Saturday, March 1, 2014

Last night I dreamt of San Pedro

Most years we’ve been lucky enough to escape the dog days of winter for just long enough to remember what heat feels like. A week ago we returned from Ambergris Caye, Belize. It was the best vacation we’ve ever had.

Oh, the warm, hibiscus-and-ocean air! The shocking green of the water; herons always, endlessly overhead; the lilting flow of Belizean conversation slipping seamlessly between Kriol, English, Spanish, and Mayan.

Every morning we did some activity, returning to our hotel to watch the Olympics in the heat of the day: figure skating, hockey, or whatever else was on.

We fished with the pelicans, catching as fast as we could cast; red snapper, mackerel, strawberry grouper. Our guide filleted for us as much as we could eat, and the restaurant at our hotel cooked them for our lunch.

We snorkeled among sea fans, brain coral, varieties of turtles and fish and a Moray eel. When our guide took us to Shark Ray Alley, Cal and I stayed out of the water.

We had breakfasts of eggs with peppers and onions, rice and beans with tortillas, and sugary fry bread. We ate our first Salvadorean food on the island, our first fried conch.

One evening we ate pulled pork sandwiches at a beachside café while the boys played bocce ball.

I saw my first orange grove and learned that allspice is a tree. I regret not keeping a piece of its fragrant bark.

Following the lead of our guide, walking through rain forest, Alexi ate a few termites. According to the two of them, they have a lingering flavor of mint.

We took a short ride on a hand-cranked ferry, operated by Mennonites, to get to the Mayan ruins at Xunantunich. Abbott and Cal helped crank it. At the ruins, we watched howler and spider monkeys until we were too hot to watch anymore. Afterward, we went cave tubing.

I could still taste the Johnny cakes we ate on the plane when we got home.


Jess said...

Do you wish you had tried the termites?

Eve said...

Beautiful, exotic...I can feel the heat from here!
Are you always doing things with a guide? How do you find them?
Thank you for the travel through your photos...
Eve (and the chili was a hit!)

Purple Flowers said...

Hi Lecia: I always look forward to your posts. So glad you and your family were able to get away from the winter. You needed some sunshine.
The photos are great,and what's even better is that you and your husband are creating memories in your children's memory banks. So great!!

Lecia Phinney said...

Jess: Thank you! And no, I will never voluntarily eat a termite.

Eve: The concierge at our hotel arranged the guides for our activities. We do most of our vacation research on Trip Advisor. So glad to hear about the chili!

Purple Flowers: xoxo!

noreen said...

I'm so happy you got away and enjoyed the sunshine! It's snowing here now, and we're bundled up in front of the fire. Your photos are beautiful as always!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Your photos are always so stunning. You inspire me! You have such a talent for So happy you had such a good time.

Lecia Phinney said...

Thanks, Noreen - stay warm! xo

Thank you, Kelleyn. xoxo

Hannah said...

Oh wow, that trip sounds amazing. Looks like it worked really well with the kids, too. Once mine are just a little bit older .... In the meantime, I'll have to journey vicariously through your photos. Beautiful.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Looks absolutely wonderful, Lecia.

margaux said...

love your writing! what was the name of your hotel? we're planning a 40th bday party for next january. ( :