Another adventure begins!! In mid July 2014 I headed back to Guatemala to meet up with Beca Project sponsors for a week of exploration and personal connections.
I enjoyed the trip to PDX with debonaire chauffeur Isaac until I received a phone call from American Airlines that my flight was delayed 3 hours, meaning a missed connection in Dallas. After phone waits, line waits, a boarding pass refusal at security, and a missed rebooked flight, I was finally rebooked on a perfectly timed Alaska flight to Dallas. Phew!
Central Oregon Snow peak view with wildfires
This trip is a rare 1st class opportunity for me, the only way I could use air miles to travel. Here you see breakfast with a good movie - Hotel Grand Budapest - on the provided DVD...
...and on the next leg dinner with a good book - The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - on my iPad plus sunset clouds and a lightning show.
I enjoyed getting together with new friends at the airport and old and new friends at Casa Cristina and feel very at home in my favorite room there.
We slept in and had a nice breakfast at neighboring Fernando's Kaffee - a happy start to our 1 full day in Antigua.
After breakfast we set out to explore. Here the owner of Casa Cristina, Rosario, negotiates for the purchase of a new dresser; note that the dresser appears to outweigh the man who brought it up the street, the weight balanced between the strap on his forehead and his back.
5a Avenida and the iconic Santa Catalina arch
The mermaid fountain in the parque central
Cathedral views - the front facade...
...and the tumbled reality behind.
In the middle of all of this, 6 of us took a chocolate class. After learning about the history and importance of chocolate and the processes required, we set to work to try it ourselves. Here's our teacher, Alejandro, with Kim and Joe (roasting beans).
After roasting, we ground it and made 3 sorts of drinks - tea from the husks, a spicy Maya version, and a Spanish version with milk and honey - then made and spiced up our own chocolates.
Joe and Herb
Herb and Marty
Lunch at Epicure - highly recommended.
We gave ourselves a little time to kick back and eventually headed to a popular local bakery for breakfast provisions. Birthday girl Mallory is imprisoned in the bakery but later escaped.
My take - a variety of pastries, a cookie, and 3 leches pudding, all for 11 quetzales - about $1.30.
And then more food - dinner at La Fonda de la Calle Real on 3a Calle (there are 3 but I like that 1 best). Famous people eat there and they frame the newspaper articles and emblazon the chairs. The trivia section of Carlos Salinas' actor website notes that he was president of Mexico from 1988 to 1994.
You can find the complete photo sets for this trip HERE.