Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hook 'Em, Belize style

Thursday could best be described as a nothing day. We had originally planned to tour an ancient Mayan Ruin called Lamani. We set up the tour through our hotel, but Hans wasn't feeling good about it. It cost much more than we expected and it was pretty much a lot of travel for not a lot of time touring the ruin. All the ruins are way inland and require a good 2-3 hours of travel time there and back. Late Wednesday night he canceled it and we decided to hunt around other tour companies in town to see if we could find a better deal.

We enjoyed a lazy morning - breakfast at the resort, wandering around the beach. It was a very cloudy day, and very windy.

In honor of the national championship game, we were sporting our burnt orange. Hook 'em!

We headed into town on an afternoon bus and just kind of wandered around. We ate some delicious frozen custard at this little shop run by an ex-pat. The rocky road was to die for.

Then we met Eric from Inland and Sea Adventures. I'd found him on TripAdvisor listed as the #2 thing to do in San Pedro. He had many reviews and they were all stellar. He also had a package we were really interested in - it combined a Mayan ruin tour, zip lining, and cave tubing - a three-for-one deal. Plus, his package of three cost only a little more than the package we almost booked through our hotel. We saved literally a couple hundred dollars by booking with him, and we didn't have to spread it over two days (doubling our travel time and making multiple trips inland). Score! Plus, he seemed really nice and honest. We left his little shop feeling pretty good.

We decided to eat an early dinner in town, since we were already there and didn't have to worry about paying for a shuttle. Since we loved Elvi's so much, we headed back there again. The chicken flautas did not disappoint.

And oh! I almost forgot to mention. We were so surprised walking around town to see SEVERAL other people sporting longhorn pride! Apparently Belizeans, if they root for sports teams, all favor Texan teams! There were tons of shirts, hats, and hook 'em signs accompanied with big grins.

Back at the resort, we discovered that of the three other honeymooning couples, two of the couples were from Texas and the other couple were Alabama fans. We ran into each couple separately and each one asked us if we had found a place to watch the game. One of the guys, Brady, who was arguably the most fanatical about watching the game, had done some research and found out that Rojo Lounge right next door to us had dish and could show the game in the bar. We agreed we'd meet there at 7.

At 7, Hans and I were surprised to find ourselves the first ones there. We couldn't get the tv to work... not good. Brady showed up, very concerned that we didn't have it on yet. Remember how I mentioned the crazy wind we'd been having all day? The bar tender informed us that almost always when the wind was that strong the Dish would go out. No way to fix it.

We went back to the hotel lobby to ask them if they knew any where else we can go. The sweet concierge got on the phone and started calling several resorts. She suggested that we try Portofino (the wonderful treehouse restaurant I mentioned a few posts ago).

The other two couples were still eating dinner (meals take a long time in Belize) so the four of us decided to go on ahead without them.

Fortunately, the bar at Portofino pulled through for us. It was a tiny tv and the picture wasn't great, but it was probably the best we were going to find.

We were the only ones in the bar and the bartender kept shushing us because there were guest rooms right next to the bar (good layout, guys). But we had a blast. The other three couples ordered a steady stream of drinks, so I don't think the restaurant could really complain. Hans and I ordered an appetizer and chocolate souffle because we didn't want to mooch in the bar for three hours without ordering anything.

I'm not going to recap the game. We all know how much that sucked. I will say that I was impressed with how well Garrett Gilbert did, under the circumstances. Poor kid must have been crushed by all that pressure. At least we know that great things are in store for Texas with him.

My heart went out to Colt. He had a stellar college career and it must have been devastating to watch helplessly as the dream you've been nurturing for four years slips away. But ever the classy guy, he accepted the loss with such grace and dignity. Say what you may about the Horns, Colt McCoy is someone we can always be proud of.

During the third quarter, one of the couples (Mark and Angela) decided they wanted to go home. Well, Angela decided. Mark was pretty tipsy and even more into the game. It was past closing time for the complimentary shuttles, so our only options were hire a water taxi ($25!) or walk. They opted for walk, but were back within five minutes. Angela said it was because she knew Mark wanted to stay, but I think it's because they didn't want to walk home alone.

When we all finally left and walked home together, it was a dark, dark walk. We could barely see our feet - Hans had to pull out his iphone for light. Definitely glad we had six others there with us.

It's wonderful to know that where ever you go in the world, those who bleed burnt orange aren't far away.

(And woah.... we really didn't take any pictures on this day! Lazy, lazy day...)

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