Friday, June 4, 2010

"C" is for Cayes

I fell of the blogging bandwagon last week, but I have two really good excuses: 1) I was in DC for work and 2) after finishing up in DC, I headed straight to Ambergris Caye in Belize for a friend's wedding.  I met up with John and our other friends, Russ and Paul, at DFW.  Our first class upgrades went through, so I wasn't too upset about the four-hour delay.

Once we finally made it to Belize City, we were happy to find out the "puddle jumper" airlines held our second flights to San Pedro.

 Russ and Paul

We made it to our hotel, Belizean Shores, and met up with our friend, Chris, for a few drinks.  Chris convinced us that Mike and Maria were asleep and then two hours later informed us that they were at the other resort, El Pescador, with the wedding party.  So we made the trek over to El Pescador and met up with the bride and groom, Audrey and Zach, and other friends, Jacquelyn and Tony.  This is where we were officially informed that Mike and Maria were, in fact, at Belizean Shores asleep, and apparently we had woken Chris up from a nap upon our arrival.  The rest of the week went along those same lines...chaos, fun, alcohol, more chaos.  Here are some highlights:

Belizean Shores

First Day at the Resort



"C" is for Coral
There was a barrier reef just off the shore from our hotel.  John, Ben, Abby, Russ, Chris, and I used the kayaks to paddle ourselves out to the coral.  We got to see a huge ray, so that was exciting.  There were lots of colorful fish too.  I think I was more excited about discovering that Abby's snorkel mask fit my face than I was the actual snorkeling!  I had tried out three different leaky masks on the previous day.

"C" is for Comestibles
Several our friends staying at Belizean Shores pre-ordered groceries that were delivered to the rooms.  John and I thought we'd be thrifty by purchasing our own groceries when we arrived.  After watching our friends wait on the ferry for over an hour, we decided our time was better spent at the pool, so John called the grocery store and asked them to deliver a variety pack.  Thirty minutes later, bread, eggs, cheese, deli meat, chips, salsa, tamales, beer, and vodka arrived at our room.  Awesome!  Between our food and Ben and Abby's, we were able to create breakfast and lunch meals throughout the trip.  The bride's and groom's families hosted dinners each night.  The dinners included local cuisine at various restaurants around San Pedro and open bars.  We were amazed at the families' generosity, since we were not expecting meals to be covered at all.  A huge thank you to all of the families who hosted dinner for all of us!!

 Happy Hour at El Pescador
John and Ash

Ready for dinner at Wild Mango's, a local bar and restaurant
Chris, Ashley, Abby, Maria

Wild Mango's
Maria and Mike
"C" is for Caves
Russ planned a trip for a group of us to go tubing through some caves.  Problem 1: Russ did not show up for the trip.  Problem 2: Russ did not inform the group that the tubing trip required a 1+ hour boat ride, a 1 hour bus ride, and a 30 minute hike.  Problem 3: The groom's family arrived at our hotel an hour after we were supposed to leave to ask why we called and canceled.  Problem 4: I realized the night before I had kidney stones (again!).  Don't ask me why I still agreed to go on the caving trip, but I did.  The boat and bus rides were a nightmare, and anyone who has experienced kidney stones knows the last thing you want to do is hike.  To add insult to injury, our group was too big, so they split us into two subgroups.  The tour guide for my subgroup wasn't actually a tour guide--he didn't tell us anything about the caves.  My tour guide also thought it was funny to splash us with the ice-cold water.  I thought it would be funny to leave him in the jungle for the leaf cutter ants to dissect.

"C" is for Crafts
Audrey's family hosted a bridal brunch the morning of the wedding.  We made some neat flowers out of tissue paper to decorate the bride's and groom's chairs at the reception.  A few of us also made some for our hair.  Fun times!

"C" is for Ceremony
Audrey and Zach's ceremony was beautiful and very intimate.  It started raining around 3:30 pm, and the ceremony was scheduled for 4:30 pm.  Magically, at 4:30 the rain let up, and a beautiful rainbow crossed the sky.  

Aud walked down the aisle, beaming, with her parents on both sides.  There were about 45 of us there, so we all got to stand around a little thatch gazebo barefoot while Aud and Z said their vows.  Way cool.

Maria reading scripture

"C" is for Celebration
Shortly after the wedding, we began celebrating at the reception.  We all sat at one huge, long table, and dinner was delicious.  The bride's parents brought shells from Matagorda Bay in Texas to Belize, and they had our names on them as placeholders for our seats.  At the end of the night, we made wishes and launched the shells into the Caribbean.  John later commented that we probably introduced some foreign bacteria into the Belizean ecosystem that will wreak havoc in the future.  Oops!!! 

As the night went on, the rain picked up again, and before I knew it the bride was dancing in the rain with her friends, and some of the adults ended up in the pool, fully clothed. 

It was a fun night and a great end to our vacation, minus the part where we had to walk home in the rain.  It was POURING, and we had a 15 minute walk.  Ugh.

Leaving Ambergris Caye for the airport
Abby, Ben, Amy, Scott, Ashley, John, and Russ

 Paul, Mike, Maria, Chris

We had an amazing vacation.  Thanks, Audrey and Zach, for letting us share in your special day!

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