Thursday, July 29, 2010

Guatemala: Natural Beauty

One thing I loved about Guatemala was all of the natural beauty.

The foliage was a little like Berkeley, but even more lush and tropical!

You might have noticed from my brussel sprouts post that I love seeing plants as they grow, especially those I've never seen before.  These pineapples were awesome.

Huge bunches of bananas, and look at that bud!

Hanging out with our host and some of her friends by the famous Lake Atitlan.  Though the view was a little foggy that day, a lake surrounded by volcanoes can't be beat. 

Well, this one might not be beautiful in the traditional sense, but it was AMAZING.  We went to a cave at dusk and saw thousands and thousands of bats exiting for the night. Pretty incredible.

Have you ever seen a transparent butterfly?

This is Semuc Champey, a limestone "bridge" of gorgeous green pools that is actually over a huge river. We climbed up for the view, then went down to lounge in the water.  So great. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

Guatemala Part 2: Volcanoes and Beyond

The day that Michelle and I booked our tickets to Guatemala in May, we were SO excited about our upcoming trip!  Little did we know that a volcano was erupting that very day not far from the very touristy Antigua! And that's not all, then the country was hit by Hurricane Agatha, which made cleaning up all the ash that had come raining down very difficult (and as we later learned when trying to reach Lake Atitlan, it also caused lots of landslides that closed many roads).  Its good we didn't know about these catastrophes before we booked the flight, because that way we didn't have to reconsider--we just went and I'm glad we did!

Here we are on 21-day old lava that not long before then was flowing out of the Pacaya volcano!  It was cool enough to walk on, and felt a little like a pumice stone.  It was a little hot in some spots; behind us in this photo is a lot of steamy, stinky sulfur.  In other spots our guide dug into the lava a little and found the glowing red you think of...and it started his walking stick on fire!

The river of volcano charged right through a pineapple field, destroying the crop, except for some plants that were left untouched.  Our guide chopped off the outside so we could enjoy some freshly picked fruit! YUM. 

After a few days in Antigua, we left for the Atlantic Coastal town of Livingston, which has a more Caribbean feel. 

This amazing hammock hut was on the dock at our hotel; pretty sweet!
 And I was always happy waking up in the morning to a breakfast of fresh fruit, panqueqeus, and Guatemalan coffee all served with the gorgeous colorful traditional fabric for napkins.  What a life. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Guatemala: Antigua

So, I'm back from Guatemela!  I've been back for a few days but too busy to blog.  Also, it was such a great trip and I have so many wonderful photos, that I've been a little hesitant to even post about it because there is so much to say!  I think I'll post in chunks of time/place.  What better place to start than the lovely colonial city of Antigua!  About 45 min. from Guatemala City (where I hear there isn't much of interest to tourists), Antigua is so charming with cobblestone streets and colorful buildings.
This is the amazing facade of one of the churches there!  

This is a chicken bus!  Apparently, all broken down school buses from America are sent to Guatemala, repainted in bright colors with crazy patterns (also notice the women silhouettes!), and used for public transport.  Though we liked to look at them and marvel about how many people they fit both inside and on top, we did not like the thick black smoke the spat on us as they drove by!

We were so lucky to have had some amazing hosts.  Michelle (my travel partner) met Stephanie (below on the left), and she and her family gave us the royal treatment! The photo above is from the room we stayed in at Stephanie's sister's house, which had this amazing courtyard full of flowers and even a fountain.  It was gorgeous! 
And of course, I can't NOT mention the mojitos at a bar called La Sala.  They were the best I've ever had! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Feels like I've been seeing a lot of ships lately, or maybe I'm just noticing them because I like them.  Perhaps I'll find a way to incorporate one into a design I have to do sometime soon.  Speaking of design, that's pretty much all I've been doing lately!  Between fall publicity at work and tons of projects in class, my creative brain is getting maxed out.  But never fear, I'll be shipping out myself soon, for a trip to GUATEMALA!  I haven't been abroad in awhile, so I'll excited to get out and live the traveler lifestyle again.  So, here's a bon voyage post to myself...I'll see ya when I get back. :)
I wish I would have bought this shirt.
Sweet weather vane in SF. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Weekend!

I hope you all have a grand 4th of July weekend!  I've got some new shades that will be very useful if I make it to the beach (80 degrees in SF, a RARE beach occasion that I'm feeling the need to take advantage of).  They might also be useful if I end up sitting too close to the fireworks!