Friday, November 27, 2015

American Thanksgiving in Guatemala

Canadian Thanksgiving kinda passed by without much fanfare, but American Thanksgiving is a big deal here in Guatemala. There are many restaurants that offer full traditional Thanksgiving meals, and the import grocery stores are stocked up with cranberries, stuffing, and pumpkin pie filling.

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving feast with some amazing women: Jo-Lori, my good friend and doppelganger; Nicole, a lovely intelligent lady who works as an English/Spanish translator; Iva, a fellow Canadian who blogs over at Amazing Me; and a new friend, Texas Jan, who inspired me with her adventurous spirit!

We all went to La Iguana Perdida restaurant in Santa Cruz, just across the Lake from Pana in the little town of Santa Cruz. It's Jo-Lori's favourite place!

We were having too much fun and therefore not too many pictures were taken. But I'm posting what I got, including links to two videos on my YouTube channel.
The only picture I got of my friends! On a lancha heading from Pana to Santa Cruz.
 Man, I love the Lake! I love going on the boats and bouncing across the shining water. Bert keeps saying he wants to buy a motorcycle, but I want a boat! Of course, we can't do visa runs in a boat. :(
Arriving at the Santa Cruz dock, there is the restaurant in yellow with vines all over it.
The docks at Santa Cruz on Lake Atitlan, and the sign for the restaurant.
San Pedro volcano. What a gorgeous day!
This is the view from the patio of La Iguana Perdida.
Inside the restaurant. It was quite large and sprawling. The door on the far wall goes to the library/fireplace room.
I was amazed at the number of expats gathered in one place. So fascinating to see the wide range of nationalities and ages. Everyone was hugging and chatting, and we even met some Facebook friends in real life for the first time. :)
The food!
 For Q110, about $19.25 Canadian, we had a true feast! Turkey, pork, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, beans, snowpeas, carrots, and a crusty flatbread. Plus there was dessert of homemade pumpkin pie, strawberry ice cream, and peanut butter squares. They even had a vegetarian option.

All the food was amazingly delicious, but our one complaint was that they didn't proportion it very well. By the time we got up to the table with our plates, we were only given a tablespoon of stuffing because they were running out. What??? We all agreed that stuffing is the second-best thing about Tgiving, and were disappointed we didn't get more. They did bring out more later, but I missed it again! No matter. I ate more food at that one meal than I think I have since I've been to Guatemala.
My second trip up to the food table and there were lots of carrots left, so I loaded up! YAY, vitamin A!
Time flew by too quickly with lively conversation and laughter. At 5:30, we had to catch a boat back to Pana. The sun had already set and darkness was settling in over the lake.
Dusk on Lake Atitlan
Riding back on the boat with my friends, gazing out at the twilight, feeling the warm breeze in my hair, I felt truly blessed. Guatemala is such a gorgeous, welcoming country! And having such a vivacious expat community really helps with homesickness and the urge to speak English. :)

I have been so inspired and humbled by the people I've met here, including my lovely women friends. Many of these women are solo female travelers: audacious, sparkling, intelligent, compassionate women who are using the second half of their life to make a difference in their own lives and others'. You go, girls!!  :D

Video of the view of Lake Atitlan and the volcanoes from La Iguana Perdida. On my channel is also a very short video of the interior of the restaurant. Enjoy!

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