Tuesday, December 22, 2015

12-18 to 12-22-2015 Caye Caulker with Eric's Family

Sunrise in Belize City before leaving for Caye Caulker.

Boarding the water taxi to Caye Caulker.

View of "Tourism Village" from the water taxi.  This is where the cruise ships let passengers off for their day excursions.
There is duty free shopping there, and we tried to check it out briefly, but they need to hold your passport and other stuff (if
you don't have a ship ID), so we bailed on that tourist trap.

We arrived on Caye Caulker and Eric went to rent a golf cart for the family to use while here.  We had no sooner checked in
at our hotel when Eric's family arrived.  They were happy to have arrived sooner than expected, but they were without  their
luggage.  (It thankfully, finally, arrived later the next day.)

We headed out to explore the island.  Our first stop was the famous Lazy Lizard located at the Split.  Our nephew, Jake,
immediately found a friend, Antonio, and they played on a stand up paddleboard.

Our niece, Jenna found many dogs to pet.

A boat passing through the Split (a channel that splits the island in two).

We then drove around the island and found a nice place to view the sunset.

Our nephew, Jake.

Our niece, Jenna.

We went to Wish Willy Grill that night (and another night), because we knew the food is good, and it feels like a backyard
barbeque at your friend's place.  This is Cara's veggie plate.

Eric's lobster plate

This is the first of many crabs we saw on the island - the kids loved searching for them.  

We had to do some shopping for clothes until our family's bags arrived, so we stopped many places, like this sidewalk sale.

It was hard to get everyone on the same schedule to have breakfast together, so we often ate separately, but we enjoyed
Caribbean Colors Art Cafe more than once.

This cafe had local art for sale, good vibes, and good food.

We enjoyed a lunch at Paradiso Sandwich Shop.

The kids got to run around while we waited for our meals.

It rained off and on during our first full day on the island.  Here you can see a storm rolling in.

The kids found lots of photo opportunities.

They also found lots of fun places to swim.

Another favorite thing for the kids to do was collect coconuts (and try to break them open).

One evening there was a public Christmas celebration at the local basketball court.

The guys were happy to find a sports bar where they could watch certain football games.

One evening a crab wandered into the restaurant where we were eating, and it brought screams
from a nearby table of young women visiting from Germany.

Gearing up for our full day snorkeling tour.

Boarding our tour boat

Heading out for our adventure

At the helm was our tour guide, "Ninja", with his son, Christopher, at his side.

Ninja was wonderful, even calming our nephew so he would get in the water again after a small meltdown.

Our first stop was Swash Channel, which is covered with conch shells and shallow enough to stand with your head out of the
water.  However, if you decide to stand you must watch where you put your feet, because the place was swarming with big
stingrays swimming right underneath you.

There were also loads of interesting fish.

Our second stop was the Hol Chan Cut, and immediately upon jumping in the water Cara saw a nurse shark.

Our third stop was Shark & Ray Alley, where we saw loads of stingrays and nurse sharks.

Our fourth stop was Coral Gardens.  The coral wasn't very colorful or impressive, but Cara did see a jellyfish.  She turned
around to warn our niece, Jenna, but there wasn't time, and she (thankfully) saw it pass right by Jenna without her noticing.

Our last stop was at the back side of Caye Caulker, where you can hand feed the tarpon fish.

A breakfast we all made it to, at Brisas del Mar.

The kids found a rope swing near the beach at our hotel.

We found a tree of directions.

Jenna found more crabs.

Our hotel (Tropical Paradise) had a private beach area where we enjoyed relaxing.

The hotel is located right next to this beautiful, old cemetery.

Waiting for the clan to load up on the golf cart...

Another stop at the Lazy Lizard...

Some island wandering...

Lunch while sitting on a swing...

Jenna also made new a friend, Emily, at the Lazy Lizard.

Emily was a mermaid that day.

We enjoyed a dinner on the beach at Fran's Grill.

Indeed, the food is FRAN-tastic!

We also all made it to the last breakfast on the island at Sobre las Olas.

The kids enjoyed sitting in the swings there.

Cara's fruit bowl with yogurt and granola

Three brothers waiting for the water taxi.

We took the water taxi for Belize City, then journeyed to Hopkins for the next part the family's Christmas in Belize.

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