Sometimes your friends meet people and decide to set you up with them because they think you have similar interests and would work well together. Typically, that kind of a situation happens in regards to dating, but in this instance, it was, I guess I could say, a blind friend date!
One of my good friends went on a camping trip and met a Guatemalan girl named Cassandra whom they thought was just like me; very outgoing, active lifestyle loving, wasn’t afraid to dance the night away, and had a quirky sense of humor, etc. Come to find out, this Cassandra and I lived in the same apartment complex just a few buildings down from each other as well and so I ended up going over to her place for a pre-party with our mutual friends and, as fate would have it, we BFF-clicked right away!
Cass quickly became one of my favorite people of all time, we became roommates, and did absolutely everything you could do in Fort Worth, Texas – i.e. two-stepping with cowboys, biking to brunch, killing it a dodgeball, starting dance floors wherever there was music, playing sand volleyball whenever the sun was out, the list goes on and on – for about two years. After that time, I had met my man and we decided to move to Dallas to explore a new city together. Cass also planned a big change – moving back to Guatemala to live with her family and work on things she was passionate about. Of course, it was tough to see her go, but I vowed I would come visit her soon and try to utilize the bits and pieces of Spanish she had tried to teach me (I was not the best student, jajaja).
Thankfully for Skype and Whatsapp, we were able to keep in touch, and my travel itch got stronger and stronger until I just had to buy that plane ticket. How convenient that a travel blogger such as my self has a bestie who lives in a beautify exotic country that speaks the language?! Two of our other friends decided to come with me to visit Cass and her family and, when mid-October finally arrived, we packed our bags and headed to the airport!
What is the first thing that you do upon airport arrival during a girls trip? Breakout the selfie stick and take a picture of course! What is the first thing you realize is sitting on the counter at home that you forgot to grab on the way out? The very selfie stick you need to take your girls trip pic! Ugh! I was so excited to bring it too – so of course I had to walk to the electronics store in the airport and buy a new one specifically for the trip. I am not going to lie though, it was totally worth buying. We finally took our departure pic and boarded the plane. Kim, Janine and I had all met through Cass and hadn’t seen each other in a while so we had lots of time on the flight to Guatemala City to catch up. One of us had just started a relationship, one just got out of one, and one was going steady, so boys was the top of choice of course… Who needs People magazine when you have real life gossip?!
We arrived around 7:30 PM in Guatemala and basically ran to the pick up line to see Cass! It was so exciting to finally be in the country she had talked so much about! We hopped in her Jeep and noticed that the windows were very darkly tinted so that people couldn’t see in. Almost all of the cars we saw from then on had similar tints for safety reasons. Right off the bat, there were some major differences from the USA. We drove through the City and right up a mountain side to Cass’s parents house. Most of the streets were lined with high concrete walls that you couldn’t see behind, bared windows, and barbed wire fences. Again, very different safety measures than we see in mainstream USA.
Eventually, we got to Cass’s house, passed through the door in the giant concrete wall, and encountered a beautiful outdoor patio garden full of succulents, and a variety of other plants. It was quite enchanting. The overall architecture of the houses in Guatemala is so different. The houses are full of alcoves, atriums, arches, and different decorations to make each place very unique. The view from the house was absolutely breathtaking, spanning almost all of the city with surrounding volcanos. I would not mind waking up to the view every morning!
We chatted with Cass’s parents, some of the sweetest people I have ever met, and their maids made us a delicious fajita dinner. We enjoyed some wine and chatted the night away before heading downstairs to pack and rest up for the next day’s journey to Antigua for volcano climbing!