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Published: February 25th 2014
Volleyball on the beach right outside of Johnny's Place
After leaving Antigua (and that wonderful coffee farm!) we spent a few days in Xela. Roger and I were pretty excited to show them life here. We celebrated my birthday at a restaurant that overlooks all of Xela and visited TRAMA for some souvenirs. We also went to the cemetery to share the legend of Vanushka (died from a broken heart), and ate out at all our favorite restaurants, bars, etc. It was fun sharing this part of life with friends from back home! We decided to spend our last weekend together at the ocean, so Saturday morning we started our last leg of the adventure. We started the day off with a trip to some volcanic hot springs about an hour away from Xela. SO RELAXING. We just layed around the hot springs, relaxing and boiling ourselves for a few hours. Then, in our hot-springs-induced-daze, took off on chicken buses for Lake Atitlan. Since the trip from Xela to Monterrico/the Pacific is a long one, we thought it'd make sense to split it up and that way everyone could see the lake. We ended up taking a boat across the lake (after haggling with some not-so-friendly boat drivers-- props to
Roger for getting us fairly priced seats!) and staying in a town called San Lucas. It's not touristy at all despite there being a million hostels/hotels. We were the ONLY non-Guatemalans around. Kids would stare as we walked down the street - it was a bit strange, but not too different than what we're used to by now. We stayed in this hotel that seemed to be built from an old castle. Only the 1st floor (and maybe part of the 2nd?) had rooms in it and the rest was crumbly stone walls, and scary, spider web filled, dark halls and corners. We got up on the roof and had the most beautiful view of Atitlan. I don't think we took any pictures here (sorry!) but Jesse might've. I might make another blog post with just Jesse's pictures, since he probably has so many different ones than we do! We also ate at a nearby hotel that had the greatest food and margaritas! It was definitely one of our most expensive meals, but we had so many fresh fruit margaritas, it wasn't that big of a shock!
The next morning we took off for a bus to the beach!
I don't remember how many buses we had to take, but eventually we got to Monterrico, one of the most popular beaches in Guatemala 😊 Of course it was hot, and cloud-free and generally perfect 😊 We stayed at a hotel called Johnny's Place. Apparently it's owned by a Canadian (so poutine is on the restaurant's menu, which of course I ordered and devoured even though I think they used instant gravy and shredded cheese...). We got a whole bungalow to ourselves, and in front of it was a small pool. The other bungalows around us were empty so we had the pool to ourselves (yay)! All of this is also RIGHT ON THE BEACH. RIGHT ON THE BEACH we had a private pool! So spoiled. We spent the next few days playing in the (incredibly rough) waves, tanning on the beach, eating fresh seafood, and drinking way too many margaritas 😊 It was a perfect ending to the 2 week vacation with everyone 😊 The next day we caught a shuttle to Antigua, since it's only about 45 minutes away from Guatemala City / the airport and spent one last night at Carlos'. We feasted on sushi and went
out for a drink before crashing. The next morning we had to say goodbye 😞 Never fun. We put Teresa, Jason and Jesse on a private shuttle, told the driver to bring them DIRECTLY to the airport and crossed our fingers 😉 As far as we know, they made it just fine and got home without any difficulties (besides Jesse being sick, not good).
And that's about it - our trip with loved ones 😊
Since then, we've been lounging around our apartment, cleaning and making a million smoothies. We both feel as if we'll never eat out again (after eating out SO much the last 2 weeks), so we've been heading to the market often to buy food for making meals.
I'm going to start weaving a scarf at TRAMA, hopefully by Friday. It tends to take people quite a bit longer than they expect, so I want to get a good start on it so I don't have to rush. Our lease is up March 13th and we have some traveling planned for after that. According to everyone we talk to, we definitely picked the right winter to get out of Minnesota! Can't say I'm
too sad I'm missing out on all that snow and those negative degree highs!
Miss you all xxoo
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