Today was an amazing first day in Guatemala. I landed and was greeted by a driver who took me to my hotel. The Westin Casino Real is top notch and I love all the decor. After checking out the hotel and settling in to my room, I hopped in an Uber (yes they have Uber) and headed to Antigua to meet up with a coworker who lives here, Aida. The hour long ride took me up and down mountains and near the volcanoes. It was so cool seeing all the shops and small villages along the way. Plus today was Guatemala Independence Day from Spain and people were out in the streets celebrating. I finally arrived in Ciudad Vieja right outside of Antigua where Aida's family was having a huge party. I was immediately welcomed like I was one of the family with kisses and hugs and served authentic Guatemalan food. Everybody was super kind to me and tolerated my terrible Spanish ;-) After celebrating birthdays and her cousin returning from Europe we went over to her Aunt's house to view her vacation home. From there her family took me in to the heart of Antigua city. Antigua is a small city surrounded by volcanoes and it’s renowned for its Spanish colonial buildings. Because the city is known for these buildings all the businesses housed within them are not allowed to change the facade in anyway. I walked right by a Wendys and didn't even know it was in there till Aida pointed it out. Downtown Antigua was filled with thousands of people celebrating and enjoying their National holiday. There were bands playing up and down the street along with tons of food vendors. People were singing the National Anthem and just enjoying their country. We then went to the Cafe Condesa and had an amazing pie and fun coffee drinks. Then we walked over to this pizza place for dinner. Even though it started raining the food was amazing and the conversations and laughter made it a fabulous time. I then hopped back in an Uber to the hotel and met up with my former boss who was also checking in for the night. So blessed that Aida shared her family and her culture with me today! I can't wait to see what else I get to explore while working in Guatemala this week.