Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Family Time Finally

Sean and Will ran the Capitol Hill Classic 10K race on Saturday
 morning. Three thousand people participated in this and
the shorter 3K distance. Sean came in 19th and Will 25th.
Sean's pace was 5:59 minutes. It was a hot day too.
We had a great dinner at Proof, a trendy excellent restaurant
in the Penn Quarter with Will's parents, Gary and Kathy
DeKrey who were visiting from Minneapolis. James and
Morgen joined us as well.
We flew Spirit Airlines through Ft. Lauderdale to Washington DC. Spirit was by far the cheapest alternative although we paid $53 for each check in bag ($28 per bag at the time you book and then $25 at the airport for overweight - our bags weighed about 48 pounds each). We didn't have carry on bags but if you do they are $30 on line at booking or $40 at the desk. Another odd detail, you can't bring water on board the plane. They sell water on board.
 We stopped for four nights to see our two youngest sons, James and Sean. The Capitol Hills District where they live is really lovely and every garden was riotous with flowers. We walked Sean down to work the next morning, stopping at Ted's Bulletin (505 8th SE) for a great breakfast. We never buy their homemade pop tarts but they always look great.
Friday night we had fun dinner out at Karl and Kris's home, James girlfriend Morgen's parents, in Maryland. Then Saturday we met Will's parents, Gary and Kathy visiting from Minneapolis, at Proof (775 G St. NW) for a fantastic dinner. Sunday Sean hosted a brunch followed by a BBQ at his home for family and friends - all day great food and fun. A diet is in my immediate future.
Monday we were off again to Boston to see our oldest son Josh, his wife Michal and five of our grandchildren; Daniel (9), Ariella (7), Maya (5), Jonathan (23 months) and Shira (6 months). Josh is a radiation oncologist and has just bought a practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma so they'll be moving out there soon. A big change for us as they've been the only one of our children close by geographically.
On Thursday we finally flew home to Rutland, VT on Cape Air. It is really fun flying in this tiny plane - only 10 passengers and yet again Scott was co-pilot (not really but he sat there). Our home looked great after so long away and our garden amazing. We'll be back for six months now. Imagine that, all in one stretch. We'll see...
Sean, Will, Gary and Kathy in Sean's kitchen
James and Morgen at the Sean's BBQ
Our oldest son Josh and his wife Michal have five kids -
here Daniel, Ariella and Shira with Grammy
Grandpa and Shira adore each other.
And she's still small enough to easily carry
Daniel practices his dribbling in the kitchen
And Ariella her piano.
Jonathan rides his horse
Maya's off to school, ever fashionable.
Even when adding a raincoat!
I'm going to brag now...Jonathan knows all his letters and
also the sound they make. He's not yet 2!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Twenty Four Hours in Antigua, Guatemala

This is the view we woke up to our first and so far only morning in Antigua! That's Volcan de Agua in the background.
Our last days getting the boat ready to leave were occasionally miserable. During the middle of the day it was really hot and once the boat was up on the cement yard it baked us. We had to remove and fold the sails and canvas, wash down the walls and floors with vinegar and water, and lift up the dinghy to be secured on the foredeck. Scott had several things to do on all the engines and I sorted out our food supplies and cleaned out the refrigerator. We couldn't stay on the boat and I didn't mind a bit. We can't use the toilet while it's on the hard. We took a very pleasant room at the nearby Mar Marine Yacht Club - for $25 a night a good deal - air conditioning and U.S. TV stations.
 In a few days we were finished and on the road. The 5 hour bus trip to Guatemala City took 7 hours but it too was air conditioned and we were not working. Heaven. As we were too late to catch our scheduled bus on to Antigua, they sent us by taxi at no cost. Rather nice we thought. And once there it was lovely. At Walt and Honorees suggestion we stayed at Chez Daniel with our very nice hosts Daniel and Maria Elena ( or facebook). Our beautiful $49 a night room included a great breakfast with croissants, french bread, butter, jam and juice. We took their suggestion and ate that night at La Pena del Sol ( - terrific meal and live music. Unfortunately it was a rainy night so we didn't get much of a walk but did have time in the morning as my pictures show.
Antigua was founded in 1543, the third capital of Guatemala, and served the Spanish as their governing center for most of Central America and part of Mexico. In 1717 and 1773 it was hit by terrible earthquakes and much of the town was destroyed. The capital moved once again, this time permanently to Guatemala City. The city was ordered abandoned but of course many did not. Today it has about 34,000 inhabitants.
We'll be back here for sure when we return in January.
And when we looking over the roof tops to our right, more
volcanoes appeared. The one farthest left had a plume
of smoke rising from the crater.
The narrow quiet street where our
Bed and Breakfast - Chez Daniel - is.
The lovely tree lined streets are paved with cobble stones.
A small church near our B & B
This little girl and her mother are dressed in
quite the western fashion but the baby is still
carried the traditional way.
This woman is in traditional costume and the embroidery
 work on her apron and blouse is very fine.
This Tuktuk driver would love to take me for a ride.
Broad tree lined streets just out of the main center are lined
with homes, many ex-pats from USA and Canada.
Local buses try to outdo each other in color and decoration
This "fashionably" dressed young boy is getting his
 shoes shined. Imagine!
Vendors sell everything and often only one item each - here
freshly cut mangoes
One of the several churches destroyed, we assume,
by earthquakes with only it's facade intact. 
The extensive and beautiful central park is surrounded by
old buildings.
A group of children line up for a walk.
We lucked out by being in Antigua when the
Tour de Guatemala went through. It was early morning
and huge crowds had turned out to greet the teams.

We had never seen an all xylophone band before. They
sounded great.
I guess when you're signing a male fan's
clothing, his back's a good spot.
Motorcycles/Scooters are a popular way to get around
and often we see whole families on one.
Another partial facade testifying to how often earthquakes
have rocked this town.

Friday, May 11, 2012

That's a Gin and Tonic...

That's a gin and tonic! We have no idea why but the only
tonic water available is from Fanta and it's pink.

Every day is market day in Fronteras. Narrow alleys are
filled with tiny stores selling everything.

This woman is tying her toddler onto her back with her
scarf - just like kids anywhere, "Pick me up"

Walt and Honoree put their heads together over dinner at
Backpackers Restaurant

The bank under the bridge is filled with people swimming
and doing laundry

It looks like more fun than a laudramat but more work

Combat Hapkidu lessons in the morning

Wooden walkways link the various parts of
Tortugal Marina

Flowers grow everywhere. 

In every color but the lush green sets them off.

These look like lilacs but aren't

I'm embarrassed about taking people's pictures so often
 do it at a distance. She is wearing the traditional plaid
 skirt, lacy blouse and big scarf in which they carry

The main street in Fronteras

Is a colorful busy and yes, noisy place

 filled with fascinating merchandise

And yummy but fatty treats

But then healthy ripe fresh fruit and vegetables are
also available

This Mayan woman makes her way through the traffic
with a heavy load

I think this flower is part of the banana plant.

I bought a number of gifts for family from
this very nice vendor