Friday, December 30, 2011

Alive and Well in Cuenca

It has been weeks since our last blog. We've had inquiries has to our well being. We've been fine, just busy with things that most would consider ordinary. However, it's time to catch up.

Our friends, Dale and Joan, had to return to Connecticut in order for Dale to have a medical procedure that was unavailable in Ecuador. He's fine and they will be returning next week. In Dale's absence, I've been accompanying Mick on his errands and mornings at the Coffee Tree.

A couple of months ago, we tried a new groomer for Mr. Nikolas. Caty comes to our apartment and does a great job keeping our little guy handsome. This is Caty and Mick.

She brings all her equipment and speaks great English. Her contact info is .

Last week, the awning at the Coffee Tree fell as a result of the torrential rain on Sunday evening.

It took 3 days for the repairs.

For the past year we've heard of Costco opening in Cuenca. We considered it highly unlikely; however, the rumors were still there. Last week the rumors were put to rest, the store opened...COSTTO...not quite the same, thank goodness. It's on the autopista.

Nikolas on Christmas Day with George.

There were parades. These are the students of the collegio near us.

This group of Santa's were a bit thin for the part.

Christmas stockings were made.

Christmas Eve at California Kitchen.

Christmas Day at the Wesson's.

We've had some new guys showing up at our feeder. The woodnymphs have been coming for months.
There's a new little fellow that is extremely tiny coming around; however, I've been unable to get a picture. I copied this one from a birdwatcher sight. It is a woodstar hummingbird.

Wednesday we were graced with this big guy's presence. It is an Inca brown and has fed everyday since.

On Thursday, there was of course rain, followed by rainbows.

The bottom rainbow was incredibly brilliant. It was so large you could see the intersection with the ground.

Yes, we're alive and well in Cuenca. What a great way to end the year with friends, hummingbirds, and rainbows.

Until next time,

Mick and Kathy

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Catching Up with Fiestas and Yungilla

It's amazing at the difference in the weather as the calendar flipped to October. We've had lots of warm temperatures and sunny skies. One day last week, there was a hale storm, followed by this beautiful rainbow.

One night, there was Mexican by Joannie, ole'.

Unless you live here, the only supermarket that you hear mentioned in the blogs is Supermaxi; however, there is actually another chain in Cuenca, Gran Aki. We paid a visit on Saturday; located on Gonzalez Suarez, for us, it is not worth the distance. Prices are about the same, but it is less organized and lacks the nice displays.

We then went just down the street to Monay Shopping for coffee at El Espanol.
At Monay, as with Mall del Rio, Christmas decorations are up.

Saturday night we were invited to a soiree at Mall del Rio, a show of events, primarily weddings. There were spas showing girdles.

Distribuidora Barrera assisted with the booth for Dulipops, for which they are the local distributor. Eduardo was assisting.

There were lots of balloons.

And gowns and costumes

Samples of whiskey and cake

Displays of flowers and table settings

It was a typical Saturday night at any mall.

Dale and Joan had never been to Yungilla, so we planned to drive down on Sunday morning. The vistas along the way are stunning. We had lunch at Hosteria Jardin del Valle, which was quite lovely.

Two of the residents, Paco and Lucy.

Access was not easy. The road in front was completely dug up.

There was a beautiful mimosa tree with orange blossoms in the parking lot.

Statues at the intersection

For us, Yungilla is one of those places that is a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to live there. It's always nice to return home.

Until next time,

Mick and Kathy

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You Can't Find That in Cuenca...Really?

Shopping at Supermaxi is a little different than shopping at Harris Teeter in Charlotte or Bourbon in Brasil. Somethings you'll probably never be able to get here. Mick misses okra, dried beef in a jar, Campbell's tomato soup, and John Boy and Billy's BBQ sauce.

However, there are many imported items. There's a variety of Kraft products such as, Kraft mac and cheese, BBQ sauce, and mayo. You can buy Del Monte products also. If you can't find what you're looking for, it may possibly be called something different.

If you're a Dream Whip fan, we have chantilly; just mix with cold milk and whip. I think Royal brand is the best.
Being from the South, I make cornbread about once a week. There is no Martha White and no self-rising. Use the harina de maiz crudo and add leavening.

I've read that you can't get applesauce. Supermaxi has Mott's.

Superstock and Coral have the Ecuadorian version, puree de manzana. It works just as well in baking.

German saurkraut is available at a pharmacy downtown.

Once again, we're Southerners, which means we've got to have our grits. Grits are called morocho fino and can be bought at Supermaxi.

We've heard repeatedly that you can't find chocolate chips in Cuenca....again, an untruth. Chocolate chips can definitely be found at the spice store, Cadalaes, and at other sites. Sometimes Supermaxi has them. They're excellent chocolate chips, remember, Ecuador is a huge producer of cacao and is known for its chocolate that is shipped throughout the world.

You also hear that you can't by baking soda. Bicarbonate of soda is not sold at Supermaxi, but can be found at Comisariato, some of the markets, pharmacies, and tiendas.

Until next time,
Mick and Kathy