40 Hours to Sunshine – 117

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We started our journey Tuesday morning to head home and eventually onto Belize. Getting through a travel itinerary like this without missing a connection or having something go wrong takes some skill and a bit of luck.

First we took a taxi to the London Bridge Rail Station and arrived with ample time before our 12:12pm train. The board of departures looked suspicious. Almost everything was delayed and the trains didn’t even have platform numbers. I asked a Rail employee what was going on and he explained that a tree had fallen on the tracks and many trains would be severely delayed or cancelled. Uh Oh. But the tree had just fallen and we had time to change tack and hop on a train that went East to another station where we could continue on to Gatwick Airport. We made the train by 2 minutes and if we had missed it we very well may have missed our flight.

London Gatwick was much like American airports; a total nightmare of security lines and silly rules. While I was arguing with an agent about Brendas hand weights being used as a weapon the guy next to me was having his souvenir can of anchovies confiscated because it contained too much liquid. Brilliant. After sitting on the runway for over an hour our 9-hour flight to Miami finally left at about 5:00pm London time.

Norwegian Plane

The flight actually wasn’t too bad and Tio was a perfect traveler as always. We were quite exhausted once we got through customs though. I was surprised that they didn’t check us more thoroughly. We’ve been gone 10 months and visited almost 50 different countries and they treated us like regular UK tourists. Sweet for us! Next we took 2 shuttles to get to Fox Rent A Car and around 11:15pm, haggard and cranky, drove to our Motel 6…and then Walmart. In all our wisdom we planned this little mission with a stop at Walmart so that we could get some inexpensive necessities to bring to Belize. The Walmart was about an 50-minute round trip and by the time we got back to our Motel 6 room at 1:15am Miami time B and I were both delirious and Tio was sleep walking. 1:15am Miami time is 6:15am London time. We had been up all night.

I awoke to Brenda fumbling through our bags in the dim light at 5:15am Miami time. We showered and packed and drove back to Fox to return our car and catch a shuttle to our 8:55am flight to Houston. Upon checking in we were informed that the flight was actually an 8:00am departure which made us go from relaxed mode to our “hurry up” mode. The lady at the ticketing kiosk was awesome though. She got us moving quickly and even checked our bag for free. I told her I owed her a Bloody Mary.

After a relatively short security line we boarded our flight to Houston and relaxed. Traveling is just second nature to Tio at this point. Most kids, or for that matter most adults are pretty damn fed up, irritable and exhausted at this point. Not Tio. He’s cheerful, smiling and coloring in his book with concentration and accuracy. What an awesome kid!

Tio on the plane to Houston

Upon landing in Houston we found a nice spot to get a bite and kill the 3-1/2 hour layover before continuing on to Belize City.

We left for Belize at 1:25pm Houston time and arrive in Belize at 2:52 Belize time. The flight went quickly but somehow we found ourselves at the very back of a very long customs line. We have been pretty lucky with border crossings over the last 10 months. Not so much this time. We are the last ones through and there is my friend Herson from the rental agency patiently waiting for us. After going back to his office and doing a little paperwork we are on the road at about 4:15pm finally heading to our final destination. Hopkins can’t come sooner. I hit my travel wall about a half hour before we get there. I can’t even remember the last 20 miles of the drive. But we muster the energy to stop for a few groceries and say hi to Janette, the woman who looks after our house. We get to “Tio’s Treehouse” at about 8:30pm. Upon arrival I sit back, have a couple Lighthouses (Belizean beers) and breathe contentedly. It took 40 hours to get to the Belizean sunshine. The longest continuous journey I’ve had to make yet. And now…I sleep.

Belize Sunset


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