Joy’s Rant List Volume 55: How NOT to Do It: Vacation Violations

Okay so I lied. The last rant said that the next one would be about sex. Well, I went on vacation and decided to tell you all about that instead.

So – sex next time. I promise. (Do I sound like every married couple with small kids? Yes. LMAO!)

Now, back to this vacation violation. I call it this because, while I had a wonderful time in Belize on the island of San Pedro, I also encountered so many violations that I felt I had to share them with you. I will be including the girls I went with, but have changed the names to protect the innocent.

Bootlegging Belize

So it all starts with my friend… um… Brandy. Brandy texts me and asks “What are you doing for Labor Day?” “Nothing.” I respond. “Wanna go to Belize? Southwest has cheap flights!”

Hell yeah, I wanna go to Belize! I bought the ticket before she had even given me any more details than the dates of travel. Done, son! Let’s go! … Where is Belize? Out in the water somewhere, right? WRONG. Belize is actually part of Central America. And if my raggedy “Americans don’t know shyt beyond Florida” ass had bothered to look at a map, I would have known what I was getting into.

Things I looked up about Belize after I got back:

  1. It is 3 feet under sea level
  2. It has no natural beaches (there is a man-made beach, but it erodes – see #1)
  3. It’s on the eastern end of Central America – dipping into the Caribbean. (That’s kinda what I thought but I really didn’t know.)

All I knew was that Southwest Airlines flew directly there from Houston. Hey – all I needed to know!!  The next step was to secure a hotel. One of the other members of the group that was going – we’ll call her Alizay – mentioned that she saw a Groupon for a discount at a hotel in Belize City. Several of the members of the group were interested in the discount price. But no ma’am. Not having it.

What Not To Do: Use a Groupon for Out-of-Country travel

I have heard that some people have good luck with using Groupon, but I have also heard horror stories. I’m far too delicate to be in a place with no air conditioning. Just because I am from the South doesn’t mean I LIKE the heat. Any vacation I take has to be at or above my standard of living at home. If not, hell, I can stay on the couch!

I also am not about that ‘Robbed in Rio’ life. What you ain’t gone do is have me hobbling down the street with a broken shoe and a bum knee, with mud on my face, trying to stop some teenaged Usain Bolt wannabe who has my purse tucked under his arm like a football. Nope. Avoiding that all together.

SHAWN!!!!

Shawn is my friend and travel planner extraordinaire. He, Eric and Rebekah are in a travel planning group that I HIGHLY RECOMMEND.  They have been planning my trips for 3 years now, and each one is to die for.  I wish I had gotten them in on this earlier.  If you want to travel with no worries, hit Rebekah up at Emotive Travel.  What I like about their group is that they will do reconnaissance on a location before they send you out. I even have my other friends using them now.  And I am SO thankful that Rebekah hooked us up with a good hotel – and at a good price! Because when we got there… But that’s later on in the story… First we had to actually leave Houston…

It’s Going Down in the DF

Okay, so we have only made it as far as the international terminal IN HOUSTON and we are already spending money. What is it about going on vacation that just loosens all your purse strings? I bought makeup. Y’all know good and damn well that I don’t wear makeup unless someone is going on a stage! But there I am, at the MAC counter, buying some limited edition nonsense.

(Actually, that lipstick was FIYAH! #noregrets)

Once we exit the MAC store, Alizay sees the Duty-Free Shop.

“Ooh! Duty Free! I haven’t been through there in so long!” She runs off like Alice in Wonderland and we have to remind her that we are about to BOARD a plane and what is she going to do with a handle of Ciroc on the flight? Girl, put that down.

We board our plane, have… a few drinks… on the plane and then touch down in Belize City. I’d like to take a moment to thank the pilot for not dropping us out of the sky. Because he tried. You know how you hit turbulence and you try to be cool about it? Like you pretend that you didn’t really grab the seat in front of you, and you giggle off the tension? Welp, everybody screamed on this flight. We fell about 50 feet. Enough to think we were gonna die. It was more than a roller coaster, I’ll tell you that! Suffice it to say, we were stone cold sober when we landed. Time to start over. First thing we look for? Duty Free.

As we peruse the selection of the same shit we see every day at the liquor store, Alizay begins to look for some “authentic” rum. From Belize. Does Belize even make rum? We don’t know. But lo and behold, there is some Belizean rum sold there. Uh, okay. Let’s skip that and get this Van Gogh vodka because I KNOW about that! And it was at a good price! That vodka was going to keep us tight for the whole weekend! That, and the Ciroc that we wouldn’t let her buy beforehand. Why buy watered down mojitos on the beach when you can get lifted with your own stash in your room?  If you don’t know the ‘refilled water bottle’ trick by now, you’re doing it wrong.

A Three Hour Tour

The next step in this adventure is to take a ferry from Belize City to San Pedro Island. Now here’s where my ignorance first kicked in. When we booked the hotel, Rebekah told us to be sure to fly in early enough to catch the last ferry out. No sweat. She also told us it would be about a 90 minute ride. Okay. Cool. Nice lazy ferry over to the island, kind of like a day cruise. Sweet!

NO.

What Not To Do: Be a Pirate in 2016

We get our tickets and watch the “porter” move our luggage off to the side with the rest. He then gives us tags for it and takes it all outside. We don’t see him leave because we are busy ‘turning up’ in the air conditioned building. But when they say it is time to board, we hand over our tickets and walk outside to “What the hell is this?!” They have stowed our luggage on a speedboat. Granted, it’s a large speedboat, but a speedboat nonetheless. And we board this speedboat and take off at a brisk 40-50 miles an hour. Alizay has never been to the Caribbean before so she is looking out the porthole window like a new puppy. For a minute… Now if you know speedboats, you will know that 40 miles an hour means you are bouncing across waves. Now think back a moment to when I said Rebekah told us this was a 90 minute ride. Yeahhhh. I’m surprised we didn’t throw up.

So there we are, out in the middle of whatever ocean (geography fail) on a speedboat with a hold full of luggage. And produce. And furniture. And a drum set. And a twin mattress. And a guitar. Who? What? Why? Y’all, they start pulling stuff out of the ‘hold’ like it’s a damn clown car. I feel like either someone was moving to the island for good, or we just discovered how they make their money in the off season.

When we first docked on San Pedro Island, all I could think was “Thank you Jesus and Rebekah!”  Our hotel was the best one in the area.  It was ‘downtown’ but still on the beach.  And the locals were very accommodating – if you helped them get their hustle on.

Portrait of a Hustler

hustlersLook at these little faces! Aren’t they cute?! Yes, of course they are! So adorable! And they are the new face of commerce in San Pedro. They are sitting under this table while their mother strings together beads for bracelets and necklaces. Then they hit the strip. These kids were throwing puppydog eyes and hawking their goods like grown-assed veterans. I bought a bracelet from the little girl, and then the little boy runs up. I tell him that I just bought a bracelet…

Boy: “That’s her business. We have separate businesses. I sell necklaces.”

Me: “Well, I don’t need a necklace.”

Boy: “Yes, you do. It will match that bracelet you have.”

Blank stare.

Me: “Okay well I am out of money today so come back tomorrow.

Boy: “What time?” He side eyes me.

Me: “Same time, same place.”

Boy: “Okay so I will come back to this hotel tomorrow at 10 AM for you.”

He leaves and I continue to enjoy my 10 feet of beach sun. (More on that in a minute.)

What Not to Do: Lie to Hustling Ass Children

The next morning, around 10:30, I am eating breakfast at a restaurant further down the beach. I ain’t thinking about this kid from yesterday. I see his little sister selling bracelets in the restaurant and she waves at me. Awww, so cute!! I sip some coffee. Brandy starts laughing and I turn around. There is Hustle Boy staring at me with a ‘gotcha’ grin on his face. He wastes no time.

Boy: “So – what necklace would you like?”

I was so ‘dead’ at this point that I bought two items off of him. I can respect his hustle!!

You Can’t Pool With Us – And Neither Can We

I’m going to skip some things in the interest of time. The hotel was bombhotel pool.JPG   Even though the beach was only 10 feet wide and covered with piers and boats. 10 foot beach.JPG

It was like trying to ‘profile’ at a shipyard.

And the whole ‘downtown San Pedro’ experience was cool. We had good food, a great staff, and even found San Pedro’s version of Rio’s Christ the Redeemer…Jwtgh.JPG

We called him Jesus with the Good Hair.

But this was not quite the level of 5-star luxury and amenity that I am used to. So we decide* to go further up the island to the more exclusive resorts. It was only a 20-minute speedboat ride.

*By ‘decide’, I mean I said I was going, and they could come or not but I was going, dammit. And they came with me. LOL

So we take a water taxi to the northern part of the island, and my first reaction is “I HAVE FOUND MY PEOPLE!!” Compare the pool from earlier with THIS pool…resort-pool

 

you-cant-pool-with-usStaying at this resort was outside our budget (remember the Groupon issue?!) so we only stayed for the day. But if you’re ballin’, holler at Rebekah and she can hook you up!  Notice how I took pictures in the pool at somebody else’s resort. And then had the nerve to make it a meme!!

This is the vacation equivalent of taking a picture with someone else’s BMW. (Side note, I totally took pictures in my editor’s BMW once.) Once we were done pretending, we were ready to head back to our hotel. The water taxi was supposed to be there at 7:00, so at 6:45 we are on the dock.

What Not to Do: TRUST THE DAMN LOCALS

Y’all. The water taxi company has earned my eternal enmity for this. Those futhamuckas left us out there on the dock because “we didn’t call to say we wanted them to pick us up.” BITCH, I TOLD YOU WHEN WE LEFT THAT WE WANTED THE 7:00 TAXI!!!!!! DID YOU THINK I CHANGED MY MIND?!?! WHY DO YOU POST A SCHEDULE OF STOPS IF YOU AIN’T GONE STOP HERE?! WHAT IN ALL OF THE PHUCKS?!?!?

And let me tell you something, city people, you don’t know what “pitch black” is until you are on an island with no overhead lights. Or lights of any kind.

In just 3 hours it went from this…

.pier-daylight

 

To this…

pier-nighttime

So, what started out as a visit to a remote part of the island turned into a scene from a B-movie slasher film. Jason was just waiting on his chance to come running out of the bushes with a machete. We waited and waited and finally found someone to call us a cab (the resort staff had almost all gone home). And then we took the cab ride from hell home. Not because of the cabbie – because of the streets.

LOOK AT THESE DAMN STREETS!!!

roads

This was a 45 minute drive through what I now know can NOT be my ‘home away from home’. Get yo’ infrastructure life, Belize!!

So we made it back and obviously made it home without incident. Make no mistake – we had a great time!!  But you’d better believe my next vacation is going to be better thought out, and I am going to save up more money to get into the fancy ‘can’t pool with us’ type of resort. And I will reserve my own transportation or just not leave the damn resort.

 

 

Ummm… Where is Bora Bora…? LOL!

 

Rant 55 done, and I’m out!    (Yes, sex is next. Ugh. Sigh… LOL!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Joy’s Rant List Volume 55: How NOT to Do It: Vacation Violations

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