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Friday, November 29, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 11/29/13

Dear Family and Friends,

Years ago Chuck and I visited a coffee plantation in Costa Rica.

Did you know the coffee bean is the seed of these little berry type fruit?  The meat of the berry is very sweet to eat.

The berries ripen at different times.  That is why it has to be hand picked.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Thanksgiving Message from my Friend.

Dear Family and Friends,

My friend asked me to pass this message along to all of you.


Happy Thanksgiving to all our family and friends.

Nancy & Chuck

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Guayaquil with Rich and Nancy

Dear Family and Friends,

Last weekend we bopped down to Guayaquil for a couple of nights with our good friends, Rich and Nancy.  With two days of driving we actually only had one good day to sight see.

Here is a picture of Rich when we stopped at the top of the Cajas to enjoy the view.

We stayed at the Sonesta Hotel because it is located right next to the Mall del Sol and us girls wanted to shop in comfort.

On our first night there we enjoyed a wonderful sushi dinner at Kioto Sushi Restaurant.  We had heard that this is a good restaurant and wanted to check it out.

We scored big time!!!

We ordered two boats of sushi and ate like pigs!!  It was very good and the staff was very attentive.  We highly recommend this restaurant.  It is located in the Hilton Colon restaurant.

Such a handsome couple...sushi agrees with them!

We take Sunday walks together every week here in Cuenca.  Last Sunday was no different except that we were in Guayaquil.

We started our walk at the Park of the Iguanas.

This is a very popular park.  It is lovely to look at and stroll through, but what makes it really special is the inhabitants.... Iguanas.  They live in the trees.  The city feeds them and the tourists and locals come to enjoy these dragon-like creatures.

If you look up you can see them in the trees.

They grow to get quite large.

Learned from a tour guide in the park that the Iguanas that are red in color are the dominant males.  They will fight other Iguanas to protect their family.

I posted this picture on Friday Foto.  They are so ugly they are cute.  That is easy to say knowing they don't have teeth.

After leaving the park we sauntered over to the Malecon.  Here is Nancy enjoying the view.

And, we enjoyed viewing Nancy.

Here is Rich enjoying the buildings in this area of the city.

We sought out shade where we could because the sun was shining brightly.  Some of the trees there are so much fun.  This tree for example (sorry, don't know the name) grows roots down from it branches.

After walking the malecon for awhile, one of us (me) decided it was just too warm.  Everyone indulged me and we all went to the Mall San Marino.  It was really good we did, because Nancy was looking for a new tote and she found one while shopping.

Sunday night we went to Noe's Restaurant to have another go at sushi.  We wanted to compare the two restaurants.  We went to the Noe's in Mall del Sol.  We enjoyed our dinner but all agreed that the Kioto sushi was more plentiful and authentic.  It probably helped that on Saturday night we could have wine with our dinner and on Sunday night, because of the Ecuador law, no alcohol is served after 4:00 pm.

Monday morning we got up and headed back over the mountains.  We drove the major highway and were not surprised to find that it is used not only for autos, but for transporting animals.

We were a little concerned when the oncoming traffic did not stop.  But somehow it all worked out.

We were back in Cuenca by mid day.  We were tired but full of some great memories.

Now here it is Sunday again and we are off to walk with Rich and Nancy, but this time we will be walking here in Iguanas, but that is ok because the temperature is much better for me.


PS:  Check out Rich's and Nancy's blog for their story and pictures of the Guayaquil trip.

Friday, November 22, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 11/22/13

Dear Family and Friends,

We went to Guayaquil last weekend with Rich and Nancy.  Today's Friday Foto is a sweet dragon face. (Iguana)

I will share more about our trip on the next post.

Have a beautiful weekend.


Friday, November 15, 2013

FOTO FRIDAY - 11/15/13

Dear Family and Friends,

This Friday I will continue to add some pictures from the cross country road trip I started a couple of weeks ago.

This first picture was made in Hatch, New Mexico.  When I saw this guy having coffee he just looked like he belonged right where he was.  This guy was for real....not in costume.

Here are a couple of pictures of Texas....

I have to say...don't bother going to Crawford...there is little to nothing there.  But we did it and got it checked off.

While in Texas we visited my brother in Dallas and he took us to where else??  South Fork!

After Texas we drove through Louisiana.  Did you know that the small town of Ferriday is home to many famous people.  They list them on the sign welcoming you to town.

In Mississippi we visited Natches.  Here is one of the antebellum homes they are so proud to share.

We drove the Natches Trace Parkway.....we highly recommend it.

On our trip through Alabama we visited Selma, Alabama.  We walked the same walk as the freedom walkers.  We paused and remembered the horrible things we did to each other during those troubling times.  I don't like to preach much but there is only one thing that can solve our worldly problems and it is LOVE.

Here is a view that is not so easily found anymore in Alabama....a cotton field.

Have a great weekend and love to all of you..or as they say in Alabama, "Love ya'll,"


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rug Shopping Adventure

Dear Family and Friends,

A couple of weeks back we were having lunch with our friends, Myrna and Dave, when they mentioned that they would like to go rug shopping in Guano.  Chuck offered to take them and so the adventure began.

Since Myrna and Dave are relatively new to Ecuador we decided to show them Banos and stop in Guano on the way home for rug shopping.

On the way up we had spectacular scenery.  This photo was taken near Canar.

A nice picture of Myrna and Dave.

Here is Saint Peter overlooking the town of Alausi.  We stopped there to buy train tickets for the Devil's Nose train ride on our way back through.

We continued our trip to Banos.  Here is the gang enjoying refreshments at the micro brew pub, Stray Dog, in Banos.

The next morning we headed down to Puyo...the gateway to the Amazon.  Before heading down we took them up to view Banos from above.

We also explored a lovely spa hostel Luna Runtun that is located high above Banos.

I always enjoy the trip down to Puyo much more than I enjoy hot Puyo.  The scenery driving down is awesome.

There are lots of activities for the adventurous ones.  Here is Myrna taking a picture of a cable car that goes across the deep gorge.

There are so many things to see that every time Chuck and I go down we always find new sights.  Here is a mermaid in the middle of a lake.  It reminded us of the mermaid in Copenhagen.

We went to see yet another waterfall.

But when we found out that it was a 20 minute hike down we opted for a nice glass of juice instead.

Here is another picture of Myrna and Dave near Puyo.

The next day we headed from Banos to Guano for rug shopping.  Guano is located very near Riobamaba.  This is the church at the main plaza.

On previous visits we had not taken the time to look inside the church.  I am so glad we did this time because it is so pretty inside.  

We saw a rug in the process of being made.

 And shopped for the perfect one.

Guano Dog!!

We spent the night at the beautiful Hacienda Abraspungo right outside of Guano.

The next morning we drove to Alausi for our train ride down the Devil's Nose.  The train has changed since our last trip.  No first class available, but that was alright because the seats were comfortable and spacious.

Looking down on the switch back tracks we will experience before we get to the bottom.

We viewed the Devil's Nose and saw the track winding back and forth.  It may not show in this picture very well.

When at the bottom there is a museum, snacks, tourist shopping, folklore dancing, horseback rides and llamas to greet you.  After about an hour to explore the train returns to Alausi.

No trip to the train station is ever complete without making a picture of ourselves as a local.  I made one of Myrna and she made one of me.  Cute picture.

We headed back to Cuenca on Saturday.  We were very tired but full of great new memories.