Monday, April 4, 2016

Belize's blue-green waters call us to them for the next week

San Pedro, Belize is said to be the island town that inspired Madonna to write the song "La Isla Bonita."

We are staying on "the beautiful island" at Nellie's Paradise Villas next to the Caribbean Ocean in four cozy and fun condos that are surrounded by palm trees, a great and not trashy pool for the kids right in front of our rooms, a fruit stand and much more on the city side, and sunny 80-degree days all around.

The four kids here are keeping each other occupied and were all easygoing on the long trip here. We woke at 3:45 Saturday morning to catch an American Airlines flight to Charlotte and then Belize City. After waiting in long immigration lines and for quite a while for a taxi (because a bicycle race had supposedly made it difficult for cars to get to the airport), we made it just in time to our boat. This was not a luxury liner. We piled into an enclosed and crowded float that powered us across the sea for a little over an hour to San Pedro.

When we arrived, the beach was jammed with Easter Holiday vacationers from all over Belize. There were massive speakers blaring on the beach as crowds pulsed around our luggage carts. I forced my way to our bags, threw them in a golf cart for some Nellie's workers to take for us, and walked along the beach to get to our new home for the week.

From that point on, which by now was about 12 hours from the time we woke up back in Takoma Park, it was all laid back ease. And still relatively early in our day because Belize is Central Standard Time and doesn't recognize daylight savings time, meaning we gained two hours from the East Coast.

We've been sitting by the pool, walking along the beach, and eating and drinking at the three places right next to Nellie's. Melt has very friendly waiters and a little bar that's nice to pull up a chair to and watch the surf and the American politics on the TV. Palaba is the bar with live music and delicious seafood that can be seen in all the Google Image searches because of its thatched roof at the end of a pier into the blue green waters and tubes to float in with your beers. And The Sandbar turns into a dance club at night where we can get 6-pack buckets of Belikin for $12.50US and where we watched North Carolina roll into the Final Four over Notre Dame (woo hoo).

I've had some amazing peel and eat shrimp at Palaba and last night's fancy dinner several blocks away at El Patio hit on all cylinders, included fresh seafood like conch and shrimp in a spicy white coconut curry, mouth-watering ceviche, and ice-cream-like key lime pie.

Now, why am I sitting here eating fresh papaya, pineapple, and tangerines?  The pool awaits.


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