Sitting on the runway, waiting to take off to Guatemala City. 2 hours and 20 min. to get there on a Spirit Airlines flight for $175 one-way - I say $175 because that includes the $30 each baggage fee (even for carryons) so be aware of that on cheap flights. Its easier and cheaper for me to fly to Guatemala than to my parent's in Maine.
We're leaving from Fort Lauderdale airport. I spent last night in Miami at a hotel there because that is where I booked it thinking that's the airport I was arriving at. Luckily, the airports are pretty close together by train and I kept the reservation and enjoyed taking the train back and forth and seeing a little bit. The Fort Lauderdale airport has free wireless. Free/cheap transport and free airport wireless always put me in favor of a place. The weather is kinda humid and low 80's. On the train ride to the airport, I notice lots of Palm trees propped up with supports like they couldn't be trusted to stand on their own. And there are many canals. At first I thought, "oh, how pretty, kind of like a marshy, tropical Amsterdam," until I notice instantaneously, all the trash along the banks. Yuck! There is so much litter in some spots, it seems like a hurricane must have hit.
I would definitely like to come back to Miami sometime to explore. I will be passing back through Miami in a few months on my way to Europe for a wedding, but no time to be a tourist then either. Its a good thing I thought to bring my ongoing Europe Itinerary with me - otherwise they would have given me trouble boarding the plane to Guatemala with only a one-way ticket. But I want to come back because the people seem overwhelmingly friendly and happy in the brief time I've been here. Everyone's calling me "Sweetie" and "Honey." I was standing next to a beautiful elderly lady in line at the airport. She was heading to Puerto Rico to see family and she has not been back for 30 years. I told her I liked her pretty white spiked hair. She said that I would love Guatemala and to have a safe trip. Then I saw her 10 minutes later in another line. She said, "You're so pretty and cute, nice to see you again," I think I would love to be friends with her if we were neighbors.
I noticed on the plane, all the strangers talking like friends. There are a lot of missionaries heading to Guatemala. And a lot of English teachers. And a lot of women tourists heading down in groups without their husbands. I have a window seat and no one is sitting next to me in the middle. The people behind me are discussing portabella mushrooms in white wine sauce, "It is sooo good. It is soooo good," they say.
I'll be in Guatemala City for the next 4 days. Then, I'm heading to Antigua where I'll be staying with a Guatemalan family and going to a Spanish immersion school there. I have a feeling I am not going to want to leave...and that I will be returning. I am happy and excited to have this opportunity for Spanish immersion.