It is OFFICIAL – I finally left the country after getting my passport a year and a half ago. And this was definitely one for the books. I’ll have to break this up into a few posts only because a lot does happen over a week span, even if it’s just laying on the beach, drinking cocktails, and reading a book.

Monday, July 21, 2014 

Traveling to Belize was a two day experience but well worth it. I worked a partial day and headed to the airport in time for lunch and some cocktails. Of course, the only way to start a vacation is with a little delayed flight. That meant one more cocktail before boarding. 

My AWESOME friend, Jeremy, hooked me up with first class seats for all three flights to Belize City, and I made sure I had a “first class” flight on our small plane to the island the next day.

In the past, when I’ve had dinner on a plane it usually consisted of something in a plastic container, and not quite good or edible. I was happily surprised with the great service I received on our long flight from San Fran to Houston. If the opportunity presents itself, choose first class:

  • Hot towel to wash hands and face
  • Glass of wine (or other choice beverage) and warm mixed nuts for an appetizer
  • Steak, mashed potatoes, veggies, side salad, and a roll for dinner
  • Warm chocolate chip cookie for desert

It was an awesome first time experience …. maybe I’ll have to add that to my bucket list.

We had to catch a later flight in San Francisco to Houston, putting us in an hour later than planned, which really only meant one hour less of sleep. 

We made it into Houston after 11pm not long after Heidy arrived from Denver, making us the most excited foursome to be traveling that late at night. I’m sure we all had a hard time sleeping with the excitement.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

It was a full day that seemed to go on and on and on which made for an amazing first experience will of new adventures and experiences. 

Early morning wake up call in Houston after only a few hours of tossing and turning on a hide-a-bed, to catch a shuttle back to the hotel. Our flight out of Houston was at 8 something but we had to recheck bags and make sure everything was good since we were flying international. Of course that left us with over an hour to spare an found a nice spot for some breakfast and a early morning mimosa. 

Onto the plane we go – Thanks to Jeremy my awesome friend I am fortunate to have a front row first class seat with drinks, and a great view of Belize City and the surrounding area as we approach. 

A couple of hours, a cup of coffee, and some mock-mimosas later, and we land on foreign soil and I can officially cross of “Leave the Country” on my bucket list.

It’s a strange experience going through the motions of arriving in a different country. We go through well traversed and concrete walkways to get our passports checked. Really it’s simple, nothing to stress over but you still can’t help wondering if the white blonde girl stands out like a sore thumb. 30 seconds later and two questions and there’s an official stamp in the passport saying that I’m allowed to stay here for a whole month if I so choose.

Claim our bags, and then off to custom to make sure we aren’t bringing in wine or cigarettes in my case. And then we’re off to the next ticket counter for Tropic Air to hop on a plane from Belize City to Ambergris Caye.

We are all set, bags are checked and we’re walking through in the possible search for a quick cocktail in the 20 minutes we have, plus a quick stop at the bathroom, and suddenly there’s Kaycee and Travis in the boarding area just waiting to get on their flight back to the United States. 

Not much time to chat and suddenly we are boarding a tiny plane with a little group of people in addition to us, and everything happens so quick that before you know it you are up in the air flying over the ocean again with a pilots view and waves crashing below you. Not at all as scary as one might think with flying in a little plane. And they honestly do land those things so much smoother than the big jets it felt like. By this time I cannot wait to get out of jeans (my go to travel wear) and put on a swim suit and never take it off. 

It didn’t take long to get settled in our humble abode for the next week, put our feet in the water, and unpack. We skipped next door to our first neighborhood bar for our first Belikin (the beer of Belize), Rum Punch, and a tasty snack.

Not long after some relaxing time on the patio, our first storm blew in, shaking the trees and covering the island in lots of rain. We would later find out, this would not be the worst storm we would encounter, but it had us holed up in the house for a bit.

Once the rain subsided, we headed out in search of food and hopes that we wouldn’t get caught in rain on the way. It was still mid-80s with an 80% humidity even after all that so we didn’t fear the cold. We stopped at Wet Willy’s, not too far down the road and had ordered our food and were on our first round of cocktails, listening to the waves and hearing the slow trickle of rain coming in when suddenly the music stopped and we were thrust into darkness. One quick look outside told us the rest of the island was in darkness as well. Turns out that was the first big storm of the season and it usually induces a power outage briefly. Good think our food was cooking on a gas stove. 

Bellies full, iPhone flashlights in hand, we started making the trek down the dock from the restaurant and towards “home”. It wasn’t far before the island burst back into brightness with power to light our way. It definitely started off the trip with a bang!