As many of you know, a group of us took advantage of the big Tropic Air seat sale and took a mini vacation to Chetumal last month. Our road trip crew consisted of Aimee, her daughter Tori and boyfriend Ryan, her mom Cheryl, Sandie, her son Logan and I. Everyone would agree it was mission accomplished for Mexico shopping and eating. That was the heart of why we, and most people living in Belize cross the border to Chetumal – lack of shopping here.
It was cool to find out that Ryan had been going to Sergio’s Restaurant with his family long time. Since he is Tori’s BF, she and Aimee had been there too. The food was just as good this time around as the last time I had been there when I took a short Mexico trip with my friends Michael and Mary. I enjoyed arrachera (skirt steak) and Cesar salad on both occasions. Because we were in Chetumal for a mere 24 hours, we only went there once.
The food court at the mall however was a repeat experience. After all I could not fit in all the cravings of sushi, Chinese food and McDonald’s all in one sitting 😉
While I was craving my old favorites, it is always fun to try new things. This time it was bubble tea thanks to the kid’s sharing. I was very surprised at liking it, I always thought it would be a texture thing why I wouldn’t. What made their choice so good is that it was a green tea base and the tapioca pearl bubbles had a different flavor inside. So when you bit into them there was a delightful tangy fruity explosion in your mouth.
Two More New Food Items I Tried
- Zak’s chocolate covered Mazapán cookies. The day we were leaving, I was the first one to get to their hotel and Sandie gave me a couple of individual packages to take home. I could have easily bought a few boxes had I known how yummy they were – something on my shopping list for next time.
- Lime ranch flavored kettle chips with Avocado oil. Miraculously I did not end up cracking these open till I was back in Belize. Had I done so sooner I can guarantee that there would have been 3 bags instead of 1 in my luggage.
Shop till you drop was a huge success for all of us and everyone ended up with a lot more than we planned on due to the wide variety of choice. So much so for me that I had to by a very large duffel bag at Coppel and reusable shopping bag at Chedraui, both big Mexican department stores at Plaza Las Americas. There was no way it was all going to fit in my knapsack especially a big cake I could not resist. Thankfully I managed to get home without squishing it.
Of course our “shopping triathlon” included Walmart and Sam’s Club too. Walmart is always great for personal care items. The Marc Anthony Macadamia Nut shampoo I use is not available in Belize, so I have been getting it it in Mexico for years. As for Sam’s Club I never buy a lot there but it is guaranteed that I will walk out with a big bag of Brookside chocolates if they have them in stock. This time I also scored an Amope pedi perfect machine thanks to Sandie’s recommendation. She had already bought one on the trip and told me it was well worth getting to smooth out our “tropical feet.” 🙂 I was also very happy to score a big container of blueberries. Since fruit is not allowed across the border, I enjoyed them while watching the Simpsons on the one English channels I managed to find on TV in my hotel room.
Last Stop Before Heading Home
Our last stop was MacDonald’s for burgers and fries to bring back to Belize. The group, more so the kids were all too happy to accommodate me on this one. When had I asked my friend Kendall if he wanted anything from Chetumal, that was his request. I normally do not do it but I figured it was worth the trade of carrying “smelly food” in exchange for airport pick up to schlep my bags home.
Surprisingly, the cooler I took to stick the burgers and fries in into really did work to mask the smell on the flight from Corozal to San Pedro. I know some of you are wondering how fast food would taste after travel time – it’s not quite as good as hot out of the oil but it passed the test.
A Few Funny Moments
- Sandie dancing around their hotel room excited about her new Amope.
- Me explaining to Sandie about mall head and that becoming a running joke.
- Playing punch buggy no backs because of all the Volkswagen bugs.
- A feisty Cheryl jumping out of the taxi telling us to follow her while she sprinted off around the corner to find the service entrance of our hotel. Our driver had wanted to drop us off at the corner with all our shopping due to construction blocking the front entrance.
- All of us laughing at the border about the other people we saw carrying giant packages of toilet roll. We have now dubbed Cottonelle ribbed “rich peoples toilet paper” 😀
Based on our experience between language barriers and not getting forewarned that the front entrance was unusable, I would stay at a different hotel. Likely Fiesta Inn, I have been there before and I would go there again, it is such a great place. You can see some of the pics I took of my last stay on 2 hotel options in Chetumal Mexico.
I also took pictures of things I liked to keep on file so I could remember next time and recommend to friends going over when applicable. The last 2 pictures below are from both hotels. Sandie and Logan opted to switch choices and move around the corner to Fiesta after seeing the construction at ours and witness our minor difficulties while checking in.