I hate the term “staycation”, it grates on my last nerve. Kinda like the sound of cutting through a Styrofoam plate. So Kim and I didn’t spend a week on a “staycation”, we had a “We’re too broke to go anywhere-cation”.
Looking at though, “staycation” doesn’t sound so bad anymore.
We had hoped maybe to head north, into Massachusetts to a little town called Sturbridge. I’ve been there a few times in my life, and the main attraction there is the restored village, Old Sturbridge Village. It’s set in the 1840s, the people who work there carry out their day as if this was their village, and they go about their daily lives. It’s a wild place to visit, and Kim and I will get there someday.
Here in New York, we have Old Bethpage Village. We visited there last month, and was sad to see it had deteriorated from what we remember from our youth. It was still a great day, with lots to see, but many of the buildings were closed, and the workers didn’t seem as enthusiastic.
If nothing else, it was nice to go to a place to pretend – even for a little bit – that we lived in a simpler time, when you the stress you feel today over bills and where the next dollar was coming from didn’t exist.
I wrote this post in my sleep last night, or at least I knew exactly what I needed to say when my eyes opened this morning.
This is an unusual post for me, not only because I am writing this from an airplane 33,000 feet about the earth, but because I still have not yet seen any of the photos I am blogging about more than just off the little LCD on my camera. They still reside only my memory card, I still am not even home yet to put them on my computer.
But then again, the photos are only part of the story – albeit an intrical part of my bogs. The words I write are what fill in the gaps between the photos.
I woke this morning, and sit here in Seat 13F with mixed feelings, part sheer joy, part sadness, the usual feelings one experiences when a dream has been realized.
I can’t tell you the first time I heard about Belize or who I heard it from, though I do remember reading about it in a National Geographic. I don’t know if it that was the beginning of my obsession with the small South American country. I don’t even remember when it became a sign of my frustration. When things were rough for me – bad marriage, tough job, feeling that the cards were stacked against me – I’d say “Fuck it – I’m going to Belize.” I do remember, however, when Dallas said to me, “Ok, let’s go.” I remember chuckling even though she didn’t. The next day she had details, a list of hotels to look at, flights, etc. It wasn’t more than a week later than a book arrived in my mailbox from her – Lonely Planet’s Guide to Belize and I knew then she was serious.
We left Thursday in what could only be described as controlled chaos. Despite the craziness of gate changes; closed terminals we made it to our flight and were soon over the Gulf Of Mexico heading south. I had never been so excited in my life. We landed in the airport in Belize City and the first thought in my head was “Where’s the rest of it?” We got though customs, made arrangements for the next flight and, as Dallas and I have a tendency to do, found the closest bar. There we began our introduction not only to the people of Belize, who are the friendliest as could be, but to Belikin, the only beer in Belize. I still don’t know introduction will last more with me.
As we were told they would, the gate attendants for Mayan Air found us to tell us our next flight was ready to go. (Everyone who has ever missed a flight should find that amusing.) We were both a little nervous walking outside, but I felt better when a small jet was sitting there. “See.” I said. “Not so bad.” Dallas laughed and said, “No, that’s it.” Pointing beyond the jet the 10 seat prop job sitting there. I actually liked the flight, but then again I am a bit crazy. We landed safely in Dangriga, at an airport smaller than the one we left from. There we met a drive to take us to our resort 30 minutes away. We drove through the country, on a paved road, then on a dirt road through tiny villages. I don’t know if the driver was aiming for holes in the road, or if they simply could not be missed, but the ride jostled and threw us around. By the time we pulled up to the resort, I was glad to be out and walking again.
The 4 days were absolute heaven. The resort, Hamanasi, was absolute paradise. The food was beyond description; almost rivaling anything my brother-in-law has cooked for me. The beers were cold, was ocean and the pool felt wonderful. We did hardly anything but relax for most of our stay there. A few games of “crapgammon” because we couldn’t remember the official rules & made it up as we went, a walk along the beach, and on the last day, a bike ride into Hopkins were we hung at the local bar.
It an amazing moment in my life.
I sit here now wondering what photos will come out. The one of Mandigo’s bicycle. The moon & the dock. The flowers on our bed each night. The fat cat sitting on the porch. The cemetery shots. (Yes, I managed to go all the way to Belize and find a cemetery.) I also sit here thinking to myself that although I would be upset if none of them came out, none of them really matter anyway. It wasn’t about the photos. It was about accomplishing a dream.
Stop reading my blog, and go accomplish your dream. And take pictures.
I took lots more photos while I was there… most of which cab be seen Here on my site. Enjoy!