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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Archive for April 13th, 2015

To Antigua

with 2 comments

On our third day in Guatemala City we woke up to instructions to pack for a road trip. It immediately reminded me of the old stand up routine of George Carlin’s about “Stuff.” We needed to pack a smaller version of things we brought with us for an overnight in Antigua and then a few days in Santiago Atitlán

Trip Map

DSCN3079eDue to limitations of space in the vehicle, our larger luggage would be trucked directly to the beach house where we would eventually arrive. We packed a smaller version of our travel bags. That still turned out to be a lot of stuff, especially compared to the bag Jose packed. He put on shorts and a tank top shirt and told me “This is how you dress for Antigua!” The small duffel bag he carried looked like it didn’t even have anything else in it.

“You told us to pack light!” he said to his parents when they remarked about his almost empty bag.

We dealt with a moderate amount of traffic on the relatively short trip to Antigua, where Marco strategically chose parking in a hotel that wasn’t the one we would be staying at, for reasons of convenience. That decision led to an unlikely coincidence of Cyndie surprisingly coming upon a Minnesota friend and colleague on the sidewalk of the hotel. What are the odds of that?

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We walked and browsed the bustling streets of historic Antigua. It was a superb experience. Cyndie was an excellent shopper, finding many potential items that captured her fancy. We enjoyed a lunch outdoor at an Italian restaurant that served delicious wood-fired pizza. We splurged on tiramisu cake for dessert.

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In trying to navigate the winding narrow streets from our daytime parking spot, to the exclusive Filadelfia hotel at a coffee plantation nearby where we had reservations, we came to a few roads already closed in preparation for Palm Sunday events the following day. Of course, that spectacle happened to be our objective for tomorrow. Having been naively and blissfully oblivious to many of the details of our itinerary, it was at this point that I began to grasp the enormity of what lie ahead for us in Antigua. Seriously, I had totally missed that it was actually going to be Palm Sunday.

I will never be able to adequately convey my full appreciation for the excellent and inspired planning that Marco and Dunia did to give us the absolute BEST experience imaginable while we were with them. There just aren’t enough superlatives to do them justice.

DSCN3082eWhen we arrived at the hotel we were floored by the greatness of everything. It is exquisite. Our rooms provided an amazing view of volcano Agua that is entirely captivating. We dipped in the pool for a swim after dark, soaked in the hot tub, and then went to dinner in the hotel/plantation restaurant.

It was another day that ended with us feeling as though the events were the equivalent of several days worth. Truly a magnificent experience for us.

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Written by johnwhays

April 13, 2015 at 6:00 am