Sunday, June 1, 2008

Comprende si!

Lots of things have happened since my last post, but I don't know where to begin. This easy life of traveling has taken over and has become my life so trasitioning from place to place and events that have happened have become a blur. The best part about the past few weeks is that I have friends. Friends that are so much different than those of my previous time traveling where I lived in one place, but now friends that I meet in every town I go to. Sometimes this is hard as you are always saying goodbye to good people, but I seem to run into the good ones time and time again in different places.
After our time at Trippy's we found it too hard to leave. We made so many amazing friends there that we spent 5 nights in Antigua doing Spanish classes....which were really hard to do and then headed back. The Spanish teachers were amazing and I really really liked learning at the pace which they taught. If I had the right frame of mind, Guatemala and its Spanish classes is the place to learn. Antigua was great a very cute colonial town and we made lots of friends their too. We met up with our friend Erik from Sweden and all of his friends here (and yes Devin there is a story here for you). Plus everyone that needs a break from Lake Atitlan stays at the same hostel we stayed at in Antigua and made tons of friends through that.

We just couldn't stay away though and headed directly to San Pedro the second school got out on Friday. The second weekend was amazing. I have some great pictures, some of the best of the trip yet which I know I know I need to upload but have again forgotten my camera on my trip to the internet cafe today. I started a love affair with a drink called Quezalteca. It is the local "hooch" (I guess that is what you would call it). We carved cups out of mangos, used the mango to mix with the delicious liquor which did I mention costs 8 Q ($1) a flask. Naming our mangos was also a good time as well as our walkie talkie radio station 98.7 which I DJ on. There is a return bottle policy and found myself at one point returning 40 bottles to get us more Quezal you get one Q back for every bottel. Don't worry there were a bunch of us drinking it. Every night was a blast and I can not recommend a place more for any one to go visit. Sunday we hiked to the Nose. A very tall point around the lake which we were told was do able in flip flops...very very false information. I fell a total of 4 times and two being near death. At one point I was hanging off a cliff with my legs dangling grasping onto vines. The next near death resulted in a very gaping wound on my shin which is still in the process of healing 2 weeks later. Monday though we had to say goodbyye. Tears were actually shed when leaving our great friends there. Luckily a few came with us to Antigua for the next few days which made it a bit easier on us.

Antigua the next week was good. It was sort of an interesting stay because we were a bit sad about leaving Trippy's and knowing we had to leave Guatemala. Days were spent exploring the market and not doing much as the city was pretty rainy. The Man United Chelsea match was a really fun day as many of our European friends supported their teams. We were also able to run into more friends from many towns ago at the bar we watched the game at.

After a pretty long travel and a chance in Copan Honduras to actually see some ruins even though we were so near so many...we are here in Utila. This island is amazing. Very Carribean. We are diving at a place called Underwater Visions. The staff there is amazing and I have a very cool dive instructor who teaches so well. I just got my advanced cert today and am starting a rescue course tomorrow. By Thursday I will be a DMT (Dive Master in Training) the best part about that is dive masters are always needed at dive shops. It is very expensive to get PADI certified this far, but once you have a job you can make the money back very easily. Hopefully I can go some where eventually where I can dive master. In the mean time I hope to waitress here two days a week to make some money even though I will make here only about 20 dollars a shift. Lily and Jenna are meeting us here to room with us in our house. It is going to be interesting living with 5 girls and one boy. I can't explain though how nice it is to have a house to come back to when you are so tired from diving all day. Plus we have to be at the boat by 6AM so you stay out of the distraction of new hostel people coming to party.

Well this was just a breif overview of things going on. I can't even begin to discribe how lucky I am to be doing this. I miss everyone at home so very much. I became so overwhelmed by it yesterday. I do have a cell phone now so send me texts. Pictures to come! Love


Saturday, May 10, 2008


Here in Lake Atitlan things are really mellow. The town we are staying in is called San Pedro. The lake is an alpine lake so it looks similar to Lake Tahoe, but definately has a Guatamalan feel. The mountains look like what your would picture Guatamala like. Very green and full of different plants. There is also a volcano which looms over the town of San Pedro. Every so often you are scared by a loud firework as the locals and many of the tourist light them of to let the volcano gods know we are here. From what our amazing hostel owner has told us only 5 months ago have some of the street paths been put in. The roads here are very confusing and definately seem they should not have cars allowed on them. They wander between buildings in random footpath short cuts and finding your way back to one spot is really difficult. The first day we arrived from Xela we got into Panachel which is on the other side of the lake. On a very wet boat we pulled into San Pedro to stay for what we thought was one day. This turned into a week and we are finally leaving today to go focus our minds on Spanish. While here we have done something fun everyday. Our hostel owner plans events or more suggests and organizes everyone together to do something we would not know about had he not been living there. One day we rode Kayaks to a black sand beach. Rowing back was very difficult for Lacy and I. The next day we went to yet another very seculded swimming spot with very comfortable rocks to lay on. Next we hopped over to the next town of Santiago and went shopping in the market for cheap good Guatemalan supplies. Then road horses to a bat cave. The horse experience was very hard for me as I was very scared by. It was a small horse as the horses are not fed as well as I would have liked them to be. I though had not been on a horse since I was very young. Probably about 8. After we got there to the scary bat cave (yes I did go in against my fear of those creepy guys) I really liked galloping the horse back as fast as I could! So fun. Next day was another kayak trip and some rock jumping. I absolutely love it here. After our first week of Spanish in Antigua we are headed back here to climb the nose (a mountain that looks like a face) with the owner of Trippy´s Seth. To his secret spot....can´t wait

Friday, May 2, 2008

I love you MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You will be missed

Today is a sad yet happy day. We are moving on from Mexico to Guatamala via long long overnight bus. The past almost month has reinforced my love of Mexico. Everything about it so great the people, the tequila, the beer, the beaches, the parties.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Cabins on Stilts

HI everyone. So I finally hit a wall in Puerto Escondido. The place was run by a crazy man named Steve who I came to be very fond of. He ran around the hostel screaming at everyone and always was kicking Lacy and I out of our room to make room for more people. We were in our 3rd room which happened to be his own room which he gave up to sleep in a hammock. Well the day after we slept in there the first night we were hung over. For some reason no matter how many drinking games nor how much tequila we drink the Tower Bridge had good healing properties and we woke up feeling fine. So this perticular morning we were feeling extremely under the weather and decided to watch movies all day on Steve´s TV. He mentioned to Lacy and I that we shouldn´t use the toilet because being Mexico and all the plumbing wasn´t working properly. So we were the only two aware. He however had moved two of our guy friends into his house as well that day to make even more room...well needless to say the toilet was used without us knowing and we watched a whole movie until we found out that our entire room had been floaded with gross toilet water. My whole bag and most of our clothes. So we freaked out and started crying. Our Australian guy friends really helped us out by packing up all our wet stuff immediately and taking it to the laundry. So we just had to wash out our bags and delay our departure till later the next day while we waited for our laundry which Steve kindly paid for. Then still being clumbsy I had sat in his recliner to paint my toe nails. Forgetting I placed my nail polish on my lap I stood up and shattered the polish all over his white tile. Quickly I sprinted to the store about 3 blocks away and got some remover and it was all clean before he returned to bitch at me :)

The next day we moved to a small little town about 1hr south of Puerto. We took a cab here with our two Aussie friends as it only cost about 7dollars each this way and didn´t have to deal with night buses. A great game which passed the time was the name game ( you all know it say a celebrity and the next person says one with the first name the same letter as the previous last). Once in Mazunte we met our Danish girlfriends and just hung out in this town with only one bar and not much else to do. During the day though we were able to go visit some crocodiles! They were cool we took a little boat with a guide up a swamp. We saw some big boys and then there was a sanctuary on an island where they protected the baby ones (so cute) and a very aggressive pregnant one. I met this little anteater who I fell in love cute. Finally we were able to see sea turtles hatch and hold them!

Now we are in Zipolite and I love it here too. I wish I were in the market to invest because this place is beautiful quiet and has great potential. Everyone is nice and tells you straight about how things are done. We hitched for the first time today to get to another town. This is not strange as everyone thinks kindly here. If they are going there why would they just be selfish and take nice. Everything is getting cheaper the farther south we get. Today we moved to a beach front bungalow with a huge window opening to the water... we are so close our house is one stilts! Only 5 dollars each a night. Everyone is just so nice and the world is proving to be so small. Last night we ran into some people from our first night of the trip and today in the main town (45min away) where we went to get cash we ran into our old mate Steve from Tower Bridge. He just ran up behind us and scared us. Recognized us by our large shades. He must have secretly liked us even though he bitched at us all the time because he is coming by our hostel tonight for a Corona.

We also had an interesting experience on our combie (like a bus but cheaper and on the back of a pickup truck). A mid to late 30s hippy was the only one back there with us. He began to do some sort of leg left stretches in pants that had slits down the sides. I am definately too immature for this because it took all I had not to laugh out loud as he performed these the whole way. So funny. See ya in the next town. I think we will hopefully make it to Guatamala this week! Kisses

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mexico´s Pipeline

I have found my first place that is calling me to stay put for a while. I am here in Puerto Escondido and it is amazing. We are staying at a hostel called Tower Bridge where the environment is amazing and the people are great. The owner is a crazy Englishman named Steve. He runs around the house screaming at everyone. He doesn´t know one of our 20 names. We offered to pay him double rent if he could name one (most of us have been here for a week), he couldn´t. We have a great swimming pool and just spend most of the days here in this compound. It is all open space with lots of trees and little groupings of couches. So even though we all have huge bungalows we all hangout outside. It is about 100 degrees here which is keeping us put because the weather down south has begun to turn to the rainy season. Plus we are happy with just spending our days in little thought and hanging out in the pool all day and talking with our new friends. There are no other Americans here but lots of British, Australians, and Austrians. Everyone is really funny and witty and I find myself laughing all day about the outrageous things everyone says. It is a good thing I have 6 brothers too as not many girls are traveling so we tend to be stuck with heaps of guys being guys all the time. All good fun. We all cook dinner together everyday (those Aussies can really cook some good Barbie) and pretty much do everything together as a group of ten. I also taught them sloppy dice and they can´t get enough of it worst thing I could have done as a mellow night turns into sloppy dice. They also learned beer pong so we have been playing a lot of that in afternoons while BBQing Anyways I think we will be here for another week or so and then who knows where next.

For some reason the computer will not let me upload my photos so sorry no photos of my own, but the picture is mearly the postcard image I wish I could take. Soon though I will upload some off all my new friends. Post me comments and emailing. It makes getting on the computer everyday so much better.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Good bye USA Hello ZIUTANEJO

Traveling all night is sort of the way to go as far as plane flights go. If you are like me and can sleep anywhere when you are tired that is. Last night our plane left from Sacramento at midnight. Perfect time to get on the plane get comfy and take a nap. Just what I did. I barely could wake up in Houston to get off the plane for our layover, but once I did I slept again all way here to Ziutanejo.

The airport here is small, not San Luis Obispo small but same sort of deal where you have to deplane to the outside and not down a jet way. The baggage all arrives on a turnstyle the size of a small SUV. Starting out in Mexico seems like a great plan as I have been down to Baja many times and I am pretty comfortable with the language. This all turns out to be true. Minus the luggage situation Lacy and I are struggling (ours keeps breaking and are super heavy but we need to get in shape anyway) the arrival went very smooth.

Our hostel instructions...the sole thing we looked up before the trip about our first destination were fairly vague but very clear once you see the place. Go diagonally across the parking lot. Wait by the main road for a bus with a purple stripe. Board and tell them to take you to Ziutanejo´s central market. So we walk across get accossted by cabs. We stood firm as we are now on a strict budget. Standing there seemed odd, there was no sign and not really any buses coming and going. 6 min later along. The bus was simply a mini van with the seats taken out and skinny ones put around the parimeter. Soon we picked up many more people this way. Everyone unfazed by the fact that Lacy and I had bags every where. They jumped on greating Buenos Tardes to everyone aboard. It was completely on the honor system of just pay for what you rode when you get off. Things immediately started to slow down in my head and I was able to sit back and enjoy the bus. I knew it was the first of many. The whole journey which took about a half hour only cost a dollar to the 30 that the cabbies were offering. I unfortunately will not be able to get cabbies direct numbers here.

Our hostel turned out to be just like the pictures and we have two roomates so far in our dorm. One is named Beth apparently so must be cool. Today we walked around sans map. Still not going to do too much worrying about what and where we are. Not even wearing watches. The beaches are already great to be on. It seems that people have come to walk and do things to the pace of the slow waves in the cove here. I will post pictures when I take some. Miss you all. Hopefully the next few days here will make for some good stories. Kisses

Sunday, January 27, 2008


Here it goes the list of stops

1. Move out of San Diego March 3rd
2. March 5th Up to Reno/Tahoe. Visit the family celebrate the brothers birthday do some boarding
3. March 8th travel to Chicago. See the new brother, dad, other brothers, and Claire, also all my aunts, cousins, and grandparents, and my Chicago girls till the 17th of March
4. Spend the rest of my time at home in Reno with my family and friends working at Roundabout Market and throwing a fundraiser March 27th (everyone should come) for my volunteer work.
4. April 9th (12:01AM) fly from Sacramento to Ixtapa, Mexico. Here the relaxation begins. Lacy and I figure it will take some time to clear our minds and get into the right open mindset we need for this trip. We plan to do this by traveling to small beach villages throughout Central America. We will be somewhere between Ixtapa and Costa Rica for a few months.
5. Pick up Lily and friend in San Jose Costa Rica...spend more time on the beach with them.
5. July 1st arrive In Quito, Ecuador. Here we will begin orientation for our time out in a reserve in the Amazon jungle where we will be volunteering. This will include but is not limited to bugs, snakes, and spiders...get ready for some good blogging as the trip takes four girls into the Amazon.
6. July 27th fly to Lima, Peru to travel to Machu Picchu, Peru. Here is a major tourist stop in our journey...something we couldn't miss.
7. August 7th to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here we will possibly take a Spanish class see sites, and travel to neighboring countries. Sadly Lily leaves from here :(
8. Sept 3rd fly to Capetown, Africa. Arrive in Capetown. See the beauty to this city. Hopefully meet some friends of friends. My little friend Ashley will be living about 3hours outside the city and we will be spending lots of time there with her.
9. Sept 14th fly to Tanzania. Here our trip will take us to Dar es Salaam . The actual volunteering will not be done here in the city but in Bagamoyo, Tanzania in Eastern Africa. Work here will involve teaching art, computers, and English in a local school. YAYAYAY my little friend Amy will already be there waiting for me as she is beginning this volunteer program a month before me and continuing one the month I am there.
10. Next off to India. The trip after Africa becomes a bit less planned. Here in India work will be done for the communities we visit, but no set volunteer work has been established.
11. China, Christmas in Beijing. I am really excited about this as I will visit two friends I have made in San Diego as they will be living there teaching English.
12. Next SE Asia. Here we will not have much time and most of it will be spent on beaches and seeing the sites.
13. Next Australia: this is open ended as I have many friends who will be here and perhaps a job awaits me there. Time will tell.