Bienvenido a Guatemala!

Trip Start Jun 05, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Excalibur Hotel

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Friday, August 25, 2006

Bienvenido a Guatemala, I´ve arrived finally... I flew in from Las Vegas via Houston yesterday, feeling the fatigue from staying up till the early hours for the past week in Irish bars and the infamous Coyote ugly bar at New York New York!...but well well worth it that´s to say! So I write to you from my hostal in Guatemala city where I´ll be staying for the night before leaving tomorrow to Lake Atitlan where I´ll be starting spanish school for the next 6 weeks! So the whole USA experience has sadly come to an end, but it´s been absolutely fantastic, meeting some life-long friends along the way.
Another amazing experience I had was meeting the best friend and son of my late great uncle John (who I never got to meet) who lived in San Francisco. Owen and Michael were such beautiful people and meeting then was a great education not just for myself but for the whole of the McNally family.

Well the last mini adventure I had was in the bright lights of ´Sin City´ as it´s called...Las what can I say about Vegas?... I had obvious expectations before arriving of it being a playboy´s paradise with bright neon lights flashing advertisements everywhere, the unending ring of "dingdadingdading" as somebody pulls in a straight line of three oranges on the bandit, of top class ladies and nightclubs, of amazing hotels and architecture...the list is endless! And that pretty much summed it up for me! We all (Dan , Jorge, Brendan, Mike D, Moi) stayed at the Excalibur hotel (modelled on King Arthur and Merlin obviously) at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard (The Strip) close enough to the action but we spent most of our time out of our hotel wandering the many other famous establishments which there are many of, like the Bellagio (the casino in Ocean´s 11), New York New York, the Venetian and the Mirage to name a few. The first thing we did was race up to watch the absoultely stunning fountain show at the Bellagio where the fountains dance to the music of Andrea Bocelli (Time to say goodbye), Elton John (Your Song) and Celine Dion (that one from Titanic)....this experience was easily my biggest highlight and to see this show is a good enough reason for anyone to visit LV. But as you all know gambling is not really my drive in life or my forte for that matter, so I played a bit of video poker and blackjack ($3 worth), mainly because yes I was probably going to lose it but a free drink from a hostess was worth it for LV drink prices anyway! It was pretty amusing when Brendan and I sat down to a game once just for a free drink and he ended up losing twenty bucks..pretty expensive cerveza hey!;) Nightlife as I said mainly revolved around ´The nine fine Irishmen´ and the ´Coyote Ugly´ bar both of which are in the New York New York (as you´ll see from the picture, the NYNY hotel is built as a mini Manhattan with a huge roller coaster outside!). The irish bar had some great bands nightly and yes...the coyote ugly bar was just like the film with girls dancing on bars ripping hell out of the guys and free drinks for all the women if they dance on the bar too...we had a great crack. One highlight of the trip was when the MC girl thought all of us guys in our group were over from England..bearing in mind the mix of our nationalities all the guys played along (a Mexican, Americans and a Canadian heckling¨"God Save The bloody Queen my old boy" is entertaining) and it got to a stage in one song when the MC girl shouted "what´s going on America, even England are partying harder than you are....and this is a cowboy song!". A funny night! On the last night took a trip up the Eiffel tower (half the size of the original in Paris) at the Paris Casino, overlooking the Bellagio to watch the Water fountain show...and yes it was amazing!.

Well the adventure continues tomorrow with my trip doen to Atitlan where I will meet the host family that I´ll be with for the next 6 weeks of the trip.

For now, take care everybody and it´s really great to hear from you in your replies so keep them coming! :)

All the best for now,

Martin ;)
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