Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jamie, Garth, and kids Sydney, Charlie, and Hannah

Garth and Jamie and their kids gave us a good lesson what being a good sport is all about during their visit with us. They had planned this vacation with their three kids, ages 3, 6, and 9, as something of a “stretch vacation” to see how well the kids traveled. Unfortunately, while the kids traveled well, all things considered, fate threw a few wrenches into the works. Their arrival here was delayed by a day because of missed flight connections – further complicated by the fact that Charlie, the 6-year old, started vomiting on the plane, so when they finally arrived a day late, they had a bag of soiled clothes. No problem – we just threw them in the washer and all was good.

We had cancelled their trips for what was supposed to be the first day of their vacation, and rescheduled so that they spent the first morning they were here visiting Barton Creek, and then, after lunch with Julio’s family, they visited Ka’ax Tun.

The kids were a little uncertain about canoeing in a cave but overall they enjoyed the trip, and they all enjoyed lunch with Julio’s family. They were very adventurous at Ka’ax Tun, walking across log bridges and climbing on the rocks – and Garth even climbed the chimney!

That night, they discovered that what they had thought was motion sickness for Charlie was more likely some sort of bug, since Hannah started vomiting as well. Charlie also wasn’t over whatever had hit him on the plane, so Garth and Jamie spent a very restless night taking care of two sick kids. They were scheduled to go to Caracol the next day, but obviously had to cancel since the kids weren’t up to the tour, much less the drive to get there on the sometimes rough Chiquibul Road. They spent the day laying low in the cabin, trying to get enough fluid into Hannah and Charlie to keep them from getting too dehydrated. Since Sydney never got sick, Tom took her and Jamie up to Rio On that afternoon so they got to enjoy a little bit of Belize’s natural beauty.

We didn’t make any firm plans for the next day since we didn’t know how the kids would feel, but fortunately they were all feeling better so Tom loaded everybody in the truck and they headed for Hopkins. They spent the day playing on the beach and enjoying the blue Caribbean Sea. They stopped for dinner that night at Hode’s in San Ignacio, where the kids enjoyed the playground and Garth and Jamie enjoyed being out and about and watching the kids have a good time.

The next morning, we saddled up Tony and Nessa and went for a ride to the Green Hills Butterfly Ranch with Hannah on Ness and Jamie and Sydney on Tony. Garth and Charlie timed it perfectly and arrived there at the same time as we did in the truck. Jamie said this was probably the favorite thing she did on the trip, explaining that she really enjoyed the ride through the jungle on top of Tony, where she could relax and take in the sights and sounds of the jungle.

They toured the Butterfly Ranch, came back here for lunch, and then went with Tom to the Rio Frio Cave and Pinol Sands in the afternoon. Pinol Sands is a swimming hole near Rio On, but instead of being lots of rocks and waterfalls, it has more sandy swimming areas – perfect for kids!

In fact, after going to Caracol with Eddie the next day, they asked to stop at Pinol Sands again instead of the traditional stop at Rio On. Eddie had not yet been there, and after seeing it he said that he was looking forward to taking his own kids there for a swim next time they had a day out. The kids liked Caracol, but they really liked Pinol Sands, and Jamie, Garth, and Eddie said that it was a little difficult to convince the kids that it was time to leave when another group of tourists arrived!

They had to leave the next day, and while their vacation wasn’t without its trials, Garth and Jamie got to do a little bit of relaxing, and they saw a good selection of what Belize has to offer. And hopefully on their next trip everybody will remain healthy!

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