A BFF weekend at Turnberry Isle

I'm not a golfer -- I never have golfed, in fact, though my two friends, Sue Tober and Elise Carlton, do. Christina Trammell, the resort's director of golf is very patient. I'm pleased I can even hit the ball! One person in the clinic has just finished up two full days of lessons with Christina.

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Belize offers a host of family friendly destinations
Kids having fun exploring the ruins of Xunantunich in Belize

Belize offers a host of family friendly destinations

By Eileen OgintzTribune Media ServicesThe big green moray eel stares at me, coming out of his hideaway in the reef, as if to say, "Go away! I don't want to…

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WATCHING SEA TURTLES NEST
The 21-mile stretch of beach in Tortuguero, Costa Rica is one of the largest nesting sites in the world for Green Sea Turtles.

WATCHING SEA TURTLES NEST

By Eileen OgintzTribune Media ServicesThe beach is pitch black, except for the light from the stars dancing across the sky. The ocean waves pound. And right in front of us,…

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Disney’s private island and our last night on the cruise
Ethan and Mike check out a stingray

Disney’s private island and our last night on the cruise

The sky is blue, the water clear turquoise. We step off the Disney Wonder onto kids vacation heaven -- a great big beach, a play structure anchored in the water. Machines dispensing all the ice cream and pop parents will let the kids have (as well as fresh fruit).

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Some beach time, some spa time
Ethan and Hannah with sand Mickey Mouse

Some beach time, some spa time

While the ship is in Nassau, we take the chance to check out the newly renovated Sheraton Cable Beach Resort. It’s great for kids -- a beautiful beach, three pools and rooms that open onto the pool.

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BEYOND THE BEACH IN BELIZE
Cave tubing in Belize

BEYOND THE BEACH IN BELIZE

Mick Fleming arrived in dugout canoe; Lucy Fleming on horseback a day later. There were no roads to the overgrown farm in the Cayo district of Belize that the young couple hoped to run. Their land was a jungle - literally. "But there was something about the place," Fleming, who was raised in England, recalls more than 30 years later.

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Placencia and Sein Beit
Lolas Art in Sein Beit, Belize

Placencia and Sein Beit

The small (1200 people) town of Placencia is about a four mile cab ride from The Inn at Robert’s Grove. This isn’t a typical resort town -- not yet anyway. We don’t see many souvenir shops or much of any shopping. Some friends we’ve made at the resort lead us to De Tatch, a thatched-roof no-wall restaurant down a tiny meandering street, past one-room houses on stilts.

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The Jungle Cruise on steroids
The tiny town of Monkey River in Belize

The Jungle Cruise on steroids

This is no Disney Jungle Cruise! For one thing, our guide, Doyle Garbutt is driving the boat way too fast. Jungle Cruise on steroids, my husband jokes. The two little boys on the boat love it. For another, the animals don’t pop out on cue.

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A tiny island on the reef off Belize
Roberts Island in Belize

A tiny island on the reef off Belize

It’s just me and the two Pelicans. I’m watching them from my chair on a tiny island -- less than an acre around -- named Robert’s Cay that’s about 20 miles -- and more than an hour’s boat ride in a choppy sea with waves up to five feet -- from the Inn at Robert’s Grove where we’re staying.

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A Week in Belize (after a nightmare in the airports)
Roberts Grove resort in Belize

A Week in Belize (after a nightmare in the airports)

We arrived yesterday evening after typically frustrating flights. First, we had to get our flights changed because of the American Airlines MD-80 inspection mess. That took hours on the phone. We thought we were home free when we were able to rebook our flights on Delta but no such luck. At the airport in New York, we encountered incredibly long lines for check-in and security.

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