After a couple failed attempts to enter Guatemala, we finally got through on Thursday morning. We followed the road to Guatemala City and ended up in Antigua several hours later. It's about a 4 1/2 hour trip from here. Eduardo and I had high hopes for the trip since we were taking Ana and Cristina with us to help with Liliana. We had several reasons for taking this trip. For fun of course, but the main reason was to attend the New World Crafts Feria. The fair ended up being a major disappointment, but I did make a couple of good contacts of artisans in El Salvador that I plan on getting a hold of soon for some Christmas ornaments I will take back to Indy in November.
A major disappointment to the trip was when we got to the border and they would not let Cristina in Guatemala without a passport because she is underage. Ana had planned on just putting her on a bus if it didn't work out, but because we switched crossings to Ahuachapan, they do not have a bus service up there so Ana decided it would be best to help her get back home. This was highly disappointing and Liliana screamed and cried the minute they got out of the car. She also continued to scream and cry the ENTIRE trip, which is very out of character for her. Nothing we seemed to do seemed to please her and if it did, it was momentary. That is how the whole 2 days went.
Now on with the good parts! Antigua is absolutely beautiful. It ranks high on my list of favorite cities of all time. We are already planning our trip back, but with nannies next time! We will be going to get Cristina a passport. Other than the beauty, it was so fun. There are cobblestone streets throughout the whole city and it's perfect for walking everywhere. We never even felt the desire to drive. There are little shops and cafes lining all the streets and it's so quaint. The city is catered to foreigners so we saw them everywhere. It was actually a little shocking. And it was so safe! That was the best part. We were able to walk around at night with no problem and felt completely safe the whole time, even in the central park. There are a bunch of old ancient churches that are stunning. We didn't get to visit the museums, but plan on that for the next trip. We got a hotel for $40, but once again I think I will look for something else better next time. There are a bunch of options.
I also was able to do more shopping for my goods to take to the States at the Mercado de Artisanias. We found some GREAT deals and some very cool things. I have a whole collection of childrens' things now other than clothes. I even found baby slings! We met a nice guy that owns his own store that sells the beautiful beaded bracelets I had gotten last time, but in Juayua. He and his family make everything themselves and he is willing to ship to me here in El Salvador. That was a great connection. I wish I could go back again to pick up necklaces and matching rings as well.
So I highly recommend Antigua for a wonderful trip. You can also take little side trips to Tikal and Lake Atitlan and other places from Antigua and you can take English speaking tours. I think my mom is now planning her next vacation!!