Going to Belize?? Skip the Taxis and Rent a Car!

Last year my friends and I went to San Ignacio Belize on a flight deal and had a blast.  I loved that little area we were in! It was like someone made a resort and threw it in the heart of where the natives lived. It was everything! We had the best of both worlds, luxury, and authentic cultural experiences.

Our initial plan was to go to San Ignacio and then go to the Cayes for a day or two.  After a bit of research and native word of mouth, we learned without private transportation, that was an impossible task.

Public transportation is poor to say at best.  It requires water taxis, regular taxis, buses, maybe even a flight to travel around the country.  ALL are EXPENSIVE.  We vowed to go back, stay longer, and split our time between the two to experience it all.

Practically a year to date I found myself back in Belize. An executive decision was made to rent a car for travel and it was by FAR THE BEST DECISION EVER!!!

We were able to come and go as we pleased, allowing us to visit Belize City, Dangriga, Hopkins, Belmopan, San Ignacio, and hopped on over to Guatemala for the day!  It was nice to be able to venture out on our own safely, and unrestricted at any given time of the day.

The tour our resort offered to Guatemala was over $275 per person. It cost two of us about $150 including gas, country entry/exit fees, park entry fees, and fumigation fees to make the trip by renting a car.  A tour with the hotel to the Belize Zoo was $85 per person, and it only cost $15 per person for entry if you had your own transportation.  We came to the realization that these tours prices are based on gas.  Gas is about $4.50 per gallon in Belize, and travel between most places can take some time to get there.

Having our own car, also allowed us to save a great deal of money on food. Due to the fact we could drive to local restaurants, our meals were a fraction of the cost at the resort.  Dinner on average was $25 pp at the resort.  At a local restaurant, it may have been $20 or less for two, including drinks. Plus, the food was much more appetizing and filling.  We even saved money on alcoholic beverages! Went to “The Mall” and brought a whole bottle of wine for $10.  A glass at the resort was $8 easily.

When it was all said and done, we probably spent about $200 on gas.  Considering the various cities we visited (some twice), the fact we went to a whole different country, AND just went joy riding.  All and all, I definitely believe it was worth it.

For the BEST EXPERIENCE of an amazingly beautiful country, do yourself a favor and RENT A CAR!!!

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CamelBeach Outdoor Water Park

Hey everyone!!!

In June,  my family and some extended family took a trip up to the Poconos and visited the CamelBeach Water Park.

My SIL as always, had EVERYTHANG (yes I meant to spell it like that), planned to the “T”.  I knew we were going to a water park, didn’t know which one until we pulled up.  I saw the name, and knew it from watching commercials.

Now everything on TV ALWAYS look better than what it really is in person, but this place was so fun, I had to do a review.

First off, she found a Groupon and we ended up paying only $32 per person (original price $42).  Beings as though there was 8 of us, that turned out to be $80 savings!!!!

DO:

  • Get there early-this way the lines are not as long and you get more bang for your buck. Like most water parks, this one opens later (at 10am) and close early (7pm).  You don’t want to spend your time waiting in long lines.
  • Pack lunch-there is a picnic area next to the water park.  The food was average amusement park prices (which is high), and that’s just another way to cut down cost.
  • Have your waterproof case for your phone to capture all of the fun you are sure to have.
  • Bring the entire family-they have rides and areas for even the smallest family member.

Remember:

  • Sunscreen/Hats-the park had limited shaded areas and a handful of umbrellas with the lawn chairs.  If you want an area under the umbrella, getting there early is imperative!

sunscreen

  • Water shoes-the ground was extremely hot and my duke refused to walk.

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  • Water Proof Phone Case-you should never leave home without this when visiting water parks!

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Must Ride:

  • The Lazy River-it’s a staple water park ride, but it gets you wet, and ready to take on everything else!

                 My personal video via GoPro

  • The Sandstorm-this is a great family slide ride, but if you have little ones under 42″ you will need a stand-by person.
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Picture from CamelBeach Website
  • The Vortex-this is a single rider slide and you must be at least 48″ to ride
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Picture from CamelBeach Website
  • Last but not least, the Kahuna Lagoon Wave Pool-another water park staple, but everyone can enjoy and the waves were awesome!!

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    CamelBeach Website

 

FUN FACT: In the winter the water park is filled with barrels and board to cover it with snow for skiing!!!

I really would have liked to try the indoor water park, but you have to be staying at the resort to enjoy.  Who knows, maybe next time we will stay at the resort!

 

Costa Rica Esplendor Hotel Review

This past weekend was a girls trip to Costa Rica!!! We all decided on the Esplendor Hotel in Tamarindo, Costa Rica! On a scale of 1-10 I would give this place a 6.5, and here’s why:

Pros:

  • The view is AMAZING! When you pull up you are greeted with cool towels (so I heard…we did not get this royal treatment, but I’m sure it is the normal) a refreshing drink, and a breath-taking view of the infinity pool overlooking the ocean.

EsplendorThis literally is how it looked when we pulled up! (Unedited!)

  • The pool was awesome! We loved the infinity pool and the view we had to the ocean. The swim up bar was an added bonus!

 

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The pool from our room!
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  • It was very clean! I loved the fact the grounds were well maintained, the property was litter free, and the housekeepers were awesome with cleaning up after us messy ladies!!

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The lobby area
Things to consider:

  • Location.  This hotel has a spectacular view because it is situated HIGH (and I mean HIGH) up in altitude.  Walking down to the town isn’t bad per se…but walking back up was a nightmare.  We paid $5 a night to avoid the hill after one trip up.
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This was me motivating myself to walk down the hill one last time!
  • Transportation. The hotel does have a shuttle service, HOWEVER it ONLY runs every 30 minutes, with a 2 1/2 hour break around lunch and stops at 8pm.  The shuttle seats about 12-15 people and was always full leaving people to wait or walk.  Beings as though the ONE STOP to town (besides the beach house) is only a TWO MINUTE DRIVE (we timed it), they really should and NEED to run this van a bit more frequently.

 

  • Breakfast. I honestly can say they served THE SAME FOOD EVERY DAY WE WERE THERE! It was free and included, but after awhile, beans and rice, bacon, fruit, cereal, and toast was old.  For beverages, the options consisted of orange juice, milk, tea or coffee.  On the last day there, they ran out of eggs at 8am (they serve from 7-10am).

 

When it was all said and done, overall, we really enjoyed our stay.  We probably wouldn’t stay here again, just because we would like to try something new, and avoid $5 hill taxis.  We hope this lovely establishment take these suggestions into consideration to improve on an already awesome home away from home!

Birthday Surprise

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I am a fat chick in a skinny chick ‘s body. I love food and everything about it; it truly is the way to my heart.

My Mister decided to take me on a surprise run for my birthday. I was just getting off work and fell asleep for most of the 2+ hour drive. When I woke up a saw and a building with the word “GEORGETOWN” written on it. INSTANTLY, my response was, “Are we going to Georgetown Cupcakes?” He said, “What would make you say that you’ve been sleep, you have no idea where we are.”  I googled Georgetown Cupcake and it was .4 miles straight ahead.  The Smile on my face was priceless.

When we pulled up, as usual, the line was down the block, but I was ready to wait with my “bae” for cupcakes, but he was smart enough to order ahead.  I jumped in the passenger seat, he picked up the cupcakes, and off we went.

NOW let’s talk about these cupcakes. I SWEAR on EVERYTHING I LOVE, this place has PERFECTED the cupcake.  The icing is like silk. It’s not to heavy, not too sweet, not too whipped, but JUST FREAKING RIGHT! The cupcake is so moist my friend described it as “juicy”.  They are so soft and moist, you can barely pick them up out of the container

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The ingredients are fresh, evenly balanced, and match the name of the cupcake to the “T”. Their cupcakes are so good my favorite is Carrot Cake, and I don’t even like Carrot Cake! I ate 4 cupcakes on the ride home 3 for breakfast the next day, and 2 for a midnight snack.

If you are in the DC area, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you stop by. Here are a few tips if you do:

  1. ORDER AHEAD ONLINE IF AT ALL POSSIBLE- unless you want the experience of waiting in the line that is ALWAYS down the block and around the corner, this is by far the best tip I could ever give you.  Georgetown Cupcakes
  2. Some of my favs include
    1. Carrot Cake
    2. Red Velvet
    3. Strawberry
    4. Raspberry Lemonade
    5. Vanilla Birthday Cake

3.  Remember all flavors are rich, flavorful and  true to taste; you truly are going to get                what you ask for. 

Needless to say my birthday surprise was a hit, and I’m not even going to mention we went back the next weekend with his sister and some friends and family!!!