Monday, November 22, 2010

Mimi & Doak

The day Abigail, Staci, and Caleb left, Mimi and Doak arrived in San Ignacio. They are thinking of eventually moving to Belize, so they were trying where at all practical to travel like the locals and really see the country, dealing with the “burps” in the system as they went along. Since Tom and I try to live like that as well here, we thoroughly appreciated the effort and tried to help however we could, and while Mimi and Doak’s stay here wasn’t the well-choreographed stay of the completely pre-planned, pull-out-all-the-stops vacation, all four of us had fun and learned a bit.

I felt very badly about the first burp, because if I had put a little more thought into it, I probably could have prevented it. All through the planning stages of their trip, Mimi and Doak had planned to stay at the Belize Zoo’s Tropical Education Center the night before they came here, then get a bus on the Western Highway and arrive in San Ignacio around noon. After Hurricane Richard, the Belize Zoo was closed. I knew the Belize Zoo was closed and I knew Mimi and Doak planned to stay there, but it never occurred to me to ask them if they had confirmed their reservation. I just sort of assumed (yes, I know that little ditty about the word “assume”) that although the Zoo was closed the TEC was open, or that if the TEC was closed Mimi and Doak would have been contacted, but that wasn’t how it worked out. Mimi and Doak spent the first part of their vacation in Placencia, and discovered while they were there that the TEC was closed along with the Zoo. They had already purchased roundtrip Tropic Air tickets from Belize City to Placencia and back, so on their return they just spent the night in Belize City before coming here. They had no trouble getting a bus out of Belize City, but when they got to Belmopan they waited through three or four full buses heading west to San Ignacio, and finally gave up and got a cab, arriving in San Ignacio around 3:30, instead of 2PM, which is when they had anticipated their arrival based on the bus they caught from Belize City. I felt like a dope not only because I had totally missed connecting that they were staying at the [closed] TEC, but also because I knew they were going to Placencia, so if I thought about it I could have had Selmo bring them directly from Placencia when he dropped of Staci, Abigail, and Caleb, and the transfer cost could have been split. Mimi and Doak assured me that it was fine, and that they probably wouldn’t have done that anyway since they had their Tropic Air roundtrip tickets, but still…I don’t like to miss those things.

The second burp occurred on Mimi and Doak’s only full day here, when they had scheduled a much anticipated trip to ATM. We had some communications difficulties with the guides (life in the land of no phone lines or cell reception), and their guide never showed to pick them up in Georgeville. Since Tom was waiting with them, he did a quick replan and took them to Barton Creek Cave instead, which they had never visited, although it wasn’t on their “A” list like ATM. After visiting Barton Creek, they came back here for lunch – surprising me as I was finishing up my salad lunch on the porch – and then after lunch went with Tom into the Mountain Pine Ridge to visit Rio Frio Cave and Rio On Pools. Again, they assured us that it worked out fine because they know they’ll be back and can see ATM later, and they enjoyed what they did, but still…I don’t like it when things don’t go according to plan and our guests have to compromise on what they get to do.

Their departure day actually went as planned, and despite the fact that they had to leave, everything worked like it was supposed to; they had a half day horseback ride scheduled with Joe, and Tom dropped them off, the horses were ready, they went for a ride, and Tom picked them up and they came back here for lunch before heading into San Ignacio to stay at Rosa’s for their last night in Cayo. We had a minor panic attack because neither Tom nor I could place where in San Ignacio Rosa’s is located, but after reading a few TripAdvisor reviews that mentioned how it’s near a big nightclub, we knew it had to be the place next to Blue Angels – and we were right, finally, about something! After a relaxed lunch discussing politics and religion, Tom drove them into town and we thanked our lucky stars that Mimi and Doak were such nice, laid back guests who had an enjoyable time here despite all the setbacks.

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