Sunday, January 27, 2013

Honduras - Copán

While heading back to Guatemala from Belize, Molly and I decided to take a day to visit the Copán ruins in Honduras.  Ever since I was enamored with Indiana Jones as a child, I have thoroughly enjoyed visiting archaeological sites around the US and the world, and this trip proved no different.  It made such a contrast to Tikal, surprising us with its artistic beauty, and our guide, Fidel, took it upon himself to explain every hieroglyph in sight!

For those who don't know, Copán was a Mayan capital city of a major Classic period kingdom from the 5th to 9th centuries AD.  It is located in western Honduras, close to the border with Guatemala, and was inhabited for more than two thousand years!  Its peak population was at least 20,000, covering an area of over 100 sq miles. Unfortunately a considerable portion of the acropolis was eroded away by the Copán River, until it was diverted to prevent further damage.  In 1980 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was well known for its stelae, sculptures, and carvings.  Some interesting things I remember: a notorious ruler known as Eighteen Rabbit, a large Mayan ballcourt, and a room full of vampire bats where they would put enemies or traitors...such friendly folks.  I believe our guide compared Copán to the Paris of the Mayan world (with art and temples covered in some sort of white plaster), whereas Tikal was the New York of its time (with tall pyramids stretching to the heavens).

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Costa Rica

Last week I posted pictures from Belize, in a somewhat vain attempt to feel warmer!  These days that chill in my bones is returning and today I'm sharing pictures from that same trip, but of Costa Rica.  Back in 2005 I spent a semester studying there and lived with a wonderful family.  Besides visiting them, Molly and I also traveled about to see some beautiful sites.

Dear friends on a hike around the Volcano Poas.

The crater at Poas.

My favorite turtle- Cecilia!  I'm pretty sure she's older than I am :)

Julian has the best green thumb I know of!

Molly and I with part of my old host family.

They even made my favorite- egg rolls from scratch!

Heading out in to the tree tops.

And what do we see....the national bird of Guatemala, the Quetzal!

 So many birds, we loved it!  Somos puras pajareras.

Looking up bird names.

The infamous straggler fig.

On a different kind of walk in the woods.

Climbing up on the inside of a straggler fir.

Surprise surprise, lots of clouds in the cloud forest!

And then we ran in to some newborn baby birds!

What I wouldn't give now for some blue skies and green vegetation...

And of course it's Costa Rica so you're going to run in to some waterfalls.

Fabulous trail to wander looking around at the plants, animals and such....sigh.

Our guide :)

And here we were off for more adventures!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Mis Amores

I've been seeing quite a bit of two of my favorite munchkins lately and thought I'd share some pictures of their precious faces :)

Best Buds Liam and James

There's one happy elf!

"Is that thing you're pointing at me edible cause I wanna chew on it!"

 It is impossible to get two smiles at one time on camera!

Preppy boys :)

"That's enough!  Get him off me...pretty please!"

"What happens if I push here?"

Who looks older??

"You gotta try harder to make the two of us smile."

"No more pictures!! There is no question I can cry longer than you can listen!"