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Monday, May 28, 2012

Alaska Here We Come

Dear Family and Friends,

We (Chuck, Matt and myself) are sitting in Denney's in Yakima, Washington.  We are heading to Seattle where we will board the Disney Wonder cruise ship for a week long trip to Alaska.

Here is Matt ready for a well earned vacation.


We will not have internet access for the next week.

If you inquire about renting our condo during the coming week we will get back to you next week.

Remembering our loved ones this Memorial Day.

Love,
Nancy

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hugging Family in Washington State

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I flew from Dallas, TX to Seattle, WA last Saturday.  We spent a long weekend in Seattle hugging family and taking care of business.

Below is a picture of Chuck with his brother, Larry and his wife Carolyn and with his sister Carol and her husband Frank.


Larry is the bearded man in the back center standing beside Chuck.  His wife, Carolyn, is standing between them.  Chuck's sister, Carol is in front and her husband Frank is behind her.  

We arrived in the Tri-Cities, WA yesterday.  We were just in time to attend a elementary band concert in which our granddaughter, Heidi plays the trumpet.  She also plays in the school marimba band.

After the concert, we saw her playing softball.  She made two home runs and tagged a runner out on third base.  What a kid....and she is beautiful to boot.


And here is Heidi's hungry little brother....our grandson Cannon.


We are meeting friends tonight for a prime rib dinner....woot!!

Monday morning Chuck, Matt and I leave bright and early to drive to Seattle.  We will turn in our rental car and make our way to the cruise ship.

We are taking a Disney Cruise to Alaska with Matt, our son, Kylie our daughter and Bryce our grandson.  

So it will be a little over a week from now that I will be posting again, but when I do, I will put up lots of pictures from our cruise.

Love,
Nancy

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Enjoying Texas

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has gone by so fast.  We are in Dallas, Texas visiting Norman and Nan, my brother and his wife, and mom.  My mom moved to Dallas from Columbus, GA several years ago.  She has Alzheimer disease and is living in a wonderful assisted living facility.

On Sunday, Mother's Day, Norman and Nan had a nice luncheon with our mom and Nan's mom and family at their house.

Here is a photo of my beautiful 90 year old mother and me.


Sunday evening Norman, Nan, Chuck and I drove to Galveston for a few days at the beach.  This was the first time Chuck or I had been to Galveston.  It was a great treat for us.  We stayed in a cabin belonging to Nan's dad and step mom. 

Here is a picture of my brother and Nan at a seafood restaurant in Galveston.


Norman and Nan are coming to visit us in Cuenca in August and we will all four stay in our penthouse condo that Chuck and I normally rent out.

Here is Chuck walking along the beach.  


The morning sun hiding behind a cloud.


We shopped downtown in the tourist part of old Galveston.  We were on a street called the Strand.

Here is Chuck pointing to a marker that shows the high water mark after Hurricane Ike in 2008.  The water would have been up to his eyebrows.


Because of hurricane danger, the houses in Galveston are built on stilts....


Chuck caught me feeding the seagulls from the porch of our cabin.


Unfortunately, we had no internet access so I was not able to blog until we returned.

On the way back through Houston, we stopped at the NASA space center.  What a cool place!

We saw the actual command center from the early days of space travel.


We even got to see an astronaut training for being weightless in space.



This is a replica of the Saturn rocket.


And this is the real deal.....the Saturn rocket...as long as a football field.


There is a wonderful "hands on" area for learning all about our accomplishments in space.  Also there is an IMAX theater with great space pictures.


We really enjoyed this side trip.  

We have a couple of more days here in Dallas to visit with our family.  Then we will be off to Seattle.  

Love,
Nancy

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Down Home, Georgia

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I had a wonderful time this past week visiting family in Columbus, Georgia.

Here is the old Memorial stadium where I went to many high school football games.  The stadium was built in 1916 to host the University of Georgia vs Auburn University football games.  This stadium also served as the venue for the local high schools football games. 


We visited with my aunts...Aunt Opal, Aunt Mildred and Aunt Betty.  These women are all strong southern women that have been a wonderful role model for me.  When I get feisty and stubborn, Chuck says he knows I came be it honest.

We went out into the country to visit my cousin, Larry Day, and his family.  They have a wonderful old country house that is located in the woods of Georgia.



He took us to River Bend, a catfish restaurant located on the Flint River.  It is out in the country too and if you don't already know where it is located....don't bother.


We had catfish the old fashioned way....all you can eat.  


The food came on big platters and was replenished frequently.

Here is our first platter of fried catfish.  I think we ate three platters full before we were done.


The bone plate.


Here you are Larry....a star of this blog.  Thanks for a great dinner....we sure had a great time.

My cousin Larry.  He says he reads all the blogs written by Cuenca expats.  He was telling me things about folks in Cuenca that I didn't even know.


After dinner we went out on the porch and enjoyed the sunset over the Flint river.




Georgia is a beautiful state....and it is very pleasant this time of year.

Now we are off to Texas to spend Mother's Day with my mom.

Love,
Nancy

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Country's Barbecue

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I are now in Columbus, Georgia where I was born and raised.  We are having a grand time with our family.

Tonight we went out to eat barbecue at Country's Barbecue with our brother-in-laws family.  Whenever I come to Columbus I love to spend time with these loving folks.

Here is Chuck and I sitting in the big Country's rocking chair.  


This is Mary Anne, my little sister.


This is my beautiful Aunt Opal



My sister's baked sweet potato.

Sitting around the table.


Sweet little cowboy Bryce


Our brother-in-law, Larry, and Bryce looking in the window.


Another  picture of Chuck and I.


So far, so good.

Love,
Nancy

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Packing...Keeping it Compact

Dear Family and Friends,




First of all, I do not consider myself an expert on how to pack for a trip. Lord knows that I have done it enough times that I should be an expert.  There is one thing I have learned over the years.....I tend to over pack.

I was quite proud of myself traveling in Spain for six weeks through all sorts of weather using only a medium size suitcase.

This time we are going to the U.S. for five or six weeks.  Most of those weeks will be in late spring or summer like weather.  One week will be in ??????? weather.  We are taking a cruise from Seattle to Alaska.

Believe it or not, I was able to pack for our five weeks of warmer weather in a roll aboard size suitcase.  The middle size suitcase is for just one week...the cruise week.

Of course, I will be visiting with family all along this trip and will have the benefit of washers and dryers.  Also, since we will be in the U.S., I can easily get most anything that I need. Why pack it?

My justification for the mid size suitcase for the cruise is that NO ONE gets aboard a cruise ship with only a roll aboard suitcase.  It is just not done!

My backpack is needed to carry my computer and other items that I do not trust in the checked in luggage.

This means that I can buy a BIG suitcase to check back to Ecuador if I shop too much in the states.  

The next time I post will be from our first stop....Columbus, Georgia.

Love,
Nancy (and Chuck)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Chordeleg for Jewelry - Paute for Plants

Dear Family and Friends,

Today Chuck and I took a drive to Chordeleg.  Chordeleg is known for it's many jewelry stores.  I have posted about this town before, but took my camera along anyway.  This time I took pictures of a small fraction of the jewelry.

The early people of Ecuador were master metalworkers, and today jewelers still produce excellent silver, nickel, and brass jewelry.

This is an example of their sterling silver filigree bracelets.


Pendants handcrafted with spondylus inlay.  Spondylus is the lining of shells found on the coast of Ecuador.  It is sort of like "mother of pearl" but in vivid colors. 


Sterling silver rings...


Beautiful sterling silver cuff bracelets....


Nice sterling silver earrings.


Not all the jewelry is made in Ecuador.  Here are some imported rings.


Another selection of imported rings.


One purpose of the trip was to replace my silver earrings.  I dropped one of them down the sink drain and it washed away before it could be retrieved.  I am happy to report mission accomplished!

After spending a couple of hours in Chordeleg, we drove to Paute.

Paute is a lovely area and Chuck loves to go there to shop for plants.  Since I had my camera, as Chuck shopped for plants, I had a wonderful time photographing the flowers.

Take a look.




























We had a wonderful day together.  Lunch in Paute and a beautiful drive.

We are starting to think about packing our suitcases again.  We are headed back to the U.S. in a couple of days to visit family in Georgia, Texas, Washington and Minnesota.  In the midst of all this we are taking a cruise to Alaska.  

As in Spain, I will try to blog often about our trip.

Thank you so much for reading.

Love,
Nancy