All photos on this page, will be replaced with pictures of the actual event.
Romen Xavier Turley - was born on National Donut Day (Here's donut for you Romen).
Romen Xavier Turley entered our lives on "National Donut Day"
Miriam Rivera and Jaymin (enjoying a little R&R at the beach)
TUESDAY - July 3, 2018 (Travel Day)
Traveling from the USA to Belize
Kids arrive about 5-6:00 p.m. to the island. You will be greeted with a warm hug and a cold beverage. Everyone will be tired, so Nani has a simple dinner, and a campfire sing along planned. There will be a lot of excitement, as we haven't seen each other (in a long time) so just enjoy it.
Initiation Campfire Ceremony
Everyone will be tired, so we're going to keep this evening brief. There will be an opening campfire ceremony (this evening) for dinner, you will enjoy a bowl of (I don't know what yet). Nani has special smore cookie sandwiches planned for dessert. You will be initiated into the "Mama Bear Family Reunion", after you take your vow "to have fun". After the swearing in, each person will receive a "Mama Bear painted paw print" on each cheek. Let the party begin.
WEDNESDAY - July 4, 2018 (Off Day)
Get Acquainted Day
Today is a down day, so everyone has a little time to recover from traveling the day before. It will also be a "get acquainted day" (I'm sure there will be hundreds of things to talk about, since we haven't see each other in a very long time. We can take the kids to the beach, take a nice spin to the North end of the island, and have lunch overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Enjoy your day off to relax, because it's going to get intense.
THURSDAY - July 5, 2018 (Full Day)
Xunantunich Mayan Ruins
Today a family trip is planned to the Mayan Ruins called Xunantunich, near the Guatemala Boarder. You will be waking up at the crack of dawn, boarding a boat headed for the mainland. The boat ride will take about 1-1/2 hours. Once we arrive in Belize City, we will board two (15-passenger mini-vans), that will take us to the Western border of Belize. When we arrive, our vehicles will be loaded onto a hand cranked ferry, to cross the river. Then our guide (Mark Cal), will be taking us on a tour of some of the most famous ruins in Belize (Xunantunich). You will need jeans, "T" shirt, tennis shoes, hat, sunglasses, camera, sunscreen and bug spray. Our lunch will be provided by our tour guide, where we will be eating on top of the actual ruins themselves, overlooking the Belizean rain forest. This is a full day tour, so everyone will be tired by the time we get back to the island. There will be a crock-pot dinner waiting for us, when we get home.
FRIDAY - July 6, 2018 (Picture Day)
Professional Photo Day
Today will be picture day with a professional photographer. Everyone will want to spend the day (for the most part), primping in front of a mirror, preparing for pictures. We will be taking our group Family Reunion photo at 3:00 p.m. Afterwards, everyone can individually have their families photos taken by the same photographer. About 5:30-6:00 p.m. we will be having a beach front dinner (at Banyan Bay Resort - Pier 366) with patio lighting and & a guitar player. The photographer will be joining us for dinner, to photograph our family enjoying time together.
EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE WEARING: White shirts w/ Blue Jeans.
Banyan Bay - Pier 366
REUNION FAMILY DINNER Sunset Dinner, Patio Lighting, Ocean View, Guitar Music, Candle Light, Great Company DINNER MENU Appetizer: Conch Fritters Second Course: Garden Salad Dinner Entree Choices: Fillet Mignon Dinner Entree Choices: Mayan Blackened Snapper Dinner Entree Choices: Shrimp Linguini Dinner Entree Choices: Chicken or Beef Burger & Fries Dessert: Cheese Cake
SATURDAY - July 7, 2018 (Anniversary)
Happy Anniversary Ian & Jill
This is Ian & Jill's Anniversary Day. Nani & Caren will be hosting a cupcake decorating session with all the kids on this day. Lauren will be showing us some of her techniques in cupcake decorating. Each child will be creating his/her own cupcake creations. Jose & Miriam will be hosting a Belizean barbecue, to include potato salad, rice & beans, fried plantains, homemade tortillas, and barbecue chicken. Ian & Jill will be getting a couples massage for their anniversary, followed by a nice quiet dinner at Jyoto's Japanese Sushi Restaurant (waited on by none other than Trent himself). The family will have a surprise waiting for Ian & Jill, when they arrive home.
Jyoto's Japanese Restaurant
SUNDAY - July 8, 2018 (Full Day)
Lamani Mayan Ruins
The day will start with a quick (on the go) breakfast burrito. We will boarding a boat at the crack of dawn for the mainland. Once we reach the mainland, we will be going up a river to the Mayan Ruins called Lamani. These ruins are full nestled in the rainforest jungle, with hundreds of howler monkey's in the trees. You will need jean shorts, "T" shirt, tennis shoes, hat, sunglasses, camera, sunscreen and bug spray. We will be spending the day, touring the site, climbing the ruin stairs and touring the museum. We will enjoy a nice lunch provided by our guide. After a full day of touring the site, we will board the boat and go back to the island. By the time everyone gets back to the island, you will be tired. There will be a crock-pot dinner waiting for us, when we get home.
MONDAY - July 9, 2018 (Full Day)
Snorkeling The Blue Hole
This will be a sea-worthy day for those up for the challenge. You will enjoy a quick (on the go) breakfast. You will be boarding an (Amigo's Del Mar) boat at 5:30 in the morning, headed for the famous blue hole (discovered by Jacque Cousteau). The boat ride will take about 2-1/2 hours (one way). There the guide will take you on a snorkeling tour, of the various sites. This is not a tour for children, or anyone who suffers from asthma or severe sea sickness. You will spend about 3-4 hours snorkeling the site and then take the boat back to the island. No doubt everyone will be extremely tire when you return, we will have a nice dinner waiting for you when you get back.
TUESDAY - July 10, 2018 (Full Day)
Zip Lining & Cave Tubing
Again, we will be getting up at the crack of dawn, enjoying a quick breakfast and boarding a boat for the mainland. The boat ride will take about 1-1/2 hours. Once we arrive in Belize City, we will be boarding two (15-passenger mini vans), which will take us into the Belizean jungle to go zip lining and cave tubing. Here we will be given "gear to wear", helmets and tie down cords. You will need jean shorts, "T" shirt, tennis shoes, hat, sunglasses, camera sunscreen and bug spray. We will take a short hike into the jungle, climb a series of steps to reach to our first platform. There you will be tied to a steal cable, you will not be released from this cable until the tour ends. We will each individually zip line through the jungle tree tops (85 feet) in the air. Christina did this when she was 6 years old, and loved it. I plan on doing it myself (i have a fear of heights), so if I can do it, anybody can do it.
Next we will go to Ian Anderson's Cave Branch lodge. You will want to bring swim shoes for this adventure. Here we will be given giant inner-tubes, and instructed to take a short hike into the jungle, to reach the river's edge. You will be given a life jacket to wear. You will hop on your inner-tube and follow your guide, who will be taking you through a series of caves. The river is very calm, there is no rapids, so no need to worry about turbulent water. This is great fun, and I'm sure you'll love every minute of it. This is a full day tour, so everyone is going to be tired when we get back to the island. There will be a crock-pot dinner waiting for us when we get home.
WEDNESDAY - July 11, 2018 (Half Day)
Hol Chan Marine & Shark Ray Alley
You will be able to get up a bit more leisurely this morning, and enjoy a nice breakfast. We will then board a boat (mid-morning), that will take us to the Hol Chan Marine Reserve. If you have snorkel gear, bring it. If not, you can rent it. Once we arrive to the reserve, they will anchor and tie off the boat. A guide will take you on a snorkeling tour of the reserve to include coral canyons. You will see a variety of fish, sting rays, maybe even a couple giant groupers.
From there, we will take a short boat ride Shark Ray Alley. If possible, your guide will jump into the water, and bring a shark for you to touch. This will be a great day for the kids. Be sure to bring your cameras, and sunscreen. Come evening everyone will be having dinner at Jyoto's Japanese Restaurant. Here you will get to try some new Japanese dishes that Trent has helped in creating, even a new beverage that he has assisted in making, to sell at the restaurant. Plan on going to bed early, tomorrow will be another full day adventure, and the highlight of your entire trip.
THURSDAY - July 12, 2018 (Full Day)
"ATM" Cave Exploring Adventure
This tour will be the highlight of the entire trip. We will be getting up at the crack of dawn, enjoying a quick breakfast, and boarding a boat for the mainland. The boat ride will take about 1-1/2 hours. Once we arrive to Belize City, we will be boarding two (15-passenger mini vans), which will take us to a campsite in the jungle, near the cave's entrance. This is the most adventurous tour in Belize. It will require your swimming (a short distance) to get into the cave. Kids can go piggy back on dad's back. There is considerable hiking through the cave, so be sure to wear good walking shoes. Lunch will be provided by our tour guide at the park campsite. Lauren did this tour when she was five years old, and loved it. This is a full day tour, so everyone will be tired by the time we get back to the island. There will be a crock-pot dinner waiting for us, when we get home.
FRIDAY - July 13, 2018 (Full Day)
Catamaran Day Sail
You will be able to get up a bit more leisurely this morning, and enjoy a nice breakfast. Then (mid-morning), we will board a catamaran for a full day sail. Be sure to bring a swim suit, towel, and sunscreen. We will be sailing to Caye Caulker (a neighboring island) and back. On the boat, they will serve rum punch, sodas, ceviche, and fresh fruit. We will be having lunch in a restaurant on Caye Caulker (with a little time for shopping afterwards), then we will be sailing back to the island, arriving late in the afternoon. Dinner will be at the campfire, followed by a sing along. Nani has a special evening planned, with some fun farewell activities.
Farewell Campfire Ceremony
This will be the time, to say your goodbyes. It will be a time to express love and appreciation for one another. Take some time, to think about what you want to say to each person present. It will be a time of gift giving, and singing some final songs together. There will not be a dry eye present, so bring tissue. I am asking that each person bring a small memento to hand out to each person (a key chain, a card, a bottle opener, a pair of earrings, anything small and inexpensive to share with each other). For kids, it can be something as simple as coloring a picture for each person. (Parents, please have your children do the coloring at home before you come, there will not be time for coloring during this trip - due to the many activities planned).
DINNER - Hawaiian Ham & Pineapple Skewers, Pineapple Coconut Cole Slaw, Campfire Chicken & Potato Foil Packets. Each person is going to cook their own skewers campfire side. DESSERT - Campfire Ceremony Cake ACTIVITIES - As everyone is eating dessert, we are going to go around the campfire and ask each person to relate what was the highlight of the trip for them. In addition, we are asking each person to relate how the reunion especially touched their heart, and what special memories you will be taking home. It is also a time to express love and appreciation for those around you. As you finish your endearing expressions, now will be the time to share any gifts you have brought from home. Don't be afraid to cry, before the evening is over (we will all be crying).
SATURDAY - July 14, 2018 (Off Day)
Laundry, Souvenir, & Packing Day
Today is a down day. You can spend it sleeping in, doing laundry, packing and souvenir shopping. We can have lunch together at Wild Mango's (seaside) one last time together. By the time this family reunion ends, each person will have been touched (to the heart), in some special way. It will have a bonding experience on all of us. There will be tears in parting, and treasure memories that will linger. Don't fret too much, because in two years, we're going to do it all over again.
Everyone needs to get to bed early, because tomorrow is the trek back home. I just want to take this opportunity to tell each and everyone of you - how much it means to me that you are coming. All of the pictures taken from this reunion, will be going into my new book entitled (How to Plan Your Next Family Reunion in Belize). It will be full of instructions on how to plan a reunion, how to set up committees and delegate responsibilities, there will be a section on meal planning, recipes designed to feed large groups, information on tours and excursions, campfire songs, games & activities.
This web-site can be used as an example, for how families can set up a family reunion web-site.
SUNDAY - July 15, 2018 (Travel Day)
Traveling back to the USA
It was a wonderful time together. A time that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life. You can start looking forward to the next reunion, which we will be planning at this reunion.
Until we meet again, all my love.
Signing Off............Mama Bear
The love of a family, is one of life's greatest blessings.