Category Archives: Travel

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“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”
― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Our Cancun adventures continues

We timed our Cancun adventures well, turns out we arrived during Labor Day weekend. To be honest, we forgot it was a US holiday. I love traveling during off season. It’s less crowded and the rates are better. Occasionally the weather is worse, but it is worth the trade off.  Settled into our room, we set out to explore and, of course, find out about the lobster night. I had visions of finding cheap crustaceans in Cancun, something which had eluded us in Merida. After wandering around our floor, we entered the walk-in refrigerator disguised as an elevator to tour the grounds. The plantings catch my eye, which means I take photos of landscape ideas;man-made stream wandered between the family and adult areas filled with turtles and koi, a fountain, and a secluded garden. Eventually, we came to La Palapa restaurant. Alas, low cost lobster seems to only exist in Salinas, Ecuador, where lobsters went for $5 usd each and me with no ...

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We finally took a vacation in Cancun

We’ve lived in the Yucatan for almost a decade and last week was the first time we took a vacation in Cancun . Oh, we’ve been to Cancun to use the airport.We passed through Cancun on our one and only Isla Mujeres trip, prompted by the first LABC  (Latin American Bloggers’ Conference). Cancun doesn’t appeal to us. While I’ve toyed with the idea of going just to shop– the shopping is supposed to be better in Cancun—I can’t think of anything that I want that is worth spending 7 hours of my life in transit, even on the ADO Platino bus. So what prompted this momentous decision? Why did we decide to finally visit Cancun? My best friend, BK and her husband received a free week at the Royal Cancun Resort and invited us along. We’d been invited to come along on all-inclusive vacations before but never felt that they were worth the fee. The Royal Cancun Resort isn’t an all-inclusive, ...

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Testing the Offline editor

I am trying out my new offline editor, Livewriter, it’s a Windows product. Husband is a diehard “I don’t do Windows” kind of guy. However, it’s what came with my laptops and I am used to it. I Ariel remains my favorite font, but I thought I’d see how I felt about Comic San MS. It’s very readable and has a flair to it, but it does take a bit of getting used to. It almost looks like my handwriting when I print. Just to spice things up a bit, I thought I would throw in the sorts of random objects that catch my attention. Marble tiles in sidewalks and rocks in the sand.   Always the costumer, a shop selling raiment to adorn statues of saints caught my eye. It would be an interesting sideline for me, don’t you think? I think I would be good at it. This font is called Calibri. Now the time has come to ...

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More Ecuador

Building  being restored in Quito, with scrim in front to show what it will look like. Blogging about Ecuador just doesn’t have any urgency for me, our vacation is in the past and acquiring that soft blur that memories of places you’ve visited acquire. Being most familiar with California we found ourselves comparing Quito to San Francisco. The weather, the hills and the well dressed people. Men wearing business suits everywhere we looked, even the casually dressed people looked dressed up to our eyes. Quito  If  Quito had been a little warmer,I’d think about living there. The first night we huddled for warmth under the blankets from our bed and the extra bed in our room. I had some problems with the altitude, shortness of breath, a slight persistent headache and some fatigue. Husband had less problems. They close off the streets in the old town on Sundays which is when I took the majority of my photos. While we ...

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Our version of medical tourism

 Husband first experienced  Ecuadorean health care while we were in Olón. An infected toe, brought on by an over enthusiastic pedicure in Mérida, lead us to a pharmacy. Like many small stores in Ecuador, we didn’t actually enter. The pharmacist came out into the street and peered at Husband’s toe. Antibiotics, soaking in warm water and cleaning with hydrogen peroxide was her recommendation. Husband asked if she was an MD, since she wasn’t and we don’t like to use antibiotics unnecessarily, we requested a bottle of  hydrogen peroxide. The bottle turned out to contain alcohol instead, ouch. When his toe didn’t improve, we made our way to the doctor’s office we had seen by the main square. The doctor recommended surgery to remove a portion of the toenail. Hobbling around Ecuador with a bandaged toe for the remainder of our trip was not appealing so we asked for a plan B. He then  prescribed a treatment of antibiotics, soaking in ...

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If not the food, then what?

Salinas That question is best answered in photo form. The seafood in Salinas was wonderful. We had very good meals in Salinas. Unfortunately, I don´t remember the names of any of the restaurants. As we sat on the malecon, we watched a man place a cardboard box on the wet sand. He carefully extracted a live lobstar from the carton. To our puzzlement we watched him withdraw a half dozen crustaceans from the container. Seeing that the box was probably large enough for a small hibatchi, we anticipated an impromtu restaurant serving grilled lobstars. Sadly, only damp sand remained in the box. We joked about his strange choice in pets, while he gathered up fresh wet sand, restacked the lobstars and set off to hawk his wares among the remaining tourists. Olón We spent four days in Olón across the bay from the world famous surf mecca of Montañita. It was peaceful and remote. I´d seriously concider living there if ...

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Eating our way across Ecuador

Having read my blog posts, you all know that food is a big interest of mine. My idea of a great souvenir is a cookbook of regional cuisine. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring one back from Ecuador, I spied a slim volume in a store window in Quito but didn’t feel the book was worth almost $40.Unfortunately, it was the only regional cookbook I ever saw. Books are expensive in Mexico because Mexicans don’t buy many books due to their costs, I wonder if the situation is the same in Ecuador? Someone asked me how I rate the food I ate there. It’s better than Yucatecan food in general but not as good as the Mexican food available in the rest of the republic. If cost is your main criteria, the food is better in Ecuador. For $2.00 you get a 6 ounce glass of juice, soup, a small chop (either pork or beef) or a piece of chicken, an overly ...

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Salinas holds a welcome parade for us

Waking up from my nap with the thought “why would anyone put a xylophone in a clothes dryer?”, I tried to remember my dream. As I sat quietly so as to not wake Husband, I heard the clothes drier thumping. Then I heard the tinkly sound of a child’s toy playing the same tune over and over again. Fully awake now, I realized that the thumping was actually drumming. As soon as Husband woke, we set off to find the source of the sound. A block away from our hotel we found what appeared to be an elementary school marching band. Young girls in white dresses adorned with appliques of sea life were milling around while the drums kept on beating. Either they expected the parade to begin soon or they were just bored but the band played on and on. We wandered down the street, eventually returning about an hour later. The girls were still milling, the drummer drumming ...

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Albrook Mall style Depot/Mall

Johnny, the desk clerk at the Tangara Guest House, called a private taxi service to take us to the Terminal Terrestre Guayaquil. It’s modeled after the Albrook Mall in Panama City, which we visited on our Panama vacation a few years back. Albrook is much bigger, which is not to say Guayaquil’s is small. The bus depot/mall had three stories and was plenty big. Buying a prepaid cell phone was the first order of the day.We chose Claro as our carrier, our other choice was MovieStar but I had heard from  friends in Mexico that their service was less than stellar.  I was in no way influenced by the fact that the Claro store was the first thing I saw upon entering the mall. The cell phone served as a time piece more often than as a communication device, but we still felt better having it.  Many guidebooks advocate having your taxi driver see you text his cab number to ...

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What I did on my summer vacation 2011

 Having always wanted to travel, Husband and I set out to see the world. We thought about going to Europe. We fantasized about the mysterious Far East. We consulted our bank account and set off for South America. For some reason it was cheaper to fly to Ecuador than California, it was even cheaper than flying around the Republic. Being  terribly frightened a bit apprehensive regarding altitude sickness, we opted to start our adventure in Guayaquil.  Guayaquil reminds me of Oakland. Not the scary, get shot for driving through the wrong neighborhood Oakland, but the Lake Merritt, Art Deco Oakland of my youth. Guayaquil has been described as a devastatingly hot and humid city. It was no hotter nor more humid than Mérida. Actually, I think it may have been less so. However, we missed the cooling afternoon breezes that we’re used to enjoying. Without those breezes, it felt stuffy and cloying. Fortunately, it wasn’t like that every day. One ...

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