Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Eve

We traveled north on New Year's Eve to the town of Flores. It is an island situated on Lake Itza'. We spent New Year's there last year and we just love visiting this place. It is a beautiful and relaxing place to hang out. As we were traveling there we passed a large crowd of K'ekchi' alongside of the road just north of Chisec. We wondered what they might be doing and realized it was a baptismal service. That is one of the only things we have not been able to witness so far. We turned around and went back to watch. It was weird for the two of us to get out of the car and just walk up among them. There was a large crowd of people waiting to get baptized and we watched several of them being done. They had carried a generator, music equipment, and all and were having a praise service to go along with the baptisms. It was fun to watch.Once we arrived into Santa Elena we went straight to the new strip mall they are building. It will eventually be a two story building and much bigger than ours here in Coban. They have already added a Maxi Bodega (grocery store chain here), a hardward store, shoes and clothing stores, and best of all a Pizza Hut! We went straight there for lunch. After lunch and walking around a while we headed out to find a hotel on the island. We didn't make a reservation because in the past it was not necessary. We assume now because of all the growth in the area that tourism is up greatly. Our first two choices of motels had no rooms. It ended up being a blessing because we LOVED the one we ended up choosing. We had a balcony that overlooked the lake with amazing views!

We have spent several hours over the last few days sitting on that balcony- reading, talking, drinking coffee, and enjoying the views. It's been very relaxing.

As pretty as the views were during the day, it was even better at sunset and night. Here are a few photos of the sunset on New Year's Eve-We stayed and watched until it was completely dark. We then went to eat at our favorite place there- Capitan Tortugas-We have taken several of our past teams here as well. It overlooks the water and is a great place to eat. This was our new year's beverage-Don't get the wrong idea! It is a naranjada with soda. It is my favorite drink in all of Guatemala! It has fresh squeezed orange juice with soda. You can also get it with water or with lemon (limonada). We like them at Tortuga's because they serve them frozen. It was a nice warm night so the drink was refreshing!

After dinner we walked around the island for a while and tried to kill time waiting for midnight. The main reason we went to Flores was to watch the fireworks over the lake. It is beautiful! We had to make a pot of coffee around 10 so we could make it. It was well worth the wait and we enjoyed it soo much. Here are a few photos of us clowing around while we waited-

Happy New Year!


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