Sunday, July 18, 2010


Oh what's that you say? You'd like to see many, many pictures from my vacation? Well you're in luck!

Last Saturday Joey and I packed up, bringing as little as possible because we knew we would be moving around the country a bit.

and we left early, early Saturday morning, went through Miami, and arrived in Belize.

I know its weird, but it wasn't until this point that it seemed real that we were actually going on our honeymoon. Maybe because it was so belated, or maybe because this trip had been in the works for almost a year - I was so excited to see the ocean and the beach from the airplane.

Rental cars in Belize are something else. They're almost all standard transmission, and they're old. Since most of the roads aren't paved, they've been through a lot. We got a Suzuki Jimny. That's right, Jimny, not Jimmy. In the rental car shop (which was the size of my dental operatory) I joked with Joey that I wanted "the blue one." Well...little did I know it was my lucky day!

And I must say, I got a little worried when the rental car lady showed us where the tools were... but fortunately we didn't need them.  There were parts of the drive though were I wasn't sure how this thing held itself together... it was pretty durable.


There was one radio station. It played the kind of music that Borat would have liked, and it was awesome. I want to say that it was accordian based, but its hard to say. Joey wants to find a CD... maybe if he's lucky he'll get it for his 30th birthday in October!

So we arrived at Chaa Creek in the Cayo district after a couple of hours on the road. Most of it was paved, so it wasn't like the video the whole time.


 It was amazing. We had a room/cottage with a pilapa/thatched roof.


We swam and relaxed after we got in.

I have a bathing suit on, its just strapless, and its my swimdress, my favorite one.

Sometimes your husband wants to wake up at like, 5 am and go for a riverwalk in the rainforest.

So usually I'm down for an early morning, its just that I hadn't had coffee yet. Joey loved the early morning wilderness... which is so funny, because usually at home I have to drag him out of bed... but not in Belize. He was ready to go!

So our first full day we went to Actun Tunichil Muknal, or the ATM cave. It was amazing, and a bigger adventure than I ever thought I would do. I had a blast. We have tons of great pictures on the waterproof camera that I'll upload later.

The second day we went to Tikal, in Guatemala.

Ohhh Wat-a-mala. It was kind of awesome. And not just because I got another stamp in my passport. We rode through some beautiful countryside.

So then we got to Tikal in the jungle.

This path was made by leaf-cutter ants.

And we saw some of these little creatures:

At this point you're probably wondering, 'where on earth did you get all of those awesome honeymoon clothes?' Well, I'll tell you! Tank - Old Navy, sports bra - Target, shorts - Luke's, Amphibious shoes - EMS.

It was amazing.

We saw these people dressed in white doing some kind of prayer or ritual thing. At first I thought they were pretty weird, until we made friends with them on top of this temple. We took their picture for them, and they took one of us.

In other news, doesn't Joe look handsome?

This one was pretty high, but not too hard to climb. Its hard to appreciate how tall it is in the pictures. Nonetheless, I'm afraid of heights, so getting up the stairs, which was really more of a ladder, scared me a bit.
Here I am getting a little encouragement from a girl on her way down as I started up. She told me the view was worth it, or something like that, I don't know, I was kind of freaking out.

On the way down one of the ladies dressed in white told me to ask the God of the Temple for strength, and well, here I am at the bottom after the last landing!

We hiked through the jungle a little more and saw, but mostly heard, the howler monkeys. I love animals, but these little things make a noise that you wouldn't believe can come from such a small creature. It made me think they were going to come down from the trees and attack us. I was like, actually afraid. I don't know how I was the only one freaking out.

Our guide started calling to them, and Joey was laughing at me, but I mean, well, I don't know, I can't help it. I'm a wimp.

So I thought the other temple was high, but then we came upon this one above.

So this is the temple, and that's the ladder you can use to climb it there on the left.

Those little specks are people. So then we climbed on up.
I didn't look up or down while climbing, I just kept saying "left foot, right foot," and looking straight ahead... trying not to freak out if I heard the wood creaking. At one point I called up to Joey, who had already bravely scaled up the side of this thing, and asked him how far I was along. When he said "half-way," I had a momentary freak out, because I knew I was both really high up, and still had a really long way to go. On the landing to the next part of the ladder I crawled to the next ladder segment instead of standing up, which made our poor guide nervous. He kept yelling up "you OK? you OK?" So, in the future I'll refrain from checking in.  But sure enough I got to the top!

So I started laughing with relief, then I cried for about 8 seconds out of fear. Then I was OK. The view was incredible.

I got just a titch crabby when it was almost time to go back and I got afraid of the ladder again. I was worried because I knew there were people coming up as we were sitting there, and I wasn't sure if I was more afraid to pass them on the ladder or at the top of the temple.

So then we took a little break as we enjoyed a short torrential downpour. Good thing about those amphibious shoes!
Here I am with our guide at our impromptu happy hour. It felt so good to take a rest and drink a delicous Watamalean brew.

Soon it cleared up, and we continued through the jungle. We saw some ruins that weren't fully excavated, and then it was easier to appreciate how Tikal went undiscovered until fairly recently.

These trees were growing on the back part of the structure, and it was completely covered.

All in all it was an awesome day.

We travelled back to the border and back to Chaa Creek. We had an awesome dinner, than my favorite drink of the trip - a banana daquiri. Delicious!

The next day went Blancaneaux, which is Francis Ford Coppola's resort in the Pine Forest Reserve. We were back in the Jimny and we were off!

The resort was beautiful, and it had a really peaceful vibe. And no you're not mistaken, that is a jean skirt! They put us in a villa at no extra cost because it was our honeymoon. I love them.

It had this shellphone that we could use to communicate with the main lodge.


The grounds were beautiful.

So we decided to go on a horseback ride through the jungle to the waterfalls. The horses were in the stables on the resort.

Oh. my. gosh. The horses were so beautiful. First we got to see the little colts and feed them hay.

Ahh! So precious.

Then we got on our trusty steeds. Here is my Joe Joe with his horse, Charlie.
My knight on his white horse.

And I had my best horse, Lightning. They named him "Lightning" because he's a very fast walker. My kindred spirit!

Don't mind the brown yoga pants, they were the only long pants I brought. Oh what's that, you want me to recount my amazing honeymoon outfit again? Oh its no trouble at all! Top - American Apparel, pants - Whole Earth. And off we were!

So we got to the part where we had to hike down to the waterfall.

Then of course we swam in it. Joey and our guide, Oscar swam all the way into the waterfall. I'm going to need remedial swim lessons before I can take that on, the current was crazy strong. It was one of the best days of my life, so amazing.

Then on the way back Lightning went directly back to his stall without stopping to let me off. He self parks just like the new Ford Escape!

Man, I loved, loved, loved Blancaneaux. I must have told Joey 300 times that if ever I lose my mind and he can't find me, I'd be there, feeding Lightning hay and riding him through the rainforest.

So then we had a fantastic dinner at the lodge, complete with some Coppola wine that they gave us since we were on our honeymoon. Did I mention that I love that place?

Oh no, that isn't taken on the same night as the picture before, I just happened to wear that dress again. I wore it three times on the trip... it held up pretty well!

Well, the horseback riding was so nice we did it twice! Joey is such a good sport. Since I loved it so much the first time Joey agreed to go in the morning for a sunrise ride through the rainforest.

Same horses, same guide, Oscar! I can't tell you how happy I was to have Lightning again, it was ridic.

Here we are in the pine forest.

Then into the jungle
In the jungle we went down some pretty steep hills and went through streams, and jumped up rock cliffs. It was so cool. When we were were cantering back through the pine forest Lightning decided to take off and start running full speed. I wasn't sure how fast we were going, because the cantering already seemed pretty fast to me... but then I realized Oscar and Joey weren't with me anymore. As it turns out when Lightning started running Oscar slowed his horse (Sassy) and Joey and Charlie because he didn't want Lightning to think they were racing, because he would have started going even faster. I got him to stop after about 30 seconds... and Oscar and Joey were wayyy back. Then after that cantering was no big deal! Oscar said when there aren't any tours to do they take the horses out and exercise them by finding new trails in the rainforest or racing through the fields. He really loved the horses and knew all their little quirks. Like Lightning doesn't like to be behind another horse when you have to go single file, he wants to be in front. He probably doesn't like to have his speed limited, God bless him, I can understand that.

Then we had breakfast back at the lodge

Before we had to pack up and head out to Ambergis Caye.

I'm rocking my jean skirt again.

Joey was taking in the screen part of our villa. It had two bedrooms, the one above, and then another one on the other side of the indoor/outdoor porch. We used this one as the getting ready room, and the other one as the sleeping room. It felt very VIP.

So we drove back toward Belize City where the airport is... because we were taking a small plane to the beach.


Well, we were just conquering my biggest fears right and left on this trip!

But then we got to Victoria House and I was ready for the beach and a cocktail.

Then later that afternoon we went snorkeling. Well, I went snorkeling, Joey was scuba diving.

Here I am, a real pro. Not really, I'm a terrible swimmer but luckily the salt water helps with buoyancy.

Then we met up with the scuba group and went out to this place where the sharks hang out. Then everyone got off the boat to swim with the sharks. Well, except me... I'm not crazy.

Later that night we went out and had some delicious Belikin beer, and we danced to some live music. So fun.

We got up bright and early the next morning to go reef fishing. We caught a lot of fish, mostly snapper.

Then our fisherman guide Leonardo cleaned some of them and we ate them for lunch. It was the best fish I ever had.

The next day was our last full day in Belize, so we relaxed and talked about everything we'd done and seen, and read our books. So wonderful.

Here I am all posey pose-pose before our last dinner on vacay, wearing my MVP item of the trip, my trusty jean skirt.

I had such a great time, and I'm so proud of Joey for planning such an amazing trip. I did things I never thought I could do. Most of all, it was wonderful to spend so much time with Joey.