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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Matt's Visit to Cuenca

Dear Family and Friends,

After a week of shopping, and getting other chores done in Richland, we started packing to head back to Cuenca. The main purpose of our trip was to get our son, Matt, and bring him back with us. He will be spending his two week vacation with us. This is an annual trip for him.

Before we left for the U.S. we agreed to bring back some items for our Cuenca friends. We had them shop online and have their goodies shipped to our U.S. address. When we got back to the states, it seemed like Christmas with so many boxes to open. This worked out real well, because we did not have to actually do the shopping. They were able to pick out the exact items they wanted and pay for them, we were just the pack mules.

We also brought back a suitcase for U.S. friends Randy and Karen. They are moving to Cuenca the first of July and, like us, are only bringing with them what they can bring in suitcases. Bringing this extra piece of luggage was a real bonus for them.

Chuck drove to Minnesota to visit Merri, our oldest daughter, and the grandchildren there. He flew from Minneapolis/St Paul to Atlanta and met Matt and myself there. We flew from Atlanta to Ecuador together.

Here is Chuck and Matt in the Atlanta airport. It was a long day of traveling and we still had the long leg of the trip yet to go.

We finally arrived in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Here is Matt and Chuck are just outside the airport with our six large pieces of luggage and our six carry on pieces. We sailed through customs and were glad to be back in Ecuador.

We spent the night in the Howard Johnson hotel in Guayaquil. Although I had made reservations and given them our credit card number, when we arrived at 1:00am they said that our room had been given to someone else. I raised such a ruckus that they canceled the reservation of another guest and gave us that room. The "ruckus" part is not something I enjoy doing, but in this case, it had to be done.

The next morning, Chuck secured a private van to drive us to Cuenca. We left our hotel at 11:00am and we got to our condo by 2:30pm. It is really amazing the difference the new highway makes.

After we passed over the Andes (Caja mountains) I saw the beautiful valley that takes us into Cuenca. Such a beautiful sight in itself, but because it meant we were almost home it was exceptionally beautiful.

We unpacked as soon as we got home. We put all the things for others on the dining room buffet. Then we realized we didn't remember what belonged to whom. So we shot out an email and invited the receivers to come on Saturday afternoon for a "claim your stuff" wine and snacks affair.

Matt took this picture of us all sitting around the dining room table catching up.

We still have one suitcase packed in the U.S., filled with requested items, so I guess we will be doing this again after I return from escorting Matt home. It was such fun seeing our friends. Even though we were only away for a couple of weeks, it seemed much longer.

We were anxious to get back to our Sunday walk. So Sunday, we got up bright and early and headed over to Rich's and Nancy's.

Matt was eager to join in on the Sunday walk. Thanks to his photography, I have some interesting pictures that we could not take ourselves.

Matt took this picture of the dedicated walking foursome.

This is a picture we could never take ourselves. Matt was lagging behind and made this picture. Now we know what we look like sauntering along the sidewalks to town.

As you can see, Rich and Chuck are quite a bit ahead of the two Nancys. Most of the time however, we are leading the way. Honest!!

Nancy and Rich have a wonderful post on their blog about our Sunday adventure. You can see our fun day by clicking here.

Monday, Matt and I headed to the modern art museum. We had a great time even though they only had one traveling exhibit. The others were still being installed and we will have to wait to see them.

Here is Matt getting a close up view of one of the art pieces.

And here is Matt, nose to nose, with a sculpture.

The museum is an an old building that dates back to the 18th century. The building itself is fun to see.

Our friend, Nancy did a blog about the modern art museum a while back. If you want to see click here.

Today we had a great adventure, but I will share that tomorrow.

Life is good!!

Nancy (and Chuck and Matt)

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