Thursday, June 19, 2014

Belize Trip Report

I am linking up with  Oh, the places I've been @ Tablescaper   and check out  Gemma's  Scenic Weekend   And Friday Postcards


Belize trip report May 17-24
Day 1. Hubby and I flew from BWI- Miami to Belize City.. the flight from Miami was delayed some. We arrived in Belize City over an hour late. Our arranged transportation had to leave since they already had some guest to transport.. Luckily they arranged new transportation to the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge for us. This turned out to be an adventure in itself somewhat. The van ended up with a flat tire which was promptly fixed but our driver had to go and buy a new spare tire. We were ok with this since we figured the first day was going to be just for traveling.  Bryan and Richard were nice to greet us with a yummy rum punch. We arrived at the Sleeping Giant too late for lunch but Richard ( greatest bartender ever)  gave us a snack to hold us over till dinner.  We had a garden view room under the bar which at times was a little noisy. The room itself was beautiful. I loved the bathroom, décor and the cute towel animals.. Oh and the air conditioning worked great. Over the next four days, Richard the bartender was one of our favorite workers at the Sleeping Giant Lodge. Dinner was delicious at the lodge, they have a great cook.



Day 2. I have to say the breakfast at the Sleeping Giant was delicious, most mornings both hubby and I had omelets. We arranged a Mayan Ruins tour with Bryan at the Sleeping Giant thru Caves Branch Adventure Co.  I believe our tour guide for the day was Ching?  He was very informative and led us on a great tour of the Xunantunich and Cahal Pech mayan ruins. I did a blog post here: http://viewingnaturewitheileen.blogspot.com/2014/06/belize-mayan-ruins.html . I love to look for new birds and I was able to find a few new lifers on this day to the ruins and we saw a Spider Monkey at the Xunantunich ruins.





Day 3. Hubby and I were up early each morning and would sometimes take a walk around the Sleeping Giant grounds and down to the river. Breakfast at the lodge was the usual yummy omelets. One this day we arranged for some birding at the Sleeping Giant Rainforest lodge.  Neko from http://www.belizeinlandtours.com/  came to the lodge and spotted some birds right on the lodge’s grounds and then a walk down the road to the orange orchards.. From there we took a separate tour with Neko to the St Hermans Cave and to do some birding at the Blue Hole National Park.  My blog post on our day here: http://viewingnaturewitheileen.blogspot.com/2014/06/blue-hole-national-park.html
 Our cave tour was a guided walking tour led by Neko. I also found out Neko was awesome at spotting some new life birds for me. We had a lunch at local place picked out by Neko, hubby and I both enjoyed the burritos. Back to the resort for a swim in the pool, showers and a yummy dinner. I usually picked a fish dinner which also came with a salad and a dessert. Kudos to the Sleeping Giant cook.




Day 4. We hung around the Sleeping Giant Rainforest lodge for the day.  Walking around the grounds, looking for new birds, breakfast as usual was yummy. The birds around the open air dining room was a distraction at times. It was hard to concentrate on eating while I was watching the beautiful hummingbirds and toucans and other birds around the lodge. Hubby and I did take the hike up to the tower gazebo at our lodge. We had some beautiful views of the orchard, river and the mountains. We did have a rain shower while at the tower and we just waited it out before heading back to our room. Back to shower, swim at the pool and have one of Richard’s delicious Pina Coladas.  As the previous nights, we enjoyed the dinner at the lodge.




Day 5.  This day was our transfer to the Almond beach Resort part of our jungle-beach package. We were up early, again taking an early morning walk around the grounds before breakfast. It was kind of sad leaving this beautiful rainforest lodge. We were enjoying the food, drinks and all the attention.  But, hubby was looking forward to some coastal scenery and snorkeling. Our drive to the next hotel Almond Beach resort in Hopkins went quickly. We were greeted with a Rum Punch, a nice tour of the hotel and grounds and shown to our beach front room. Wow, we had a gorgeous view.  This first night hubby and I did take the night tour of the lagoon to see the Bioluminescence tour. It was neat seeing the jelly fish glowing in the dark.




Day 6. Having a beach front room at the Almond beach resort was great for viewing the sunrises.. Hubby and I were up early every morning to see these beautiful sunrises.  Breakfast at the resort was delicious, the service was always excellent. On this day we arranged a hiking tour to a waterfall at the Mayflower-Bocawina National Park. I believe at this time the hot and humid weather was taking its toll on me. I whimped out and did not make it all the way to the waterfall, I stopped near some cascades while hubby and the group hiked on. It was a beautiful rainforest-jungle area to enjoy, with some great bird sounds all around. Hubby had a camera to take shots of the waterfall. One thing I can recommend is to have a good bug spray with you, the flies were mean. Back at the room, showers done we had dinner at the hotel, food there was always excellent.




Day 7. Another beautiful sunrise from our room, a pretty day in Paradise.. A yummy breakfast at the hotel dining room and we were off on our tours.  On this day hubby and I split up.  Hubby took the snorkeling tour to the Barrier Reef, which he loved. His words.. one of the best he has ever done, except for snorkeling at the Cayman Islands..Hubby has snorkeled in a lot of places. I went off on a birding tour included a local tour of the birds along the Sittee River and also a boat ride on the Sittee River.  I was happy to add a few more lifers to my list. Also, on this day we rented a golf cart to drive into Hopkins for some fun.  We stopped at  The Funky Dodo for a drink. They were reasonably priced drinks and delicious. And then onto another local place Brother Pizza.  Definitely a good choice for the pizza, it was recommended by some friends we met at Almond Beach.



Day 8.  Our last day in Almond beach we were sad to leave this pretty paradise and our great room with it fantastic view. We had an early breakfast and then had to pack up and get ready for our ground transportation to Dangria airport.  We had a smooth Maya flight to Belize City airport. I enjoyed the views from this small plane, the first time I have ever been on a little plane. It was exciting. We arrived at the Belize City Airport with enough hang out time before our flight to Miami and home. Overall we had a great trip to Belize, I would highly recommend visiting this lovely country.. We were happy with the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge and Almond Beach. Sorry for the long report, thanks for reading..


I would recommend the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Resort and the Almond Beach Resort for a good time in Belize..

Thanks for stopping by and  I wish everyone a happy day!


I hope you enjoyed my travel and scenic post.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.  

 Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by to see my post and thanks to Gemma for hosting Scenic Weekends. also thank to Alma the host @ The Tablescaper
And Keryn from Friday Postcards



Friday, May 30, 2014

Belize vacation, May 2014

 I am linking up with  Oh, the places I've been @ Tablescaper   and check out  Gemma's  Scenic Weekend   And Friday Postcards


Hubby and I enjoyed a week stay in Belize..The first four days we stayed at the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Lodge near Belmopan and the last three nights were on the coast near the village of Hopkins. The Sleeping Giant was a wonderfully run lodge, with friendly employees and a great tour desk.

Belize is located on the Northeastern Coast of Central America. It is the only country in the area that English is the official language. Belize is bordered by Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the south and west and the Caribbean Sea is on east coast.  From 1862 to 1973 Belize was called the British Honduras and was part of the British Empire.



Our room for 4 nights and yes the air conditioning was running the whole time we were there.  You could choose a garden view room for two people or they have the Casitas (little cottages that stand alone and sleep up to 4 people).



 The pool was recently added, it is pretty. A nice hot tub was close by too.



This was our view in the morning for breakfast.. I was always seeing birds moving around the tree with the purple blooms.. It was a treat for me to have fresh squeezed orange juice in the mornings.. There is an orange orchard and farm adjacent to the resort.



The resort was beautifully landscaped with bougainvillea, flamboyant trees and gorgeous exotic plants.  


This walkway led to the river, the resort offered the use of inflatable kayaks and tubes.


The walkway led to this pretty view of the Sibun River and the mountains in the distance.. During each visit to the river we would see one or two Green Kingfishers. 


It was nice to come back to the room after a tour to see our cute towel critters.  This one is a dragonfly. 


The is the garden view outside our room, I was happy just to see the hummingbirds hanging around all the flowers.. 

I would recommend the Sleeping Giant Rainforest Resort for a good time in Belize..

Thanks for stopping by and  I wish everyone a happy day!


I hope you enjoyed my travel and scenic post.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.  

 Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by to see my post and thanks to Gemma for hosting Scenic Weekends. also thank to Alma the host @ The Tablescaper
And Keryn from Friday Postcards


Friday, April 25, 2014

Hashawha Nature Center

 I am linking up with Gemma's  Scenic Weekend

 These are some scenic views from our visit to the local Hashawha Nature Center.. There are lots of trails to hike, a lake and stream. Seeing the beautiful wildflowers and pretty birds made me happy.







I am trying to do some post sharing the local parks and state parks  that hubby and I have visited.  I hope you enjoyed my post.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.  

 Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by to see my post and thanks to Gemma for hosting Scenic Weekends.


Saturday, April 19, 2014

HAPPY EASTER


HAPPY EASTER



Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Battle Creek Cypress Swamp

 I am linking up with Gemma's  Scenic Weekend

Once in a while I will feature a local Maryland Park or Natural Area used for recreation.
Battle Creek Cypress Swamp in Calvert County, Maryland is one of the most northernmost stands of Bald Cypress trees.


The Bald Cypress is a typical sub-tropical tree in the Blackwater swamps of the southeast.



A snakelike boardwalk takes you thru the Bald Cypress Swamp.



 The Bald Cypress knees.


The knobby knees emerge out of the water. The Battle Creek Bald Cypress consists of 100 acres of Bald Cypress and woodlands. In the spring you can find various birds, frogs and turtles making their home in the swamp. the land was purchased by the Nature Conservancy and is leased and operated by Calvert County Rec & Parks. I have visited many Maryland parks during all my birding outings, another park we visited on this outing was the Flag Ponds Nature Park and Calvert Cliffs State Park.. 


I hope you enjoyed my travel post.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.  

 Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by to see my post and thanks to Gemma for hosting Scenic Weekends.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Boldt Castle

 I am linking up with Gemma's  Scenic Weekend


Over the years hubby, son and I have been on many roads trips. On this trip I am taking you to the New York-Canada border.  One of the tours we took was a boat ride and walking tour thru the Boldt Castle. The Boldt Coastle is located in the Alexandria Bay located in the famous 1,000 Islands.



On the St Lawrence River a boat took us to the Boldt Castle, for an inside tour and a walk around the grounds.

The Boldt Castle was built in 1900's by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt. It was a tribute to his wife Louise who passed away before it was finished.


The Arched entry to the Bold Castle.


This stained glass dome overlooks the marble staircase.  Some of the later work was completed by the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority. They have spent millions in repairing and rebuilding portions of the castle and grounds.



Above scenes from our boat ride to the Boldt,  the Boldt Entry Arch, Boldt Yacht house, Ospreys on  tower, 2 nations. What a huge yacht house!




The USA-Canada official border lays directly on the river bed underneath this bridge. The bridge  with the Canadian and US flags is connecting two small islands.


I hope you enjoyed my travel post.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.  

 Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by to see my post and thanks to Gemma for hosting Scenic Weekends.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ocean City, Maryland

 I am linking up with Gemma's  Scenic Weekend


 These are some shots of our recent weekend getaway to Ocean City, Maryland..

  Hubby and I, my shadow shot.


A broken pier from the storm Sandy..


The amusement pier will be opening soon..it will not be long till the sounds of summer will be there.


Over a hundred streets of beach, hotels, stores and restaurants.. 


A view at the inlet.


 The view from our room, a little too cloudy for a sunrise..


We a great room on the corner, it had a cool wrap around balcony.. we could see the ocean and the bay.


 The Ocean City inlet..


Sunset at Ocean City's inlet..

I hope you enjoyed the photos and our visit to Ocean City, we like to go before the crowds are there..



I hope you enjoyed my travel post.  I wish everyone a safe and happy weekend.  

 Thanks for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. Thanks for stopping by to see my post and thanks to Gemma for hosting Scenic Weekends.