2018 Belize Summer To-Do List: I Need To Get Better at This!

The last few summers started with a Belize Check-List.  Nothing too crazy or off the wall – just a very do-able wish list as the tourism season slowed in Belize.  A chance to step back and explore Ambergris Caye as a tourist and maybe see a bit more of the country.

And over the last few years, I’ve been absolutely CRAP at getting things done.  Perhaps I reached just a bit too high?

–>  Here’s the 2016 list (14 items) and the TWO PART Slow Season Do’s for 2017.  Part One and Part Two

Elsie posing for my 2016 List

So I’m going to simplify and downsize.  For example, No more WIN trivia at Ambergris Caye’s Truck Stop – how about just ATTEND?

Here my 2018 list.  My bestie arrives on July 11th for over 3 weeks – this is all TOTALLY do-able.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions for me -ones that you’ve done yourself OR things you’d like to read about.  This summer is my summer of ACTION!

Visit Belize Botanic Garden

Over the last year, I’ve become more and more interested in gardening.  It’s FAR from easy on an island that is almost all limestone and sand – and one where we see months and months of sun without a drop of water from the sky.

Over the last year, I’ve planted tons of beautiful trees and flowers that I‘ve dragged home from Hopkins (4 mango trees), Belmopan (flowers, jasmine bushes and more) and a little nursery on the south side of San Pedro town.

Cool orchid at Grand Colony, Ambergris Caye

Now I want to visit the Belize Botanical Garden.  Located in the GREEN, lush Cayo district, I know it is a popular spot for orchid lovers.  But Belize has SO many amazing and strange plants – from bromeliads to all sorts of medicinal stuff – I want to spend a few hours exploring the diversity.

Make & Drink Flavored Water

This seems easy.  Add a flavoring or two to water.  Watermelon, mint, lime, basil, ginger, orange, cucumber…anything!  Put in refrigerator.  Drink.  Repeat.

ALL of those things are readily available here.  Cheap in fact.

Each time I see it by the pool or the bar at a beautiful resort, I make note.  And each time I forget to do it.

I’m terrible at drinking plain water.  Try to drink more FLAVORED and less Coke Zero.  Win win win.

I’m not talking a detox or a weight loss plan – just something that you are SO GLAD is in your fridge.

Visit Secret Beach

Secret Beach is THE HOT SPOT of 2018.  With our windward beaches suffering from the influx of sargasso, visitors have been FLOCKING to the west side.  There are numerous bars and there is a new sign out there.

Collage from Pirates No-So-Secret Beach Bar

I need to report back!

Road Trip on the Mainland

I am in the midst of getting a new Belize drivers license (shhhh…I lost my first one a while ago in Belize City) – and I want to really break it in.

I’ve travelled all over Belize by bus – and by plane – but I want to take a road trip for a few days on the mainland.  Stop at all the signs that I see roadside – at the national parks and the tiny little restaurants.  I’ve only done it once  – across the Hummingbird Highway – and it was AWESOME.

Roadside tamale at Ms Bertha’s

This time maybe north?  Maybe Chan Chich?  I want to get into the nooks and crannies.  We shall see.

Attend Truck Stop’s Trivia

I love trivia.  I LOVE The Truck Stop.  Why have I never made it to this uber-popular audio-visual Thursday evening event?

This year, it will happen.  And winning a giant cash prize would be the icing on the cake.  ICE CREAM FOR EVERYONE!!!

Costa Maya

Each year I list this and each year…I choke.

The first weekend in August is Ambergris Caye’s BIGGEST party – the International Costa Maya Festival.  This year from August 2nd to 5th, it includes rides, food, music and the FRIDAY NIGHT PAGEANT with women representing all Central American countries and Mexico.

“The queens” as they are called, tour around the island for a week or two before the festival and draw crowds everywhere.  I’ve seen them about, I’ve taken their photos many times but I’ve NEVER gone to the huge Friday pageant.

Here’s 2011 at Fido’s with my friend Miss NJ posing with them.

This. time. I’m. going. to the pageant.

Sunday Yoga

Sunday YIN yoga at Ak’Bol Eco-Resort is the PERFECT class for beginners or even those who don’t consider themselves beginners yet.

Don’t be intimidated by the sign. Gita? Sutras? You need to know NOTHING – I promise!

It’s slow moving…and meditative…a “do what feels good to you” kinda class – even if that means getting in the fetal position for 15 minutes.  And I love going when I can.  10am.  On a gorgeous dock over the Caribbean.

Even those who live in paradise need to take it down a level sometimes.

Overnight in Caye Caulker

Again, I list this every single year and again, I haven’t done it.  This beautiful caye is a 25 minute boat ride away – has an entirely different feel, so many things to do and A NEW CHOCOLATE SHOP!  And I go a few times a year.  Only when I have guests.

My last trip was FEBRUARY!!!  With my 6 little kids.  It was PERFECT.

Ridiculous?  Yes.  I need to go overnight and try new restaurants that are only open for dinner AND check out some hotels.  I get so many questions and…I can’t answer them.

Silly.  Time to change that.

No seriously.

Visit friends in Merida, Mexico

Over the past few years, I’ve had quite a few friends move from Ambergris Caye to Merida, Mexico.  To continue their adventures, to learn a new language, to be in a gorgeous historic city…

Merida is just across the Yucatan peninsula and while not so well known in the USA (yet), it is very popular for Belizeans.  Surrounded by cenotes, amazing Maya sites and wildlife, this colonial city has delicious FOOD, buildings, museums, golf courses, shopping…I could go on.

My last trip in 2014!!!!!!!!!

Two quick trivia bits on Merida:  The city is only about 15 miles from the Chicxulub crater – formed by the asteroid or comet that wiped out the dinosaurs and most life on earth just about 66 million years ago.  AND at the turn of the 20th century, Merida was one of the RICHEST CITIES in the world due to a unexpected product.

My friends Sue and Steve are there now and own a bed and breakfast.  My other great friends moved their earlier this year.

As if I need an excuse?  It’s time to visit!

Make Banana Jam

I’m a fan of jam.  Big chunks, less sugar, maybe some spices.

I also like bananas.  It used to be love.  Before I moved to Belize, it was banana love.

Have I ever told you how I want to get married in a banana field in Southern Belize?

But here on Ambergris Caye, the fruit selection is smaller than the choices that I used to have at my NYC Whole Foods.  And at some times of year…you can count your choices on one hand.  So I’ve become a bit banana-out.

Time to mix things up.  A bit of sugar – probably brown, some cloves or cardamom?  This could be something great!

So there you go.  The list.  Please let me know if you have any additions…or a great recipe for jam.

Happy Summer!  Here’s a PIN for you.

Summer, 2018 and here's my list of things to do this summer on Ambergris Caye and all of Belize. A to-do list. My fingers are crossed.

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