After a long journey, I arrived in Quito last night!The travel day was as smooth as it possibly could have been: After saying good bye to mom and dad at LAX (the hardest part), I was told security was getting crowded so I got sent downstairs and was the first person through the check. Both my flights left on time, the long flight there wasn’t anyone in the middle seat, and my flight to Quito landed early, to the benefit of both myself and the driver who picked me up, Jaime. The ride into Quito was quick and Jaime seemed to know everything about the city and country, and I enjoyed that he was able to make comparisons to places I am familiar with in US to help me understand. Arriving at Wantara, I found our suite to be even better than imagined! The garden here is beautiful. My hosts say that since there is very little green land in colonial Quito, the birds spend a lot of time here (as I drank my coffee on the porch this morning the biggest hummingbird I’ve ever seen swooped in to scope out the flower vines growing on the porch). The owners of the property are wonderful, and had breakfast in the fridge here when I arrived so I didn’t need to venture out alone this morning. As we enjoyed our coffee this morning they helped me look over a map of the city and figure out where to start my adventures. I am so excited to go check out the churches and museums, many of the building in this section of the city have been standing since the 1500s. Wolfgang and Andi assured me it was safe to go out by myself during the day, especially just up or down the street. There is a bakery, a small market, and a fruit stand within a one minute walk. I went to go get a loaf of bread at the bakery and managed well with my poor Spanish. A man stopped as I was leaving to tell me I was beautiful, a complement for sure but also unsettling in a country where I am unfamiliar with how men and women should interact, and even in the US I would take it with a few grains of salt. Instead of going to the market as planned I just took my bread home, deciding it would be better to wait for Zach’s company before proceeding into unfamiliar parts of the city. Thankfully, the bread alone is delicious!
The weather is surprisingly similar to Santa Cruz: one minute it is scorching hot and the next it is drizzling. I was surprised while laying in the grass outside reading to find myself getting sunburned after just a few minutes, and the feel raindrops. Andy is a garden designer by trade, and she has done a wonderful job planting flowers and tree to attract the butterflies and birds. Zach is going to go nuts when he sees some of these flowers, and. Hope he doesn’t try to shred to many of them as he keys. There is a small, very coy calico that lives here as well, and it has been fun trying to gain her favor. The view from our suite is incredible, overlooking much of the city and the Pichincha volcano.
Note: I apologize for any weird formatting or spelling errors. I am publishing from my iPhone and I can’t see what it looks like on a computer, and don’t always catch when autocorrect does something funky. Until I can find a computer, I won’t be able to upload any photos but what I can et with my phone and I don’t plan on taking it with me on public much. I will upload more wen I can! Love to all, T