Mr. Chan drove us to Placencia on the beautiful Hummingbird Highway, which was lined with orange groves and banana trees. Earlier in the week he'd stopped by the market and taught me that green oranges are actually tastier than orange ones (fact), and I bought eight for 50 cents. When we arrived in Placencia, a more touristy, beach village on a eight-mile peninsula, we said our goodbyes and posed for a few pictures, which he wants for his Facebook.
We stayed at the Laru Beya Resort which we found to be much less friendly and accommodating compared to our last four days in San Ignacio. Plus we had a room adjoining someone's kitchen, and they liked digging through an ice machine at 6 a.m. Luckily, our routine seemed to be sleeping by 9 p.m. and up by 5:30 a.m.
We only did one tour - a boat ride and hike to Monkey River where we saw howler monkeys that had deafening howls (true to their name) when the guides pounded machetes against their trees. On the way back we saw lots of birds, manatees and dolphins.
The rest of our trip we spent by the pool or biking the four miles into town to grab cheaper dinner or Tutti Frutti gelato. Total miles biked: 16.
And other than sweat pouring into our eyes, there were other biking hazards:
I wish I could tell you about all the great food we ate but really, if it weren't for the baby belly, I'm pretty sure I would have lost 10 pounds. We drank water and ate Luna bars more regularly than good meals. Traditional Belize food is rice and beans with chicken or beef, which is good for two meals tops. A nice grounds keeper at the hotel, noticing my round tummy, cut down a coconut to drain the water for me because of its extreme health benefits.
The disappointing service and food made us miss San Ignacio (and home!) but it was hard to argue with the scenery.
And my 20/21 week belly shot, which I'd like to point out significantly grew in eight days.
We had to take a small, teeny tiny plane to get back to the Belize City airport, which had laminated boarding passes (confidence booster). The entire time the baby was kicking me, and I was motion sick and bargaining with God. But we landed in one piece.
Our final and completely unexpected memory was Jet's Bar at the airport. He's famous, all 4'5 of him. And prides himself in taking pictures with women while shoving his head into their chest. The dozens of pictures around the bar prove it.
And, you know, just for fun:
Sadly the biggest problem I have with this sign is the random capitalization. But it does beg the question, who is flushing toilets with their feet so much that it's creating a noticeable problem worthy of a sign?
When we got to Atlanta Monday night, I may or may not have eaten half a large pizza.
All in all, we loved Belize. I can't tell you I'd go back because I don't like repeating trips. Most tourists go to the cayes for snorkeling and scuba diving. But alas, we are both terrified of deep water so we chose culture, relaxation (and apparently a lot of exercise) and excursions instead. It was a good choice for us.
Bottom line, we got to be together for nine days without interruption, which has pretty much never happened. And probably won't happen again for a very long time. We just celebrated everyday as a family of two. I loved it so much that I cried on the plane home because when the wheels touched the ground it meant work, cooking, cleaning, packing moving boxes, and spending at least eight hours apart every day.
But I think we're ready now to be a family of three. But in four months... don't rush me yet!