I´m off!  My rough schedules is

Dec 17 fly into Guatemala City
Dec 17 to 19 in Antigua, Guatemala
Dec 19 to 26 in Santa Cruz de Laguna on Lake Atitlan for spanish class
Dec 26 to 28 in Tikal near Flores, GT (exploring massive Maya site Tikal)
Dec 28 fly to Cancun to meet Stephanie
From here it gets a little more loose.  Our reservations for the 28 and 29 got cancelled so we are up in the air now on plans but will probably do some ruins
Dec 30 to Jan 3 in Xcalak, Mexico on as close to a deserted beach as we can get
Jan 3 to 5 more ruins in Mexico
Jan 6 fly home

I was picked up for the airport at 6am in the rain.  I had stayed up all night preparing and was really behind…I confess to possibly the worst packing job EVER.  I got to the airport in enough time to repack and had an uneventful flight.  I arrived in Guatemala City without transport to Antigua (I really waited to the last minute on planning) but found a shuttle straight off.  I rode with 2 women from Ashland, Oregon, which is where my traveling companion for the 2nd half of the trip lives.  Incidentally, as I type this, I just ran into them again and so I suspect they will be some of the travelers you see on the road repeatedly. 

I love traveling and travelers.  You don´t ask “where are you from?” and “what do you do?”.  You ask “where have you been?”, “where are you going?”,”do you know this place or that place ?” and maybe “where do you live (now)?” 

Antigua is a lovely Colonial town.  It is in a valley of about 1500m surrounded by volcanoes.  The weather is ideal.  Everyone said it was very easy to live here and I can see that.  There are lots of people taking Spanish classes and passing through for a few days enroute to other spots.  I think it would be easy enough to enjoy Antigua if you don´t speak spanish, but most people do and the locals speak to you en espanol first.

I´m off to explore and get some sleep.  Guatemala seems to have plenty of internet cafes so I should be able to keep a reasonable blog.  However Mexico will likely be light on web access. 

nb I started this when I was exhausted and apparently did not publish.  I am now 3 days in and more updates to come.