Central America

Belize Me, I am THIRTY!

For my 30th birthday, I decided to take my birthday trip to the beautiful country of Belize! Prior to going on the trip, I felt like I was the LAST person on Earth to visit Belize. Everyone seemed to have already been! However, this greatly helped with planning since many had things to recommend, see, eat, and do. We chose to visit Caye Caulker, which is one of the Caye’s right off the cost of Belize City, Belize.

Day 1: Valentines Day!! So really it was a two in one type of trip…Valentines Day AND my pre-birthday weekend. Since Brandion lives in Dallas and I’m in Washington, DC, we had to fly separately and meet each other in Belize. I landed first and waiting for me at the airport was a taxi service who drove me from the airport to the Belize Water Taxi. They store your luggage if you get there early and want to walk around and explore the area. There are two ways to get to Caye Caulker (or San Pedro if you chose to venture there). You can take the water taxi (my choice) or you can fly on one of the tiny planes via Tropic Air or Maya Island Air. Flying was only a 30 min flight from Belize City to Caye Caulker and roundtrip it would have been around $150. However, the water taxi was about an hour or so ride and it was $28 round trip.

When we got to Caye Caulker, the owner of the unit we rented was there waiting for us with a golf cart to transport us to the room. In Caye Caulker, there are no cars (although I did see a few construction trucks but I mean I guess) so the only mode of transportation is via golf cart, bicycling, or walking. Our room was beautiful!! We stayed at Villa La Vida Perezosa. The rooms were clean, spacious, and spacious. There is a rooftop to catch the beautiful sunset at night AND a private pool. I highly recommend this for large groups going to Belize so you could rent out the entire building.

For dinner, we ate at a random hut that had lobster meals for $15. What was surprising was that Feb 14 was the LAST day of Lobster season! So anyone caught catching lobster could get fined. Therefore, it was a mad dash for everyone visiting to eat lobster so we definitely did that.

Day 2: We found a nice spot for breakfast called Brisas Del Mar, which had breakfast meals no more than $6 USD. Once we ate there, we ventured down to The Split, which is a part of Caye Caulker that splits the Caye in two. Oh and when I say “ventured”, it was no more than a 10 min walk. Caye Caulker is SMALL. You can walk the entire Caye by foot if you want. The Split is fun. Great for pictures, souvenir shopping, restaurants, music, massages, and more. This is pretty much where the tourists hang out at. We went to a restaurant that sold “Lizard Juice”, which is the alcoholic drink they are known for. It was delicious! We rode jet skis and just RELAXED. I emphasize relaxed because Belize was the first vacation I took where I truly relaxed. I didn’t have an itinerary of where to go and at what time…we winged everything!

Day 3: There was a big beach party being planned at Koko King, which is a private island about 10 mins via ferry from Caye Caulker. We decided to check Koko King out during the day and it was dope! They had a DJ playing, there was a restaurant with a bar that offered cheap drinks that we just bought a pitcher to indulge on. We sat under a cabana for hours and just relaxed and drank and relaxed and drank. It was amazing. That night, we went back to the island for the big island party and it was amazing to have fun without no entry fees to get in, no expensive prices to sit at a section (we snagged a cabana for FREE), cheap cheap drinks, and just partying with the locals AND visitors.

Day 4: I was dying to rent a golf cart and we found a place that was renting them for $20 an hour so we were able to truly drive around the entire Caye and explore. I highly recommend this!! So much fun! I don’t remember the company we rented from but they were all around the same price through the island. The rest of the day was spent lounging at the pool, on the dock drinking lizard juice, buying souvenirs, and just hanging with locals and tourists.

Overall, Belize was absolutely amazing! It was so relaxing being able to just finally go on a vacation and enjoy each others company, drink, eat, and enjoy the fruits of our labor. I can’t wait to visit Belize again!

Trip Recap:

  • Dates: Thursday, February 14 to Monday, February 18 (5 days, 4 nights)
  • Rental: Villa La Vida Perezosa
  • Airline: Southwest (using points) and American Airlines for the return
  • Currency: They take USD. Also, for $1 USD is 2 BZE (so ball out!)
  • Shoes worn: Highlight Pink Hi Vans and Flower Low Vans
  • Transportation: Taxi from airport to water taxi- $25 USD per couple. Golf Cart Rental- $20 for 1 hour. Belize Water Taxi- $28 roundtrip (no need to pre book online)
  • Meals: Most meals were around $10 at the most unless you went to a fancier restaurant and meals were still under $20 (in which I’m included the price of an alcoholic drink). Take advantage of happy hour deals as most restaurants have buy 1 get 1 free on certain alcoholic drinks and their drinks are already like $5 USD.

Minnesota and Wisconsin

Minnesota and Wisconsin

For Memorial Day weekend 2019, I took a more non-traditional trip to visit two more states on my #50StateJourney: Minnesota and Wisconsin! A lot of my friends joked as to why I would want to spend my long weekend in these two states but I don’t regret it one bit, I had a blast!! I think Minnesota was one of my favorite states thus far on this journey.

Most of my Memorial Day weekend was spent in the beautiful state of Minnesota by the way of the beautiful city of Minneapolis aka Twin Cities. The first thing I gathered about Minneapolis was how NEW and clean it is! Every building looked like it was recently built. The air was cool and crisp (It was like 60 degrees most days….brr) with lakes (I mean it is the land of 10,000 lakes) and greenery everywhere!

Day 1: We went to the Twin Cities Outlets in Eagen, MN. It was a beautiful outlet mall that I did some awesome Memorial Day Weekend shopping of some great deals. I snagged two pairs of Nike’s at the Nike outlet for a great price (whoo hoo!).

We stayed at the Home2Suites by Hilton which is across from the outlet mall. Very beautiful and modern hotel with free parking, wifi, continental breakfast, and more.

That night, we did some real low-key moves. Dinner was at Outback and while I typically like to try local spots, Outback hit the SPOT! Lol Afterwards, we went to Ansari’s to smoke hookah. Hookah isn’t really big in Minnesota so hookah spots are far and few. Therefore, the prices were a bit pricey but still a great time!

Day 2: We drove to Hudson, Wisconsin and spent the morning and afternoon at Willow River State Park. It was absolutely beautiful and peaceful. There were dogs EVERYWHERE (which pretty much was my touch of heaven), lots of friendly visitors, and breathtaking views of the water and greenery. If you ever decide to visit Willow River State Park, in order to get to the water, you have to park at a lot one min from the main entrance. It gets full quick so you’ll have to hope to catch someone leaving to snag their parking. Also, there is a MASSIVE incline to get to and from the water so on your way back to the car, be prepare for a tough hike. Thankfully, my Nike Free 5.0’s kept my feet nice and comfy.

After leaving Willow River State Park, we drove into Hudson a little more to get cheese curds from Bass Lake Cheese Factory. The cheese curds were delicious!! We received a bunch of odd stares while eating there…I guess everyone wondered how we stumbled upon their little town.

Once we returned back to Minneapolis, we continue on doing some site seeing. We went to the Stone Arch Bridge, Prince’s birth house (which is also seen in the movie Purple Rain!), the Minnesota Sculpture Park, First Avenue (where Prince used to always perform at), and a few random murals around town. All the pictures of these sites are in the slideshow below. For dinner, we ate at Genghis Grill. Super delicious and soooo filling! Kicks of the day were tan leather High Top Vans.

Day 3:

This was my favorite day of the trip….SHOPPING!!! We went to Mall of America…thee Malls of Malls in North America. It was a rainy and cold day so this was a perfect shopping day for sure. Since my boyfriend is military, we were able to get a free ticket to FlyOver America, this 4D ride that takes you on an adventure across the United States. I received a discounted military ticket for $14.95 (reg. price is $19.95). Overall, Mall of America was overwhelming (but not in a bad way)…literally every store you can think of was in there. It was amazing seeing how they had an aquarium, an amusement park, tons of restaurants, 2507528 stores, and more under one roof. Parking was a breeze and free. They name the levels of the parking garage by states and ironically we parked at on the Georgia level…hehe. Kicks wore during the mall were Air Jordan Retro 12’s “The Masters”.

After a day of shopping, we drove to Paisley Park in which we were immediately greeted by a security guard at the gate who said you can’t even park on the grounds without purchasing tickets. Also, you have to get tickets in advance as they don’t sell them at the door (and tickets are a whopping price of $50…yea um nawl. So we just took pictures outside and kept it moving. After that, like my normal self of finding the most random things, we stumbled upon the World’s Largest Mustache. It was a giant red mustache posted in front of a random business in and random town…but hey! It was cool, lol.

For dinner, we closed out our amazingly random trip at Cajun Boiling, in which they had a Memorial Day weekend special of crab legs and boiled shrimp for $21.99. Our service was absolutely amazing and the hushpuppies that came with our meal as an appetizer were delicious! So I highly recommend them, especially if you look seafood boil bags. After we ate, we ventured to Maxwell’s Cafe and Grill in which we made SOOOO many friends there who were also outside smoking hookah. The question that we got all weekend was “What brought you to Minnesota” and every time they are amazed by my 50 state journey. Speaking to Nakia and Bre had us chatting for like 2 hours like old friends! Then group of ladies came in that nobody knew and joined the convo…we legit were like one big happy family. It was the best time and so refreshing!!

TRIP RECAP:

Overall, our trip was amazing! Trip detail summary is below:

  • Hotel: We spent 4 days, three nights (a Saturday to Tuesday) in which our hotel was free (booked off Hilton Honors Points)
  • Car: Our car rental was only $115 thru Enterprise
  • Attractions: Willow River State Park entry fee was $13 (since we had Cali tags. MN or WI tags is $10)
  • Activities:Hookah will run you $30 PERIODT. We went to two hookah spots and they were both the same price
  • Flights: Both of our flights were $220 roundtrip