Monday, November 22, 2010

Quito, Day 1 Monday, October 18, 2010

We travelled from Naples to Miami without incident along Alligator Alley.  Ken and I were disappointed with Alligator Alley as we were hoping to see more swamp and alligators.  Along the way I discussed with Camille that we were going to Miami.  She now refers to the city as "your ami" when talking to me.  I now officially have ownership of the city "my ami". 

At the airport, it did not take us long to go through customs.  I guess the US is more worried about what's being brought in than what is leaving the country.  We actually brought Camille's car seat onto the plane, which worked out great.  She was strapped in, surrounded herself will airplane pillows and took a nice nap on the flight.  Landing in Quito is an experience.  Since the city is in a valley surrounded by volcanoes and mountains, the plane has to pretty much drop itself onto the runway.

We experienced our first encounter with Ecuadorian hospitality in the airport.  During passport checks, there was a special line for handicapped and pregnant women.  Because we had two small children, we were ushered into this much shorter line.  It was nice to be in a country where children, the elderly, and families were valued.  Step 2 was getting our luggage and Step 3 was putting our luggage through an x-ray machine.  Just beyond the x-ray machines were automatic sliding doors that led out to an area to meet our friends.  Because Camille is at the stage of taking everything literally, she saw the sliding doors and knew that we must have arrived at "Equa-door".

Our friends Andres and Sol greeted us at the airport with a cute balloon for Camille and drove us to our hotel a short distance away.  We freshened up a bit, then went to a restaurant for dinner.  The restaurant overlooked the entire city of Quito and was encased in glass doors that opened up for a spectacular view.  Unfortunately it was too dark to get a really good picture.

We ate cheese empanadas encased in sugar.  Yum!

The orange round food is potatoes with cheese and onions.  We also ate eggs, beef, sausage, and avocado.

By the end of dinner, it was very late and the kids were tired and fell asleep!

On the way back to our hotel we stopped at a little grocer to get some breakfast food.  Ecuadorians are so helpful that they even have people that "usher" your car to the best parking spot.  Interestingly, most of the food in Ecuador is made by Nestle and the milk is preserved and kept on a shelf rather than in a cooler.
We had a good night's sleep at the Howard Johnson La Carolina, our home for the week.

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