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A3-hour flight gate-to-gate...

From Atlanta, Guatemala City is only a 3-hour flight gate-to-gate on Delta Airlines followed by an easy 45-minute drive into Antigua. But for me, it started with months of planning and getting my husband onto a plane for his 40th birthday with no idea where we we're going.

"How did he not find out?" everyone asks.

Not only did he not find out, but I had to re-plan the trip twice. After a death in the family, I rescheduled our trip to a place that celebrates perpetual Spring from an October date to December. While my husband knew we we're going somewhere for a getaway, he had no idea where.

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But the real reason he didn't find out? My husband is a sucker for a great surprise and didn'twant to know. If you're going to surprise someone, it's fun if they're a willing participant. Otherwise you build up the suspense of the surprise in your head, only to find out they're just sort of bewildered and don't know what's happening. In this case he knew what was happening and worked himself into a frenzy on the big reveal.

It also helps that many husbands (even my super attentive one) tend to tune out a certain amount of what goes on around them. I accidentally said the word, "Guatemala" no fewer than three times over the course of several weeks and he never noticed.

We used Delta frequent flyer miles to coast down to Guatemala and splurged on airplane wireless to get some work done. I dug through edits and revisions on some articles and prepped the rest of my work so it would be easily attended to once there. We did some work while there, but limited it to just over an hour a day. Because we both actually enjoy our creative work and are constantly fine-tuning our balance, it tends to work out well.

Let's get on with what Antigua is like.

Nestled in the central highlands of Guatemala, Antigua is often confused for the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda where all-inclusives and a Sandals resort resides. Antigua in Guatemala is less-known than it's Caribbean brethren, but is famous for it's preserved Spanish Baroque architecture and colonial church ruins.

Antigua is completely spectacular.

I indulged in our accommodations for my husband's birthday and stayed at Hotel Cirilo, a lovely little inn with a fireplace en-suite, open courtyards with ruins of their own. A freshwater pool and open air dining made you feel like you we're part of nature without skimping on amenities. We ended up working on our laptops in the gardens in the evenings before retiring to our cozy but comfortable room.

We took the hotel up on their recommendation for a driver, a 30-something year old man who was more than gracious to let me stumble through my broken Spanish. Despite 8-years of learning it in high school and college, I understand Spanish quite well, but in the way you might skim a complex novel. You know what happened, but not really any of the details.

I also speak Spanish like a toddler getting a grasp on her language skills. Someone who might say, "Good afternoon! Do you have eye suitcases or eye soap?" because I suddenly can't recall the words for contact case or contact solution. People ultimately know what I mean, much like I know what my daughter means when she says, "I need my suitcase for school, " as opposed to her lunch box.

Our driver mentioned the area near our hotel was hosting La Quema del Diablo, or The Burning of The Devil . The town comes out in droves for street food, souvenirs and live music all cumulating with a life-sized devil being burned directly in between two gas stations facing each other. From what our driver told us, it was the only two gas stations facing each other city. He seemed as bewildered as I was they would pick this location. I made him repeat everything, not sure if I understood Spanish as well as I thought. Turns out I did.

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Posted in Agriculture Post Date 01/06/2021






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