Saturday, June 30, 2012

What is there to do in Belize? Plenty!

Well I've been slacking off these past few days from blogging but mostly because we've been so busy. I can't seem to sleep much past 6 am here because the sun is up and shining through our blinds and I just don't want to miss any of this beautiful day while I'm here!

Kim and Jake wanted to go snorkeling so Drew, Jen and I took a day off from diving and went out snorkeling with them to the beautiful Belizean marine park Hol Chan followed by a trip to Shark Ray alley. They loved it! Hol Chan is an incredible snorkeling site and you are almost guaranteed a spotted eagle ray, a green turtle, various other stingrays and some nurse sharks. It's funny how you get used to something and almost take it for granted. We've done shark/ray alley so many times I nearly had the dive guide skip it but Kim wanted to go since she's never done anything like that before. I'm so glad we did! It's so much fun reliving an experience through the eyes of a "newbie"! They had a blast!

Jen poses for the camera

Kim wanted me to get a pic of her swimming with the sharks but it was tough to get the sharks to pose! This was as close as I could get!

about a 300 pound nurse shark

horse eyed jack

big barracuda

Jacob is fearless now!

Couple of stingrays fighting for food

Then we headed to the palapa bar for a few drinks and some relaxation

they have hammocks to chill in and tubes to float in

You can actually sit in the tubes and have someone deliver your drinks to you!

Drew and Jen with their virgin coladas

off to a local joint called Waruguma for dinner

the ladies make Belizean "Papusas" right on carts out front. They are amazing and about $1.25 US. You can have your choice of fillings of chicken, pork, beans, cheese, spinach, name it!

no frills restaurant with GREAT and cheap food!

Kim and I split this enormous lobster burrito! I couldn't even eat my half. I think it was about $15 US!

and lobster ceviche! I LOVE Lobster season!!

Kim and Jake departed early Friday morning for Placencia!

arrived by plane and departed by boat. You can travel any way you like around here!

Kim and Jake departed at 8 am and Tommy arrived at noon exactly!

he is happy to be back at our condo with his first (of many) Beliken!

we headed to the Roadkill bar for the famous Wade the Gringo burgers! They are amazing!! Best on the island!

and Matt's world famous panty ripper! YUM!!

Jen and Tommy chillaxin on the beach

off to Catamaran beach bar for drinks with our awesome friend and dive instructor Junior Tillet!

Great place on the beach!

finished off the night at Fido's for family dinner! Glad we are all together again!

Off to Caye Caulker today for Lobster fest! More lobster!! I'm in HEAVEN!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Diving and fun in paradise!

Belize is the second largest barrier reef in the world, second only to the great barrier reef in Australia. As such I believe the diving here is second to none. Tommy and I are both certified divers and I actually went on to get my Padi instructor certification many years ago. I think it's my retirement plan to live and teach here. Tommy can be my shrimp boat captain! :-)

Drew was certified a few years back and is now onto his advanced certification here during these two weeks. And the last in our family, Jennifer who just turned 12, is finishing up her Jr. Open Water certification on Friday morning! She is one dive away from being official!

She's giving the OK sign as she gets ready to do some of her skills

with Junior, her instructor

Drew's having a great time doing his favorite thing

those rotten little yellow fish kept trying to take a bite out of me!

Here we go on her first deep dive outside the reef! She did GREAT!

A couple of large nurse sharks circled around her as she was doing her skills checking her out!

Big Snapper

we saw a lot of cool things on this dive including a very relaxed big green sea turtle!

Finally, here is a very cool video of Jen demonstrating her "out of air...share air" skill with a controlled swimming ascent!

More tomorrow when Tommy gets in!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

La Isla Bonita

Day 2 and 3 saw welcomed my friend Kim Hahn and her son Jake to the island. Kim was my first college roommate from 25 years ago and we recently reconnected! What fun having them here! They flew in on Tropic Air and Jake sat in the co-pilot seat which he thought was pretty cool. They arrived on the island and we headed to our favorite Sunday beach barbeque, BC's beach bar for lunch! YUM!

this is what we wake up to every morning...pretty tough to take! Good morning San Pedro!

Jennifer and Junior worked on her pool skills for her diving certification in the morning

Junior said she's a natural fish!

then we headed to the airstrip to pick up Kim and Jake

They're here!

Drew and Jake went for a beach bike ride yesterday and all through town

I showed Kim "Belizean shopping" which is going to about 4 different places to get everything on your grocery list! This is Maria's fruit stand and she makes the best fresh squeezed juice I've ever had!

view from the patio...tough to take

on the beach

we went to a place called "El Fogon" last night which is a little restaurant beneath a woman's house with a beautiful palapa roof and wood fired oven.

about 5 small picnic tables in this place

Food was absolutely amazing!! Lobster chowder was amazing!!

the kids declared it one of their favorite restaurants here!

we went to Jen's favorite place the first night...Fido's pronounced FeeDohs. They clearly are hoping to change the dog policy!

Having a great time! We are hopefully on the boat today diving with Junior for Jen's first two certification dives and Tommy arrives on Friday! Yayyy!

That's it for now...