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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Take Your Kid to Work Day????

Dear Family and Friends,

Quite often I see things in Cuenca that touch my heart and make me smile.

It is quite normal here to see mamas tending their small children while selling fruits and vegetables at the market.  But, today I saw a daddy working and tending junior. 

I was sitting in Parque Calderon waiting for my friend, Patricia.  I was watching the shoe shine vendors across the street.

The portico is lined with shoe shine vendors in the day and then after 5:00pm, they leave and the hippie jewelry vendors come for the evening shift.

I was watching them work and saw a man getting his shoes shined.  There was the shoe shine vendor, the male customer and a baby stroller.  After a moment it occurred to me how strange this looked.  When the customer left, I expected to see him walk away pushing the stroller.  But no, after getting his shoes shined, the customer walked away alone and that was when I realized that the baby was with the vendor.

It was heart warming to watch the vendor interacting with the baby while waiting for another customer.

I walked across the street just to get a look at the tyke.

I went on to enjoy a wonderful lunch with Patricia.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Mini Celebration in Cuenca

Dear Family and Friends,

Tonight Chuck and I had a mini celebration of sorts.  We went to Taco Pronto for a bite to eat.  As usual, I was snapping pictures; when the owner saw me, she came over and asked if we would like our picture taken. When we said yes, thank you, nothing would do but we put on sombreros.

Our mini celebration was because our drapes for our new condo were installed today. Well, most of them.  There were a few glitches, but those are being corrected and will be installed on Thursday.  Here is the completed sliding door to the terrace.

Chuck has been as busy as can be putting plants on the terrace.  He is having a lot of fun.
It's coming along.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cuenca Weather Information

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck found this very neat URL that has historical weather data for Cuenca.

Here is the link:

Good information to have if you are moving or planning on traveling to Cuenca.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

For our friends, Clarke and Brenda -

Just to let you know that your babies are being well cared for.  We were over at the Kimblers tonight eating some of the best homemade soup on earth.  I snapped these pictures just for you.

Karen is a good substitute mommy.

And, just to put your mind at ease Brenda, the puppies are doing an excellent job of keeping their room nice and neat.  You must of trained them well.  (smile)

Hope you guys are having a nice time in Kansas.

Hurry home.

Nancy and Chuck

Friday, March 25, 2011

Extremely Long Stem Red Roses

Dear Family and Friends,

The other day Chuck went to buy some flowers.  He came home all excited because he found some extremely long stem roses.

This is the first time we have encountered them from a vendor.  They are grown here for export to Russia.  To find some for sell locally was a real surprise.

Here is Chuck with his find:

 We had to sit them on the floor.  As you can see they come to my waist.

Chuck paid $2.50 for them.

Happy day!


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Full Moon Egg Balancing

Dear Family and Friends,

On Friday night, my friend, Denver Greer wrote on Facebook: "Make your plans for going out tomorrow night (Sat) and take a gander at the "Super Moon." The Moon will be at it's closest to the Earth, and the Sun and Moon will be aligned with the Earth. They say when this happens the gravity pull is so strong you can stand an egg on its end. They say."

Well, we live so near the equator that I figured we would have an added advantage.  

Here are the results.

1.  Full "Super Moon" from our patio (a little cloudy)

2. Chuck easily balances the egg.  NOT

3.  My attempt at balancing the egg.

4.  Chuck said he wanted one more CRACK at it.   Here are the results:


Nancy & Chuck

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Seahorse Sunset

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for all the well wishes.  You must be very magical because I am feeling much better today.

We had a very nice visit with our friends, Nancy and Joe Levin this morning.  We had lunch at D'Hugos in CevicheLandia and then we came home and I took a long nap. 

I can truly understand the need for a siesta on the coast.  The mid day this time of year is very hot and the sun is intense.

We are staying at the Farallon Dillon and loving it.  This is a great place and we highly recommend it.  You can see pictures of this unique hotel from our visit in November.

Here is our picture of the day.... sunset behind the sea horse.

Much love,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How do you feel Nancy?

Dear Family and Friends,

I have been fighting a sinus infection for a couple of days.

Today we drove all day to the coast....and this is how I felt.

Kick in medicine!!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Inside the Old Provincial Court of Justice Building

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday, my Spanish teacher, Fernando took me on a field trip to el centro (downtown).  We sat in Parque Calderon and he told me about the buildings that surround the square.

One particular building I would like to share with you today.  It is the old Provincial Court of Justice building.  In the last couple of years Cuenca has built a new Justice Building. This old building is one of the oldest in Cuenca and, to me, it is one of the prettiest.

If you live in Cuenca, or have visited Cuenca in the past, you will recognize this building.  It is located across Sucre from the old cathedral.

Fernando took me inside.  Whoa!  Have a look at this.

The floor tiles, the marble and the ceiling just made my jaw drop.

In the center of the covered courtyard is a statue of Sucre. 

Behind the statue is the new entrance to Teatro Sucre (Sucre Theater).  Just another wonderful treasure about Cuenca.

As far as I know, the courtyard is open to the public anytime the building is open.  If you live here in Cuenca, and haven't popped inside for a look, I highly recommend it.  And, if you are coming to Cuenca anytime in the future, add this to your tour list.  When I was inside, I felt like I was in Europe.

Tomorrow morning early, Chuck and I are hopping in Puff-Puff and heading for the coast.  We will relax, visit with friends and hopefully not get sunburned.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Horses on Parade

Dear Family and Friends,

A while back, during one of our Sunday walks, we saw some new horses in Parque Calderon.

Shelley helped me to get the video the right size to fit into the blog.  Thanks so much.

Have a great day.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yes, We Went to Loja - But, No, No Dishes!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Once again we made a trek to Loja to buy dishes.  Once again we turned lemons into lemonade.

We picked up Howard and Barbara around 7:30am.  We decided to have breakfast in La Paz.  They have a restaurant there that has a cowboy theme.

Then we drove on to Saraguro and stopped for a second cup of coffee.  We arrived in Loja just after noon.  The first item on our agenda was to check out the pottery.  We went to the university campus and we were informed by the guard that the pottery store was closed and would not open until 3:30pm.

We had lunch at the Uruguayan restaurant and then we rode around Loja checking out the town and viewing the beautiful parks.  At 3:30 we headed back to the campus only to find that the store was being remodeled and would not be open for three more months.  Oh well, Plan B.

We checked into our hotel and rested before having dinner on the terrace by the pool.

Saturday morning, we met for breakfast and then loaded up Puff-Puff.  We went to the south end of Loja to see the arboretum that we always pass on our way to Vilcabamba.

We had a terrific morning strolling through the beautiful trees and plants.

Here are Barbara and Howard posing by an overgrown houseplant.

We paid 50 cents each for the privilege to enjoy the morning.  Here are some pictures I would like to share with you.

After we left the arboretum, Chuck took us to the Unidad Parque Recreacional Jipiro  at the north end of Loja.  We have been here several times and wanted to share it with Barbara and Howard.

The most unique thing about this park is the minature replicas they have of international landmarks.

They had horses and children could ride them for 50 cents.  One was left behind.

We went back to the Uruguayan restaurant for lunch and then headed back home.

We stopped in Saraguro on the way back and bought a few treasures.

It was a nice trip.  Mission was not accomplished, but we had a great time.

Barbara, it looks like we have a another trip to Loja to count on in about three months (or three years.)


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Art Auction - Goodbye Larry and Liza

Dear Family and Friends,
Thursday night was a bitter sweet moment for us.  Our friends Larry and Liza are moving to Spain and we will miss them.  They are selling all her mosaic art before heading off to their new life. 
An art auction was held Thursday night at the California Kitchen.  We already have a piece of her beautiful mosaic art.  You can see it here.

We went to the auction in hopes of obtaining more of her incredible work.

These three pictures were on display when we arrived.

Believe me a camera cannot do them justice.

Here is one of the pictures we were able to buy.  On the right is the auctioneer.

And this piece was probably the most desired piece at the auction.

We had a nice evening with our friends..

Here are our friends, Larry and Linda Marler, enjoying the evening.

Larry and Liza we all wish you lots of success in your new adventures.  Don't be surprised if some of us are knocking at your door in Spain one day.

We will miss you and we love you,
Nancy and Chuck

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Loja Adventure

Dear Family and Friends,

We are leaving for Loja in the morning with our friends, Barbara and Howard.  The main purpose of this trip is to visit the university where the ceramics and pottery are made.

We want to have another look at the dinnerware.  We are thinking of furnishing our new condo with dishes from there.  Barbara and Howard have a brand new condo and they are on the same quest.

Here are a couple of pictures I took on our last visit to the university in Loja.

It is going to be fun!!


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cuenca Sunset

Dear Family and Friends,

We are amazed by the beautiful sunset pictures that Box n' Rox post on their blog.  They live on the coast and I know first hand how awesome it is to see the sun set into the Pacific Ocean.

Chuck and I were at our new condo the other evening and we witnessed this fantastic sunset from our terrace.

It went from wonderful to spectacular.

We are going to have to have a party on that terrace one day. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Carnaval, Scrambled Dogs and Friends

Dear Family and Friends,

Today was Carnaval (Fat Tuesday).  Last week Chuck and I decided to invite a few friends over and do the
"scrambled dog" thing again.  We've served scrambled dogs in the past.  Our friends either love us or they like the dogs because they always come back for more.  Scrambled dogs served in the past.

I grew up in Columbus, Georgia and "scrambled dogs" are a staple there.  I don't know of any other city they are served in, but I am working on introducing them to Ecuador.  Wouldn't that be a hoot, scrambled dogs served in only two cities of the world, Columbus, Georgia and Cuenca, Ecuador?

This time I didn't forget to take pictures of our friends.

If you know anything about Cuenca, you know that the Kookaburra Cafe is one of the favorite ex-pat hang outs. Tourists know if they go there for breakfast or lunch they will meet up with Cuenca ex-pats.  Well my friends, here are the famous Chris and Jenny Bluefields, the owners of Kookaburra Cafe.  You probably can guess by the name of their cafe that they are from Australia.

As the afternoon wore on, it began to rain and then hail.  Some of the folks moved inside to the dining table.

Besides scrambled dogs, we had a wonderful green salad provided by Bea and Bob, a delightful spicy lentil curry dish provided by Jason and Donna and Rich and Nancy brought the most delicious chocolate cake.

Thank you friends for sharing this day with us.

Nancy and Chuck