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Monday, June 28, 2010

Just Do It

Dear Family and Friends,

Oh my goodness! Where does time go? I must have forgotten to wind the clock.

Since I returned from the trip with Kylie, I have just been nesting in. It is so nice to be back home. Restocking the groceries...going to the market.....catching up with our Cuenca friends.

Besides nesting in, I have made a couple of commitments to myself.

I am putting myself out on a ledge here, a little vulnerability, but I will share my commitments with you. Walking regularly. To most of you this may seem like an easy, simple commitment, but I tend to start big and then lose steam over time.

When I returned from the U.S., I felt that this was a good time to turn over a new health leaf. I mentioned to Chuck that I was going to start walking four days a week. He said GREAT, and I will walk with you. (I love this man!)

Chuck and I are now walking to town every Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. So far, so good.

Also, I have signed up for Spanish lessons. I will be going to class, along with a friend, twice a week. I really do want to learn to speak and understand Spanish and Ecuadorian customs, and quite frankly, I am not able to do it by osmosis.

There are so many English speaking people arriving here to live, I am afraid that if I do not learn Spanish now, it will be too easy for me to limit my contacts to only English speakers.

So that's about it......physical and mental exercising.

Oh, one other thing. For my southern family and friends,....when I was at the market the other day I found turnip greens. They are in season here know we are starting winter down here. I bought a mess of turnips. (yes, mess is a measurement down south).

I cooked them and made cornbread. We shared them with friends and it was so heavenly.

Life is good.

Nancy (and Chuck)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Back Home in Cuenca

Dear Family and Friends,

After enjoying the Grand Canyon, Kylie and I drove to Las Vegas. As soon as we arrived, I put the camera away and went straight to work.

First, I withdrew $200 for gambling money. Next, Kylie and I hit the slot machines. I was there for one evening and one full day before I had to fly out. I prayed that the $200 would last because one of the worst feelings in the world is to be in Las Vegas completely broke.

We stayed downtown at the Golden Nugget. We did all our gambling on Freemont street. I lost and won, lost and won. By the time Kylie took me to the airport on Thursday morning, I had lost a total of $40. I was content, because I was going home with most of the $200 left in my pocket.

Kylie and I had a great trip. It was a very special "mother/daughter" time and I am so happy that she invited me to take the trip with her.

She is heading on toward San Francisco, where she will be stationed in the Coast Guard for the next couple of years.

I flew from Las Vegas, through Houston, to Quito. On Friday I flew into Cuenca.

Chuck met me at the airport and we had a joyful reunion.

Now I am back home and once again getting adjusted to the altitude and a 6:30 pm sunset. Tomorrow, I will be here to take our Sunday walk.

Life is good.


PS: I changed the blog style as you most likely noticed. It is still the same old blog but I hope that the change will make it easier for you to read.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Grand Canyon Sunset

Dear Family and Friends,

After getting up at 4:30 am to view the sunrise over the canyon, Kylie and I came back to our motel and took a long nap. After lunch we were rejuvenated and ready to do more canyon viewing.

If you have never been to the Grand Canyon I will tell you from first hand experience, you need to see the sunrise and sunset. It makes all the difference in the world in how the canyon is seen.

As you can see in the pictures below, as the sun went from mid day to the last light on the canyon wall, the colors and shadows became more fantastic.

Tomorrow morning we are heading out to Las Vegas. Kylie tells me that I will not have wi-fi in our room there. On the Thursday morning, I fly to Quito. Friday morning I will arrive in Cuenca.

I have had a wonderful time with Kylie but it is time to get back home where my heart is and where I belong.

See you soon Chuck.


Grand Canyon Sunrise

Dear Family and Friends,

Kylie and I woke up early this morning so that we could see the sun rise over the Grand Canyon.

This first picture is as the sun is just peaking over the side of the canyon. Notice the two figures in the bottom right corner. They were seated on a ledge for a perfect view.

As the sun comes up the lighting on the canyon is so beautiful.

We saw some deer eating their breakfast. They were not one bit afraid of humans.

I swear this one stuck his tongue out at me.

More canyon pictures later.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Painted Desert and Petrified Forest

Dear Family and Friends,

Today Kylie and I drove from Gallup, New Mexico to Flagstaff, Arizona. We were on Interstate 40 (which pretty much mirrors the famous "Route 66."

After leaving Gallup we did the national parks - Painted Desert and the Petrified Forest.

The first pictures were taken in the Painted Desert.

These pictures were taken in the Petrified Forest.

The last two pictures were taken when we got off the Interstate and drove a bit on Route 66. We found this motel in Holbrook, Arizona. It had wigwams for the rooms. They had old cars parked in front of each wigwam for extra ambiance. This motel is still in business.

We are now in Flagstaff and doing laundry. Tomorrow we head north.

That is about it for our day. Having fun.

Thank you Chuck and Glenda....


Friday, June 11, 2010

Gallup, New Mexico

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry there are no pictures to share. Today Kylie and I took a break from sightseeing. We spent the morning thrift store shopping in Albuquerque. We had a grand time and I bought so much that I had to buy another suitcase to get home.

We spent the afternoon at a casino and then we traveled to Gallup. We are spending the night here and are heading to Flagstaff, Arizona in the morning.

More later.

Good night Chuck, just one week from today I'll be back home.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Taos, New Mexico

Dear Family and Friends,

Kylie and spent the day in Taos, New Mexico. This first picture is of the main plaza in the city of Taos. The main plaza is surrounded by tourists shops. We shopped and have finally agreed we have done all the Southwest shopping we can stand. Nice, but everything is starting to look the same.

We went to the Taos Pueblo and really enjoyed our visit. Taos Pueblo is designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years. It is the longest continuously inhabited place in the entire country.

Tomorrow we are going thrift store shopping back in Albuquerque.

More later....

Goodnight Chuck....


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Dear Family and Friends,

Kylie and I spent today in Santa Fe. The highlight of the day was our visit to the Georgia O'Keefe museum. Of course no pictures were allowed there.

We had a fun day browsing the shops.


Night Chuck.....miss you.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Dear Family and Friends,

Kylie and I spent today in Albuquerque. We enjoyed Old Town all morning. We shopped and toured. We visited the historic San Felipe de Neri Chruch and had a nice lunch downtown.

After lunch we enjoyed the museum of natural history. Here is Kylie looking at dinosaur skeletons.

Tomorrow we are heading to Santa Fe.

It got up to 100 degrees here today. It was hot but I can tell you there is a big difference between 100 and 117 degrees. Santa Fe should be a little nicer.

Until tomorrow......

Tonight my heart is in Cuenca ..... happy anniversary honey.


Monday, June 7, 2010

White Sands National Monument

Dear Family and Friends,

Kylie and I spent today at White Sands National Monument and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

We drove out to White Sands first thing this morning. It is about a 45 minute drive from Las Cruces. We toured the visitor center and then took the scenic drive through the white sands.

Here is Kylie on top of a sand dune.

Here are some southwestern scenes from Las Cruses.

These dried chili peppers can be seen all over New Mexico.

Tonight we are in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Tomorrow we will visit be tourists here.

I'm thinking turquoise jewelry.

Good night Chuck.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

El Paso, Texas

Dear Family and Friends,

We drove through west Texas today. We drove through west Texas almost all day long. Texas is big. West Texas is big, open, desolate country....glad to now be in New Mexico.

Here are a couple of pictures of some items you may purchase at a truck stop in west Texas.

Here is a picture of El Paso, Texas. Some parts were nice but it was very hot and we were glad to cross over the border. Three days in Texas was enough.

Tonight we are in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

More later...

Goodnight Chuck...


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Traveling through Texas

Dear Family and Friends,

Last night we visited my mother and brother in Dallas. Norman treated us to Memphis Barbecue and then took us to Dave and Busters where Bryce had tons of fun playing video games. We were fortunate that we were able to see Nan for a few minutes also.

We left Dallas this morning, heading for Abilene, TX so that we could unite Bryce with his dad. He will be spending a few weeks with his dad while Kylie gets settled in her new location.

Right now we are bedding down in Midland, TX. We stopped here early enough to get our laundry done and have nice dinner. It is unusually hot here. Kylie took this picture of the outside temperature as shown on her dashboard.

Whew! Can't wait until we get to El Paso, which is where we are going tomorrow.

Until soon.....

Love and miss you Chuck..


Friday, June 4, 2010

Family & Friends in Georgia

Dear Family and Friends,

As you know, Chuck is in Cuenca and I am on a "Mother/Daughter" adventure in the USA.

Kylie, our daughter, is in the U.S. Coast Guard. She has been stationed in Puerto Rico for the past few years and is now on her way to her new duty station, San Francisco, CA. She and I are driving across country together.

I arrived in Columbus on Monday and visited with family. We had a big catfish dinner at our favorite fish place, Ezell's Catfish Cabin.

Thanks to my cousin, Larry, I can post this picture of some of us gathered there.

It was so much fun seeing family and friends that I have not seen in many, many years. My sister, Mary Anne, put this together. Thank you so much Mary Anne. Everyone had a wonderful time.

This is not the first time I have posted about Ezell's...check here.

Here is a nice picture of Aunt Opal and Uncle Bill. We visited with them and enjoyed hearing about their recent trip to visit their son and his wife, Bo and Betsy. They were also excited about their upcoming trip to visit their daughter, Sandy, in Nova Scotia in a few weeks. Good going you two, enjoy life and enjoy your family.

Here is a picture of Kylie and Bryce.

We left Columbus yesterday about noon and are now in Jackson, Mississippi. We are on our way to Dallas to visit with my mother and my brother and sister-in-law.

Luckily, I can now post pictures while I am on the road.

More later,