Saturday, December 30, 2006

Back Home

Arrived home at 4:30 am this morning. Only one lost bag, and 3 1/2 hours of delays, but we are all safe and sound.

Time to unpack, and start updating our blog. We have plenty of pictures, tons of memories and some great expirences to share.

Please keep checking, we all hope you enjoyed our trip and our stop in Belize.

C- Out!

Dream Of The Sea Sunrize

Be sure and click on the pictures for a bigger view.

Your Table Is Ready!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Water Fun!

We just came in from an amazing day of water fun. It took us about 2 hours to get everything figured out, and still all stayed in good! Erica got her crash course in her diving gear from our favorite dive instructor. We gals dressed in our beautiful lycra wet suits... nope, NO pictures... and we were off on our adventure. By the time we walked to the pier, Chico was doubled over laughing because he thought he had just seen 3 mermaids. He continued to walk with us the rest of the way, laughing continuously. Oh, and have I mentioned we're known around here as Charlie's Angels? Hahahaha...yeah, it's true, we are! Anyway, It took us a bit longer to figure out how to get all of us and all of our gear into our kayaks. Emily and I were in one kayak pulling the kayak full of the diving gear. Erica and Charlie each had their own. And we were off! Emily and I were going to be snorkling, pulling the kayaks over the to keep any boats away from us. We still saw plenty...Emily got to see a sting ray and I just enjoyed seeing it all the beauty that's down there. It's really incredible, but I think I've mentioned that before. I would have to say, for me the most interesting thing would have been as I got back in the kayak and Emily got in, we were pretty impressed with ourselves for being able to board with no steps...and I looked down in time to see a little crab, scurrying toward my crotch. I thought I was being very cool, trying to get it out with the oar, but then next thing I know, it's under me and I quietly said a word as I dumped us out of the kayak. Sheesh! I did later find out, from Chico...who was still laughing ridiculously...that I might have said that word a little louder than I thought since he heard it from the pier. :) It's time for our last supper at the palapa, and tonight we're having grouper with coconut gravy. Yippeeee! Charlie's going to fill you in on the under water activities that took place in a little bit. And, we'll add our last few pictures as well. I better go, Erica's screaming like a girl because a lizard just ran out of her suitcase.


Departure Eve! :(

Today is looking to be another perfect day. Charlie is in town now, Erica is in the pool (surprise!) and Emily and I have been washing the conch shells we have been collecting. When he gets back, we’re going to dive and snorkel right off the shore. It’s hard to believe in 24 hours we’ll be packing to leave this paradise.

More later!

Or maybe I should say V-out! hehe

The View from the Girls

After dropping Charlie off for his diving adventure, the girls were getting ready for an adventure of their own. Actually, Erica has wanted to parasail since the first day we landed. Emily wanted to watch. By the time we got over to the boat, they were both paid up and ready for fun. The 2 guys running the boat told the girls what to expect as we headed out.

Emily went first and ended up not being nervous at all. She was waving and flapping her arms (in honor of Uncle Bob). She was pretty excited when she got back to the boat because she saw 3 big sting rays.

She also tried to convince the captain that she saw a great white shark...which made him laugh hysterically. His response was something like, “Oh, hell no, mon, not in my warm water!” It was a perfect day, no clouds, no wind...and the water was only 8 feet deep.

Now it was Erica’s turn, and she was the one who ended up being nervous. She was smiling a nice little fake smile as she left and was about to burst when she landed. She also saw rays and some pretty big fish. Definitely a highlight of their trip and probably one of their life.

Now, here is the story of 3 girls getting to shop without a male present! What a time we had! We finally got to buy ourselves things we needed, really we did! This isn’t really a cheap place to shop, not like a lot of places we’ve been, but we all were able to talk a couple of items down so we didn’t pay so much.

Actually, t-shirts and most of the touristy stuff is more than most places. Something we were ‘warned’ about were the kids who sell jewelry...they will approach you attach themselves to you until you buy something.

We could be warned all we want, but they’re SO cute! We bought from Jose and if I could bring him home, I would. Anyway, when it was all said and done, we all 3 have necklaces, bracelets and ankle bracelets. J By the time Charlie returned and called us on our walkie talkie, we were officially out of money and he was forced to buy us lunch.

Worked out very well on our end, indeed.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Weds 12/27/2006

Weds 12/27/2006

Big day today, as I went diving with Ecologic Divers and the girls went Parasailing (well, some of them did) followed by some shopping. I think the girls will have an entry here soon!

We did two dives near San Pedro, one 85 foot deep and went through several coral caverns. Saw lots of coral, but not as many fish or reef critters as Cozumel. Not sure if this is because of the location or timing since my last dives there. It was still a great dive, and had a good time. After a little surface interval back at the boat dock and a review of the video shot during our first dive, we geared up for a second dive. Gilbert and the rest of the staff were very accommodating, and I would not have a problem diving with them again.

Neither dive did we see any turtles or rays, but I saw the tail of a hammerhead as he headed over the coral reef. Saw a few more sharks on the second dive; I’ll try to grab some stills from the video when I get it.

We came back to the villa and relax after our town trip and had snapper for supper. Chef Dwayne did a great job, but that appears to be the norm here in a lot of ways.

Our staff here has gone out of there way making sure that we didn’t want for anything! What a great staff, it will be disappointing to have to tell them goodbye.

Not sure what the temp was tonight, but it sure was cool, even for someone accustom to cold weather.

Just one more full day here and its back to reality.

Look for more updates soon!

C – Out!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Just a couple more...

Ok, Charlie's asleep, so I have to put this one on. Anyone who knows him, knows his love of his garmin gps. How lucky we were that our boat captain, Donny, knew which way we were going because Charlie happened to have his gps! The other picture is of our resort, Sueno Del Mar. We will forever be grateful to Jary and Dana for sharing this place with us and allowing us this remarkable vacation that we'll never forget! We're indeed blessed!

Just another relaxing day...

So, today was another beautiful day with the weather. We've been pretty lucky! We slept in a bit and then were off for snorkeling with Greg...the 'turtle man'. He's extremely knowledgable about the reef and has been featured on the National Geographic channel and has won several awards. It has been windy the last couple of days, but today turned out to be a perfect day. He took us out in his boat within a half mile of the resort we're staying at, and it was amazing everything was so close! We started on the inside part of the reef and by the time we finished, 2 hours later, we were on the outside edge. Of course, Charlie has seen much more because of his years of diving, but us other Kansans were blown away. (That's why I'm writing this one!) The coral is beautiful and the sun was just right for the colors to pop. We saw a couple sea turtles, hundreds of blue tangs, big fish that impressed Charlie (I don't remember what kind), schools and schools of other fish and most impressive, a few spotted eagle rays. There was a huge eel that made me scream and drink a good amount of sea water and a lobster that Charlie thought would feed all of us. What a different world out there. I could have gone on for another few hours, except for the fact I wasn't able to kick my fins anymore! After we came back from heaven we ate lunch, and, believe it or not, relaxed some more. Who relaxes this much?! Erica swam all afternoon, Emily read a book in the hammock and Charlie and I just sat at the palapa enjoying the view. Supper tonight was lobster for Charlie, shrimp for me and chicken for the girls. Tomorrow, finally, Charlie gets to dive. He'll leave early in the morning. Us girls will probably have to shop, since he'll be gone. We'll fill you in on that tomorrow!

Until then...adios!

Christmas sing-a-long

Christmas mass in San Pedro

Merry Christmas from Ambergris Caye

Belize Navidad or Christmas Day!

Belize Navidad or Christmas Day!

Our day started out pretty much like any other day, kinda quiet here. We signed up for Christmas dinner at the Palapa, and then off to town for mass at the open air Catholic Church. We went to the main church of town, and it was pretty low attended when we first arrived. All through out the service, people kept coming in. . . . I guess everyone here has a different Belizean time than others! Even a local dog walked in and sat down beside us and stayed for the service.

After the service we played Santa, and gave out a bunch of gifts that we brought. The kid’s faces really lit up when they received the gifts. We picked up a few supplies and headed back to the Villa.

Time to relax again (see a theme yet?) and get ready for a Belizean Christmas Dinner. The dinner was slated to start at 3, and we sure didn’t want to be late. It was at the palapa and most everyone around joined us, even some neighbors and the ancillary staff of the resort.

We were pretty worried, (Ok, the girls were) of what our Traditional Belizean Christmas dinner “151” might be.

It started out with some wonderful potato salad, followed by some traditional rice and beans, turkey and ham, stuffing, gravy and sweet potatoes. Then the151 part. The chefs had created some fabulous bread pudding topped with some 151 rum.

Robert from town had come out to join us and after supper he got out his guitar. Most everyone in the place either joined in or was there for moral support as Erica, John, John’s wife, Emily and Virginia sang.

The crowed seems to enjoy the songs, and we even had a request for “O Danny Boy” after hearing Erica. They all were wowed by her “silky” voice…as they described it. Our lead vocalist didn’t know the words, but a few minutes on the net and we had that figured out.

O Danny Boy isn’t a song that you do cold turkey, so we held off on the public performance. I guarantee you that if we all return that it will be the number one request!

David, and family, John and family, Kevin and Rhonda (don’t ever open Chocolate around her) Jason and his wife, Greg and his family and all of the staff were are family away from home and were great friends to be around.

All in all we spent 8 hours at the Palapa, playing cards, some playing darts, some singing even some babysitting the little ones that seemed to be to wound up to get to bed!

It wasn’t Christmas at home, but none the less it was a very enjoyable evening with some new friends.

C – Out! (Charlie, Carl or Chuck. . . )

Caye Caulker Day - Updated (Christmas Eve)

Caye Caulker Day!

Our morning started out with a boat ride to town to the pier where we caught a very small boat. V was really worried that the little 21 foot 115hp boat was what we were going to sail on. It was only a ferry to the 38 foot Catamaran. We assembled and got under way and with the strong winds made for some great sailing. Our first stop was Hol Chan reef. The great wind for sailing was so great for snorkeling. Eleito and his staff did a great job, but with 19 of us split into two groups, it was still a little crowded for our tastes. We saw all kinds of fish and corals, and a few rays from a distance, but the wind made it difficult to swim to the reef.

Our second stop was Shark Ray Alley, with even a little more wind and current. The girls did great, Em was still fighting some minor mask problems, but we still saw a bunch of manta rays. (Rest in peace, Crocodile Hunter) Elieto, our guide dove down and cradled a huge ray, 3 foot across and brought it to the surface so everyone could see it. The ray could have swam out of his arms anytime it wanted to, but seemed happy to have all the attention, Yes, we all petted the ray, and lived to tell or friends of our experiences!

We then got back on the boat and the beverages and chips were served. We saw how they made rum punch, and now know why it’s not recommended that you drink it. Let’s just say that a full bottle of rum wasn’t enough to make a batch!

A short sail to Caye Caulker and we were on “shore leave” for 2 hours. Our guides tried to call ahead for lobster burritos but the place was closed. We ended up eating at a small open air place called the Sandbox. The food was outstanding! We had a big variety of food, from burritos to seafood chowder to lobster. All was very well prepared and tasted great.

Of course the girls wanted to shop, se we hurried up and they enjoyed one of the two streets on Caye Caulker. It’s a slower paced town than San Pedro, hard to imagine that it got much slower than San Pedro.

We sailed back under the power of the wind, many had some more rum punch, and fanta’s (pop or soda depending where you live) and some home made salsa.

Because we lost the wind we had earlier in the morning and we were about to miss our ride home, we had a power boat meet us and we changed boats for a faster trip back to town. Upon arrival back at town, we jumped on another boat and headed back for our Villa, where we listened to our new Belizean Christmas CD that the girls had just bought. It’s hard to get into the Christmas sprit here, very little Christmas decorations up, probably due to the cost. Our friends said that a 3 foot artificial lighted tree was $400 BZE ($200 US)!

As I was saying, Christmas Eve was pretty quiet here, we ended up eating PBJ at the villa as we were stuffed from lunch. Our time this evening was mostly time to decompress (relax). Have to get to bed so Santa can find us, because I’ve been good!

C – Out!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Traditional Belizean Christmas dinner

I just got back from a 1/2 mile kayak ride and snorkle trip by myself at the reef.

We are off to a "traditional Belizean Christmas dinner" More on that later

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Belize Sunset on the way back from Caye Caulker

V and C on the back of the Cat!

Em at the helm!

Em getting a driving lesson from the Cat Capt!

Em & C on the catamaran


Back fron Caye Caulker!

We just returned from Caye Caulker on a catamaran / snokle tour! Look for news at 11:00 (Belize time, so that may be Monday!) LOL

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Sat Update

Sat 12-23-2006

Wow, we must have partied hard last night, no one budged until I woke up at 730 this morning, and I had to get everyone up and we had to rush for the boat to town.

Where we are staying is a little remote, ok it’s a lot remote. . . .About the only way you can get here is boat or helicopter, unless you want to try it on a golf cart, and hope you don’t get stuck in the huge potholes on the north end of the island. Everyone says don’t even try it, and after our golf cart trip yesterday and getting stuck close to town, we all agree!

The villa we are staying in is beautiful, lots of tile, and Belizean woodwork, very spacious, with a nice porch and fabulous ocean view.

Back to the “shopping trip” While the food is great at the Palapa here, the girls are looking for something a little more conventional, hence the trip to town.

The boat ride in is about 30 minutes each way, and we had our first rainy trip today. The rain was pretty light but since it is a totally open bow it is a concern.

Shopping is a little different here. Nothing like a Dillons or a Wal-mart. Our first stop was at “the greenhouse” a produce store. Next stop was one of the largest “grocery stores” a short walk about 3-4 blocks away.

Picked up some eggs, some Belikin and Fanta soda for the girls, but couldn’t find any meat to speak to there. Seems you need to go to the meat market for that! We were on a limited trip, time wise, so we caught a cab to Ali Babba’s, a town favorite for roasted chicken, but maybe a mile or so away. It was a horrible ride, maybe even worse than the golf cart ride. The roads down here are the pits… the only paved road here is the airstrip. Someone needs to get some road work in a hurry!

We picked up a couple of chickens, then off to the sausage factory for some bacon and sausage, another highly recommended place, run by a gal, Christina, the sausage and smoked Belizean bacon look great!

Em wanted to get her hair braided, but none of the places on the island (read street vendors) had opened up. When they finally showed up we only had a few minutes before the boat departs. We asked the boat staff if we had “a short ten minutes” as that’s what the vendor said it would take… Duane form the boat said… there is no such thing as a “Belizean short 10 minutes! Maybe she can get it done on Caye Calker trip.

Another 30 minute boat ride and we are back at the villa. Glad we have use a wheeled shopping cart, makes our shopping without a car much easier! Anyway we got our groceries put up, and ER and I went snorkeling at the small reef just south of the villa. Lots of fish and a few soft corals and sponges, but no lobster here.

We made our way back to the pier, were we saw about 20 lobster the day earlier. Not many here today, the big one got away, but caught a smaller one and handed it to ER, I think she enjoyed it. She screamed like a girl when it decide to jet away!

Hot Ali Babba chicken for lunch, then Siesta time for me! The girls went to the pool for a while then we all got cleaned up for supper.

V and I had some Creo Grouper and fresh cooked veggies by Chef Allen, and wonderful dinner, great flavor and very enjoyable!

Time to sign off and get to bed, big day on Sunday!

PS: Let us know if you check this out, leave a comment or two, let us know if you want more text or pictures! I’ll get them “approved” as soon as we can. The reason I set it up for approval is so someone can’t spam the blog with a bunch of porno.

C - Out!

Dive shop on the water

Boats, durning sunset

Tomorrow looks like another beautiful day, one filled with ocean fun. We’ve got to get Charlie out scuba diving! We can see the reef from our shore and our hope is to kayak out to it tomorrow to see what we can see. Time for bed and we’ll update more tomorrow!

Playing Santa!

After getting back into town, we shopped, played Santa to some of the local children, ate some wonderful mexican/seafood and finished it off with the best coconut ice cream you could ever imagine.


While there, we took a break at the Palapa Bar and signed our names on the wall.


The North end

We drove up north of town, until the road turned into a lake.

Emily mixing it up with the wildlife!

With it being the holidays, it was pretty busy on the dirt streets.

View from our Villa

It’s another world here, for sure! The weather is perfect and the water is even better than that. Today we spent the day on a golf cart in San Pedro, the main town on Ambergris.

Greetings From Ambergris Caye!

Greetings from Ambergris Caye, Belize! After our long night of driving and our long day of flying, we arrived here yesterday around 2:30. We were in the pool by 3:00 and snorkeling off our pier by 4:00.

Friday, December 22, 2006

We've landed!

Just a quick note to le everyone know we have landed safely and doing well. They just got the internet fixed ... look for lots of pics / posts soon!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Weather or not, here we come!

Dec 20th, 2006 8:00 am

Weather or not, here we come!

Its been raining since last night but we sure need it. Fortunately, most of it started after we finished caroling. No, I don’t sing, I’d scare everyone off but I go for moral support, and to help find addresses, seems I have a “knack” for that!

Let's hope that the rain stays rain...Ice or snow could be bad... very bad!

It’s Crunch time. Time to get all the stuff packed up into 3 little bags. Everything I’ll need for our extended trip, on the beach, under the water, and to fight the bugs. Bugs… must be the No 1 topic of everyone that has gone to AC, “Bring lots of bug spray” Define lots? Cases? Several pump bottles? (Can’t travel with the aerosol anymore) I found the 100% deet stuff, considered industrial strength… Hope it works!

Off to start packing, then several stops to pick up some last minute items. Look for an update as we get time to send them. Merry Christmas!

C – Out!

PS: Oh I like Paul Harvey, I try to listen to him everyday ( ) some of his thoughts:

Paul Harvey and Prayer Paul Harvey says:

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.

I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory Of evolution.Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.

So what's the big deal?

It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America and Canada, countries founded on Christian principles.

According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem , I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.And I wouldn't be offended.

It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome.....But what about the atheists? is another argument.

What about them?Nobody is asking them to be baptized.

We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer!

Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do.I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating; to pray before we go to sleep.

Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.

God, help us.And if that last sentence offends you, well .. just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long.. It's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority don't care what they want. It is time the majority rules! It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray; you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right.. But by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away. We are fighting back . .. and we WILL WIN!

God bless us one and all ... especially those who denounce Him. God bless America and Canada, despite all their faults.They are still the greatest nations of all.

God bless our service men and women who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.

May Christmas 2006 be the season the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions.

Keep looking up.

If you agree with this, please pass it on. If not delete it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


FAQ - How do I read this blog thing?

2006-12-16 12:35 pm

Wow! Lots of people have already contacted us with comments and how much they say they are gonna enjoy this blog.

Way cool!

The most popular question so far is "how do I read it"

Well, you have a couple of ways... you can come to the website when ever you would like, its free, and doesn't cost a thing...

(we emailed you... for those that may have missed it)

Or you can set up ATOM...

What is ATOM? From the site:

What is Atom?
Atom is one name for two things: It's both a new standard for developers, as well as a syndication format or "feed" for your blog. When a regularly updated site such as a blog has a feed, people can subscribe to it using software for reading syndicated content called a "newsreader." People like using readers for blogs because it allows them to catch up on all their favorites at once. Like checking email—without the SPAM.

Continue at the site if this sound slike something you'd like to set up, or just bookmark the and come back as often as you wish.

C - Out


Sat 12-16-2006 1:00 am
Welcome to our BLOG. We'll try to update this daily, if we get a chance. Our current focus will be our upcoming trip to AC.

We are not in crunch time yet, but it will be here soon. Time to get packing! A few years ago, (ok, many...) I would be packing underwater video equipment, underwater photography equipment, two full sets of scuba gear and that was just for me!

With new weight limits (well, newer than the last time I did some major diving) I’ll have to evaluate everything we pack. If we knew more about the area, we might have a better idea of what to pack. Now, I need to mix "the last boy scout" a "ditch doc" and a technology guy into two 45 lb bags.

We have assembled more information about this trip than any other trip I have ever gone on.

It will be interesting to see how helpful all of the information we have gleaned about our trip via the internet and family and friends.

C - Out!