Sometimes it just seems like the powers that be are conspiring against you. We had been looking forward to the annual San Pedro Lighted Boat Parade all day, and thought we had the perfect plan. In addition to parade day, it was Barry's birthday, so a nice meal at one of our favorite restaurants was in order. We'd take the water taxi into town plenty early enough to get into Wild Mango's right in time for a drink, then have an early dinner when they started serving at 6pm. What we forgot is that for some inexplicable reason, there is no southbound water taxi in the 4 to 5 pm hour, which seems strange to me since that is getting on prime cocktail time. We got out to the Grand Caribe dock in a light sprinkle, only to see on the posted schedule that there is a 3:40 taxi and a 5:40 taxi, but no 4:40 taxi. Sigh!
At least we got to see this lovely rainbow as we contemplated what to do next.
We headed back into the condo to hang out for another hour. I poured a Belikin, and we sat and talked until time to head out for the 5:40 taxi. Now, in the past, it seemed that the taxi was always quite a bit later than the posted time; like fifteen to twenty minutes later. So, we didn't really rush and left our condo bound for the dock at 5:45. Another boo-boo. Right as we were walking towards the dock, the taxi zoomed by, leaving us in the sand. If anyone else had been departing, we could have made a run for it, but we were the lone southbound travelers. Foiled again, Batman!
So now what? We realized that our plans were completely shot; we'd be lucky to get a table outside anywhere on such a busy party night; and we only had our bikes or feet to take us the two miles into town unless we called a land taxi, which would have taken awhile and cost more than we cared to spend. So, we started walking down the beach. Since we'd thought we were taking the water taxi, I didn't have on my best walking sandals and knew I'd have a blister or two long before we made it to town.
We cut over to the road right around Legend's Burger House, and not long after, we were offered a golf-cart ride by some kind locals heading in for the parade. Raul and his wife told us that they managed the Cocotal Inn
right up the way from our condo. During the ride, we enjoyed talking to their grandson in the back seat and realized that we've seen him riding his bike to school when we go on our morning runs. What an articulate and polite young man and so different from many kids his age in the US. They were very kind folks and got us to town much more quickly than we'd have made it all on foot, so we were very grateful for the ride (as were my only semi-blistered feet!)
Once in town we wasted no time hoofing it the rest of the way down to Wild Mango's, but as we figured, they only had one table left, and it was inside, so we decided to try Caliente's. We really wanted to sit outside so that we could view the parade from the table. Their deck tables were full, but they were able to accommodate us by moving a small table out to the balcony from inside. Perfect! We had a nice view of the water through the docks, as well as inflatable Santa on the roof of a dive/tour shop.
We had a good, hearty dinner and a couple of drinks. I really liked their "Pedro Collins", like a Tom Collins but made with rum, and only $8 BZD ($4 US)!
Barry's chicken, rice, and plantain
Oops, don't forget the margarita!
My snapper, potato, and plantain
You know how old people get cold even in warm weather? I now present the birthday boy.... :-)
Okay, so the breeze on this 78 degree evening made it feel a leetle chilly, but at least I'm not wearing FLEECE. Haha!
At one point there was a shower during dinner. Fortunately, like most showers in Belize, it was quite brief, and we'd finished eating, so our food didn't get diluted.
What do you think, would I have made an attractive nun?
Let the parade begin! Barry raced out to a nearby dock to snap most of these shots, while I stayed and watched from Caliente's deck, and had a nice chat with a Canadian couple at the next table. We were impressed with the work that went into decorating these boats, and the pictures can't really do them justice.
Slightly different view of Pirate boat
This one looked especially exotic from where I was sitting, moreso than the photo shows.
The winning entry -- from the San Pedro AIDS Commission. Nicely done!
Part of the central park crowd as viewed from the dock -- what a festive night!
Even wider crowd shot -- seemed like everyone in town must have been here
After the last boat had passed by and Barry was coming back up to join me, he ran into our neighbors Tim and Jean, who kindly offered us a ride home in their large Polaris. We had been planning on walking around some in Central Park and taking the water taxi back, but a ride sounded great. Jean mentioned that there was a cupcake stand in the park, and we hadn't had dessert, so they stopped so we could nab a couple of birthday cupcakes, along with a few more photos in the park. Although I had hoped we could walk around a little more and see more of the booths and decor, there's always next year. It will give us something to look forward to, and I am sure we'll plan a bit better so that we can get to town earlier. San Pedro really knows how to throw a festive party, and it's fun to be among a sea of smiling faces.
So fortunately, the night ended on a happy note, and I think the birthday boy enjoyed himself. The cupcakes, which we devoured when we got home, were yummy too!
Emily and Jean heading into the park. I've never seen so many golf carts!
Heavenly Cupcake stand
The cupcake guy was darling. What a smile!
Hey, it's Ms. SanPedroScoop! Our buddy in blogging... :-)
The town Christmas tree in Central Park