Monday, May 2, 2011

Home Again--Final Entry

On April 30th at 8:00 in the morning we packed our suitcases on Ms. Dee’s golf cart and headed for the airport. 

We left San Pedro at 9:30 and headed to Belize City.  San Pedro looks beautiful from the air.

Our plane was full although it didn’t take much to fill it up.

As you can see, once again the co-pilot is a good looking blond.  It is funny how it always seems to work out that way.

We took a last look at the palm trees and jungles of Belize and headed for Ozark mountains  and hardwood trees of Arkansas.

Getting through customs at Houston was terrible.  There were seven international flights that had all landed at the same time. Hundreds of people were all trying to get through immigration, customs and security at the same time.  We had to literally run through the airport to catch our connecting flight—I didn’t realize how out of shape I am.  The door to our airplane had already been closed but they held the plane and let us on board. 

So here we are—home again with our dog, Teddy, and our little red cabin in the woods.

Now to figure out what our next trip is going to be.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Packing Day

The sun is shining and there is a gentle breeze coming in our front door.  The ocean waters are brilliant turquoise, the palm trees are gently swaying and there are a couple people relaxing at the pool.

We are packing to go back to Arkansas. 

We have been scheduling our menus for the last several days to try to finish everything in the refrigerator.  We did pretty good but there are still a lot of condiments we will be giving to our neighbors.

We have been rationing our alcohol also.  We have lots of beer and soda in the refrigerator but our rum has to last.

They charge a deposit on all soda and beer bottles, as well as the cases, so we are borrowing our neighbors golf cart to return our empties and the cases—about $16US worth.

We are leaving many articles of clothing we brought with us.  Our security guard has six children and if his family can’t use them, they can give them to someone who can.  We are filling the space this provided us with all of the souvenirs we bought.

Of course Gail feels like we need to clean-especially the windows, she likes clean windows.  Fortunately there is only one that has glass in it but she cleans the screens on the others.

Tomorrow morning we have to be at the airport at 8:00am.  We take a plane from here to Belize City.

These planes hold 11 people counting the pilot and there is no co-pilot so one of the passengers sets in that seat—usually one of the good looking ones. 
Then it is off to Houston and XNA.  We arrive home at 5:30. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


The Caribe Island condo neighborhood is pretty quiet now.  There are only two other couples here who are renting.  Ms. Dee is here of course.  She lives here permanently and does her "Canadian" accounting work out of her condo via the internet.  Mr. Dee and Rhonda, owners and full-time residents, are still here too.  Although he hasn’t started his new job yet, he has been offered the job of heading up the water company here on Ambergris Caye.    They have their dog, Bailey, temporarily staying with them.  She is a good dog, quiet, and clean! 

Of course, Max and Buster, the Doberman and Rottweiler  from Suya Tours next door, still run through the area each day and the dogs from the house behind the condos bark every morning to make sure everyone is awake by at least 6:00 am.

Matt, the retired lawyer who lives for Duke basketball, is off on a trip but scheduled to return in a couple days.
Joel, our security guard, is here every night.  He played some Dominoes with us one night and now he and a couple of the other guards from the area have begun to play almost every morning about the time the sun comes up.  (Joel's wife and six children live on the mainland and he gets to go see them about once a month.)

 Of course Roger our maintenance man, actually “The Man” for Caribe Island, is here.  And Andre is here too.  They keep the area spotless.  Roger cleans the pool area every morning and, along with Andre, rakes the sand daily.  It makes the sand look good and keeps the sand fleas under control.  Roger does a wonderful job of taking care of everything outdoors.
(Roger's wife and four children also live on the mainland and he too gets to see them about once a month.)

Gail is still nursing her tomato plant but it doesn’t look like any tomatoes will ripen before we have to come home.

We have met well over a hundred people during our stay here.  But right now things at the Caribe Island ‘hood’ are winding down and settling into the summer season.   Construction and renovation has finally stopped and it is wonderfully quiet--except for the barking dogs who are in a fenced area behind the condo--right outside our bedroom window.  Gail and I are getting ready to pack our bags and head back to Arkansas.   Only a couple more days—hopefully the rain will have stopped and the warm summer sun will be shining when we get there.  It will be good to see our Arkansas families and friends again.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Saturday Is BBQ Chicken Day

Gail and I headed downtown on our bicycles to do a little shopping.  It was close to lunch time on Saturday and this is the time the Chicken BBQ’ers come out. 

Many of these people do this only one day a week.  They BBQ the chicken ahead of time and merely sell packaged lunches.

Others, who also do this only one day a week, still do it on a bigger scale.  They set up their BBQ grills and cook the chicken on site.

There are always organizations that use this as a fund raiser.
All of the restaurants that serve chicken throughout the week really get into the act on Saturday.

Each BBQ has its own flavor.  Once you find the one you really like better than any of the others, you have to keep track of it.  These places have a tendency to change locations from week to week.  I think it may be on a first come serve basis as far as getting the best locations. 

Gail and I each had a quarter of a chicken with beans and rice, tortillas, and coleslaw.  I had a beer and Gail had a large bottle of Coke.  All of this cost us $12.50 US.

It is wonderful food that is cheap and healthy.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Like every place in Central America, It is not hard to buy souvenirs here. 

Last Saturday we were down town on Front Street and decided to go into one of the souvenir shops. 

Before we opened the door, we were greeted with a shoplifting warning.

You will also note from the sign that they sell Cuban cigars.  These are sold all over the island.  They are illegal to bring into the United States.  It is also illegal for a US citizen to go to Cuba.  It sounded funny to us when our Canadian friends asked if we had ever been to Cuba.  Many of them have been there and say it has beautiful beaches and is a very friendly country.

As we entered the store we were greeted by a display of masks used for wall ornaments.

Central America has a wonderful variety of different kinds of wood and there are many very talented wood carvers.  Most of the things they carve are either wooden bowls or things from the sea—turtles, rays, dolphins, shells, boats, etc.  These sea treasures are also made from coconuts and sea shells.

All of our relatives will be glad to know that t-shirts are plentiful.

This is a very typical souviner store and just one of many.  Tourism is the major "industry" of Belize and the island of Ambergris Caye provides twenty five percent of the countries entire national income.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gettin’ Round—Part Four—Takin’ Care Of Business

On land, the variety of “other” types of vehicles is endless, including the one person Segways.

These are good for the beach as well as the streets. 
Motorcycles are also popular.
One of the major categories of vehicles is those used for business.   Even the motorcycle has been transformed into a delivery vehicle.
We have soda,  water,  and beer delivered to our condo.  It doesn’t cost any extra and we just couldn’t manage on our bicycles.  I guess many people and businesses also have these delivered, because you see the wagons on the street all the time.

And, they have plenty of beer wagons in reserve.

There are vans used as taxis.
There are trucks used to deliver large items that will not fit in a golf cart.
This is a hot water tank being delivered.
The major export from Belize is mahogany.  Not only is it exported but it is the wood of choice here and is used for everything.

There are a lot more motorized vehicles here on the island than we thought there would be.  However, there is a limit on how many are allowed and it is very difficult to get permission to bring on anything new unless you eliminate something old.  Just like they do not allow any “chain” restaurants here, like a McDonald's or Burger King, they are trying to maintain the ambiance of the island by limiting the number of vehicles—and that’s a good thing.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Gettin' Round-Part 3-On The Water

In addition to bicycles and golf carts, there are quite a few other modes of transportation, depending on the need, here on Ambergris Caye.  We have talked about many of them in earlier posts but, there is an endless variety of types of water travel.  When you walk down the beach in town, there are several locations where you can catch a water taxi to the other major islands, to Chetemul, Mexico, and even all the way up to Cancun.

These water taxis hold quite a few people and are quite fast.

Of course there are slower modes of water transportation as well.

Boats come in all sizes and some are much more efficient than others.

There are barges that go by carrying construction material and vehicles.

Although I can’t get a picture, at night, on the horizon, it is quite beautiful watching the lights from the cruise ships. 

These are just a few of the boats that are here on Ambergris Caye.  I am going to miss relaxing on the veranda and watching them go by.