Monday, August 31, 2009

Still having fun

Catching up...a few little stories to share...
Recently, we spent a delightful afternoon with our friends, Bruce and Charlie.
We started with lunch at the Ital-deli (off Solano). Downstairs is a pretty good sized meat market and then upstairs is the sandwich area.
Ital-deli has a good selection and good prices. (We're getting used to seeing some of the selections... huge beef hoofs, which we hear are mandatory for a traditional Ecuadorian soup, huge tongues and 'mystery' stuff...) We hear the meat is good and the prepared items are good, too.
We checked in on construction next door at Edifico Frigata...

Nancy is talking with her hands again.

With Elio, one of the architects.
We ended up walking a bit... made a stop at a lamination place (for copies and lamination of id cards)... ended up off the main square at the flower market area. We also had the pleasure of meeting Bruce and Charlie's friends, a very friendly and fun Cuban family, who are just getting started in the restaurant business off Calle Larga... right off one the staircases down to the river.
Their food looked/smelled delicious and we'll be back!

To round off the day, we ended up, yet again, enjoying Ecuadorian ice cream ... fun!
We've had a couple of other spur-of-the-moment good times.
One day, our neighbors, Chuck and Nancy, saw our porch windows open from the street and gave a call... We met them at the BQ sports restaurant at our corner... and had the opportunity to also meet Ozzie, who has just arrived from Houston! Welcome, Ozzie! Nice to meet new neighbors.
We're still laughing about one of our weekend adventures! We have invited a few of our friends over for dinner Sept 5... Chuck and Nancy arrived a week early last Sat night! We were surprised, but delighted! to see them! Such fun folks. After some good laughs over a glass of wine, they introduced us to another neighborhood restaurant, Ricky's, at Mariscal Lamar y Avenida de las Americas. (Right near Super Maxi's).
Ricky's delivers! A wide menu... pizzas, pastas, sandwiches and more.
phone: 283-3954.
Rich and Chuck split a pizza (very thin crust, cooked in a pizza oven), loaded with anchovies... both Nancy's passed on the anchovies and had pasta (one with a ton of seafood... the other with sausage and a creamy tomato sauce... both delish!) We all raved about the food...
AND, as we walked back home, we HAD to stop for more ice cream!
Goodness... it's a good thing we're getting into more walking or we'd be packing on the ice cream pounds, big-time!
Be sure to check out Chuck/Nancy's blog for a photo of Rich's banana split (and Nancy's black/white sundae) ...
Lots of other wonderful stories on their blog, too.
Happy week, Everyone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A trip to the countryside

When Bob and Rox were here, we took a ride for a picnic and a look-see at Gualaceo and Chordeleg. Here's a collection of pictures (of both places and on the road). Both charming towns, lots of handicrafts and colorful displays. We wandered the town squares, had to have ice cream cones, window-shopped and people-watched and, basically, enjoyed the day.

What a cool chair!

Bob, Rox and Coquita in Cuenca

A whirlwind, too short visit!

Rox's brother Ward, his wife Vee and daughter Rolanda arrived in Cuenca for a very fast visit, and now all 6 are headed to the Coast...

B/R/C stayed with us (we now call the guest room the Bob/Rox/Coquita room!) and we had a great time!

We cooked, we ate, we drank... just one more party!

So fun to see the family again.........hurry back, Folks, you're always welcome.


We were intrigued wuth this ancient Andean grain, so decided to try it out.

Well, it has it's own unique taste.

Not bad, just different.

We've eaten it several times now, each batch with a new variation to the recipe.

We think cooking it in chicken broth, with maybe some garlic/onions, a bunch of cilantro, madybe some cooked chicken... you get the idea. We've also cooked it with brown or white or wild rice, and even added some lentils a couple times. Add some veggies...some chiles, some curry, ginger... Good in soups and casseroles, too. Hot or cold, we're starting to like it!

It's touted as being almost a wonder food... lots of nutrients and fiber, which we all know we need more of, right?

We bought it right from SuperMaxi, already washed and ready to go, you can find it in the arroz section.

Always looking for good recipes, so feel free to share if you stumble upon a good one.

Another web search told us that it was almost extinct (no thanks to the Spanish colonialists), but was re-discovered by a couple guys in Colorado... lots of good, interesting info on the Net... do a google for more info.


Monday, August 17, 2009


We've had some luck with some vendors we wanted to share with others in Cuenca...

We now have rugs, clean drapes and clean carpet upstairs...

For rugs... we had checked out the rugs at Cindyc, across from the Super Maxi on the Americas...a small shop with some selection. At that time we couldn't make a decision... (what else is new.) Later, we noticed on the business card, that they had another shop on Renigno Crispo. y Solano.. so we visited there... lots more selection. We asked the folks if they could bring a selection to the apt so we could actually see the rugs on the floor......... wow! We think they brought almost 40 rugs, various sizes and quality and patterns and colors. We bought 3...... great customer service!
And, yes........rugs have RED in the patterns.

They also have a carpet cleaning service, so our carpets upstairs are clean again, too.
Very good prices....... wall-to-wall carpet cleaning for the entire floor was about $60.

Another referral from the rug place was a great place for drape cleaning. The owner came out, with a couple workers... they took down the drapes, and brought them back, re-hung them, all clean and pressed, in about 2 days. Owner speaks English (he was in school in Boston for about 6 years)... good guy and very room drapes and sheers were cleaned for about $32........ delivery and take-down/rehang included.

We'll give them a call to come for the upstairs drapes later........

We'll add the addresses as soon as we find the cards...


Right before we headed to see Bob and Rox at the Coast, we got 'the call'.
Nelson, our attorney, told us to meet him within the half hour to finish up the residency status.

So, we did. And, now we're the proud owners of our cedula, the all-important id card. The card allows us to stay in Ecuador, beyond the tourist visa timeframes, and also gives us discounts for travel and other things.
We're excited! A long haul, getting all the paperwork straight, but well worth it.

Another card one should remember to get is the SuperMaxi card (like Safeway)... which gives you discounts at the store, as well as discounts at other places. We also have a Fybeca card (Fybeca is a drugstore chain) for discounts, but we also heard your SuperMaxi card will also work at Fybeca.


New mall...right across the street from the Sheraton.

There is a walkway over the street connecting the hotel to the mall.

Nothing 3rd-world about this place! You'll find name brands (Tommy, New West, etc) as well as the latest fashions from Europe (with over the top price tags).

Food Court is huge. BK, Colonial Sanders, etc.

We ate dinner at the Tony Roma's... ribs were just like those in the States, with States' prices.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Coast, part 2

More pics of our most excellent Coast visit!

We brought gifts from Cuenca...and from the States for Agripina (a magnetized necklace..can also be a bracelet).

Pottery with a beach-y theme for Rox.

(That's a seahorse on the pitcher, even though we thought it was an iguana at first.)

Coquita 'in motion' opening her gift of new chews.

Cuenca team for the guys...

Rare picture of Coquita, posing and NOT being the Flying Coquita/Rocket Girl!

We love this pic of Agripina, hand on hip, definitely 'in charge' of a new water tank install.

We enjoyed meeting more members of Agripina and Isidro's family.

Lorraine the parrot is still making her Lorraine noises (whistling, coughing, laughing, etc.)... we fed her fruit which she really likes.

Exciting to admire the art in Montanita, upfront and personal.


Another night at the Casa Blanca.

This is the same church, now renovated, at which we attended the wedding last year. Very nice!

More beach fun!

School kids and the teacher.