A Cup of Coffee to Jog My Memory

I drank my coffee this morning from my new Guatemala mug and suddenly realized that I never wrote about the last day of our trip. When I say “suddenly realized,” I am referring to the fog I have been living under for the last five days being lifted. Some people call this jet lag; to me the term “travel funk” seems to sum up the feeling much more accurately.
On our last day in Guatemala, we traveled to Antigua. We packed up all of our luggage at 5 a.m. (and no, that is not a typo). We arrived in Antigua around 10, dropping off our bags at the hotel before heading out for an early lunch. (After all, what’s an 11 a.m. lunch to people who have been up for six hours?)

Our mouths were watering at the thought of eating American food for lunch — Domino’s! Finally…a meal that did not consist of chicken and rice! Ironically, that meal was the only meal during our entire trip that made many of us sick. It figures.

After another interesting bus ride through the city that ended with backing up a one-way street, we hit the shops. The catchphrase of the day was, “Cuanto cuesta?” (“How much does this cost?”) Even my boys mastered the exchange rate quickly so that they knew how many quetzals the item they wanted to buy amounted to in dollars. This, of course, led to the fun of bartering. I can’t wait to take my boys to Target again and watch them try to barter with the associate at the checkout. “Excuse me. I know the tag on this toy says $1 but how about I give you 50 cents instead?”

We took our treasures back to the hotel and got settled. The first thing we always end up doing in a hotel is adjusting the temperature. Usually the air conditioning is blasting so it feels like entering a walk-in freezer when you walk in the door. This time it was warm. I searched for the thermostat or wall unit to no avail. Another new experience…a hotel with no air conditioning. (Thankfully, the evening cooled off and a breeze from the open windows kept us comfortable.)

We were treated to dinner by Hope of Life (our driver and two guards accompanied us to Antigua and the airport in Guatemala City the next day). The food was excellent but the last night of fellowship with friends we came with and friends we became close to on this trip was even better.
We will all miss Guatemala. I guess we’ll just have to head back soon…

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