I hope everyone had a very happy and safe Fourth of July. Ours was one to be remembered for sure. We took a long holiday and journeyed down to Belize for a grand adventure. Before I get into all the fun details of this wonderful trip, I have to thank THE John and Sherry (and Clara and Burger) and Young House Love for sharing the powder bath renovation from our 2012 Fourth of July. And a big thank you to everyone who came over from YHL and left comments, as that was the only way I had any idea our bathroom was featured! You try to go limited wifi for a week and look what happens!
If you're wondering how two regular folks landed on the beach in Belize, I have your answers. After our wonderful vacation to Seaside last October, Markus and I had to put thoughts of wanderlust on the back burner for a while. The ants slowly came to our pants, and I started looking around on Travelzoo and sometimes even on other more random sites to think about where we might want to go down the road. The morning after Markus completed his grueling PE exam, it found us. An eco resort called Blackbird Caye Resort on an atoll in Belize was on...Groupon? Sounded too good to be true but the Trip Advisor reviews were awesome and I felt brave. Add free flight from our Aadvantage Visa and things seemed perfect. Then I read that there was no possible way for our cell phones to work on the small island where the resort is and wifi was limited to one small hut, and my bags were packed.
|The afterglow of five days into a wifi and cell phone cleanse.|
Blackbird Caye Resort is an eco resort on it's own caye between Belize City and the Blue Hole. The eco resort part was my favorite and probably a huge game changer in how we will look for future beach vacation spots. There is a very minimal foot print here and it puts you so close with pure, natural beauty. I only brought shoes to wear on the airplane since everything else is unpaved, sandy beaches. There are multiple snorkeling and scuba trips a day, plus kayaks and a pool for leisure time.
|View of my happy place, the tiki bar, from one of our kayak trips.|
We were on Blackbiard Caye for seven days and went out on snorkel trips twice, plus the trip to the Blue Hole, which is a full day of three different snorkel spots. I loved the Blue Hole and highly recommend anyone going, even though there have been debates for if it is "worth it" for a snorkeler. We saw so many things in the preserve out there - eagle rays, barracudas, and a huuuge nurse shark!
My favorite snorkel spot was to see the starfish after going to coral canyon. These guys were everywhere and huge! I felt like Ariel.
If you are thirsty or want your own snack, feel free to look for loose coconuts hanging from the palm trees and knock one down for a quick fix. The bartenders will cut the top open for you (and also pour some rum in if you think you earned it).
Of course meal time was my favorite time of day. I felt completely spoiled by the chef, Mansfield, who would make me special gluten-free breads and cookies with almost every meal. I really wanted him to come back to Dallas to live with us by the end, but we settled on a goodbye picture instead.
|Mansfield if you're reading this you're still invited to come live with me!|
I celebrated my big 2-8 on July 3, and even got my own gluten-free birthday cake! It was amazing. Extremely moist with a lemon creme frosting that was out of this world. I got so excited when they brought it out as a big surprise after dinner. When we went out of town for my birthday, I ruled out cake as an option, but Markus and the kitchen crew went above and beyond to make the day special!
I got into a fishing habit that was much more fruitful than our fishing trip to Caddo Lake State Park a few months ago. The resort can do fishing charters, but fishing off the dock is super easy and fun so we all stuck to that. There was a little boy in our group that would be out fishing right after breakfast at 7:00 a.m. and walk the dock bringing in snapper until dinner time at 7:00 p.m.
Here I am net fishing for sardines to use as bait. The darker color in the water are schools of sardines grouped together. Pretty
idiot proof confidence boosting.
|One of my prize catches. I just dropped fishing line and a hook into the ocean, no poles needed!|
If you look to the left past the woman's shoulder in this picture you can see one of our night time friends.
You know what they say, though. The best part of being on a deserted island is who you spend it with. We had the best time getting to know the fun people who were at Blackbird Caye the same time as us, and we were like a special family by the time we left. The staff is also amazing. I don't think I've ever left a resort knowing all the staff by name - and even friends with someone on Facebook now!
Think of the best summer camp of your life, and you'll get the idea of Blackbird Caye resort. We will never forget our time here, the amazing things we did and saw and the quality time and conversations we were able to have as a family without the distractions of the ever-present internet and daily life.
I one thousand percent recommend it to anyone in need of a break and getting back in touch with his or her spirit of adventure! I really hope we are able to go back again soon.
Where is the last place you traveled to?
Have you tried an eco resort before? I think we are hooked!