Friday, July 20, 2012

Just Some Noah-isms

If, for nothing other than posterity, I need to record some of Noah's funny sayings lately!  Accompanied by some recent photos at Samantha's house. :)

One day, Jeremy was using the blender while Noah was watching a movie.  I guess he got tired of the ruckus interrupting his show, because he shouted, "Stop noising, Daddy!"

In another example of Noah creating new verbs, we stopped to get gas the other day and Noah was waiting in his car seat with the windows rolled down.  He must have been tired of waiting because he shouted at me, "Quit gassing, Mommy!"  

Going down the aisle in the grocery store this week, Noah was struggling with the beginnings of snotty nose. Snotty noses are one of his biggest pet peeves.  He yells, for everyone to hear, "STTOOOOOOP, boogers!!"

You may have noticed that our boy is a little bossy.  He doesn't quite understand yet that inanimate objects, such as trains, or boogers, do not follow his commands.  It is so hard to learn that we are not the center of a universe that we own and control.  :)

That same day in the grocery store, we had this conversation:
Noah: "Mommy...I hear your nose."
Me: "My nose? How do you hear my nose?"
Noah: "I hear your boogers."
I'm pretty sure he couldn't.  This post is becoming less than flattering.

He is quite the little encourager though.  He loves to shout, "YAY, Mommy!!  You go pee-pee!" for me everytime I use the bathroom.

This kid definitely keeps us laughing!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Under the Belizean Sun

So Jeremy and I planned a little getaway for our 5th anniversary.  A second honeymoon, if you will.  And here are 60+ pictures of our time in Belize! ;)

So I found an offer on Groupon for 4 nights at a resort in Belize.  We checked it out on Trip Advisor and the ratings seemed to be good.  And the list of activities was so extensive, I thought we'd be booked solid during our 3 full days. didn't quite work out like that.  And Jeremy doesn't want me buying Groupons for anything anymore. :)

So we sent Noah off to Arkansas for a visit with his Mamaw and Papaw, and, as a bonus, his Aunt Mandi and cousins Dominick and Sophia, who were visiting too.  We flew out of Dallas to Belize City, and then hopped the tiny plane to Dangriga, Belize.  Off we go!
The Barclays waiting at the Belize City Airport.  Jeremy thinks smiling isn't cool.
I had to include this.  Our boarding pass for Maya Island Air was just a handwritten, photocopy of a copy. :)

Our 12-man plane.  (Well 13, if you count the co-pilot's seat.)

Better drink up before this flight!

Where the river meets the sea!

Cannot remember the names of these fruits, it was kind of weird.  But Jeremy said they were good!

The ripe ones I took with us and never tasted :(

Orange trees!  There were fruit tree orchards everywhere!  Our driver said Belize grows 12 different varieties of mango.

After the 2 flights, and a 30 minute drive on a red-dirt, washed-out, pothole-ridden road at 5 mph, we arrived in Hopkins at our resort, Belizean Dreams.  You'd think the tourism board would encourage the government to take care of some roads!
The view from our first room at Belizean Dreams Resort.

View of restaurant, pool, bar, and beach from our first room.

These "fan plants" (not sure of real name) are so cool and grow to be huge.

Had to include the bathroom shot because I loved the sinks and want to put some in my own home one day! it's not Carnival exactly.

Our first trip to the beach.  We learned that apparently the inland shores are mostly like Texas beaches. The sand is the consistency of fine gravel.

After checking out the beach, we ate dinner at the hotel restaurant, where we paid $80 for shrimp and rice, as Jeremy likes to say. :)
The next morning the water was smooth like glass and extremely clear.  Better!

The morning felt like the hottest part of the day!  The high may only be 87 in Belize but it feels worse than 100 in Austin. On the beach, you can catch a cool breeze coming off the water, but otherwise it feels like a jungle out there!

If you know me, you will not believe this but, I never got in this water above my ankles, not even once.

This was the only day where the water was clear and the waves were not crazy.  However, the jellyfish were out of control, so nobody got in for most of the day. On other days, we know of 2 people getting stung.  Lime and vinegar, FYI.

The iguana chilla under our villa ;)

I have to say that I am in love with this pool.  Perfect temperature, perfect shade of blue...and the scenery not bad either.  I now want an infinity pool for my backyard.
During our first day we met a group of folks staying at our hotel who had been around for a few days and knew the lay of the land.  They gave us some tips and were kind enough to let us hang out with them some too.

We walked down the beach for an excellent 4-course dinner at reasonable prices.  We literally watched the fishermen drive their boat up to the pier and sell the catch of the day to the chef.

And I had to photograph the foliage, of course.

Something growing on a palm tree.

Bird of Paradise, I think.
On Thursday night, we said adios to our new friends from Enid, OK with a dinner at Driftwood Pizza, a fun little beach bar with some amazing pizza.  I should have taken my camera!  The only pic we have was from an iphone and I can't figure out how to get it from Facebook to here.  But I'll never forget the ladies working the dough in the kitchen and only the breeze coming in from the ocean...since there was no AC...and the 250 mosquito bites I got.

Yippee!  On Friday, our last day, we figured out how to hire someone to take us out snorkeling at the reasonable price of $60 per person.  Our new buddies from Ohio joined us.  We drove down to the marina, where Patrick and his young co-captain, Jason, took us down the jungle-lined river and out the mouth onto the open sea!

Too cool.

Watching for crocodiles and manatees the whole time.

A picture of Patrick, unfortunately I don't think I got Jason.

Jeremy and Jim, one of our new buddies, as we skimmed along the river.  Once we got out on the sea, the waves were super choppy and I had to bury the camera and hold onto Jeremy for dear life!

Our only pic from my camera.  Oh wait...there's a little Jason behind us.

JB snorkeling.

Belize is flanked by the second largest barrier reef in the world.  Something like 184 miles of it.  And we LOVE to snorkel!

The water is AMAZING around the reef.

Patrick took us to one of the tiny cayes (they pronounce it "keys") on our way back in.

The edges were lined with thousands of conch shells!  Still kicking myself for not stealing one!

The lonely inhabitant.

Well, except for about a million hermit crabs.

Look, I picked up a starfish!
Phil picked up a starfish too.

These were taken with Jeremy's replacement Kodak underwater camera after the last one got tanked in Anguilla.  For some reason, he only took videos while we snorkeled, so no fish pics to share.
Jeremy landed me in the co-pilot's chair for the flight back to Belize City.  A little nerve-wracking honestly.  Like, why is the pilot writing notes while the plane is in the air?  Why does he keep consulting the manifest?  Shouldn't I need to see over the dash?

No matter what I do, I cannot get this photo rotated correctly on here.  But I can't leave it out.  In Anguilla, it was Kuba.  In Belize, I found Amarula.  Oh, Amarula...

In review, I enjoyed our trip.  Jeremy absolutely hates to relax, but I don't mind a little of that.  He doesn't read, but if his body is not in motion, his brain must be.  We were spoiled by Anguilla, is what it boils down to.  We were disappointed by the beach at the resort, but it seems you have to go out onto the cayes to find any white-sand, crystal-clear, turquoise-water beaches that we crave.  The resort was physically fine, and the staff were incredibly nice people, but it seems that the management is a bit brainlessly greedy.  When we arrived, we were told that the snorkeling/island hopping expedition would be $170 per person....but they would go down to $120 if we had a large enough group.  That ticked Jeremy off and we never even asked the price of the other expeditions.  We missed out on all the jungle stuff, unfortunately: zipline, hiking, waterfalls, cave tubing. The Hamanasi Resort next door was taking people out for $75 per person, I believe.  (By the way, it was beautiful and the restaurant was great, with much better prices!).  The resort posts no prices online.  They don't even have a dinner menu, so you never get prices upfront.  They advertise Wi-Fi but you can only get it if you stay very close to the restaurant.  No TVs provided in the 1-bedroom villas either, so you can imagine JB's consternation. ;)  When we got home, Jeremy wrote his review of the resort on Trip Advisor and I immediately began receiving phone calls (4 voicemails and 1 email in 2 days, nevermind that I couldn't get a return email or phone call at ALL before we arrived) so I gave the lady Jeremy's phone number.  He expected her to ask him to remove the review, or apologize but he instead listened to her argue for 30 minutes and hardly got a word in.  Had she been polite about it at all, he probably would have removed the negative review.

All in all, I would go back to Belize, for the reef and cayes alone... if I can't get back to Anguilla for some reason. :) Definitely stay on the cayes if you can afford to do so.  Otherwise, you just have to pay somebody to take you out to visit anyway.