Join me on INSTAGRAM, my name is ecuadorchick.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Cleaning Out in Preparation for the Big Move

Giving away and selling most of our worldly goods has been sometimes quite stressful and at other times so rewarding. Since we are moving to Ecuador with just what we can carry in our luggage, we are truly unloading.

True confession time...Chuck and I both have a pack rat tendency. Through the years we have traveled a lot, on each trip buying treasures and storing them away. After our children grew up and left home we had more and more space to "store things." This was never a problem because we rarely went into the basement to see our "treasures." Out of sight - out of mind.

We have done real well so far. We have put back special items for our children. We have given family and friends some things. We have sold and are selling some smaller items on eBay and larger items on Craig's List.

One thing that makes it difficult for me is that we are not completely emptying the house. We are leaving it furnished because we think it will show better when we put our house on the market next spring.

As I am writing this blog, Chuck is downstairs turning what was his shop into a bedroom.

Our clock is starting to run out of time because our calendar is getting full. We are leaving on October 2 to return to Cuenca for a couple of weeks to get our paperwork started for our residency visa. We will take our first load of belongings in our luggage. (70 lbs. each) We return about October 18 and will have a couple of more weeks.

In November, we will meet our Brazilian friends, Vanessa and Ricardo, in Las Vegas and spend a week touring that part of the country including the Grand Canyon. We will return home mid November. The last ten days of November our daughter and grandson are coming from Puerto Rico to spend "Thanksmas" with our family here. (We are combining Christmas and Thanksgiving since we will be in Ecuador for Christmas.)

Kylie and Bryce leave for home on December 5 and Chuck and I head out for Ecuador on December 6.

It is our intention to leave the house ready to put on the market when we return in April.

In the meantime, we are enjoying family and friends.

Here is Heidi (our granddaughter) at her gymnastics class.

Here is our friend Glenda and Chuck. We are squeezing out as much use as we can of our backyard before the weather turns too cold.

In the midst of this I am selling on eBay. Here is a Russian hand painted Lacquer Khokhloma bowl that is ending it's auction today.

I just discovered Craig's List this month and we have sold some larger items on it. Here is Chuck and his brother helping a lady, who bought our roll top desk, get it into the back of her pickup truck.

We have special items that are not easy to let go. This is our Chrysler Masariti TC convertible that we bought when I refused to ride my scooter across country. We toured the USA in it a couple of years ago. Maybe today we will take pictures of it with the hard top on so we can list it on Craig's List.

If you are interested and would like, you can follow along with us as we sell on eBay and Craig's List. To see our "stuff" on eBay my seller name is Nancy-Carol. On Craig's list we are located in Washington state in the Kennewick, Pasco, Richland area. I list all my items in Craig's List beginning with MTE which stands for (Move to Ecuador). So if you put MTE in the search line everything I have for sell will appear.

I still have two lists to make. One is to prioritize what we are going to take to Ecuador and get the most important there in this first load. The other is to make a list of all the things we need to get accomplished on this two week trip.

We are very busy and very excited.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Visiting Family in Puerto Rico

After we left Georgia, Chuck and I flew down to Puerto Rico to visit our daughter and grandson, Kylie and Bryce. Kylie is in the Coast Guard and lives near San Juan.

Kylie and Bryce were excellent tour guides. One of the first things we did was visit the San Cristobal Fort . Construction was begun in 1765 and completed in 1783. It was the largest fortification built by Spain in the new world.

Here is Chuck in the main plaza.

Kylie and Bryce enjoying the view from a window overlooking the city.

From one side you could see the ocean view.

From the other side we saw one of three cruise ships docked there.

We also toured "Old San Juan." It is a fun place for strolling and sightseeing. There were many vendors selling the usual tourist items, but since Chuck and I are busy downsizing, it was hard to get enthusiastic about buying souvenirs to bring back home.

We went to a place that claims to be where the Pina Calada was invented in 1963.

We had no trouble there doing what all tourists must do......taste testing the "original."

In the town plaza, Poppi advised Bryce on how to get pigeons to eat from your hand.

Of course, it was to inviting not to get into the action. Here Poppi has a bird in each hand and Bryce is quite impressed.

Parking in old town can be a nightmare. But since Kylie could park at the Coast Guard station, we were able to be parked right in the thick of things.

While in Puerto Rico, we visited El Yunque National Forest, a rain forest.

Here is Kylie and Bryce standing in front of Coca waterfall.

This is the Yokahu tower located in the rain forest. It was built by the CCC during the depression. Chuck, Kylie and Bryce climbed to the top while I kept guard at the base.

While we were visiting Byrce had his four year birthday party. It was a "cowboy" party.

The kids were all costumed in cowboy hats, marshal badges and bandannas. Kylie gave Bryce a well planned party. The children, dug for gold (gold spray painted rocks) and made "dirt heads" by filling a stocking with grass seed, then dirt. They glued eyes, nose and mouth on their little dirt heads.

Here is a finished "dirt head" after a few weeks growth.

Bryce enjoyed opening his gifts...

and I enjoyed watching the adult supervision of "whacking the piñata.

Before leaving Puerto Rico, Kylie took us for a tour of the Bacardi distillery.

Thanks Kylie and Bryce. We had a wonderful visit.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Family Get Together at Ezell's Catfish Cabin

Since Chuck and I were only in Columbus, Georgia for three days we decided to call a family meeting at Ezell's Catfish Cabin. Ezell's is a catfish restaurant. Catfish is very popular with our family and most other Columbus folks.

For this post I had help with the photographs from my cousin, Larry Day

and from his granddaughter, Shannon Day.

We were able to visit with each other while we waited for the restaurant staff to get us a nice big table.
Once we were seated, our orders were taking right away.

Here is a picture of family at the other end of the table.

For those of you who have never been to a catfish restaurant, (Fish Camp), I am sharing some pictures of what we enjoyed.

These are hushpuppies. As soon as you are seated at Ezell's, they bring the hushpuppies and coleslaw. These hushpuppies are little balls of deep fried corn meal dough. They have chopped onion and bits of jalapeño peppers inside.

Almost everything at this restaurant is deep fried. Here is some corn meal battered fried okra.

The main course, corn meal battered catfish and some cheese grits. Baked potatoes or fries are a popular side dish also.

This is just one of many catfish bone yards left on the table after we had finished eating..

We visited some more after eating and had a wonderful time. We posed for a group shot before leaving.

This is only a small fraction of the family I grew up with in Columbus. Now we are spread out all over the country. I guess the last time we were all together was when my grandmother, Mama Jessie, passed away.

When we left Ezell's they were closing for the night.

Sometimes it seems a little sad that we will never all be together again at once. I am fortunate to have many treasured memories of Christmas, summertime on the river or swimming at Aunt Opal's house with my cousins. These people are part of me and of who I am...and although Chuck and I are moving to Ecuador, we will be visiting as often as we can. We also hoping our family comes to come to Ecuador to visit us.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Going Home - Columbus, Georgia

After leaving Dallas, Chuck and I flew to Atlanta, rented a car and drove to Columbus for a couple of days. The most important part about visiting home is visiting family. Just as Columbus has changed from my childhood days, so has my family. This post will focus on the city of Columbus, my next post will be about our family gathering.

I am sharing pictures of Columbus as it is today. Some of the pictures are of places that did not exist when I was a child, but are an important part of Columbus now. Some are places I was familiar with growing up.

This is the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. It is located in downtown Columbus. A beautiful building and a source of pride for the city.

First Presbyterian Church also located downtown. The most beautiful church in Columbus.

On lower Broadway, the old homes have been, or are in the process of being, restored to their original grandeur.

Lower Broadway still has brick streets.

Columbus has built a lovely river walk along the Chattahoochee river.

When I was young, a tornado came through town and took the lady of justice off the top of the court house. I don't know if she was ever found. This is the new court house that replaces the one I knew.

Since Sherman did not come to Columbus during his march through Georgia during the Civil war, many antebellum homes still exist. This is the one I remember most from my childhood. St. Elmo.

Here is another type of home that you can find in Columbus. It is called a "shot gun" house. This house is one room wide and three rooms deep. Living room, kitchen and bedroom. They are built on brick pillars to keep the termites from eating the wood.

This is the house Aunt Opal and Uncle Bill lived in. It now belongs to their son, my cousin, Bo Bartlett. Bo is a very famous artist and more than that, he is a beautiful person. Click here to see Bo's website. Although there isn't a historical marker in front of this house yet, I am sure there will be one day.

Columbus has built a beautiful new main library.

And, Columbus is home of the Columbus Stockade. Maybe you have heard the bluegrass song "Columbus Stockade Blues." Well, here it is:

Columbus has many fine restaurants. But I have a couple of favorites:

Evelyn's Cafe - please click here to find out about this great down home cafe.

and Ezell's Catfish Restaurant.

Some of my family still lives in Columbus, but the numbers are small compared to how it used to be. Cities change, people change and families change.

My next post will be about our family get together at Ezell's.