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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Family Time at the Beach

Dear Family and Friends,

We decided to take Matt and our grand daughters to Salinas.  Salinas is a popular beach destination in Ecuador.
We have been having a great time.

Matt has been enjoying having his nieces to entertain.  I have nick named him the "Gentle Giant."

We are leaving for the U.S. on Tuesday.  We will reverse our trip by flying into Seattle, delivering Matt in Richland, WA...taking the Amtrak back to Minnesota to deliver the girls.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another Fun Day with the Kids

Dear Family and Friends,

What a joy it was for us to be back in Cuenca today.  We were able to have our Sunday morning walk with Rich and Nancy to the Kook for breakfast.  We revised our normal walk plans and all met at San Sebastian park.  Just the right amount of walking distance for our kids.

After breakfast we walked to Calderon park to have pictures made with the horses.

Here is Matt posing in his hat with a horse.

Petra looked like a natural on her horse.

Paige is accompanied by Rich, Petra and Nancy

We were going to take the double deck tour bus ride but the upper level of the bus filled up before we could get on board.  We decided to postpone the ride until tomorrow morning.

We came home and watched a movie and took a break.

Around 5:30pm we all got into Puff-Puff and headed up to Turi to see the sunset and watch the lights come on in Cuenca.

As it turned out, we were not the only ones with this idea.

The sunset was not spectacular, but we had a lot of fun.

Here is Cuenca just as the lights were starting to come on.

As it got dark, the city lit up.


Here are the girls in front of the church on top of Turi.

On the way home we stopped at the Mall del Rio for a snack..

Here is Paige enjoying her pastries.

Before we left, the girls got into these big plastic balloons (hamster balls) and had a great time playing.

On the way home Petra told Matt that she thinks their trip is going by way too fast.

Everyone is going to sleep soundly tonight!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Home in Cuenca .... soooo nice!

Dear Family and Friends,

We arrived in Cuenca late Wednesday afternoon sleep deprived and completely exhausted.  Chuck and Matt helped us get unloaded and then went to our other apartment (now known as the boys cabin).  The girls and I are staying in our original apartment (girls cabin). We were so tired we went straight to sleep.

After a good night's sleep, the girls and I woke up planning to make french toast and invite the boys over for breakfast.  When the boys arrived they had other plans.  They wanted to go to a favorite pizza restaurant for lunch.  Our friends were meeting there to have one last meal because it was the final day for this restaurant.

It was really great seeing our friends.  Although we have only been gone 6 weeks it seems like we have been away from Cuenca much longer.  One thing I noticed is that while we were away our friends have gotten thinner.  Everyone looked great.

After lunch we went shopping for house slippers for the girls.  The tile floors in our cabin are very cold on little bare feet.

Today we had our french toast breakfast.  Afterwards we took a taxi to town.  We had to wait in Parque Calderon for Chuck to arrive.  He spent a busy morning with Jose, our computer tech.

Today was very sunny and warm.  Matt forgot to bring a hat and I didn't have one that would fit.  The girls wore some hats I found around the house but wanted some pretty straw hats to go with their dresses.

After a few minutes, Chuck and Jose arrived at the park.  Jose offered to take Matt hat shopping and then to a movie.

We took the girls shopping.

They were so stunning in their new hats and sunglasses.

We walked several blocks to San Blas in order to try the new ice cream we heard about at our pizza lunch.

We invited our friends, Karen and Randy, over for spaghetti dinner.  We had a wonderful time catching up.  The girls offered to do a skit for us.  They enlisted Poppi to help them out.

Here are the performers and the audience.

We are having a great time with Matt and the girls.  Tomorrow is market day.

It is so good to be back in home in Cuenca, even if it is only for a couple of weeks.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Train Ride with Granddaughters

Dear Family and Friends,

Last Tuesday, hours after the closing of the house, Chuck and I boarded the train.  We went to Minnesota to get Petra and Paige, our granddaughters.  They are spending the next couple of weeks at "Camp Mimi and Poppi."

We spent half day with all 10 of our grandchildren before leaving for Minneapolis with the girls.  During the visit we celebrated two birthdays, hugged all the kids and held the new grand baby, played with the Wii, caught up on everyone's news and had lunch.

We had a couple of hours to kill before the train arrived so we took the girls to Mall of America.  We had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe.  What do you know, Paige got to celebrate her birthday twice.

After dinner we had time to go to the American Girl store.  This was a big hit with the girls.

 Chuck and the girls waiting for the train to arrive.

Next morning, breakfast in the dining car.

 Chuck and Paige entertaining themselves in the lounge car.

Petra and North Dakota (outside the window)!

We had a chance to stretch our legs on our stop in Minot, North Dakota.

Saturday morning we arrived back in the Tri Cities. We picked up Matt and went to McDonald's.  Heidi and Cannon joined us for breakfast before we headed for Seattle.  Here are the girl cousins enjoying a short but grand reunion.

We drove to Seattle yesterday.  Today we celebrate Chuck's dad's 98th birthday.  Tomorrow we leave for Ecuador.

Nancy (and Chuck)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Transfer of Ownership...Time to Hit the Tracks!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday we gave Marcia the keys to the house.  Chuck did a walk through with her and explained the irrigation system and other things.  We both have good vibes about Marcia and know that this house has been sold to the right person.

Today we step on Amtrak and head to Minnesota to pick up our granddaughters.

The timing is awesome!


Monday, May 2, 2011

Returning from Portland, OR - Waterfalls and Cherry Blossoms

Dear Family and Friends,

Although it was raining when we first arrived, we had a terrific time in Portland.  Saturday the weather was much better with the sun peeking out and on Sunday it was a beautiful sunny day.

Chuck and I love this city.  It has wonderful public transit, it is also bike and pedestrian friendly.  We enjoyed shopping at the Saturday Market, eating at our favorite restaurants and visiting fun neighborhoods.

On our return trip we detoured from the interstate and took the historic scenic highway.  This wonderful highway is two lane and winds through some of the most beautiful country you will ever see.

This was our view of Crown Point and the Columbia River Gorge.

Here is the vista house at Crown Point.

We saw beautiful waterfalls that reminded us of Ecuador.

Mountain streams that reminded us of the Tomebamba in Cuenca.

And of course the beautiful blooming cherry trees....

We are now back in Richland.  We will be finishing the paperwork and turning over our house this week.  Bittersweet for sure!!

Next week we are taking the Amtrak to Minnesota.  We will be visiting our daughter, Merri and her family.  We will return with two granddaughters.  Petra and Paige will be coming with us to Ecuador for "Camp Mimi and Poppi".

As we come back through Richland, we will get our son, Matt, and head to Seattle.  More about our plans later.

For now, we are enjoying watching our backyard turn green and blossom.  Spring is a wonderful time of year!!