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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hosting our Daughter and Granddaughters

Dear Family and Friends,

In the first week of March, Chuck and I drove to Quito to meet our special visitors, our daughter, Merri and granddaughters, Joy and Kyla May.  Driving to Quito is a long day of driving, so we decided to break the trip up into two days by staying at a Hacienda right outside of Riobamba.

The stay there was wonderful and relaxing.  We had a great dinner and a good nights rest before continuing our trip.

We met Merri and the girls in Quito.  We stayed there a couple of nights so that we could take them on the double deck bus tour and also to the equator.

First day in Quito was the double deck bus city tour.

The next day we went to the middle of the earth.

Kyla May enjoying her seafood brochette at a restaurant in Quito

We drove from Quito to Banos for two or three nights.

Here is Joy enjoying ice cream in Banos.

They enjoyed a lot of the activities that Banos offers.  Below is Merri, Joy and Chuck on a cable car crossing the canyon and over the waterfalls.

Here is Joy swinging out over the top of the world.

After Banos, we spent one night in the jungle before we made the long drive to Cuenca.

Their Cuenca stay was very busy.  Double deck bus tour of Cuenca was the first day.  Here the girls are in the park after the tour.

They went zip lining in Cuenca one day and went to San Bartolome another day to buy a ukelele.

Another day was spent at a cooking class.  Leslie Breen taught them how to make scotch eggs, a souffle, pavalova and other delights.

We were invited by Lourdes to Jefferson's fifteenth birthday party.  That was a great cultural experience for them.

And, we went to the Cajas for a hike around the lake.

Afterwards, we had a wonderful trout lunch at Dos Chorreras where the girls went horseback riding.

A busy, busy time.  Last Friday, we flew to Quito and put them on their flight back to Minnesota.  Chuck and I stayed in Quito over the weekend and returned to Cuenca Monday evening.

Now we are getting ready to head back to Washington state to see our kids and grandkids there.  

I will share about that next time.


Friday, March 10, 2017

FOTO FRIDAY - 2/10/17

Dear Family and Friends,

This photo is from our home state of Washington.  Eastern Washington is wine grape and wheat country.  Here is some wheat ripe for harvest.  A beautiful sight.

Have a love filled weekend.


Friday, March 3, 2017

FOTO FRIDAY - 2/03/17

Dear Family and Friends,

On one of our trips to Germany we went to Salzburg.  This is where the movie, The Sound of Music was shot.  This photo is of the estate that was used in the movie as the home of Captain Von Trapp.

Have a love filled weekend.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tlaxacala, Mexico

Dear Family and Friends,

The other day we took another day trip to Tlaxcala, Mexico. 

We started our trip with a visit to the artisan museum.

One of my favorite items were the hand embroidered blouses.

Here is Chuck and Bob in front of a replica of an Otomi adobe house.

Inside we saw items they use daily, especially in the kitchen.

Here is a close up of the tedious embroidery work.

This is an Otomi lady and she is wearing an embroidered blouse and belt.

Spanish colonial ceramics.  This is just one example of the beautiful pottery found in this area.

The stained glass ceiling of the House of Legislature in Tlaxcala. It has the four kings of the Tlaxcalan republic.

The parish of St. Joseph.  It is located on the main plaza.

Chuck and Bob having lunch at the Portals Restaurant.  Lots of outside eating in the area because of the year round perfect weather.

Bob and I had the delicious Aztec soup.  It is similar to tortilla soup that you can buy in the U.S.

This fountain is inside the patio of the Mayor's office.  It is covered with beautiful fresh flowers.

Outside kitchen with many colorful ingredients.  Red and Green salsas.  The cheese looks like mozzarella, but it is string cheese from Oaxaca.

Chuck standing in front of the sign that shows distances to cities all over the world.  Where to next Chuck?

This is the three arches symbolizing faith, hope and charity at the convent.

The oldest bull ring that is still operating in Mexico. It seats 2500 people.

The open chapel of Moorish design. It was built because the natives feared going into buildings at first.

One of the many murals inside the Governors Palace. The murals show the history of the Tlaxcalan people from the crossing of the Bering straight to the revolution.

Tlaxcala is a wonderful town. Actually, if Chuck and I had discovered it ten years ago, we could easily have retired there instead of Cuenca.  The weather is about the same and it is at about the same altitude. 

This has been a very enlightening trip for us. Mexico is a wonderful and progressive country with very friendly people.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Cholula, Mexico

Dear Family and Friends,

Our tour guide, Bob Cox, took us to Cholula for a day trip to see the world's largest pyramid. It is the largest pyramid at it's base, not height.

We went into a museum before visiting the site.  This is a model of how the pyramid would look if you could see it.  However, the pyramid was covered with mud about 700 years ago, and it now overgrown with plants and trees.  It could be excavated except the Spaniards built a church on top and now it cannot be excavated because of the church.

Before going to the pyramid site, we visited this museum, which Bob told us, was formerly an insane asylum.

There were many nice buildings inside with lots of old artifacts.

This is the Lady of the Remedies Church that sits on top of the mud and vegetation covered pyramid.

This is the patio of alters at the archeological zone.  This has been excavated because it could be done without harming the church.

This alter was originally dedicated to the god of nine rains.  Behind it is the Mayan obelisk.

Chuck and Bob walking in the archeological zone.

The north side of the exposed part of the pyramid. Chuck climbed a few of the narrow steps for this picture.

We had some wonderful sangria at lunch.  Maybe the ice in this drink is what gave me Montezuma's revenge.

Luckily, I always carry a medicine bag when we travel.


Monday, February 13, 2017

More Pictures of Puebla

Dear Family and Friends,

Bob Cox took us to the oldest library in the western hemisphere.  It is beautiful and looked like a scene from Harry Potter.

I loved this old globe.  

Last night, Bob and his wife, Raquel went with us to a Brazilian restaurant for dinner.  Here is Raquel looking on as the waiter was cutting meat for her to enjoy.

Here we four are, stuffed and happy.

Last night, we decided to have breakfast together this morning.  While we were waiting for the others we had a special coffee recommended by Bob.  The waiter made a production of adding the milk.

Here we are after breakfast with Bob and his beautiful family.  Chuck and I were made to feel so welcome. They are beautiful people.    

After breakfast, Bob took Chuck and me to some museums.  First we went to a museum featuring music of Vienna. Sorry no pictures of that.

The next museum we went to was a museum of puppets.  It was really amazing. I felt like we were in a museum in Prague.

Here is Chuck with a very tall Pinocchio.

After that museum, we went to the land of the giants.  The giants were us, the people viewing the exhibit.  The exhibit consisted of miniature iconic structures from all over the world.

Here is the Sydney Opera House.

The Great Wall of China.

The Tower of London.

Finally, we went to an antique car show.  We saw many cars and here are a couple of favorites.

After we said our goodbyes to Bob, Chuck and I went back to our hotel for a rest.

Later we went to the main plaza.  It is a beautiful park.

We had dinner at an outside seafood restaurant right on the plaza.  I ordered the pineapple stuffed with shrimp.

Chuck ordered octopus.

After dinner, we walked around the plaza and ran into a tea party.

Lots of balloon vendors.

As we walked back to the hotel, I took this picture of the cathedral all lit up.  You can see venus in the sky shining brightly above it.

A wonderful day in Puebla.