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Arakaki Family Travels

Last Day in Paradise

BELIZE | Monday, 25 Aug 2008 | Views [491] | Comments [2]

Tomorrow we leave for Belize City, the airport, Houston, then back to Seattle. It's been a wonderful trip. I think we achieved our goals. Elena and Jarrett saw that life in most of the world isn't at all like life on Bainbridge Island. They saw some things ... Read more >

Mickey's a Mouse, Pluto's a Dog. What's Goofy?

BELIZE | Monday, 25 Aug 2008 | Views [770]

That profound question was raised by the boys around the campfire in "Stand By Me." It's right up there with the scene in "Clerks" in which they debate the politics of using independent contractors in the building of the Death Star.... Read more >

Elena's Snorkeling Experience

BELIZE | Sunday, 24 Aug 2008 | Views [1474] | Comments [1]

Yesterday, we went snorkeling with a man named Carlos. We stopped at three different spots to swim. My favorite was the first stop. We saw turtles, a moray eel, and lots of fish. The fish I liked best was a black one with blue spots that seemed to ... Read more >

Jarrett Reports On His Birthday So Far

BELIZE | Sunday, 24 Aug 2008 | Views [496] | Comments [2]

Today's my 9th birthday. When we first got here, we saw that golf carts were the only cars on the road, and Elena and I really wanted to ride one. So, for my birthday, Mommy, Daddy and Elena surprised me by renting one for an hour. On the back roads, ... Read more >

A Manatee Swam Up To Us!

BELIZE | Saturday, 23 Aug 2008 | Views [839] | Comments [2]

We were fortunate enough to experience a manatee close up. It swam right up to us as if to check us out and looked right at Lori. Then it turned and slowly and gracefully swam away. It was a beautiful moment and left us all a bit stunned.

What Kind of Parents Are We Part 3?

BELIZE | Saturday, 23 Aug 2008 | Views [762]

Today we went on a fantastic snorkeling boat trip. Carlos Ayala was our guide - very knowledgeable, sensitive to the fragility of the reef and to the wildlife we saw, and a cool guy. We rode on his fast powerboat to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve for ... Read more >

Biking Through Caye Caulker

BELIZE | Saturday, 23 Aug 2008 | Views [544] | Video

Caye Caulker is a laid-back Caribbean island. It has 1,500 residents, no cars (just golf carts), no (or low) crime, good snorkeling, diving and general tourist support, and a reggae vibe. We've met a lot of nice locals and ex-pats, and I can see why they ... Read more >

How Often Can I Eat Lobster?

BELIZE | Saturday, 23 Aug 2008 | Views [766] | Comments [1]

It's lobster season on Caye Caulker, and a full dinner with a whole lobster prepared a number of ways costs about US$15. I had it with butter and garlic sauce the first night, scrambled with my eggs the next breakfast, picked at Lori's leftovers for lunch, ... Read more >

If the Kids Kept Score: Belize 2, Guatemala 0

BELIZE | Saturday, 23 Aug 2008 | Views [635]

As I mentioned in my previous post, Belize has been a nice change of pace for us. However, Elena and Jarrett have taken this to an extreme, and now look back on Guatemala as torture. It didn't help that the temperature has been going down every day ... Read more >

And Now For Something Completely Different...

BELIZE | Friday, 22 Aug 2008 | Views [565] | Comments [1]

In planning this trip, we realized that the two weeks in Guatemala would be pushing hard for all of us, especially in keeping the kids enthused and healthy. We also wanted to have some time that was truly 'vacation' - you know, relaxing, not always stretching ... Read more >

On Packing Light

BELIZE | Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 | Views [418] | Comments [1]

We're still carrying our 20-year old REI travel packs. While they have backpack straps and hip belts, we keep them tucked away and mainly use them as big shoulder bags, with nice, highly-padded shoulder straps. Lori's carrying one in the photo above.... Read more >

Why Those Day-Long Drives?

GUATEMALA | Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 | Views [431]

Many people who visit Guatemala and want to see Tikal skip the long ground trip, pay the extra money, and fly from Guatemala City to Flores, sometimes completing the visit to the ruins and the flights in the same day. We decided to take the slower route ... Read more >

Gallery: Belize

BELIZE | Thursday, 21 Aug 2008 | Photo Gallery

Last week of our Guatemala/Belize trip.
See all 15 photos >>


GUATEMALA | Tuesday, 19 Aug 2008 | Views [665] | Comments [2]

Lori felt well enough to take the shuttle van to Tikal this morning, so we made it! While seeing "a bunch of ruins" won't top Elena's list of highlights of this trip, it ranks pretty high for Lori and me. While they range widely, most of these limestone ... Read more >

The Price of Cheap Hostels & Drinks in Flores

GUATEMALA | Monday, 18 Aug 2008 | Views [530] | Comments [2]

Flores is a small city that completely covers a small island in the middle of Lake Peten Itza. The views of the lake are spectacular, especially at sunrise and sunset. I'll add a photo soon. If you switch to hybrid (satellite) view on the map below, ... Read more >

6 Hours to Flores

GUATEMALA | Monday, 18 Aug 2008 | Views [463] | Comments [1]

It was about a 6 hour shuttle van ride from Coban to Flores on Saturday. We rode with the family of the driver - her sister, one young son each, and Abuela. We're usually with younger backpackers on these shuttles, which I mostly enjoy, but it was nice ... Read more >

Jarrett's Zip Line Story

GUATEMALA | Monday, 18 Aug 2008 | Views [1554] | Comments [1]

My favorite day in Guatemala is when we rode 8 zip lines. We were harnessed in but it was still scary. We were really high up so you could see the lake called Lago de Atitlan really well. The first ride when I braked my glove flew off so I rode with ... Read more >

Relaxation Day in Coban

GUATEMALA | Sunday, 17 Aug 2008 | Views [517]

Needed some downtime after that long day of adventure. We toured the coffee plantation right around the corner from our hotel. Carmen, our guide, gave us an informative tour and one of the better cups of coffee we've had on this trip. Although Guatemala ... Read more >

What Kind of Parents Are We? - Pt. 2

GUATEMALA | Sunday, 17 Aug 2008 | Views [666] | Comments [1]

After the afternoon of swimming and lounging at Semuc Champey, our tour continued on to Lanquin Caves. We entered the cave with headlamps on late in the afternoon. Wet, slippery, steep steps up and down the sides of this network of caves going deeper ... Read more >

Swimming at the Amazing Semuc Champey

GUATEMALA | Sunday, 17 Aug 2008 | Views [701] | Comments [1] | Video

Formed by a river plunging into an underground tunnel, leaving a small flow of fresh water continuing above ground, cascading through several small pools, Semuc Champey was magical. As with everything in Guatemala, getting there was an ordeal, leaving ... Read more >

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About rarakaki

Rod and Lori in Tibet, 1994.

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