Friday, June 22, 2012

Day 2 Continued

We arranged most of our transportation through Nancy at GuatemalaReservations.com and it worked out great!  We left Guatemala City around 11am and arrived in Antigua just after noon.  We stayed at Posada La Merced.  This is where Dominic and I stayed in 2008 and I love staying there.  It's not fancy - no tv or ac, but nice outdoor space, GREAT wifi, wonderful people, filtered water and most important - it feels like home. 

We had 2 rooms with 4 sleeping areas and 2 bathrooms on the back patio near the shared kitchen - plenty of room for us to spread out and for everyone to have their own bed.  After settling in, we went up to check out the roof top.






Pollo Campero for lunch. 


Best part of lunch - an indoor playground that Dominic took full advantage of.  He was so proud to report that he said "Hola" to one of the little boys in the playground. 


 

You can always count on Pollo Campero for wifi...  Face timing with Grandma back home!


 



After lunch, we walked around a little, grabbed some ice cream and headed to the park.  Dominic was thrilled to play in the fountain.








Ice cream in the same park in 2007 -



Back to the hotel for a nap. 

While we were unpacking, Dominic unpacked and "decorated" his room by placing his stuff on every possible surface - even the bed posts were fair game.  He had a twin bed in a separate area in our room and it worked out perfect for us.



Uno and goldfish post-nap...  The big kids were in the same room Dominic and I had in 2008. :)




Enjoying the courtyard outside of our room.  Dominic loved being "big enough" to go to "our" outside.


We were all a bit tired and had a 5am wakeup call the next day so we just went next door to Fernando's for dinner and played with the panoramic photo app -


Up next - An unforgettable day on Lake Atitilan.....

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guatemala 2012!

What better reason to start blogging again....  OUR FIRST RETURN TRIP TO GUATEMALA!  The trip was originally planned for later this summer, but due to some other exciting opportunities we moved it up to May/June. 

We flew American and departed early Monday morning.  Dominic loved the moving sidewalks.




It was an extremely long day of travel with 2 layovers - one short one in Chicago and an 8 hour stop in Dallas.  Not something I would choose to do again, but it was the only way to get us down there in 1 day given our schedule.  Dominic did ok on the plane.  He's been experiencing some motion sickness over the last year or so and several of the landings had us a little nervous, but he made it through ok.


An old ipod turned into his personal video player - best thing we brought on the trip.


As far as 8 hour layovers go, I guess Dallas wasn't so bad.  A few indoor playgrounds for kids -



A train to conduct -



And plenty of space to plug in and spread out -




We arrived at the airport and though the remodel was complete just before our last trip home in 2008, it was still a bit surprising to see how nice it is now - very modern and open.  We gathered our luggage, zipped through immigration and customs and headed outside.  There were quite a few people waiting to greet a group of school kids coming in with our flight, but it seemed to be a much smaller crowd outside the barricades than a few years ago.  We quickly found the driver from the Westin and loaded up in the hotel van.

Arriving at the Westin Camino Real was a bit surreal. Several familiar faces...  The lobby where I first met Dominic....  The rest of my family experiencing all of this for the first time...  We settled in to our room and ordered pizza. 

Every turn of this trip made me think of all the "before" pictures I would be comparing these photos to.  Dominic was in a crib the last time we were here and this time was in his own bed positioning himself in front of the ipod dock in the room!


2007 -




Our view when we woke up -




We headed down for breakfast.  It was just as wonderful as I remembered.  We then headed to the pool. It was pretty early and very cold, but Dominic loved it all the same. 






Hanging at the pool in 2007 -


The last time Dominic and I sat in the pool together, completing the adoption process felt like such a long road ahead of us.  This time as we sat in the pool together, it felt like the last 5 years have flown by.




2007  -




We packed up and headed downstairs to wait for our driver - on to Antigua for 4.5 days but not before taking a few pictures in the lobby.  Same location, much bigger family. :)






2007 with Dominic's foster mom and sister -