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Traveling with Starrs

Hands down one of my favorite stories from our recent trip to Guatemala has to do with our friends that joined us. Their last name is Starr and little did we know that we would actually be traveling with “stars.” (It’s with their permission that I share this story.)

We were in downtown Guatemala City… enjoying central park, checking out the exterior of the President’s office, and admiring a massively large Guatemalan flag. You know…wind billowing through huge sheets of fabric can fascinate toddlers.



Nearby were some women dressed in traditional Mayan apparel. One of them approached my husband and asked if they could take a photo with my friend Ashlee. It’s not uncommon for some of these women to allow themselves to be photographed by tourists in exchange for a small fee.

My husband quickly told her ‘no, thank you’… that we didn’t have a tip to offer her. 

She immediately responded, “No, no. We want to have a photo of her.”

What?! So sure enough, Ashlee and her daughter sat down between these two women who pulled out their digital camera so they could have a keepsake of their encounter with a Starr.


THEN… not thirty minutes later, we are still walking in the same area when Ashlee and I realize the boys are lagging behind us. We turn around to see a vendor taking a close-up photo of her husband and son. 

When they caught up to us, Billy laughingly told us that the man was fascinated by their son’s eyes and asked if he could take a picture of them. I like to think that photo is hanging on their refrigerator… or maybe on their Facebook page.

Finally, a couple days later we were on the main street in Panajachel where a lot of handicrafts are made and sold. I ducked into a booth to look at merchandise, and when I stepped back into the street, I saw a man holding out a small notebook and Ashlee was signing it! What on earth?

I soon learned that in actuality she was spelling her daughter’s name since he was creating a customized yarn-wrapped pen for her. Not quite as exciting as signing autographs, but made me laugh just the same.

So it was a whole new experience traveling around Guatemala with Brad Pitt and Cameron Diaz. I suppose those of us who have hair the color of a dusty mountain don’t really draw the same crowd as the blondes. Ah, well….

Do you have some amusing encounters when traveling?

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