Greetings, all. Sarah here. I know that the title of this blog implies that Julie will be authoring this entry, but first my disclaimer. Any grammar issues or general irreverence or negativity are Julie’s. 🙂 And now, without further ado…
Hello all, Julie here! Belize it or not, I told Sarah to write that disclaimer..I know my sister soo well that I knew she would be offended by my grammar. So my first 3-4 days in Belize were a whirlwind of highs and lows. On day 1 we had a wonderful boat ride in the Caribbean, followed by some hard labor in a legit rainforest storm where I got eaten alive by mosquitoes. Mostly on my thighs, I guarantee you that I had at least 60 bug bites. On day 2 we went snorkeling in the Caribbean and went to the snake key islands which was awesome, we also met Neville, who I had a major crush on. We found out that Neville had 96 siblings..he said that his dad was “a rolling stone” We went fishing for snapper and cooked what we caught on a makeshift grill on the island. This was all incredibly beautiful and fun, definitely the highlight of my punta gorda stay. Sarah is not lying it is HOOOOOT there..uncomfortably at almost all times. We had a couple fun nights out and had many Belikins, which is the local (and only) beer available as well as panty rippers which are made up of coconut rum, pineapple juice, and grenadine. After going out, Andrew, Jamie (one of ProWorld’s awesome interns) and I walked out to the deck over the water and Andrew threw some rocks in the water. The water lit up like fireworks!!! It was so crazy that we sent the boys to get large rocks for all of us to throw in! Andrew put this in the top 5 coolest things he has ever seen. The next day we went to church, which was nice, but obviously involved a graduation ceremony. The catholic church is seriously playing this sick trick on me that whenever I go to church (which is not nearly enough) there is a baptism, or graduation, or something to elongate the mass. I’m not laughing!! After church we went back to Sarah’s bunkhouse and got ready for cave swimming. I had a moderate emotional breakdown from my mosquito bites causing so much irritation. My mom was pretty much the only one that felt bad for me (thanks Mom!). We then went cave tubing, which was the cause of my major breakdown. We started off on this nice, not too difficult hike, and then all the sudden there were these small cliffs you had to climb over..that were slippery and so easy to fall on. I was convinced that someone was going to fall and hit their heads, and I started crying and could NOT stop..I kept thinking someone was going to get hurt and there was nothing I could do and we would have such difficultly getting them down the trail. Once we got in the water, my tears continued, but it was actually a cool trip. The water current was pretty strong and you hold onto the edges of the cave and pull yourself forward, I was thankful that we were all good swimmers. Juan was our main tour guide and was incredibly nice..he owns an organic chocolate farm and is very passionate. He actually provided the cocoa for the speciality belikin stout with chocolate so on the way home we stopped for a much needed drink. this beer was legit chocolate tasting and I really liked it. After this we left punta gorda and went to a jungle community. This house is straight up in the jungle. They told us to watch out for jaguars and snakes and they were NOT kidding…I am also convinced that the owners were members of a cult, but no one agrees with me. We only stayed there for one night, which was fine by me. They did have an awesome swimming creek with those little fish that eat off your dead skin. The highlight of this portion of the trip was that Sarah and I totally hitchhiked not once, but TWICE! The bad part was, that we didn’t realize the first guy only spoke spanish, we thought he was shy, but really he had no idea where we needed to go so he drove us 15 miles further than we were supposed to. On the way back, we got picked up by 4 belizean police officers who were armed and dangerous..until they started singing the whole Selena soundtrack at the top of their lungs. Sarah found it appropriate to ask them to stop at a bakery instead of our rainforest home so after they dropped us off we were still 3 miles from home. We then caught the bus and I hit my head against the luggage carrier and just now got rid of that headache. The next morning we had this awesome guy, Tom, volunteer to drive us 30 minutes to the major bus station in Belmopan. We then caught the express bus to Belize city, and a water taxi to the island Caye Caulker. This place is awesome. Not to downplay the rest of Belize, but it’s kind of dirty, and buggy, and really hot, and kind of dangerous. This place is 1 mile total, hot but not painful, our hotel has AC and wireless, and they have lobsters galore. This is my kind of vacation! Yesterday we hung out in the water, went shopping with the local craft makers, and had a great local lunch. We also found our old neighbor Monica’s sister Sharon and her daughter Maya in the ocean, which is CRAZY! We had an awesome time with them and went to this place that had a beer deal where you could get a bucket of 6 beers and chips and salsa for 20 belize, which is 10 american dollars, what what! I also had an incredible mojito and Sarah got a margarita. We then went to this amazing cuban restaurant that was run by an incredibly nice couple. I got a grilled lobster that is officially in my top 5 best things I have ever eaten. After dinner, my siblings and I went to this bar that was seriously questionable, until they told us to go upstairs which ended up being an awesome rooftop bar with swings and hammocks and a great view of the city. Then we went to bed. Today we had a breakfast with Irene, who owns our B & B and was also a nurse. I am going to hang at the beach for a while and then catch a plane to Belize city, then Miami, and finally home. I am excited to go home, excited to go back to work, and excited to see my friends. This has been a great trip, though I am not sure if I will ever come back to Central America..after this trip I am planning a trip to Kentucky for the iron man competition (moral support for Andrew only), and then maybe Napa?? Just nowhere with mosquitos!
Love you all!
PS-Sarah is doing lots of great things here. I am really proud of her, she is representing the charitable side of the Whitman’s very well!