We woke up pretty early and went to the hotel's spa at 8 a.m. to get a couple's massage.
Unfortunately, Belize and Mata Chica are not used to, nor prepared for, the cold weather we were experiencing. None of the guest rooms were equipped with heaters and the spa was no exception. The room was cold. I don't think spas should ever be cold. You're not wearing any clothes! You need to be warm.
Despite that, the massage was glorious. I swear, that masseuse felt like she had fifteen hands and they were all fluid and wonderful. The parts on my neck, feet, and head felt the best. I didn't want to move when she was done. And the aromatherapy smelled glorious.
I don't think Hans' experience was quite as good. He said his masseuse was pretty much beating him up. "I was glad my face was in that little hole," he told me later, "so that she couldn't see the painful grimaces I was making." Even though she was rough, I think when she was done his body felt very loose and relaxed.
I wish I could get a massage every day. It makes my whole body feel other-worldly.
We ate one final breakfast on the patio and then tried to lay out on the beach on last time. It wasn't any warmer than it'd been the past few days, but at least if you laid right in the sun it was pretty warm. I don't think we got any color, but at least we were able to enjoy lounging on the most beautiful beach in the sunshine one last time.
With very sad faces, we said goodbye to our lovely Cocoa, the beautiful beach, and the warm and friendly staff of Mata Chica.
(This was "our table" for all our many breakfasts and lunches!)
The boat captain, who we dubbed "Charlie Ninja," took us back to San Pedro in Mambo, the awesome boat, and then drove us to the airport in a golf cart.
Our flight was supposed to be at 1, getting into Belize International Airport at 1:15 so that we could check in for our 4:15 international flight the requisite three hours ahead.
For some reason I can't comprehend, our 15 minute flight was delayed an hour. I don't understand - Maya Air runs that shuttle back and forth like 12 times a day! How is it possible, then, that one didn't come for a whole two hours? Not cool. We ended up catching a 2 o clock flight and I was really worried we'd get hassled for not being there three hours late.
Turned out my worries were in vain (as they usually are), as our international flight was also delayed - an hour and a half. Boo. Continental, to apologize for the delay, offered us vouchers to use to buy lunch at the hotel's one restaurant. Well, that was nice of them.
But oh wait, nothing on the menu is less than $9 USD and the voucher you gave us is for $7 USD. Really? What was the point of that? And really... not good food. We tried the hamburgers because we figured "That's hard to mess up" but it tasted burnt and soggy. Blah.
After we got through security (without any problems, thankfully) we made our way to the gate to carve out a spot to wait out the next four hours. As we're walking up I hear a familiar voice saying "Heeeey, it's our traveling buddies!" and what do you know, but there are the Marks from our excursion, chilling out waiting for the same flight. We were able to sit with them and talk to help pass the looooooong wait, which helped.
Finally around 6:30 we got onto the plane. Lights out, everyone asleep. We got into Houston around 8:30 and said good bye to the Marks as they dashed off in an attempt to catch their connecting flight to Colorado. We felt pretty fortunate that we only had to go to Houston - almost everyone else on our flight had a connecting flight to Seattle, Colorado, San Francisco, Salt Lake, and a couple others I think, that they were desperately trying to make in spite of our long delay. Don't know what happened - hope they all made it.
Hans' mom was waiting for us outside and we went back to her house. We rested there for a little bit, telling them about our trip and procrastinating the drive back to Austin. We finally left somewhere around 9:30 or 10. Never has that drive felt so long.
We got home just before 2 and the puppies went nuts. We've never really left Hudson before and I think he thought we had abandoned him. He yipped and jumped like crazy. It's a wonderful thing to come home to so much love.
And so ends the great adventure of Hans and Erika. Thanks to the many, many of you who helped to make the trip possible. It was truly the honeymoon of our dreams and the trip of a lifetime.