Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cruise from Tampa, FL to Santo Tomas, Guatemala

Cruise Holland America from Tampa, Florida to Santo Tomas, Guatemala

Midway through cruise already. Key West was 'cleaner and more spruced up' than I recall from the last time we visited there. Maybe it was because of the cooler weather. Very nice strolling weather. We stopped at Jimmy Buffet's and had a Pellagrino and enjoyed the music. They have a HUGE screen showing Jimmy at various concerts and playing all his favorite songs. Since we had already seen Hemingway's home and taken the tourist trolley, we opted to just stroll on foot and enjoy the laid back mood. Then one sea day - llllaaaaazzzzzyyyyy! ho, hum

Today, is Belize City, Belize. Al has been to the island before; but, not to Belize City. We tendered in and the ride from ship to tender to shore was very smooth. There were lots of men offering taxi, bus, tours, etc. One man started walking with us and he was so 'Belize' that Al let him stroll with us, knowing he was expecting a 'touring fee'. He said he was father to 4 boys and 7 girls and 7 of the children still lived with him. He was proud of all the children he had and NO WIFE. He said no one should ever marry a Belize woman or they would need aspirin every day. Then he laughed. He also said he was celebrating his 60th birthday. Al rewarded him with $20. Yes, this is Al's form of tithing (?sp) - the angels keep score. Our 'tour guide' did take us to the oldest church (Anglican) that was built in 1814 by slaves who were not allowed to worship in the church. They had to stand behind some rocks outside and listen to the services.

He also pointed out all the boats anchored in the canal. They were lobster 'diving' boats. This month is off limits for lobsters as they are 'multiplying' this season. The larger boat goes out carrying about 8-10 stacked row boats that then go from the mother boat and take the lobster diver to a separate areas. I bet it would be very picturesque to see them all come in heavy with lobster catches. The literature made note that the Belize people would give negative statements about Guatemala and sure enough - the lady at the church made mention that there are still British soldiers on the island protecting them from the Guatemalans. This church lady also came up to us and asked us if we were millionaires and if we could help restore their ancient church organ. I think if Al had the money he would have written her a check. He was touched by this.

This note was written upon return to the ship from Belize, after a nice lunch and a wonderful nap! Al is nowhere to be found. We have both been perfect in NOT eating any cookies, desserts, breads or ice cream! I did Tai Chi on the day we did not walk the ports. Life is good!

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