I have been meaning to update my blog for forever now. But one thing led to another, and then I fell up the steps and tore a ligament in my hand. Two weeks in a brace and two more in a cast. Typing was very difficult with only my left hand, so updating had to wait. All better now. I need to first update our trip to Montanita and the trip home. Then I will try to catch up on the last three months if I can remember anything. My memory is foggy on a good day.
Another reason I love Ecuador. You can be in the Andes Mts. in the morning and then 6 hours later you are on the Pacific Coast enjoying the sunset, the ocean and the warm, warm weather. After Finn threw up, the remaining ride was uneventful. Driving along the coast is very barren and dusty. There are speed bumps through every small town so the going is slow. We found Balsa Surf Camp with very little trouble. It is a gorgeous hostel on Pont de Surf. The owners are surfers. We mostly dealt with Julie. She is from France and could speak French, English and Spanish. We made ourselves at home in our little room. It was very brightly decorated with one queen and a bunk bed. It was the only room left, so the idea was to have Patrick sleep on top and Finn and Tali sleep together on the bottom bunk. Outside the door hung two hammocks and we spent a lot of time in them. There were also 6 hammocks on this dais next to our room, and 6 more hammocks around the fire pit. The place was an invitation to kick back and relax. On our last day while waiting for our van we all fell asleep in the hammocks on the dais.
After settling in we headed out to the beach and Mark put his toes in the Pacific Ocean for the first time. It was Sunday and very crowded with lots of umbrellas and young people. I felt a little out of my element, but there were some older hippies there too. The kids played in the water as we strolled along looking for a place to eat. I wanted to get sandals and some bug spray so we walked up to the main street. We got into a predicament with the sandal salesman who was trying to gringo us. We stupidly had already pulled the tags off of all the shoes and were already wearing them when we began to haggle. We didn't have much bargaining ground when we were already wearing the shoes, but my feet were so hot and I was sweating so badly that all I could think about was getting my hiking boots off and getting those sandals on. Well, the guy would not accept my bargained down offer. At all. He wouldn't even budge, which was really pissing Mark off. He kept looking at me and I didn't know what to do, so I told him to just pay him. In the confusion of the moment, the guy forgot the price that he wanted and gave us the wrong change back. I knew it right away and so did his friend who was trying to catch his eye, but the guy sent us on our way. Serves him right. We were buying 5 pairs of shoes and he was trying to screw us. Made Mark feel better after the ice cream fiasco in Parque Paraiso.
We stopped for some cold beer and lemonade and watched the people pass us by. We strolled back towards the point and found a good hamburger joint to eat on the beach. We made friends with Cacique and a little girl about 5 years old. Finn and Tali looked for shells with her. Patrick went off on his own after dinner and made friends.
The next morning I rented a couple of beach chairs and an umbrella. $5 for the day. We played in the ocean and sand all day. Hit the same restaurant for dinner. Sipped some beer and watched for the green flash. Mark and I walked on the beach in the dark.
The next day was more of the same, but in the morning we went and investigated the tidal pools. We were a little late, but we still got to see some cool stuff and watched the power of the waves as the tide came in. Our van was coming to get us at 5:00 so we came in a bit early and took a shower, dressed and had some lunch. Then we passed out in the hammocks. Our van showed up and we headed to the Guayaquil airport. We really enjoyed going to Montanita and seeing a different side of Ecuador.
The only mishap we had on the way home was in the Miami airport. We were so tired after the stress of getting on the right plane in Guayaquil and then traversing the Miami airport that we fell asleep on the floor of the airport while we waited for our plane. Luckily Patrick woke up, got restless and started to walk around. With only 15 minutes to spare he realized that we were at the wrong gate, came and woke us up and in a stupor we dashed to the right gate. We just made it onto the plane before it took off. That sucked. Dad was there to meet us at the airport in Cleveland and we were very happy to see him.
As far as our trip in June we have accomplished a few things. We have: contacted a lawyer in Cuenca (haven't heard back yet though), gotten the informatin needed to transport Scout, figured out what type of Visa we need to get residency and how to get it, booked and paid for our flight, bought a hard trunk to try out, found a new home for Scooter and Fiona, made a list of all that we need to do before leaving, sent in our resignation papers, filled out separation papers, got an auction date, found a place to stay in Quito, and looked into the Ohio homeschooling laws. Mark still needs to update his passport, we have to get police reports from the sheriff, start the actual visa process and figure out where we're going to stay once we get to Cuenca.
Today is our last day of spring break. I had a cold for most of the week so we took it easy. It was very relaxing all in all. On Friday we went to the new Cleveland Aquarium. Not worth the money, but okay as aquariums go. For lunch we went to the Market Garden in Ohio City. On the way out we came across a glass blowing shop that was open to the public so we went in to watch. Yesterday we went to Walmart to see what kind of luggage or bins they had for traveling. We lucked out and found these heavy plastic cases that can be padlocked. They are the perfect size and will work for packing things like the computer, the Vitamix, etc... We stopped by Jamie's flea market to see if anything else popped out at us, but that was a waste of time. Then we stopped to see Great Nana. I always enjoy spending time with her. The kids played in her room for awhile while we talked and then Aunt Gretchen stopped by. Since Brady died they have been trying to find a new resident dog. The new puppy was arriving so we went down to meet him. He is a 12 week old golden retriever, cuter than anything. The workers went around asking the residents what they wanted to name him. We left before they decided, but I think everyone was leaning towards Romeo. We hit Bob Evans on the way home.
Did a bunch of cooking prep today, cleaned a bit and now we are going to go for a walk. I have an hour of Rosetta Stone to get in tonight. Almost halfway through Level 2. A couple of weeks ago I was dreaming in Spanish and the other day when the nurse asked me a question I said, "Si". It was pretty funny. We both laughed. Have another drs appt. tomorrow at 7:15 for a thyroid ultrasound. She is determined to help me with my fatigue and get me off the hydroxycut. My heart is flipping again so she wants to also get me on a holter monitor for a few days.