The Great Adventure Of 2013 Begins! I am again. On a great adventure! I needed a little jump start in my life and work has been really slow, so why not travel again! I feel like I need to travel like this at least once a year. It helps me put things in perspective and bring some excitement to life!

The planning of The Great Adventure of 2013 began last month. I decided on three different places and researched them all. I quickly found out that my budget didn't match with the places I wanted to go. So, after planning three other trips, I cancelled those ideas and decided to come to Guatemala and Belize! Much more budget friendly than let's say Africa. So, here I am...

I arrived in Guatemala City this morning about 11:30. After clearing immigration and customs, I made my way to the transfer area and found my ride. Super nice guy. He had a little old man hanging out with him and I assumed they were together. The older man grabbed my bag and the three of us made our way to the car. Got to the car and the guy wanted a tip. Now, most of the time I'm happy to tip. But, this guy wouldn't leave until he got money. I should preface this by letting you know that I didn't change any money in the airport and the ATM wasn't working so all I had were $20 bills in US. I explained to the little guy that I didn't have Guatemalan money, so sorry. He said no problem, he likes American money. Told him all I had we're $20 bills. Oh, my friend had change! So I hand him a $20. He hands me back all the Guatemalan money he had and took off. When I got in the car I realized why. He had given me back about $8US in Guatemalan money. Dude got a $12 tip! Probably made his day. I was a little nervous after that. I was nervous what Guatemala had in store for me today. Mostly, everything turned out ok.

After checking in to my hotel and emailing the parents, I decided to explore the city. I spoke with the concierge at the hotel and he recommended the city center. The city center is a huge plaza with a government building and a church. So, I grabbed a taxi and I was off. Arturo, my taxi driver was a cool dude. He took me where I needed to go and waited for me. The city center was pretty cool. A lot of people just hanging out and chasing pigeons. There were ice cream and soda vendors all over. I took some photos and just hung out for a while watching people go about their day. It was a nice afternoon. I checked out some shops in the plaza and mostly just wandered. I was beat from the trip so I headed back to the hotel. Guatemala City is a strange place. It's a big city, but really kind of run down. It also has some amazing architecture so that was nice to see. But, honestly I've been to cities like this in Asia and I have to say this city isn't my favorite.

So, here I am blogging in my hotel on my first night here. Everyone says it's too dangerous to go out at night so I just ate and hung out at the hotel. Not a very exciting start to The Great Adventure, but I'm tired. I'm satisfied with what I accomplished today. Tomorrow I head to Chichicastenango. It is an open air Indian market. Supposed to be great. Maybe I will blog again tomorrow. Maybe not.

Oh, and editing photos on this iPad is annoying. I didn't feel like lugging my laptop with me this time. I got a camera raw processing app and photoshop for the iPad. It's working out, but I miss Lightroom. I know. Real problems.

Until tomorrow maybe!