That didn’t happen while in Belize.
For three days, I parked myself with a couple of books and entertained myself – pain free – as long as I didn’t try to walk anywhere. And, as far as I was concerned, it was also painful not to walk around. There were a few things I really wanted to see. However, it wasn’t happening on this trip to Belize.
Okay, I’d been in the country for two and a half months. I should have learned about the tour of the chocolate factory before my final weekend. We passed by the local chocolatiers on our way home every day. Some days the aroma of roasted cocoa made a stop at their shop almost mandatory. But, I didn’t know about any tour until my sister went with friends while I was incapacitated. The one goodie she brought back was chocolate iced tea. While the seeds were roasted for chocolate delights, the leftover husks were boiled for tea. It had the quenching delight of iced tea with a surprising chocolate aftertaste. Yes, it was a delicious discovery.
The tour is already a "must experience" item on my next visit to Belize.
I also missed Fat Tuesday in San Pedro. The Carnival celebration actually lasted from Sunday to Tuesday. And, in San Pedro, they celebrated by throwing and smearing paint on each other. Obviously, you celebrated in your oldest clothes, rags you were ready to toss. When my niece once attended, it took her four hours to wash the paint out of her hair. It would have been a challenge to get close enough for photos and not close enough to get splattered by revelers. I would have tried, but there was no way to outrun anyone in my current condition. I missed out on the fun and the photos.
And finally, the crocodile in our midst had its closest sighting that I’d seen in my whole visit. If I could walk, I might have foolishly gotten a little closer than I should have for another photo session. I know me. I would have done that. But, even I knew better that getting close to a croc when I’d be challenged to outrun a tortoise.
Recovering, but hardly healed, I had to get my flight home. To do that, I needed a golf cart ride, an airplane shuttle with four passengers, a taxi across the border into Mexico, two buses and two more taxis to get to the airport in Cancun. It was amazing how far I got with very little walking. Even crossing a street was painful, so I kept my walking to a minimum.
Life got a whole lot better when I arrived at an international airport.
When I arrived at the check-in area in Cancun, before I was asked anything about my destination or passport, the man looked at me and asked, “Would you like a wheelchair?”
I’ve never traveled by way of wheelchair before. I highly recommend it. I had my own private line for immigrations. I didn’t have to get out of my chair or even approach the desk. An airport porter took care of everything. Then, there was a very short line for people in wheelchairs to get through airport security. I had the only wheelchair in line. Ahead of me was a couple with a very beautiful, very large dog. So, if you don’t want to have a hassle and you don’t want to deal with a wheelchair, now you know another option when you travel.
In Mexico, people in wheelchairs didn’t have to stand and get scanned. There was still a frisking. But, I just don’t like those scanning machines. So, this was another plus in my experience. And, there was one final perk to my wheelchair experience in Cancun. My seat was upgraded so I didn't have to walk to the back of the plane.
I was also greeted with a wheelchair ride to escort me around the Atlanta airport. (Thank goodness!) Even though I found the airport personnel wonderfully friendly, I had to hobble through an x-ray machine as well as to the back of the airplane.
I learned that if you are 75 years old, you don't have to walk through the x-ray machine. I learned this when the young man pushing me through the airport asked me if I was 75 years old. I smacked him with the sandal he just made me remove. His coworker looked at him and asked, "Did you just get whooped?" I don't know if there is any kind of possible fine that could have been issued for assaulting an airport employee with a sandal.
But, I know I was justified.
Once in Columbus, I hobbled into the remaining cold of an Ohio winter. It wasn't so cold, but for someone who had missed all of winter, it was still a shock. And, there were snowflakes in the air. Not enough to stick to the ground, but enough to make me aware of what I missed.
After two days of travel, and a night of sleep, I planned to call my doctor for an appointment. Funny thing though, the next morning my foot barely hurt. I could put on a shoe and walk without a pain or a limp. Perhaps my foot was ready to return home and sleep in my own bed. As for the other foot and the rest of me, we would still enjoy some more Caribbean sunshine.