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Published: January 2nd 2014
It's been awhile since I wrote last - sorry! To be honest though, not too much really happened before Christmas. We just did the norm -- wake up, coffee (Roger is in LOVE with our espresso maker!), volunteer, dinner, sleep with a few hours of bass and books thrown in. Christmas wasn't really anything too different either. We decided not to exchange gifts since we're sharing all money and everything we own down here anyways. It was a bit of a bummer - I didn't think I'd be bothered by it too much but I really took it hard. It was so different (and not that awesome) to have Christmas without family, without snow, without yummy smells from the kitchen all day. And then looking at everyone's awesome times on Facebook made me even more sad! Rog finally said I had to stop looking at Facebook because I was getting so bummed out. He's a good one, that Roger 😉 He even let me watch Elf 3 times in the span of 48 hours so that helped a bit 😊 At midnight on Christmas eve fireworks started going off ALL over the city! It wasn't like back home where there's a firework show and all the fireworks safely come from one area - we had a 180 degree view from our balcony and fireworks were going off EVERYWHERE. Big ones too! Even some kids down the street were lighting them off. It was pretty spectacular to watch. Fireworks, Elf, and Roger helped to cheer me up over the Christmas days.
A few days after Christmas we were invited to go to Mexico for the weekend with our friend Sam, and his girlfriend Cristy and her family (her dad, Juan, and sisters, Gabi and Paola). They are all Guatemalan, but they all speak English (except for Juan, I think). We actually met Sam when he was translating for a client at TRAMA. We wanted to speak only Spanish with them for the practice, but of course, after the first day our Spanish came up less and less. We are pretty sure we're starting some Spanish lessons soon so hopefully we'll be speaking more Spanish soon! We drove 2 hours to the border and then ... some more hours to a town called Tonala in the state of Chiapas. We did some touristy-sight seeing things and got some dinner (the most amazing enchiladas for me and a HUGE quesadilla for Rog) before heading to bed. I'll put pictures up soon, with more details about what we saw. They're not on the computer yet, oops! The next morning we headed to a beach. We had to take a boat ride down a river and then walk for little while to get to it, but once we got there... it was amazing. It was almost totally empty when we got there; just us and a restaurant. If I remember correctly, the city would like to build it up someday into a more touristy area, but for right now it's way under-utilized. And way perfect. It was sandy and hot and the Pacific Ocean stretched on forever. The water was warm too! Roger put sunscreen on a few times so he didn't get burnt. I didn't put sunscreen on until later so I definitely got color, and luckily, only a tiny bit of a burn that's already gone away. We played in the waves for awhile, laid out and read Mexican Cosmo, built sand castles, chased crabs and buried Sam in the sand 😊 We ate at the restaurant (ceviche, and shrimp empanadas, which sound weird but were super yummy). Later that afternoon we drove to another beach area, this one more touristy. It's called Boca del Cielo or Heaven's Mouth.
I don't have many nice things to say about Boca del Cielo. We watched a rooster climb a tree, then fall out, and then re-climb it. There are two parts to Boca del Cielo and I guess the part we didn't go on was much more fun. The part we were on though, was just a handful of restaurants (all staffed by the most un-smiling people ever) and people trying to sell "mexican" stuff to tourists. We couldn't even go in the water on this side because it was too smelly. Rog and I laid out for awhile by some palm trees and relaxed and later on got some pretty good shrimp for dinner. We did get a beer and check out the stars on the beach with Sam - you can see, I'm pretty sure, every star ever created from down there so it was pretty at night. Our hotel was hilariously ridiculous though. Our room was just a huge bed (bigger than a California King - no joke!)! There wasn't room for anything else haha We did have a bathroom though. No door, just a shower curtain hanging on a rope that Roger broke right away, and no toilet seat. AND in the morning, we found out that SOMETHING had POOPED on our soap! We took a picture (don't worry, I'll post it for sure) and googled it later and we're pretty sure a lizard pooped on our soap. We saw centipedes and ants and spiders in the room too. OH - and the hilarious thing is... one of the walls was only a half wall - it didn't reach the ceiling. That's a bit different, but normally no big deal. BUT, on the other side of the 1/2 wall were the stairs leading to all the rooms! If someone really wanted to, they could have just leaped into our room! And everyone has to go up the stairs/past our bed to get to their room. It was really strange.
The next morning we headed back to Xela. I think it was about 9 hours in a van with a break in the middle for some picture taking and lunch. We wanted to hike to a waterfall but apparently we got there too late 😞
Today is the first of January, which means last night was New Years Eve! Of course the fireworks were out in full force again 😊 We were lucky yesterday and got to Facetime with friends so many times! Jason and Sally (and Jade!) called us in the evening, around dinner time and we chatted for awhile. Then we got to check out Amanda and Spilde's NYE party - it was great 😊 We felt like we were there... but not in -40 degree weather! We chatted again a few minutes after midnight to give our Happy New Year wishes! After midnight we went out and met up with Sam, Cristy and Gabi at a DJ who was playing in the streets by Parque Central. We didn't stay there too long before heading to a bar to watch a band play. We ended up getting a really good table on accident and stayed for awhile. It was a lot of fun. Sam kept pulling the lyrics up on his phone so Roger and I could sing along with the rest of the bar 😊 Today's been a lazy day. I think we both had a bit of hangover this morning, and somehow the residents of Xela have yet to run out of fireworks , so that wasn't helping! Roger's been playing bass for a few hours and I've been reading Jurassic Park (for probably the 20th time).
Hope everyone enjoyed the holidays this year! We miss all of our friends and family oh so much (but we do not miss that Minnesota weather!) !
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