Iguana, late night snack at Rosas)
Best “I can’t afford vodka” drink: White Rum and Cranberry
Best Vegetarian: Bamboo Hut (south)
Best Lunch: Bamboo Hut, Caliente or Celi’s Deli (BLT rocks)
Best Lunch if you have time: Sweet Basil (north)
Best Dinner (low price): Papis Diner
Best Dinner (medium): Café Ole, Caliente
Best Dinner (high price): Capricorn and Rendevous (both north)
Honorable Mention: Blue Water Grill if drinks were priced better and service was improved ..this would easily be a best.

If I was a tourist…
Most Romantic Hotel: Victoria House or Portofino
Best Buys..but still great for a honeymoon: Blue Tang Inn, Sunbreeze
Cheap but on the beach and nice (where my friends stay): Spindrift, Conch Shell
Best Day Trip: Cave Tubing
Best Spa: For the whole experience, Maruba is a miracle. For a quick relaxing escape, La Diosa.
Best Manicure/Pedicure: Styleland (in town)
Best Haircut: Leslies (back of town)

Place I wish I would have gone sooner: CAYO. Caves, rivers, rolling hills, ruins and it is CHEAP. Stay at the pink house at duPlooys for only $40 USD
Favorite “I need quick civilization” : Belize City, stay at the Biltmore for $49 USD, go bowling at the Princess and eat at Chef Bobs or have a curry at the Indian place.
Favorite “I need out of the big city (San Pedro)”: Caye Caulker, stay at Seaside Cabanas, eat at Rasta Pasta and drink at Oceanside. NO CARS. NO STRESS!

Guidebook that proved most useful: Adapter Kit Belize by Lan Sluder and Rough Guide Belize.
Advice that I wish I would have listened to: “Lay low when you first move here”

All in all it has been great, I will be back soon for a visit!
Love JEN
Posted By: Lan Sluder/Belize First

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/10/02 10:17 PM

Jen,

Absolutely fabulous posting! Good luck on the next part of your life.

--Lan Sluder
Posted By: jkdiver

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/10/02 10:24 PM

Sounds like a FANTASTIC experience!!

JoAnn
Posted By: roo1788

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/10/02 11:51 PM

Great post, wish I would have had the stones to pick up and make a move like that when I was younger. What a great experience it must have been. Good luck in the future!
Posted By: munichchick

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 12:03 AM

Jen! Thank you so much for sharing your experiece with us and this great, very honest report. I wish you the best for your future. Would you say for the most part your San Pedro experience was more positive than negative or the other way around? Iris must have been such a horrific experience for you.
Posted By: Marty

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 12:40 AM

GREAT POST JEN, thanks so much.
very informative! and i'm sure it will help others!
Posted By: Marty

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 12:41 AM

Love this...
All those toiletries and make up I packed still sit virtually unused in my bag.
====
smile, laugh, chuckle...
... tears....
great post.

I'm with Lan, good luck is right...

[This message has been edited by Marty (edited 05-10-2002).]
Posted By: Marty

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 12:42 AM

i agree about cayo too...
Posted By: sweetjane

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 04:16 AM

i remember you [Linked Image]

thanks. this is wonderful. it says alot.
Posted By: KC

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 04:36 AM

Hi Jennifer --
I'm printing out your list. You have had an ADVENTURE!! I had no idea you were on a boat during Iris. How terrifying that must have been.

Welcome home! Best of luck in the next phase of life.

Kathy
Posted By: o jackie

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 05:16 PM

Hi Jen,
Well its time to email me again. Let me know all the little tidbits. Well I guess that you will not be there in August, I was looking forward to seeing you and catching up. Well good luck and take care, looking forward to your email. Here is my new email:
[email protected]
Posted By: Big Frank

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 06:03 PM

You followed your bliss. I know that sounds like BS, but you did it.

Courage
It is in the small things that we see it

You're a little bit of a hero to us pasty cubicle dwellers. That's all I relly need.

Did your bliss follow you back?
Posted By: Laguna Punta

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/11/02 08:36 PM

Hi Jennifer:Best of luck!! It has been a joy to see you out and about San Pedro. Take care: Bill
Posted By: Mosquitorose

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/12/02 05:57 AM

Jen, have a great rest of your life...good luck to you.

MR
Posted By: rickcheri

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/12/02 02:39 PM

Jen-would love to here more about your experience with Iris....never been in a hurricane, but inevitably will be one day.....you can email us [email protected] you going back to work at the zoo???? C
Posted By: Over_40_Pirate

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/12/02 10:39 PM

Jennifer....
AAAARRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!! Good to see ya on the board again! Glad to hear that you made it through all the ups and downs. That took guts!
I still look through all my AC photos and get a chuckle when I come to the one of all the message boarders that met up at Ramones...I think you had spilled a drink on your shirt....go figure!
Good luck and God Bless...keep us posted on what's next!
Posted By: mcjennifer

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/12/02 10:40 PM

Hi! Thanks for all the kind words. I leave in 2 hours! I posted this before the weekend and before I learned of the terrible tragedy involving Logan Gentry. It has made my last weekend a little more sad and reflective. My regards to his family and his friends who loved him dearly.

My experience was certainly more positive than negative...but I did come a little naive!

My experience has altered my life and as I think about going back to the rat race, I can only hope that I will take these lessons I have learned and hold them close to my heart.

P.S_ Got a promotion from the Zoo and will be the General Manager at the California Science Center in LA! I am excited.

Love JEN
Posted By: mcjennifer

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/12/02 10:42 PM

P.S to Lan:

Thanks for all the help that you and your books supplied me!

If you ever need the perspective of a 25 year old single gal that moved to the island..feel free to email me at [email protected]

JEN
Posted By: trina

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/13/02 05:21 AM

MCJen, what a great post! Although I've never met you, I feel like you've shared a little slice of your life with us! Wow....sounds like you have a great future ahead of you! Good luck!
Posted By: M-A Gaffney

Re: My 9 months in San Pedro! - 05/13/02 02:35 PM

was wondering how you made out ...
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