January 2008

After recovering from Belize the first weekend of the month, it was time to explore some of the wonderful sites of the Bay Area.  Saturday it was off to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, a short fifteen minute drive or so.  Exploring the Sierra Azul trail, it was mostly shady and fairly steep.  Here are the highlights:


The following day it was up to San Francisco to visit the zoo.  I was hoping there would be an idiot feeding time like there was last month, but no luck.  Still, it was fun visiting my third zoo within a month.  It was one of the clearest days I've seen in SF.  We explored the northern end of the city after the zoo for some good views of the Golden Gate. Here are the highlights:


All of the trip reports and photos from last month's Belize adventure are now online.  The main index page is here:


Enjoy reading and viewing the photos.  The trip reports all have musically based titles so have fun figuring out the songs and artists.  You can comment at the end of any of the specific trip reports or leave a comment below.

And if that's not enough, Lonnie's photos are online at:


Happy New Year!  Or as they say in Belize, "Happy New Year!" (they speak English here).  

Today we have a late afternoon flight which gives us part of the day to explore the Belize Zoo on the way to the airport.  The hotel picks us up before 10 so we can stop at the lobby to check out.  As I expected, the bill is wrong.  They've added a daily fee and tax onto the room rate, even though my confirmation indicates all taxes and fees are included.  There are some other charges that are wrong and we're surprised that the excursions we booked have tax added to them (since they didn't mention that when we booked them). On the third try of the bill, it's reasonably correct.  After a mix up with the transportation to the airport and zoo, we're on our way.

The Belize Zoo is a little more than an hour from our hotel and thanks to the quick pace of our driver we get there with plenty of time to explore it.  It's not huge, but is well planned with cute signs and all local animals.  I'm glad to get a lot of use out of the zoom lens and get some good animal pictures.  It's hot and sticky today and unfortunately, I won't be showering for quite some time.   We contemplate stopping for lunch, but our driver says most things are closed for New Year's so we just go the airport.

There's no line to check in, but it still takes awhile.  I guess that's TACA for you.  We're pleasantly surprised to learn that our tickets already include the Belize departure tax so that saves us about thirty bucks each.   We go to the upstairs restaurant for lunch. This is the smallest international airport I've been to with just a handful of gates and flights. 

Goofing off in the airport for a bit, we board our flight that connects through El Salvador, like our outgoing flight.  The flight is on time, we connect to our SFO flight and depart on time.  I watch the latest Die Hard movie on the plane, snooze a bit, and make some additional trip notes.  We land in SFO about twenty mintues early which I'm thrilled about since it's already 11pm and I'm going to work the next day.  Customs and passport control are uneventful, we grab our bags and are picked up.  I get my car, drive home, and make it to bed just after 1am (feels like 3am thanks to the time change).   Another fantastic vacation is over and the real world comes crashing back tomorrow.