Sunday, May 31, 2015

Day 1- Ecuador!!!!!

I made it to Ecuador!!!! I’ve never been to the lower Hemisphere before! It was awesome and it wasn’t even as hot. We were like 9,000 feet above sea level or something so it wasn’t as hot as I originally thought it would be. Dad said that his ears didn’t even pop when we were descending in our plane.

So if you’re asking, great…why Ecuador. Simply this, my Dad served his mission to Ecuador about 40 years ago and my ‘ever the amazing traveler’ sister found a deal online through groupon for a cheap trip there. My Dad was all for it and I thought it would be an awesome trip!

Alright I guess I should get down to actually sharing what we did for our first day in beautiful Ecuador. Very first thing we did when we arrived in Ecuador: slept.

We arrived in Quito at 4am; yeah too early to function so we got to our hotel, Hilton Colon, and collapsed on the bed. They were pretty nice beds and the softest ones during the whole trip. All the others were so hard it would have been better if  we just slept on the floor. Thankfully, we were so exhausted from the day that at least I fell asleep right after I got on those hard beds.

Getting on with it. After we had breakfast, which was a buffet, and they had fresh pineapple! Also Bananas, which is Ecuador’s top export. Extremely  tasty; we then headed to church; the building was about a mile from our hotel so we decided to walk it; that was fine even though I got a little huffy which I am blaming the altitude sickness. But we made it. Unfortunately, it was Stake Conference. There was no one at the building and it was all locked up, we couldn’t get in and it was 10 minutes till the start of the meeting. As we were standing there a little confused a member showed up and was able to help us find the Stake center. She called a taxi for us and it ended up being only 2 dollars, cheapest taxi I’ve ever had, and that includes the taxi’s in Korea!

At the Stake conference, they had a fair amount of speakers, I was surprised at how much I actually understood from the meeting. Of those speakers the mission president spoke along with his wife. While speaking he said he had been a missionary in Ecuador about 40 years ago. This perked my Dad’s attention cause that was exactly the same time he had been on his mission. So after the meeting we went to see if he remembered my Dad from the mission days. He did! And they chatted about old times and new times. He and his wife were amazing people; they had a daughter there and she wasn’t their only child, no they had 11 kids; that is awesome! They seemed like amazing people and amazing leaders of the Ecuador mission.

We watched very closely as we took our taxi to the Stake center and figured that the church was just a mile from our hotel in the opposite direction so we decided to walk back and a good thing we did too. We ran into  a bakery on the way and got a few pastries and a sweet bread.  It was delicious; we ate the bread on the way back to the hotel then when we got to the hotel we discovered that there was a park across the way so we went there to eat our pastries.

It was Mother’s day and the park was absolutely filled with families and children running everywhere. It was amazing see that many people in one place! Along the edge of the park there was a market that stretched all along the border. They had everything from wood carving to blankets to paintings. It was fun just to walk about it and see all the fun crafts. Also to get an idea of what to look for in the next coming days :)

When we finished with our treats and exploring the market we still had a bit of time left in the day so we went to the concierge to get ideas of what we should do . He suggested the cable cars that went up the mountains next to the city. These were beautiful green lush mountains that surrounded the area so we were very keen. It was only a ten minute cab ride and we were there. Then 13,000 feet above sea level later we were at the top of the mountain!

We hiked about for a while and saw a Volcano and a few other trail we didn’t go down but it was a fun time.

After a while we were all getting pretty tired; so we took the cars down the mountain. Enjoyed the view and got to the bottom. There was an amusement park at the bottom of the mountain where we got the tallest cotton candy I’ve seen.

It was a perfect ending to our adventure up the mountain/ Volcano. We caught a van ride back. We were packed in there pretty tight; we got to the hotel ok and spent the rest of the evening skyping and face timing family. It was mother’s day; we had to make the most of it.

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