Saturday, November 6, 2010

Cuenca's Independence Day 2010 -- Part 2

Since we missed the big military parade last year, we vowed to see it this year!

We weren't sure what time the parade would start.  Some said 9am, so we aimed to meet friends at 8:30am.  Our taxi driver thought it started at 10am...  Parade actually began about 9:30am (close enough!) We were ready with hats, umbrellas, binoculars, cameras, sunscreen and coffee.  Weather was glorious and sunny and almost too hot.

(This picture of the flags above was taken at the Square, the day before.)

Ecuador's President and other VIPs (including a couple of beauty queens) were sitting in the review stand, right in front of the Mt Sinai Hospital.  We had a bird's eye view of the parade route down Av Solano from the penthouse terrace at La Fragata.

Apparently, this year's parade was smaller than years past.  We learned that representatives from the Navy and Air Force were sending regrets...they were scheduled to help celebrate a new bridge opening on the coast.  (The President was headed for the coast later, too.)
So, this year's parade was smaller than previous ones, but we didn't mind.  Next year the Navy and Air Force participants will be back and we're looking forward to it.

Lots of folks came out to watch.

Parade pics and pics of friends...we didn't get good pics of everyone, but we're including the cute pictures we did get.

This picture is of the crowd gathering right before the parade began.  You can see the sun umbrellas and some of the food vendors, too.

This one shows the big statue on Av. Solano and the crowd getting ready.
Army truck headed down the parade route.  There was also other big military equipment in the procession.

Another pre-parade shot.

Gil and Charlie.
Marching soldiers.
Rich with Chuck and Nancy.

After the parade, we all visited and stuffed ourselves with chocolate donuts, other pastries and coffee.   (Those donuts had a very delicious cream filling, almost like a Boston Cream Pie....Oh My!  A new favorite treat!)

More visiting and chatting led to lunch.  The guys went over to the Ital-Deli next door for sandwich fixings.  Then, to the bakery around the corner for fresh sandwich rolls.  The guys were teasing Chuck, thinking he was buying 'too many' rolls...Funny thing, there were only 2 leftover rolls, so he planned it just right.  Besides, as Rich and Bob would say:  Too much is just enough.

Here are the guys leaving the bakery with the loot.

Bruce, being smart and staying in the shade.

Rich, Gil and Chuck again, lookig very handsome in their hats.

Deborah and Chuck.  (Chuck is wearing his Team Cuenca!)
Gil and Chuck again, grateful for the shade, too.
The lovely Mz Nancy.
Gil, Chuck and Deborah...we sure needed those hats!

We love all the purple trees in bloom! 
You can see (barely) the review stand with the flags in front of the hospital, on the right.
A parade, a fun time with friends, a picnic and wonderful weather.  We can't think of a better way to celebrate Cuenca's Independence Day.  Reminded us of past 4th of July celebrations in the US!

We ended the day with viewing more fireworks from the porch and we sang along with the favorite tunes of our neighborhood...including, of course, Chola Cuencana!  Over and over again! 
A fun ending to a lovely day.

PS -- We tried to get some video to share of the parade, but the camera didn't cooperate well (human error!)  So, we'll be practicing and learning more for the next time.  You can see some wonderful, professional-grade photos on other blogs.  Wow!!  We got some talented photographers here in Cuenca!

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