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Friday, March 28, 2014

FOTO FRIDAY - 3/28/14

Dear Family and Friends,

Todays photos are from Raffles Hotel in Singapore.

Raffles Hotel is over 125 years old and is one of the iconic symbols of Singapore.

Love the doorman's uniform.

The world famous Long Bar located at Raffles.  This is where the world famous Singapore Sling was created.  If you try one at this bar you will pay dearly.  Over 10 years ago the cost of the drink was $18.00, wonder how much it would be today?

Here is the original recipe that is used at Long's bar.

The Classic Singapore Sling 

2 measures (30ml) Gin 

1 measure (15ml) Cherry Brandy 

120ml Pineapple Juice 

1 measure (15ml) Fresh Lime Juice 

½ measure (7.5ml) Cointreau 

½ measure (7.5ml) DOM Benedictine 

10ml Grenadine Dash of Angostura Bitters 

Ensure that all of your ingredients are cold, add to a chilled cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. 

Strain, and pour into a hurricane style glass. The grenadine ensures that the drink is a pale pink colour, whilst the pineapple juice creates foam on the top of the drink. 

Garnish with a slice of pineapple and a maraschino cherry. 


Friday, March 21, 2014

FOTO FRIDAY - 3/21/14

Dear Family and Friends,

Todays photo was taken in Normandy, France.

Chuck is standing in the U.S. memorial cemetery and reading the headstones.

On this same trip, we also went to the German memorial cemetery.

Such a somber experience.

War is hell.

The longer humanity is on this earth....the worse it seems to be.

Sending thoughts of peace and love to you.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Heading back to Ecuador today.

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has passed by very fast for me.  Today is my last day with Kylie and Bryce.  Lucky for me, I was around to witness Bryce receive recognition at his school today.  I am so proud of that kid.

Thank you Kylie and Bryce for such a fun week.

I have a long trip ahead.  Even though I am leaving this evening, I will not be back in Cuenca until Thursday.

Looking forward to getting back home and giving Chuck a big kiss.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Painting Party

Dear Family and Friends,

Kylie and her friends invited me along to a painting party.  This seems to be quite the rage in this area and all over the U.S., I understand.

The event was held in San Jose at a local restaurant.  We went to a seperate room and the artist had all the easels and paint set up for each participant.

The way this works is that the artist paints a picture at the front of the room and everyone copies what she does.  The more wine you drink the more artistic you become.

Here is my daughter Kylie getting set up.

And here we are painting.

The painting crew.....including grandma.

And here we are with our finished paintings.

You can find more about these parties at

My visit is almost over, I will be sad to leave.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin, CA

Dear Family and Friends,

Kylie, Bryce and I walked to downtown Dublin to see the annual St. Patrick's Day parade that is held in Dublin.

Here are Kylie and Bryce waiting for the parade to start.

We had the sun in our eyes so the parade pictures are not that great.

It was just a fun, wholesome, hometown parade.

After the parade we walked several blocks to see the arts and crafts.

They had the typical craft show things...

This backpack looked like it could have come from Ecuador.

Kylie and Bryce checking out some paintings.

Don't you love the superman soxs with an attached cape that Bryce wore. LOL

Having a wonderful time.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Walking Across the Golden Gate

Dear Family and Friends,

I am in California visiting my daughter, Kylie and grandson, Bryce.  They live just outside San Francisco in Dublin. We are having a great time enjoying the beautiful spring weather here.

Yesterday, Kylie drove us to San Francisco so we could walk across the Golden Gate bridge.  The weather was perfect and we had a wonderful time.

Bryce and me before we started our walk.

Kylie and Bryce walking on the bridge.  Notice the walkway is divided for pedestrians and bicycles.

An interesting perspective of the bridge.

Half way across.

This emergency box is provided for people considering jumping off the bridge.  Kylie told me that people jump off at least once a month.

This is a close up of the sign behind the call box.

After walking across the bridge we went to Sausalito for lunch.  Bryce entertained grandma with his funny face while we waited for our food.

Near the ferry dock, a little boy dreams.

Having a great time.  Tomorrow we are going to the Dublin St. Patrick's Day parade.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Traveling Again

Dear Family and Friends,

I have been packing my suitcase the last couple of days.  I am leaving this afternoon to go visit Kylie, our daughter, who lives in California.  We are going to spend a wonderful week of "girl time" together.  I am so excited.

While I am visiting Kylie, Chuck is heading on an Ecuadorian road trip with our friends, Dave and Myrna.  They are going to Zaruma...the gold mining town.

As before, I will be taking the camera and computer and will share with you during this trip.

Sending you all love. Have a wonderful day.


Friday, March 7, 2014

FOTO FRIDAY - 3/07/14

Dear Family and Friends,

This is a picture of the famous Ponte Vecchio walking bridge in Florence, Italy.  Ponte Vecchio is, of course, Italian and translates "old bridge."   There have been bridges at this spot since 996.  Several were built and washed away.  This actual bridge has been standing since 1345.

The houses on the bridge were originally used by butchers and tanners.  It is said that in 1593, Duke Ferdinand I, decided to replace these businesses with goldsmiths.  The reason? because the businesses produced too much garbage and caused a fowl stinch.  Today the bridge is lined with jewelers selling moderate priced jewelry to exquisite antiques.

Another tidbit of information is that this bridge is the only bridge in Florence to remain unscathed from WWII.  The locals say this was from direct orders of Hitler.

I took this picture many, many years ago when Chuck and I met Audrey and Jim in Florence for a week.  What a fun time we had.  A go back to place for sure.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

New Mall is Coming Along

Dear Family and Friends,

On Monday Chuck and I went for a drive to see the progress of the new mall that is being built.  It is starting to look like a mall.  There is still a lot of work to be done before it is complete.  We are having fun trying to guess what stores and restaurants will be in there.

This mall is located west of downtown Cuenca.  It will be at 9,000 ft elevation.  The views from up there are fabulous.

We took another road back to town.  We were treated to a lot of horse back riders....enjoying the countryside and the holiday.

We could look down and see the small community of Sinincay.  The church in the center of town had beautiful blue domes.

Chuck drove into the town and we got out and walked around.  It is very lovely.  We saw bus stops and my friend Bea says you can get there on Bus 27.

Here is the church that looks so beautiful from above.

It is located across the street from a lovely park.

We had a lovely morning ride and it was a nice way to spend one of the holidays.  We also walked in downtown Cuenca and it was deserted.  Not many cars to dodge when crossing the usually busy streets.

Today is Ash Wednesday and Cuenca should be back to business as usual.


Sunday, March 2, 2014

Carnaval - Paute Style

Dear Family and Friends,

Chuck and I went to Paute yesterday intending to eat some grilled lamb.  However, when we got to the restaurant no one was there, we figured we were a day late.

Even though it was drizzling rain we decided to walk around and see what was happening in Paute.

Evidently there was a great carnaval yesterday....but they were taking down the rides today.

Missed that!

We saw this sign that something would be happening on Sunday, but this was Saturday.

Missed that!

Chuck and I walked to the appeared to be closed.  Chuck went around back while I stood under cover from the rain and he came back with some fruit.

We decided to walk back to the car and call the whole adventure off when we heard music.

One block ahead a parade was coming.

There were bands,

and dancing.

There was even a queen and king.

And a princess.

They even had men dressed as women.

These two guys are dressed as Cholas (indigenous women).

But most of all they had spray foam.

This spectator sprayed the parade folks.

And the parade folks sprayed back.

Even the spectators minding their own business were not spared.

Don't ride is this parade with your window down.

Heck, they were even spraying each other.

No one was exempt, not even this traffic patrolman.

And, yes, we got our fair share.

It turned out to be a fun day after all despite the fact that we were a day late for our barbecue.