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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 thing we immediately noticed was the attitude of the people. If we smiled and greeted people, it was returned but people seemed more guarded than we have come to expect.

While drivers stayed in their lanes and generally seemed more obedient to traffic laws, there was a lot of gridlock. The every driver for him self mode of driving prevailed in Guayaquil just like Mérida. Since Guayaquil isn’t a colonial city the streets were wide enough to handle the volume of vehicles.

We only stayed in Guayaquil long enough to recover from our long flight. We were anxious to head to Salinas and enjoy the fabled cebiche (no that isn’t a typo, they spell it that way) and see the beaches.

About Theresa Diaz Gray

Born in New York City, I grew up in California, and have lived in 3 countries and 6 states. I'm a first generation Cuban-American who lives in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. I'm committed to living an abundant and creative life and helping others do so too through DIY!


  1. Hi Bev, I have a few more posts up my sleeve. Stay tuned for more.


  2. We also are looking at travelling in Ecuador, Theresa – keep the posts coming!

  3. Madame Pliers, I lived in the East Bay from the time I was 8 until I was 18 then I moved to the North Bay. After that it gets complicated.
    I remember going to Oakland, to the zoo, to the lake, the museum and of course shopping. This was pre-BART.

    Linda, I took lots of photos but many of them are of things that I thought I might want to paint. Now if I can only get Blogger to let me post!


  4. Hurrah! Theresa took photos! I am thrilled to see you documenting the trip with pics. Looking forward to the upcoming chapters.

  5. Congratulations on having gotten out of Dodge–even as lovely and homey a Dodge as Mérida!

    While the beginning descriptions of your trip are inspiring, I have to admit that I got derailed by your mention of Oakland.

    Since our ages are somewhat in the same ballpark, I couldn’t help wondering about your Oakland incarnation because I spent 10 years in San Jose and 10 years in San Francisco and was crisscrossing through Oakland as recently as last February!

    What a funny coincidence!

    Now where were we? On our way to eat “cebiche.” Yum!

  6. Erica, we flew from Merida to DF, from DF to Panama City and from there to Guayaquil. The return trip was Guayaquil to Bogota to DF and home to Merida. The airline was COPA (though the Mexican part was really AeroMexico). I bought the tickets about 3 months ago.

  7. Theresa, did you fly out of Merida? We have dreamed about traveling South for years now….maybe this year

  8. Mikey, I wrote another post today but Blogger was not cooperating. I couldn’t upload photos and it didn’t “save” my post so I couldn’t post it either! Maybe later today I will have more.
    Since you are really a polar bear in disguise you will definitely love the weather, especially if you go in June or July which is “winter” there.


  9. I’m anxious to hear more about your trip, as I have been considering a similar diversion excursion to the same destination! The fotos added lots to your commentary!

  10. Steve, Cuenca is coming, but you must be patient little boll weevil.

    Debi,I am almost normal today but Husband is getting that deep voice that while sexy means he has a bad cold.


  11. So glad you are feeling well enough to start posting about your trip. I look forward to more of your experiences.

  12. I look forward to your commentaries. I have wanted to visit Ecuador for a long time. Will we get to hear about Cuenca?

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