When we moved to the Island, I signed up and prepared for rain. For the first two winters I smugly wore my raincoat while friends and family wore parkas in Alberta. The joke was on me when the first huge snowfall hit in early December, and it took me five days to find a store that even had a shovel!
Whether it was a premonition of things to come or simply the desire to return to Belize and reconnect with old friends while soaking up the sun, we booked a winter holiday months before the first snowflake fell.
It has been 6 years since we were in San Pedro on Ambergris Caye, and we saw how some things were just as we left it, but in other ways we saw that time did not stand still.
|Flying into San Pedro with the reef in the distance|
|Roger walking along "The Cut" and looking at the toll bridge that connects the south part of the island with the newly developed north part of the island.|
|In 2003, there was a hand pulled ferry to take people across The Cut.|
|We had 6 weeks of beautiful blue skies|
|Another damaged dock|
|Roger and Frank in 2006|
On our first trip to Belize, we met Sara and Bob Morris from Chrisman, Illinois. They had come 30 years before with their 3 kids when they took a mystery trip with a travel club. On the island they are known as Sarita and Dr. Bob (he is a retired vet) and both have made a huge impact.
The first time we saw them, they were 70 years old and walked by us in their wet suits as they jumped on a boat to go scuba diving. Sara and Bob became role models to us. They were the first people we met who had an adventurous spirit and it gave us the confidence to find our own path as we looked for adventure. They are revered...they are respected....and they are loved.
|We spent many hours chatting while we were in Belize this year|
|Sara and Bob love to dance - especially to the music of the island's popular duo, Will and Dale who play at Ramon's. |
Roger gave in and agreed to do his "one dance a year" quota. Guess that's it for 2017.
|Bob and Sara dancing in 2006|
|Christmas Day 2003|
Some of Sara and Bob's family were visiting, and Anette and Brad were there too
|Sadly, their cottage has been bought and sold a couple of times, but has not been cared for.|
We were invited to Ken and Jenny Osterman's house one Sunday where we were joined with David and MaryAnn Wine. There, we learned how to make shrimp fried rice from the daughter of the woman who used to own and cook at the Jade Garden restaurant. I doubt if I can replicate it, but it was absolutely delicious and a lot of fun.
|Left to right: Ken, Jenny, Roger, David and MaryAnn|
Sara and Bob hosted a wonderful cocktail party so their friends could meet their son, Bobby, his two kids Matt and Jennifer, and Matt's girlfriend, Ally who were visiting for a few days.
|Sara and MaryAnn sharing a laugh with Lucky the one eyed cat|
Sadly, Lucky was hit by a vehicle just a couple of weeks after the party, and had to be euthanized.
|Left to right: Heather, MaryAnn, Sara and Vonni|
Roger loves to fish, and went out a couple of times -- catching everything from an abundance of snapper to a shark!
|Jenny and Burrell Wolsey from DeWinton, Alberta are long time friends|
|Burrell and Roger caught a huge number of snapper that the captain filleted for us. Delicioso!|
|The first mate throwing out a net to catch bait|
In addition to snorkeling at the end of the Yacht Club's dock, we went to the popular Shark Ray Alley and Hol Chan Marine Park. There was a great variety of fish and we saw: moray eels, stingrays, parrot fish, lion fish, groupers, sharks, hard sided jacks, angel fish....and so much more.
It's always an adrenaline rush being close to sharks - even if they are relatively harmless nurse sharks. The guide chummed the water, and while I was in the water they went into a feeding frenzy. They were much larger than the last time I snorkeled there --- some were 10 ft long. It was exciting and it felt good not to be scared.
|Sharks in a feeding frenzy. |
I had to try not to bump into them as the guide warned getting close to their mouths might get us bitten.
|Hanging out on the dock. Life is good.|
|We tried to eat healthy meals so BBQ'd often. This feast of lobster tails and grilled vegetables was a favorite.|
|My favorite time of the day was having a cup of coffee on our patio watching the sun rise.|
As it turns out, we don't have long to wait for our next trip and our mantra,"Seize the Day" is repeated. Brad and Anette asked if we'd like to join them and Magnus on Valve's annual employee trip to Hawaii in late March. Hell yes, we'd love to go! We are staying at the Fairmont Orchid on the Big Island and plan on taking a helicopter ride to see an active volcano, snorkel with turtles and have fun as a family.
Just try to wipe the smile off my face.
"A good life is a series of happy moments."