Aftermath of "The Big Event"
Lisa and I had our first big date in Belize, specifically Ambergris Caye, during June of 2003. After this "date" both Lisa and I realized there was potential in each other and continued dating. Next, Lisa and I went to Costa Rica on June 22, 2004 (my birthday) where I proposed to her. What a great present it was when she said yes. I have been to Belize many times in the past and thought it would be a great place to get married. Lisa was a little hesitant at first (and then second, and third…..), but after doing some research on the web and many e-mails to both Sunbreeze and Ramon’s, decided to do the deed there. Lisa did most of the work but I did put together a website for helping those people who were attending the wedding.
According to Belizean law the people to be married in Belize must be there at least 3 days before the wedding. I thought this was a great law since it allowed me to spend extra time at one of my favorite places. The wedding was set for Saturday, May 21, so 3 days before that….. Oh, what the heck, let’s get there on Monday.
Since there are differences between Lisa’s perceptions of the events and my own, my comments will be in italics.
Before the wedding
The wedding itself
The date finally arrived! We made it to Belize City. The first stop before getting on the puddle jumper that took us to Ambergris Caye (the wedding site). We arrived about 1:30 pm. We made our way to the "waving gallery". If you have never been to the Belizean International Airport, it is great. A really small airport where there might be another jet at the terminal, might not. When you walk off the plane you are hit by two things, one, the heat and humidity, and the second is that right above you is the "waving gallery" where you locals wave at those coming and going. There are a good many Mormon and Mennonites in Belize. It is quite a sight to see. The other great thing at the airport is "Jets Bar". Jet is this 4’ 6" Mayan bartender who probably half the world knows. He is known for making some of the best and strongest rum punches in the world. As soon as we landed we started the rum punch extravaganza! We missed the 2:40 puddle jumper because we got to the gate at 2:30 (the time the told us to get there!). Imagine that! The flight took off early! So, we made our way to Jet’s Bar, where we proceeded to have many more rum punches! We were feeling good by the time we made it to the hotel. We stayed at Ramon’s, which is where the wedding was to be. Sunbreeze is another fine hotel, only 200 yards away, and we might have chosen it but the wedding coordinator from Sunbreeze would never return our e-mail.
That day we settled in and wandered around the island for a while.
We had dinner at Caramba Café – quite good!
Our first room. We moved around several times. The room looked directly to the beach and, although small, was very comfortable and beautiful.
A picture of the cabanas from the dock. We spent a lot of time there!
The next day we went parasailing with Captain Tony. It is directly in front of Fido's bar and restaurant and has fishing, sailing, tours and parasailing. Tony is an interesting guy. American, of course, from Florida who came to Belize about 10 years ago and never left. The "foreigner" coming for a vacation and never leaving is a recurring story in Belize.
A view from the boat.
David took a picture of us while we were in the air.
A view of the island from up above, and another one.
David was quite fascinated by the smiley face!
On the way back from parasailing. Note the styling T-shirts.
Following the parasailing, we lounged around the pool.
Waiting for Greg and Shirley to arrive…
Yes, we’re drinking, again! The police are are friendly, unless you’re a coconut.
Lisa enjoying a rum punch. These women are selling cloths and tapestry.
Before the trip, Greg, Shirley and David were contemplating diving the Blue Hole. Apparently, in order to dive the Blue Hole, you have to get up very early and be at the dive boat at 5:30 am. Well, this was a picture of Greg and Shirley once they arrived at Ambergris saying, "it ain’t happening!"
That night we went to one of the favorite local attractions – the Chicken Drop. People buy squares. The squares are enclosed with mesh. They place a chicken in the pen and wait for it to go to the bathroom "drop." If it drops on your square, you win $100. The place was packed! We had a good time. David took about 20 pictures of the event. I spared you….
They built this bar especially for our wedding reception. It took them two days to build it. They kept having to start over.
Greg and Shirley on their way to one of their dives.
The clan arrives….
The two families are meeting for the first time.
Anne Phil, David and Anne
Phil, David and Keith Phil, Chris, David and Anne
Dinner at Fido’s – our favorite watering hole, and they have food too!
Humberto, Keith, Sheilah and Lisa set out to go snorkeling.
Doreen and Dan taking the water taxi to the north end of the island. They were actually acting as guards or escorts for me the day before the wedding. I snuck away from the whole wedding entourage and was going to take a boat to the north part of the island as a scout. Dan and Doreen caught me on the way and thought I might be trying to escape, so they decided to join me. The north part of the island has some very nice resorts but they are far apart and the walk between them is not very nice.
The Hammock Girl and the Hammock Man (Doreen and Dan). I think they had their names on the hammocks!
Yea, right! You wish! She's right, it ain't happening.
Chris lounging in the cabana by the pool. Yes, it was most everyone’s favorite place.
I’m not sure what her point was, but she was quite adamant!
David Cantu – he now goes by Dave. It got very confusing with the two Davids. We couldn’t even call him Brother David because Chris calls David Chandler Brother David. What made it more humorous was that the minister who married us was named David (another Brother David).
I don’t know what they’re up to, but it can’t be good!
Greg is counseling David. "No you can’t get off this island!"
The morning of the wedding Lisa got up at some crazy hour to take a picture of the sunrise. By the way, the sun rises at 5 am in Ambergris.
The Honeymoon Suite.
Lisa and her bridesmaids, Sheilah and Angela
Greg Yokell with Sheilah and Angela
Lisa and her father Humberto
Lisa’s father leading her to the lion.
David anxiously awaiting the new bliss.
One last kiss for the "spinster"
Ocean shot during the wedding.
Lisa is happy that the deed is almost done.
And with this ring I thee wed. I was actually teary eyed, woose.
And next, my ring. I was just glad it wasn’t through the nose.
No need to explain this one. I was very happy!
And now some final formalities, legal stuff you know.
Look at the look of relief on her face… "He signed it…"
And now time for the other wedding guests to "seal the deal"
And now Sheilah’s turn to document my fate.
Even my best man did this to me.
It’s now official!
Our friend Tony, the Captain of the parasailing boat stopped by to wish us well.
Greg and Shirley
A little kissie off the dock.
And now a hug. What do you expect, we just got married.
More hugging. Isn’t she lovely.
Displaying our new jewelry.
Standing on the steps in the pool at Ramon’s.
Group shot of the wedding party on the pier.
Got caught trying to get a piece of cake early.
The whole time she was saying, "Don’t shove it up my nose….."
And then it was my turn, "Don’t shove it up my nose…."
A little cake, then a little bubbly.
Angela, "my sweety" and Sheilah
Lisa’s parents, Diane and Humberto.
David’s parents, Keith and Anne.
And now the siblings, David Cantu, Christine Fox and Phil Chandler.
Let the party begin!
The party and the band. These guys were interesting, sorry, I don’t remember their name. If you wanted anything from Reggae to Country, they knew it. But I had to threaten them when someone requested the chicken dance (Boy was she drunk!).
The rum punches and Pina Coladas were popular. As well, the Belikin beer and Maries hot sauce were popular.
Note the Hawaiian shirt on Dan. It was the first one he has owned (so sheltered).
Shirley is having a good time!
So is Greg!
Dan and Doreen doing the polka.
These chairs were fantastic. They may look uncomfortable but they certainly are.
And when we got home, guess what we found? Compliments of Melissa and Kim, two of our friends.