Antigua, Guatemala

We decided to go to Antigua, Guatemala.  Jeff (our tour guide we’d been using and loved) was busy so we originally decided to just hire a driver and van to take us there… they sent a guide along.  He was a funny guy, always saying he was sorry for his poor English (that was actually not bad at all).  Bryan and I liked to listen to him talk because he had not only a Spanish accent but a Bostonian one as well.  Come to find out the lady that taught him English was from Boston.

Before we got to Antigua he stopped off at a few places.  Actually we weren’t in Antigua very long at all.  I loved all the places we stopped but it would have been nice to see more of Antigua and not been so tired.

The first place we went was to a town that I can’t remember the name.  Here there is the first Catholic Church built in Central America as well as what’s left (a wall) of the first Palace built by the Conquistadors.  The wall is in a school yard, so I’m pretty sure not many tourists get to see it.  Our guide happened to have grown up in the area so he had the inside loop I guess.

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After that we went to a town called San Antonio.  There we saw some of the best tapestries we’d seen in all the markets we’d been too.  I’m still kicking myself for not buying one that I had found attractive.  The people were nice and on one of the tables I found two small paintings of Antigua that were amazing.  It took quite a while to get the woman to go to a price that wasn’t outrages, and I walked out with them.  I don’t believe I’ll be able to find frames for them (or the painting I got at Santiago Atitlan) without paying a fortune to frame them, but they are beautiful.

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Our last stop before hitting Antigua was a Macadamia Nut Farm.  That was actually really neat!  They showed us all the trees and the different stages of production.  I will appreciate every nut I eat from now on.  While there we had some juice and some of us got some mini facials.  They produce a cream and oil from the nuts that made our skin feel amazing.  I got a small bottle of the creme because it made my sunburn feel so much better.  We also all got some chocolates (Jeremy’s been loving them since I’ve been home).

Finally we made it to Antigua.  The place we ate lunch was really beautiful, and they had marimba’s playing while we ate our food.  We went to a Jade factory, educational, and the jewelry was very expensive.  I was able to find a small necklace for myself and a masculine version of the same thing for Jeremy.  The market we went to after wasn’t the best (with the exception of a purse I purchased).   We never did get much of a chance to walk around Antigua, as a matter of fact the picture of the archway, as well as the church I took out of the van window.  It was however a very beautiful city, with very bumpy roads.  😉

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On the way back to Guatemala City we once again hit traffic.  This time, about 10 min after we had been stopped, we heard sirens.  An ambulance had to get through and it was sure interesting to see the cars try and move for it to get through.  It finally did, and I got some pictures in the process.

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Once we were back at Grandma and Grandpa’s I decided to check the flights for Thursday, and to my surprise they didn’t look very good.  We ended up making a last minute change and decided to head home a day early.  None of us wanted to cut the vacation short (I think Bryan wanted to stay forever) but it was either a day early or run the risk of getting stuck in Houston.

The rest of the evening was spent packing.  Once we finished packing we all sat in the family room telling stories of the vacation, as well as old family stories.  We enjoyed laughing and sharing for a few hours.  Grandma  and Grandpa live on the 9th floor of a building in Guatemala City and it had amazing views.  Another thing we enjoyed doing is watching construction on a building right behind theirs, it was amazing to see the men work on it.   Eventually we all headed to bed for our last night sleep in Guatemala.

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