It is May already and we’ve been busy getting the gardens ready for spring.  We have Daffodils, Purple Hyacinths, Blue and white Prim Roses, Red Bleeding Hearts, Purple and White Crocuses, Johnny Jump Ups, White Star Magnolias, Burgundy Saucer Magnolias, Yellow Marsh Marigolds, Blood flowers and Purple Trilliums blooming, Soon the Columbine and Lupine will be joining in the color festival. It’s amazing to see how fast things grow here in the North East.  The plants seem to know that the growing season is short so the grow with a vengeance.  You can see and feel the plants grow on a daily basis!

A Belizian Vacation...

Bill and I escaped the cold of spring and spent the first two weeks of April in Belize.  Unfortunately we were stuck in the Miami airport for over 7 hours.  While killing time at the American Airlines Lounge, we had a young man and older woman sit next to us. Bill overheard the young man talk about Darwin’s “Origin of Species” and asked him if he had been to the Galapagos. He responded that he used to be a Naturalist there. And here is the really amazing part - he also knew Bill’s mom, Phyllis!  He had worked with her at the Galapagos in the 1980’s and also in California with the Sea Lion project and in Florida with Koko the Gorilla.

We spent the first week at the Mopan River Resort.  It is a beautiful all-inclusive resort located on the north bank of the Mopan River, across from Benque Viejo del Carmen in western Belize next to the Guatemalan border.  The food was heavenly especially the very sinful “cinabons” for breakfast and the Belizian cuisine.  The specialty drink, the Banana Velvet, was most excellent too.  Pam and Jay Picon are the resort owners and ensure that every guest has a stress free vacation.  The staff was wonderful, especially Alexie and his wife Nasli. Sheila, the toucan, was hand-raised by Pam and loved Mango!

The days were filled with trips to Mayan ruins (Xunatunich, Tikal in Guatemala), a cave with Mayan pottery (Chechem Hah), tubing through the Branch River Caves, canoeing through the Barton Creek Caves, etc.  Xunantunich was only a 5 minute drive with a hand-cranked ferry river crossing!  The trip to the Belize zoo was most excellent too.

A Wedding...

Oh, by the way, we got hitched in Belize on April 6th! The Resort had a beautiful little “Chapel of Angels” that was perfect for the wedding.   Pam and Jay Picon (Resort owners) did all the paper work for us so we had a very stress free wedding.  For our wedding day we toured Benque Viejo del Carmen for a couple of hours with Mark and Cathy, took a siesta, chilled out at the pool, showered, dressed, arrived at the church 10 minutes before the wedding and got married!  Our new friends, Mark and Cathy, stepped in as our photographer and “Best Maid”. The other resort guests hurried back from their tour so they could attend the wedding too!  Be sure to check out the Bill and Julie’s Belizian Wedding video!  To view a larger screen for the video in Windows Media Player, select “View”, “Video Size” and “200%”.

And a Honeymoon Too!

We had a very relaxing dive Honeymoon at Lighthouse Reef, Belize.  There were lots of colorful Queen Angelfish, French Angelfish, Horse-eye Jack, Great Barracuda, Stoplight Parrotfish, wrasse, Indigo Hamlets, Yellowtail Damselfish, juvenile and intermediate Spotted Drums, Southern Stingrays, Spotted Eels, , moray eels, Loggerhead Turtles and Spotted Eagle Rays and others  We went 143 feet down in the Blue Hole and saw huge stalactites and stalagmites that we could dive through. At that depth we could only stay down for 8 minutes!

There is a nesting pair of Osprey on the Island. There is also a couple of Saltwater crocodiles on the island.  We never saw them but they did make a meal out of one of the dogs on the island. Our rooms were right next to Dana and Flip who were from Hollis, NH. We met them over 2000 miles from home and they live about 20 miles from us! It is indeed a small world