After moving from Seattle to Belize on a planned Whim (meaning I’d purchased a ticket for a 2.5-week vacation and sold everything “in case” I decided to stay) in December 2014, I have trusted intuition since the moment I bought that plane ticket.  Part of that intuition was/is to not leave Central America, for now.  Intuition has fluctuated on WHERE I can travel within Central America.  For a while, it was Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico.  Now, it is just Mexico.

All that to say, I have not returned to the U.S. or Seattle and Mom had forgotten what I looked like and how funny I am (see?) and so we went about planning her visit.  We decided on 7 days although hindsight (gotta love it) shows that 10 would have been preferable.  She arrived early February 2018.

Belize is located in Central America, just South of Mexico and both East and North of Guatemala.  Belize was ruled by British Honduras until 1981 so it is only been 37 years since they gained their independence.  The official language is English.  Mayan, Spanish and Creole are also spoken.

Placencia, Belize. The Caribbean Sea and Sidewalk behind us.

Mom arrived in Placencia, Belize (where I live) late afternoon so we had time for a nice dinner out.  The next day we toodled around Placencia.  There is not much to see here as it is a small village with maybe 1,000 people (total population of Belize is around 250,000).  Placencia is well-known for its pedestrian-only sidewalk that parallels the Caribbean Sea and that is what you see in the background of this photo.  One of the first things she said was, “I can see why you like it here – it reminds me of Egypt.”

Early the next morning we caught our shuttle to San Ignacio, Cayo District, Belize.  It is about 3 hours from Placencia, and inland.  We are talking Jungle area people!  I love the energy and vibe and often go to Cayo (as the locals call it) for a day or two just to get away.  The population is around 20,000.

Mom loves history and touring.  She is the one who “made” us traipse all around Egypt and Europe.  She is a ROCKSTAR.  She is still traveling at 78.  She walks every day and has gone on a few walking long-distance adventures.  I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up with her (not joking).

Xunantunich, San Ignacio, Belize

Once in San Ignacio, we met our Guide and took a rickety bridge across the Mopan River.  We proceeded to walk up the winding hill while the Guide gave us the scoop on trees, termites, history, etc.

Then we entered the sacred land of Xunantunich, an ancient Mayan Archaeological site.

I climbed about half-way up until my new (hit me in my early 40’s) fear of heights kicked in.  Mom and the tour Guide carried on.

After the tour, we went out for a Belizean lunch.  I insisted Mom try the stew chicken, stew beans, and rice.  We enjoyed a fresh juice – cantaloupe.  After lunch, our tour Guide dropped us off at our resort.  The view was breathtaking.  Too bad it was too chilly to swim in that lovely pool.

Cahal Pech Village Resort San Ignacio Belize

For dinner, I took Mom to my favorite Indian restaurant, called Tandoor.  It’s my hangout when I am in San Ignacio.  I just love it for some reason.  They serve Indian cuisine as well as Italian and Belizean.  Go figure!

The next morning we took the express bus (comfy!) from San Ignacio to Belize City (about 1.5 hours).  At the Belize City bus Terminal, we caught the ADO Bus to Tulum, Mexico.

We debated renting a car and driving but between ridiculously expensive car rental rates in Belize, along with International Car Insurance, it seemed easier to take the bus.  I put in a good word for the ADO bus ride as I have done it numerous times.  We decided we would rent a car in Mexico.

It was a loooooooong bus ride though.  I don’t know what was up with that.  I don’t remember it taking THAT LONG!  At least we rode in comfort albeit a little chilly (they crank the AC for some reason).  We arrived well after dark, and dinner time.  I was exhausted and grumpy and we went straight to bed.

Tulum Ruins, Mexico

The next morning we got our rental car and I was the designated driver.  Off to Tulum, we went!

Tulum is where we wished we could have tacked on an extra day.  Mom was loving the turquoise blue water and wished we had time for a snorkel.

I love Tulum and these ruins are amazing.  Set up on the hill above the Caribbean Sea………what is not to like?

I’ll note that Mom has never had a desire to travel to Mexico.  She changed her tune once here, hooray!


We were able to get an LDS (Mormon) Tour Guide so it was very interesting to hear the added information that tied into the Religion I was raised in (and no longer practicing).

Chichen Itza, Yucatán, Mexico

After the tour, around noon, we zipped off for our drive to Chichen Itza, one of the New Wonders of the World.  Truth be told THIS is why Mom came to visit – it was on her bucket list.  Seeing me was merely an added bonus.  *hand to forehead in dramatics*  Amazing how in all my trips to the Yucatan, I had never taken the time to see Chichen Itza so it was a win-win for both of us!

If you go, arrive FIRST THING in the morning – before it is hot and crowded.  When we got there they were already setting up for a concert.  Whose it was is now eluding me but it was a local musician.

There were Temples, a Cenote, Burial Ground, Ballcourt, Platform of Skulls, Sweat baths and more.

We had a Tour Guide (Mom loves getting her info!) who I got tired of about halfway through.  The heat was getting to me.  I wandered off and found some shade and took photos.

We drove to Cancun the next day, got lost even though we had “good” directions (who was driving??  Crimes!).  It is quite comical to pantomime thinking someone will understand you.  Luckily the young man at the gas station spoke English and helped us call the hotel.

We enjoyed a nice dinner (yum, Mexican food!) and walked around and enjoyed an ice cream and some sort of talent show that was going on in a nearby park.  The next day we wasted time until we took the rental car back then a shuttle to the airport.  After our goodbye’s, I took a bus to Playa del Carmen where I stayed for 5 days then I went to Mahahaul for the week of my Birthday.

Mom and I had a lovely trip, good conversation, some laughs.  TRAVEL and ROAR!

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