Hacienda Zuleta by noon yesterday and were greeted by Caye's dad, Fernando, step mom, Carolina, and her two brothers, Manuel and Antonio. We then continued on to meet some of the staff who work at Zuleta. The hacienda is a rural eco-tourist hotel with miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding. It is extremely beautiful... as you can of course see by the pictures!
The afternoon continued, playing frisbee and attending a party for Zuleta employees. During the party the employees showed off their "effigies". The effigies are made each year as a symbol of saying goodbye to the past year and welcoming in the new year. Many of them were very funny and even involved one of the male staff members dressing up as a woman in high heels. The prize for the best effigie was a sheep and second prize was $50.
The night continued back at Caye's families' house with spanglish conversations and more fruit. I think we have managed to eat about ten new fruits in just the two days we have been here.
Today we have been keeping busy as well. We slept in, but then went on a mountain bike ride to see condors, the trout farm, and horses. There will be more excitement tonight in celebration of the new year with drinks and burning of the effigies.
We hope you all are having a safe and happy celebration tonight! Feliz año nuevo a todos!
Saturday, December 31, 2011
They drove us to Caye's mother's house for the night and there we ate fruit, drank wine, and talked about all kinds of different things before retiring for the night. In the morning we awoke early, packed the car, and started our road trip to Caye's dad's house at the Hacienda Zuleta about two hours north of Quito. Before leaving Quito we stopped at a local store to buy fruit and snacks and then a bakery to buy sweets and bread.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Happy holidays... a little late, we know! The family holiday celebrations are over and we had a wonderful time with both of our families eating, talking, gift-giving, eating, playing cards, just hanging out, and eating some more. Sorry for the lack of updates but we have been super busy just getting our day to days done that the blog has been put on the back burner. As of today our next journey starts! We are boarding a plane bound for Ecuador to meet up with our Mango friends and to check out everything that South America has to offer. Hank will be staying behind with Morgan's family and his new friend Ruby in Wisconsin.
We probably won't be updating that often once we are abroad (no computadoras are going with). We will try to keep everybody up to date as often as we can, but signing up for the email-updates is an easy way to know when we post without having to check all the time.
So for now North America, hasta luego!
Monday, December 19, 2011
We arrived at my parent's place a week ago now and have been busy. So far we have written personal statements, photographed artwork, sold artwork, arranged gallery shows, bought/made Christmas gifts, written reviews, gone to a play, eaten amazing food, had wonderful conversations, cleaned, organized, biked, snowboarded, ran, slept (in a bed), and the list goes on. I will try to put more detail into the last couple lines, sorry about the lack of photos we've been busy. Anyhoo, here goes. The day after we arrived we tore the car back to normal and took Hank to the vet for a check-up and shots.
The next day I went snowboarding for 7 hours (in the rain) up at Rib Mountain in Wausau with a bunch of old friends: so much fun. Thursday we ran errands and then went to the American Players Theatre in Spring Green to see The Gift of the Magi which was fantastic. Friday we went back to Cafe 27 to enjoy Tom and Denise's amazing food before heading to the library and Stevens Point Co-op. After errands we made our way to the Central Waters Brewery in Amherst to have a beer. It turned out that it was the Amherst teacher's Christmas party and so I was able to drink a beer and mingle with a bunch of my favorite teachers from 1st grade to graduation (although there were some notable holes in the list).