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Friday, 13 July 2012

More fun....................

After giving it a bit more thought, we decided not to go to the coast until after we move into the new place.....................
Now that the lease has been signed, it is time to get serious about furniture, appliances and all the various crap that makes a home.
We had been looking at appliances for the past few weeks, in a casual "just looking" sort of way, but the last three days have been intense. Price comparing and deal negotiating have filled our days from breakfast till dinner.
Today we sealed the deal on a fridge, stove, washer, dryer, microwave, television, vacuum, and 3 gas tanks.
It pays to shop around and negotiate for the best price. It was fun, but exhausting.
We are going to take the weekend to relax and then start furniture shopping on Monday.
I have my eye on a purple leather living room set and I am hoping we can get the price into our budget.

The past three days we have had beautiful weather and I hope it holds for the weekend.
Poor Pete has spent the past three days alone while we have been shopping, so he is going to get a whole day in the park tomorrow, weather permitting!

We are going to go check the progress on the apartment and I hope to take some pictures to post.

For now, it's time to put my feet up and have a beer............

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Alive and kickin'............

Last week Doug, myself, and our temporary house mate, Kris got our tushes kicked by a horrible flu like virus. I was pretty sure I was going to die..............After three days, Doug and Kris were able to drag themselves to the Doctors office where we found out that we would all, indeed, live! Their joint visit to the doctors office and medicine for all three of us cost less then a pizza back home........

We are approaching our 3 month anniversary of being in Ecuador.
Up to now, we have been living like we are on vacation........ it's been fun, but we are ready to start making Cuenca our home.

We finally got a one year lease signed for the apartment that we want to call our home. We are told that it will be available for at least 4 years before the owners return to Cuenca, so we feel good about setting it up as our home.
We get the apartment August 1st, but we will be allowed to start moving things in sooner.
Yesterday we went to the great anniversary sale at the Sukasa Store and had a great time buying kitchen and household stuff. Sukasa is a smaller version of the Bay stores in Canada, minus the clothes department. They are a bit pricey for Ecuador, but their merchandise is good quality. The anniversary sale prices were extremely good with up to 60% off of some of the things we purchased.
The store was very crowded and we were there for several hours, spending at least an hour in the check out line. Doug showed a great deal of patience for that much shopping time.... Retirement and the" Ecuador way of life" are certainly agreeing with him.

                                                            SHOPPING QUEENS

It's a good thing we worked up an appetite shopping, because we stopped for a "light" lunch. We each ordered what was billed as "individual" pizza and this is what we got...............
                                                   KRIS"S PIZZA


                                              MY CALZONE- which also became my dinner............

Kris and I are planning on going back to the sale tomorrow or Tuesday without Doug so we can spend some quality time rummaging thru the sales tables and bins.......

Our weather continues to be a mix every day. Some rain most days, some clouds everyday, and some sun everyday. You get a different view from every person you talk to about when "winter" is. but, everyone agrees that the El Nino and la Nina weather patterns have affected the normal weather trend of Cuenca for the past two years. the scientific prediction is that "normal" weather will return soon.

We had one particularly wet afternoon, that caused the river that runs in front of our place, the Tomebamba,  to rise about 6 feet in just a few hours. It was amazing to see Mother nature at work...........

Now that the rental contract is completed, we are planning a trip to the coast net week.  A few days of sunshine and beach and beer and seafood............ oh boy! We are going to take the bus and getting there shall be half the fun. Luckily Kris still has a camera, so I will be able to take lots of pictures for posting.

Cooking with local ingredients, and on a propane stove and oven, continues to be a learning process. i am pleased to report that I made an apple pie yesterday that would make Mom proud....
During the baking of this beauty of a pie, I learned that you CAN NOT put foil in the bottom of the oven to catch the pie drippings! We had a minor flaming fire that had the foil welding it's self to the floor of the oven, but the pie was saved and the oven didn't suffer too badly.
Tonight we are going to bake what we think might be sweet potatoes. They are a deep rose red potato on the outside with orange flesh.............
I also made a quart of spiced beet pickles that I hope will  be tasty in about 3 weeks.

Here are a few pics of our activities as we go about our daily living here in this marvellous place.........
                                              This rainbow appeared after the big rain.

 Palm trees and fir trees together.......gotta love it!
 The wood work in this country is quite stunning.....(As is the good looking gringo in the Panama hat!)

                                              The view from our bedroom window.

                                                   San Sebastian Church.

                                      Sometimes a guy just gets tired.........................

                                 Stuffed french toast from our favourite San Sebas cafe.

This tree grows in many of the city's park.

                                   Ice cream...............nutritional!

The dog just informed me he needs to go outside, so I'll have to bid adios for now..............

                                              LIFE IS GOOD!