It has been a busy few days for me, which is why I haven’t written anything new. I’ve gotten more comfortable here, I took my first solo cab ride and managed to tell the driver where I wanted to go and have a short conversation in Spanish. We attended a Hail and Farewell Party at the Embassy where all new arrivals are introduced and those leaving the post are sent off with best wishes. I met U.S. Ambassador to Ecuador, Linda Jewell, which was a nice honor.
As many of you know, this Saturday was the FSU/UM game, which was played in Tallahassee. We had a few people over to watch the game and BBQ. It was a nice day until FSU lost. If you didn’t watch the game, up until about 1:15 left in the game, it looked like FSU might pull out a win. However, as in regular fashion of this rivalry, it came down to the wire and unfortunately Miami won. OUCH! The night before the game, Ronnie and I made a bet…whose ever team lost had to wear a shirt of their rivals the next day. And because I keep my bets, yesterday I had to wear this awful shirt. I believe this might fall under “I’m in an abusive marriage” category. Luckily, we were in the car most of the day and when we got to our final destination, I took off the shirt so I didn’t have to walk around town looking like a ‘Cane...whew! (More about this trip below.)
Saturday night a group of us went to Quicentro Mall to bowl. It was a good time and I enjoyed getting my frustrations from the game out on those pins. I scored a measly 103, while Ronnie didn’t bowl since his back has been bothering him.
Sunday morning we woke up early to meet some friends for a road trip to Otavalo, a small town about 2 hours north of Quito. They have a large square filled with street vendors selling all sorts of local crafts....pottery, woodwork, blankets and carpets, clothing, etc. It is all very colorful and CHEAP! We bought this beautiful bowl for $5.
Here are some more pictures from our day:
On our way back to Quito, we stopped at Cabanas del Lago, a resort off of Lago San Pablo, for lunch. One of the guys with us said it was recommended by a friend and it didn’t take us long to figure out why. The drive there was a little “off-road” and didn’t feel as if we were going to a place where we’d actually get a good meal. But once we were there, it was a different story. The place was a very nice and cozy and had lots to offer. The food was delicious!! Maybe one of the best meals I’ve had so far. When we finished lunch, the waitress brought a tray to our table holding a blue bottle and shot glasses. Not being sure what we were about to be served, we were a little skeptical. She poured the first shot and this brown, thick liquid filled the little glass. As we passed each filled glass down, we could suddenly smell the sweet scent of chocolate. As we each sipped our drink, the waitress explained that this was a chocolate liquor made locally at the resort. It was SO GOOD! We all tried to best describe the taste and we decided it was like a chocolate pudding. Ronnie mentioned it was like Bailey’s, but the waitress quickly told him that it was NOT Bailey’s, it was better than Bailey’s! I think she may have been right and just to make sure; we bought a bottle to bring home with us. Here are pictures from the resort:
I took this picture specifically for Sofia. I know Calla Lillies are her favorite flower and I had never seen Callas growing in the wild:
On our way to Otavalo, we could see the volcano, Cayambe, peaking out between clouds. Mt. Cayambe is the third tallest mountain in Ecuador and being that it lies right on the equator, its South slope is the highest point in the world crossed by the equator. During our drive you could see a bit of the snow-capped mountain, but for the most part, the clouds kept it hidden.
However, on our way back, we were treated to a beautiful view of the entire mountain. The clouds disappeared and the sun reflected off the snow, making the huge structure glow. It was gorgeous!