Sunday, December 5, 2010

Thanksgiving in Guatemala

For months, Sam and I have had plans to do Thanksgiving dinner with our good friend Cheryl at "the mansion" (my affectionate name for her apartment) in Panajachel on Lake Atitlan. So of course, after having planned on this for months, something was bound to go wrong.

On our way home from the islands, Jess, Nicole, Sam, and I ended up trapped in the town of Copán, Honduras. For the first time ever this year, all shuttles out of town were full, and we couldn't convince anyone to take the money we gringas were offering and get us the heck back to Guatemala. That figures.

So, Thanksgiving 2010 was officially moved to Friday in our book. Better late than never, and trust me, the food tasted just as delicious.

Our chicken bus also forgot to drop us off at the crossroads, so Sam and I spent some time hiking back on the highway to catch the next bus. Crap like this doesn't even faze me anymore.

Cheryl is a pro at cooking a fantastic Thanksgiving dinner, but Sam and I are...less experienced. Let's just say that I think we both realized this year, as our first Thanksgiving that family members didn't cook for us, that we have a lot to learn.

Thankfully, though, Cheryl had our backs. "Now pay attention girls. I'm going to be giving you some important tips for not embarrassing yourselves in front of future mothers-in-laws."

And the results? Considering Guatemala doesn't have all the same ingredients (no sweet potatoes here), we had no meat thermometer, and the fact that altitude just screws everything up in an oven, I'd say we pulled off our very own Thanksgiving miracle. :) We had the full spread -- turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, green beans, cranberry sauce, homemade gravy, warm bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cake, and plenty of wine -- and every single bite was too die for.

 Sam makes pie crust from scratch!
 Straightening hair while starting the pie. That's multitasking.
Cheryl mans the homemade gravy.
 Patented turkey lifter!
 More yum.
 So happy about our meal!
 Even happier about dessert!
Sooooo good. 

And then where did we spend the next day recovering from all our eating?

Here, at the Porta del Lago Hotel. Eight bucks for a day pass to the pool and sauna. Loving life.

 Pool on one side of us.

Lake and volcanoes on the other side. Not bad. :)

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