Sunday, May 18, 2014

Chilling on the Beach

Today, we decided to just hang out at the beach all day and just chill. Drank some Belikins, did some swimming, relaxing, and a whole lot of nothing in the sun. It was great! I haven't relaxed like that in a long time. It was a beautiful day. I caught up with a couple of friends who work here at the resort we are staying at, so it was just plain ol' nice.

Now, I know you're thinking, "Poor Jeanie." It's ok. Don't feel sorry for me. I'll be okay. Not a lot of events today to report on. Just doing what everyone should do from time to time...really relaxing. Tomorrow we go to some Maya ruins and caves where they had rituals and sacrifices. It's supposed to be quite the adventure. It's called Actun Tunichil Muknal. I did cave tubing with Phoebe back in October at Ian Anderson's Caves Branch, which was really amazing, so this should be even more adventurous I'm told. So, more tomorrow!

It's a Vacation This Time!!!

So, it's been about 5 months since I posted last and I'm back in Placencia, Belize - this time just for a vacation. I'm spending one week at Robert's Grove with a dear friend from back home in Colorado and one week by myself at Ranguana Lodge in Placencia Village.

This is supposed to be some R & R for me, since I actually don't know what that looks like. My husband has encouraged me to take time for myself - not with Phoebe, not working, but just some peaceful time enjoying some uninterrupted thoughts. We shall see what that looks like!!

After a long day of travel, my friend and I arrived at Robert's Grove last night very tired. We had some dinner and went to bed by 10 p.m., although sleep wasn't granted right away, due to a lot of partying just outside on the beach and loud music. But hey, it's a Saturday and I would have joined right in had I not been so exhausted.

We don't have any set plans today, other than just unwinding and going with the flow!

Last time I came down here to research, live and see what it's like to live and not vacation, and write. This time it's a vacation! I even got my nails done in vacation colors (bordering on gaudy!) to remind myself that it's a vacation this time! I'll post later to see if you can tell if I've actually arrived yet. I mean, am I in vacation mode yet???!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Back in Colorado

Yes, we are back in Colorado, after only one month of trying to see what it's like to live in Belize. I don't feel I failed at all. I just found out a lot in one month. The biggest thing I found out is that I don't choose to be away from Brian for that long. I thought I could do it, but I don't like it and I don't choose it. I learned a lot though, about living there, at least in Placencia. Sure, there's more to know. Lots more to know. But I learned enough to know that I don't choose to do it alone without my husband. Traveling with a special needs child is of course, challenging. I didn't post about that much. But it is. Believe me. I just feel 'comfortable' closer to my husband. I do NOT look forward to the long, cold season ahead here in Colorado. But I'm going to get through it and plan our next step with Brian.

Since I've been back in Colorado (just 48 hours), I've had a terrible headache, dry nose, dry skin, no energy, shortness of breath, etc. Welcome to altitude. I'll adjust. I always do. But I am goaling toward sea level one day.

I don't know if I'll use this blog to continue to post anything relative or not. But this has been a great forum to share some of our experiences with family and friends and not have to write individual letters and send individual pictures, etc. When you're busy exploring and researching, there isn't much time to write sometimes.

At this point, we are just talking about other ideas and thoughts we have about where to live, explore, try......

We know what we like. We've found some of that. We also know what we don't like. We've found some of that too.

Part of the fun is exploring and discovering.

Time together is the most important thing to us, though. It's priceless.

But from the beginning I said, "It's gotta have a beach."

So, onward we go. Meantime, we dream....

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Altun Ha

We went to a Mayan ruins that I've never had the opportunity to visit before. I was excited to get to see this one. It's name is Altun Ha. We went with our Belizean friends, Bob and Alicia and her son, Khuddar.

Altun Ha is a small, yet well-preserved site featuring two large central plazas surrounded by pyramids and mounds. Only a few of the most imposing temples, tombs, and pyramids have been uncovered and rebuilt; hundreds more lie under the jungle foliage. And you should see this jungle! It's amazing in its own right! Many jade, pearl, and obsidian artifacts have been discovered here, including the unique jade-head sculpture of Kinich Ahau (the Mayan sun god), the largest carved jade piece from the Mayan era.

From the top

Yes, she dances everywhere!

We stopped and shopped from some locals. Here's one of them:
Yep. That's how it is.

This kid had a couple of pet crocs that he wanted you to pay him to pet. I had no desire. I gave him $2 BZ to take his photo with one. That was good enough for me.

Last night at the Black Orchid Resort for us. We leave Belize in the morning. It's a long day ahead of us, since our flights were last minute planned. We will be back home early Tuesday morning. Here's a few final photos.

This is the lovely dock on the Belize River at the Black Orchid, where we've been staying the last 3 nights. Tons of wildlife!

The Belize River

Phoebe enjoying yet another pool!

One more beach to show. This one was another one in Placencia.

The Belize Zoo

The Belize Zoo is probably one of the smallest zoos on the planet. But it is one of the most interesting, in spite of the low budget and the fact that it contains ONLY animals found in Belize. The story of the zoo is pretty amazing. In 1983 a woman named Sharon Matola started taking in poor animals who were displaced, injured, or the like, and began taking care of them. It is a wonderful success story and it's about animals. What could be better? It has also become a wildlife education center.
I can't believe how much it has grown and improved since I was there last, a little over four years ago. I
am impressed. 

Before we even left for Belize, Phoebe said she wanted to see toucans. I told her that we might get to, it just all depends upon if you're in the right place at the right time. When we were at Chaa Creek, I heard them (I know what they sound like. They have a very distinct 'croaking' sound) but a huge bamboo was blocking my view to see them. Drat! So...we had to take a trip to the Belize Zoo to be assured of seeing them. Phoebe was delighted! Besides, we would get to see a bunch more native Belizean animals that otherwise we would have missed.
I took tons of photos, but I'll just show some of our favorites.
One of the curious tapirs. The tapir is Belize's national animal. They are pretty big and related to the horse and also the rhinoceros. 

King Vultures...actually very interesting birds.

Cute spider monkey. These are way bigger than the ones I used to be familiar with as a kid. I had a friend who had one for a pet and it wasn't near as big as these are.

These guys are quite the show offs.

Howler monkey. I took photos here, but frankly I got better shots of these guys just in the wild. They were making their crazy noise here at the resort after we got back from the zoo. They sound like lions or tigers. You can hear them from over a mile away. I have some video where you can hear them, but I haven't figured out how to get it on this blog.

Finally! Phoebe gets to see her toucan!

These are the keel-billed toucans, the national bird of Belize.

This is the Toco Toucan. I've seen these in the wild here as well.

A peccary. You can smell them from far away. 

Junior, a star jaguar.

More of Junior. He is so fun to watch. Beautiful.

Showing off. He acts just like my cats at home!

I could have watched him all day.

Lucky Boy, the black jaguar. His story is amazing. I've been following it for over a year now. He came to the zoo looking like he wouldn't make it through the night. He's just beautiful now. This is the best shot I could get, unfortunately. He was hiding in the brush.

A Jobiru Stork - largest in the world. They can be over 5 feet tall!

I took lots more photos. I just know the photos don't do the animals justice, or the zoo for that matter. Most people don't visit zoos when they go on a vacation, but this zoo is not to be missed. I'm so impressed with it. I was disappointed that the scarlet macaws were not cooperating for a photo op this time. They were beautiful. And their story in Belize is amazing as well. There was a lot more I could have showed you, but this is it for the photos on the blog. You'll have to ask to see more if you come and visit me.

Great day at the zoo. We had a great tour guide from the resort we are staying at. His name is Raul and he knows a lot about the animals. He has traveled a lot and always goes to zoos when he is traveling. He made the trip even better!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Under the Sea - Second Largest Barrier Reef in the World

I got SCUBA certified in Belize four years ago. There is so much to explore and it is just positively beautiful. We couldn't go scuba diving today, because we had Phoebe with us and she only wanted to go snorkeling. She doesn't like the tanks, etc. That's fine, because it was a lovely day for snorkeling, calm waters and all, and the cool stuff to look at is not that deep anyway. We did a full day trip, so we had four stops. We saw so much!!!

A bunch of rays

Here we are, ready to go!

Green turtle

Another cool shot of a ray
Phoebe and Daddy

A playful ray with our guide

Mermaid Phoebe

Another shot of a turtle

A good size moray eel

Sharks arguing over a conch

A big one!

Some large tangs getting friendly

A school of tangs I was following.

Another shark. They were all over the place. 

I could post so much more. I took a TON of photos underwater, but these are just some highlights. I wasn't bored, but you could probably get bored looking at all my photos.

It was a great snorkeling trip. We were pretty tired afterward. We went to Rose's BBQ, which is actually a restaurant where they barbeque whatever kind of fish/seafood you choose. It was very good.  I want to come back to Caye Caulker. It's pretty chill.