Saturday, April 6, 2013

Days 1 and 2

Wow! So much to share.  Yesterday Carly and I arrived in Belize around 2:30 p.m.  The first thing I noticed was the wonderful weather, sunny and 85 degrees.  That's right, be jealous fellow Kentuckians.  Flip flops and tank tops are what my future holds.  We caught a cab with a friendly couple and checked in to the Princess Hotel and Casino.  The ride to the hotel was crazy!  There are no stop signs and drivers literally drive all over the road.  Our hotel was definitely not what we had expected.  It turns out there are no beaches in Belize City, which is kind of a bummer, but we have found lots of other activities to entertain us.  The culture is so evident in the decorations in the hotel and even with the staff.  A nice gentleman that works for the hotel took Carly and I to the supermarket where all of the locals go.  We went to buy some bottled water and snacks.  We were a little shocked when a box of cereal, Cheerios to be exact, was priced at  $10. It turns out that the currency ratio from U.S. money to Belize dollars is 2 to 1.  So, to us it was really $5.  Getting use to the ratio has definitely been a challenge.  However, Belizian money is absolutely beautiful!  (I'll post a picture soon!) We treated ourselves to a nice dinner and called it a night.

Our first full day in Belize was complete with an array of new experiences.  Our hotel offers a complimentary breakfast with fresh fruits and traditional Belizian foods.  I tried what was called a "johnny cake."  It would be equivalent to what we would call a biscuit and it was fantastic.  I also tried a fresh omelet cooked to order.  The fruit was wonderful and so fresh.  We tried papaya, watermelon, and bananas.  Probably the weirdest thing that we encountered was the fact that they do not have liquid milk.  They only offer powdered milk.  After a big breakfast, Carly and I headed to the streets to explore the inner city.  We were so excited to be immersed in the hussle and bussle of everday life in Belize. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly.  Virtually everyone we walked by said hello and asked us how we were enjoying our stay in Belize, so refreshing!  The city was mixed with slums and upper class areas.  One minute you could see a brand new structure and then around another corner would be a shack.  I also noticed that all of the schools were private and represented different religious denominations.  We saw lots of children out and about today, which made us wonder if schools were in session on Fridays.  The highlight of my day was when a security guard at the local bank introduced himself to Carly and I and thanked us for our assistance in the school system.  It made us feel extremely appreciated. 

We also went to the Belize museum where we brushed up on our Belize history.  I'm pretty sure we walked over 7 miles today.  Needless to say we were beat.  We came back to the hotel and rested.  We decided to get dressed up for dinner and headed to the local Hour Bar and Grill, which was recommended by our cab driver and our hotel friend.  Ocean front view and a sea breeze made for a perfect evening.  Can't wait for tomorrow!

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