Flights #22 & #23 (BELIZE-HOUSTON-LAX), Train #5 (LA-OCEANSIDE), Flights #24 (LAX-KC) & #25 (KC-DC), Bus #6 (DC-NY) and Flight #26 (Newark-Madrid) (PHOTOS HERE)

Flights #22 & #23 (BELIZE-HOUSTON-LAX), Train #5 (LA-OCEANSIDE), Flights #24 (LAX-KC) & #25 (KC-DC), Bus #6 (DC-NY) and Flight #26 (Newark-Madrid) (PHOTOS HERE)

It was good to be home. The trip through South and Central America was amazing, but there’s no place like home.  Denise has been my translator for most of our two months and it was great to be able to communicate with everyone without having to use my hands and point at pictures. It’s been a while since I posted a blog about our transportation so here is a quick recap:
Our last day in Central America started early like most traveling days do. We walked to the boat dock from our guest house in Caye Caulker, Belize – a luxury of island life. At the dock we boarded a speed boat that took us to Belize City.  Denise cursed out the captain silently for driving us over waves at his cruising speed. She thought he should have slowed down, but this was a matter of opinion because most everyone on board was sleeping through the whole ride including one of the boat guys on the bow of the boat. We took a 35-minute cab ride through Belize City then took flight #22 to Houston, where we went through customs and quickly changed planes thanks to a guy in the airport with a golf cart who took us to our gate. After waiting for our bags to join us on the plane we finally took off — flight #23. Sunny California here we come.
Ironically enough before we got to Caye Caulker, I told Denise that every city we have been to so far has taken me until the end of our stay there to get used to it and its surroundings. Belize was the first place that took no time at all. It was one of the most laid back places I’ve ever visited. Anywhere people gather for the sunset is my kind of place. Everyone was cool, the tourists, the locals and all of the people working on the island. The theme of the island was ‘go slow’ and they reminded us of that often. Thursday of that week we celebrated my birthday swimming with sharks, stingrays, groupers, turtles and a lot of other species of fish. It was a birthday that will be hard to forget.  The snorkeling company was Reggaemuffin, one of the many tour companies on the island.  It was on a medium-sized sailboat with around 10 other people. We listened to reggae all day and had lunch before snorkeling. Our sailboat took us to 3 different snorkel spots along the reef. The reef runs 190 miles and is parallel to Caye Caulker.  The guide told us if we continue on the path we are on with polluting the ocean, in 30 years the reef will die. This reef protects the island from most hurricanes and it makes me wonder if the island will survive without the reef. Before swimming with the sharks, Captain Ron, who not only sailed the boat but also gave us tours while snorkeling, fed the sharks to make sure that we could see as many as possible. This seemed like a horrible idea, but we still got in the water and enjoyed the experience. For dinner Denise booked reservations for the best restaurant on the island which happened to be an Italian place. The owners, an Italian couple, have lived everywhere in the world.  The husband and chef was from Calabria and enjoyed telling us about his admiration for Sicily and how excited he was for us to visit there. They sang happy birthday to me in Italian and it capped off a wonderful dinner and day. Food and drinks on Caye Caulker were affordable and good, nothing fancy.  Juice smoothies and fresh fruits were everywhere. I had my new favorite breakfast item, fry jacks. They were a thin croissant stuffed with cheese and beans and topped with hot sauce. You could add anything from eggs to bacon and ham.  I’m actually craving one right now.  Many of the restaurants on the island were extensions of a family’s home. Our breakfast one morning felt like eating at someone’s grandmother’s house. We spent our last evening at the local sports bar. It hosts an open jam every Friday at 3:00.  Both locals and tourist entertained us.  One of the last songs of the evening was Kansas City and we were so excited to hear this song that we couldn’t help but dance. We grabbed an early dinner and headed back to our little guesthouse to rest before our big day of traveling back to the states. We landed in California and took a bus to the train station. The train was our 6th type of transportation for the day.  We were greeted by Denise’s parents, what a great sight.  At home waiting for us was an amazing dinner with a birthday cake and candles. I like to celebrate my birthday all month.
While in the states we visited D’s parents in Oceanside, California.  I think it’s the perfect place to live in the United States. Love the weather and the beach. Plus my in-laws are amazing and create a little slice of heaven when we visit. While there we hung out with her parents, made a pizza with her dad, went to the driving range, had a great French lunch in nearby San Juan Capistrano and even took an unexpected trip to the Mexican border (so her parents could get the TSA fast pass). We were literally at the last exit before Mexico, which meant we had great food for dinner after we were done. I also picked the last oranges from the trees in the backyard. Next up, Kansas City. If you know my family then you already know the treatment we had while visiting our hometown. I got to celebrate my little cousin Giada’s birthday, hide 465 Easter eggs for our family’s Easter egg hunt, see my friends and play golf with my brother while Denise went for lunch with my cousin Tre and her kids. Denise took a golf lesson too. Her best friend Jenea came up with her baby and mom and we got to hang out with them. Plus we got to watch the Royals home opener at home with my family, can’t think of anything better. Our last stop in the States was Denise’s other best friend Margaret and Yado’s wedding. It was a beautiful day and we were thankful to be welcomed in by two wonderful families.  Their friends were awesome too. We met Laura and Kevin who did a round-the-world trip 3 years ago and they shared some stories and gave us a lot of great pointers for our journey. At least we realized we are on track so far. The next day was yet another travel day. This time it started with a cab ride to DC’s Union Station, then a 5-hour bus ride to New York from Washington. We were an hour late, which we didn’t mind because Denise’s other best friend Lori kept us laughing all the way. We did miss a chance to meet our friends Alec and Brennan in NY because of the bus delay so that was a bummer. We had a quick walk through New York shlepping our gear to Penn Station, took the train to Newark then finally boarded the 8-hour flight to Madrid. This next trip will last 7 months, which is unbelievable and a bit surreal. I can’t imagine what I will learn and am excited to meet a lot of wonderful people.
Madrid has been a blast so far, but I’ll let Denise write about that in a few days. Still getting used to the time change, it’s 2am and we can’t seem to go to bed. The jetlag is making us loopy. I just ordered a third glass of wine and more olives in spanish and I’m very proud of myself. I’m going to quit while I’m ahead.
IMG_2998 IMG_3002
IMG_2679 IMG_2721 IMG_2717IMG_2735
IMG_2768  IMG_2769IMG_2770IMG_2776
IMG_2822 IMG_2847IMG_2889  IMG_2840 IMG_2834IMG_2835
IMG_2926DCIM100GOPROGOPR0068.IMG_2955 IMG_2972   IMG_2961IMG_2963  IMG_2942
IMG_0143 IMG_0164IMG_2988

7 Responses

  1. Nicolette

    Just love the pictures! You guys are amazing and having the time of your lives! Be safe.

    Love you,

  2. Marie Sears

    Enjoy the next seven months, I’m enjoying your adventures!

  3. staci blank

    Have a great 7 months.

  4. Love your stories, son-in-law. It was a great pleasure having you here. Enjoy the rest of your Full Stop. Can’t wait to read more and see more pictures! Love you guys

  5. Your visit went by like a whirlwind! It was truly wonderful having you both here! Love you guys ! Enjoy every minute and stay safe!!!

  6. This is great!! Love it all. Enjoy every minute of the next 7 months! Love you guys xx

  7. Pic’s are great, Enjoy & stay safe-judy serrone

Leave a Reply