Sunday, August 22, 2010

Karen & Helena

Karen and Helena, mother and daughter from Sayre, Pennsylvania, were at the other end of the spectrum from Dan, Megan, and Jackie as far as planning goes. Karen had booked with us way back in January, and wanted to plan ahead for all of their tours to make sure they got to do everything they wanted to do.

Coming from northern Pennsylvania, which isn’t close to anything (except where Tom and I used to live!), it took them two days to get here with an overnight in Miami. The upside of that is that they arrived in Belize shortly after 10AM, so they were able to stop at the Zoo on their way to Moonracer Farm, as well as being able to take the time for a relaxed lunch at Cheers. However, probably the only disappointment in their trip was that they wanted to meet Sharon at the Zoo and have her sign Helena’s Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, since Helena’s dad is a good friend of Tom Pascarello, who is a friend of Sharon and the Zoo. Tom said they asked at the desk and looked for Sharon, but couldn’t find her – not a big surprise when she’s at the Zoo and doing the jobs of two (or maybe ten) people.

Knowing they were going to be traveling for two days, Helena and Karen didn’t book any tours for their first day here. That gave them time to sleep in – very welcome after only 3 hours of sleep in Miami – have a relaxed morning, and head up to Rio On Pools in the afternoon.

The next day they toured Ka’ax Tun in the morning, and had lunch with Julio’s family. It was too wet to do much climbing on the rocks, but the sun was out, which made the site especially beautiful. That afternoon they went into San Ignacio, hoping to go to Xunantunich. Unfortunately, with all the rain, the river was too high for the ferry so Xunantunich was closed. But, in Belize – no problem! Cahal Pech, a small but still impressive archeological site, is set high on a hill right in the town of San Ignacio, so they toured that site and enjoyed browsing in the outdoor gift shop which had temporarily moved from the road by the Xunantunich ferry to Cahal Pech. And, to further satisfy the shopping craving, they stopped at Sak Tunich on the way back to the farm, and were delighted with the crafts available there.

The following day they toured ATM with Gonzo and, predictably, really enjoyed the tour. Although it can be strenuous, they’re both in good shape and didn’t have any problems – their morning runs together, even while on vacation, definitely paid off! On the way home they asked if they could stop at Sak Tunich again to pick up a few things they wished they’d purchased the day before. Even though it was getting dark, Jose was happy to open the shop, and Helena and Karen were happy to be able to get the additional gifts.

Then next day we unfortunately had to take them to the water taxi terminal to get a water taxi to San Pedro and the Maya Princess Hotel. We had hoped to catch Sharon at the Zoo, but she was off the property that day. So, we have Helena’s book, and next time we see Sharon we’ll have her sign it and send it back north to Helena!

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