Friday, June 19, 2009 8:21 AM
Back to Belize - Family Trip to San Pedro
Last year, Rob and I took a few much needed days to ourselves and headed south to check out the world famous Lobsterfest in Placencia. We had a great time, ate some great food and as we LOVE Belize, when the opportunity presented itself to attend Lobsterfest in San Pedro and a special BlogFest organized by my friend Tacogirl, well, we just couldn't say no. Little did I know when we booked this trip that it would become not just a vacation but also a chance to do some "market research". As Frommer's and WhatsOnWhen.com are currently in the process of compiling a book in which the San Pedro Lobsterfest has been distinguished as one of the 300 Greatest Events in the World, I felt compelled to see how the organizers of this event have achieved this landmark distinction in just two short years!
Packed in like sardines!
This trip has been in the works now for months and we have been counting down the days until our departure. My sister in law, Jill, has always wanted to go to Belize and has friends on Ambergris, so, as a special 30th birthday present, we asked her to come along with us. Not to be left out, Rob's other sister Kristie and her husband Dave decided to fly in from Colorado join us as well, making this a full on family roadtrip! And so, after a delicious breakfast at Java Joe's and some nail-biting minutes at immigration waiting for our FM3's to FINALLY get signed and stamped, all eight of us squeezed into the Expedition, strapped our bags on the roof, and headed south on 307.
Having made this trip to the border in Chetumal dozens of times, the ride was quiet and uneventful. Rob worked via iphone, I caught up on some writing and our passengers, all hooked into their ipods, happily enjoyed the scenery. In Filipe Carillo Puerto, our pal Glen Harris and his three boys caught up with us on the highway and we caravaned the rest of the way down. The border crossing itself was uneventful and we arrived at the Corozal airstrip well before our 5:30 flight on Tropicair. Glen and the boys were able to catch an early Maya Island flight and we cabbed it back to our favorite stop-over hotel, Tony's Inn, for a few cocktails and a quick bite to hold us over until dinner. Tony's has really tasty conch ceviche and fritters, ice cold Belikins and a beautiful view of the Corozal Bay.
Our crew at Tony's Inn
Connor and Cole getting ready to board.
Tiny seat. Big Rob.
A seasoned traveler.
Flying into San Pedro
The new Tropicair terminal being built in San Pedro.
Once on the island, we were greeted by our good friend Cindy and the transport van for Paradise Villas, our lodging of choice on Ambergris. Villa owners Paul and Cindy Beers are supporters of Holy Cross School in San Matteo and run a free eye care clinic for the residents of Ambergris Caye. We in turn support them with our vacation dollars. Once settled in and unpacked, we met up with Glen and headed over to The Tacklebox for 80's "Rock Lobster" night with DJ Debbie, a few One Barrels and a bite to eat. The younger kids had a blast running up and down the docks, spotting rays in the shallow water and catching crabs. Connor and Glen's eldest, Max, quickly disappeared to go see what San Pedro might have to offer teenage boys. Hmmm.
Rob won one of the raffle drawings! A cocktail on the house, who doesn't want that?!
A few One Barrels later.......
As the boys had a fishing trip planned for 7am, we wandered through the park in town, checking out the late night food options then headed back to the condos to rest up for a fun-filled weekend ahead. Tomorrow, we introduce the rest of our clan to San Pedro and make friends at the Blogfest Meet and Greet at Pedro's Backpackers Inn.
Paradise Villas Pier, San Pedro.