I claimed the whole 3 day weekend for my birthday and it was a great 1! It started Friday with this gorgeous sunrise from our terrace.
and a walk to the central area of town to watch the completion of the gorgeous alfombras - carpets - on the procession route. Construction of the alfombras started around midnight immediately following the somber evening procession and some groups were still working after the parade started.
I returned an hour later with Mike to walk the route again. The amount of work and the beauty and the attention to detail is stunning.
We watched the start of the procession as it left the church (that's Mynor holding up the nearest corner of the huge anda) and at several other favorite vantage points.
The alfombras were gradually reduced to parts by the procession, then scavanged and swept away as the procession continued through the streets.
Back in front of the church I worked for hours with a group of Mynor's relatives to build an alfombra for the return of the procession.
That's my palm and floral display near the leading edge - grateful and proud to have been allowed to participate. (Full disclosure: I was asked to make an exact replica of another woman's work.)
When it was complete I enjoyed watching and waiting for the return of the procession.
That's Mynor's mom smiling at me.
We do most of our shopping in the market area but there were a few things I needed to pick up at our favorite grocery store, Tienda Aracely.
After 5 hours in the sun I rewarded myself with a mango cone on the walk back home.
In the late afternoon we hopped in the back of a pickup with Josefa and the boys, cousins, and friends, and headed to San Juan to see the alfombras there. Their Good Friday procession is at night and the alfombras tend toward modern creations using fine, brightly dyed sawdust. Really impressive, though I prefer the more traditional ones using pine needles, fruits, and vegetables.
Saturday morning we rented a kayak at the dock - 30 quetzales or about $4 per hour. Beautiful day to be on the lake!
I spent the afternoon and evening (while Mike watched Final 4 basketball) sorting photos and blogging and took in another evening procession with Josefa and the boys.
I enjoyed the sights and the message and the music at the 6am Easter mass with Josefa.
She picked up breakfast for her family in the market and bought me some warm atol; I headed back to the terrace to relax, then back to town to see the final procession of the season.
Then home again for breakfast with Mike. Note that sometimes the food pictured is Mike's because he makes his food prettier.
After breakfast we hiked out the trail past the end of the finca road until we could see Santiago Atitlán - a gorgeous day for a hike!
Yes, that's local honey being dripped on local chocolate; I credit Mike for that recipe but he says the lady at the tienda told him it was good that way to convince us to buy both honey and chocolate from her: good sales technique.
1 more cloud show from the terrace and then dinner with Mynor, Josefa, Antonio, and Manuel. I'm a lucky duck. :-)
You can find the complete photo collections for this trip HERE.