Friday, December 28, 2012

cloud watching

We had some lovely weather on Christmas, so I took a few snapshots of the clear blue skies.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

first christmas in ecuador

We had most of the family together this year, as Ryan was able to come for a 10-day visit (only missing Christina!). It's a different sort of Christmas, being in the southern hemisphere it's summer now, so it was a warm day with sunny blue skies (until the rain came in the late afternoon, that is, as usual!). I'm actually jealous of friends back in the States having all that snow! We got a Christmas surprise from Christina via a Skype call in the morning - she's pregnant! As long as she's happy and healthy, I'm happy for her!  So Susan and Dad spent all day getting used to the idea (I think it's still weird, actually - my little sister is going to be a mom?!). So between Chris and my bestie, Nichole, I'll be an "Auntie" times two next year! Need to get working on those baby blankets...

Our stockings - after emptying, Susan got the pink pair, and I got the purple pair!

pase del nino

Christmas Eve in Cuenca means the Pase del Nino (the children's parade), where hundreds of kids of all ages (and their families) dress in costumes, hop on decorated floats, and walk a 10-hour route through town starting around 9 in the morning. Due to much interest in the parade, we opened up the cafe (which turned out really well for us!) and I had a chance (before my camera died) to take a handful of photos.

Friday, December 21, 2012

family adventures

My brother, Ryan arrived here, for a visit, on Tuesday (he'll be here until the 28th)! Yesterday, Dad, Susan, and I took Ryan to Pumapungo Park. I tried to take photos of things I'd missed the past couple of trips there, but it's hard to remember what I've shot before!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

a blue-sky day

The other day was really pretty out, so of course I took a ton of photos. Dad & Susan have been working on a vertical garden, and fixing up the patio, and the cats really enjoy the garden. I had a little succulent plant for a short time, but Abby would chew on it, so it died, and Susan bought me a new one. Hope I can keep this one thriving!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

cookie exchange

Saturday, we had quite a gathering at Moca for a cookie exchange. Everyone was told to bring a few dozen cookies to share, and could sit and chat for a couple of hours. So many delicious cookies!

garden party

Dad and Susan finished the garden last week, and we had a get-together with Bill and his brotehr Tommy to celebrate. The cats already love laying in the grass and gnawing on the plants!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

in the country

This afternoon, Trish took us out to see some land she recently bought. It was up the mountain some, and had some really pretty views, as well as many different kinds of plants, and a few animals around, too.

Monday, November 26, 2012

thanksgiving 2012

My first thanksgiving without turkey (read: vegetarian) went pretty well! I made the mashed potatoes and helped Nick fill in the deviled eggs (though using the pastry bag with a frosting tip was his idea), while Susan did most of the cooking (the PIES!!!) and dad made TVP (textured vegetable protein) meatloaf. Frank made eggnog from scratch, and Bill and Tommy provided the rolls and wine spritzers. The guys played Call of Duty before supper, the cats were lazy and napping, and we got to Skype with Christina in the evening. A pretty good day.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

artesanias de america pt 2

The long-awaited part two of the Cuenca Day festivities!

Dad got me this little owl figure!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

artesanias de america pt 1

Last Saturday, Dad, Susan, Tommy, and I went walking along Rio Tomebamba looking at all the artists' booths that were set up as part of Dia del Indepencia de Cuenca. It was pretty nifty seeing art I hadn't seen around here before, and I snapped nearly a hundred photos over a few hours! I managed to pick out the best ones (I think!), and here's part one of my Saturday!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

a birthday at chiplote

We all went to dinner at Chiplote last Thursday for Tommy's birthday. Tom is Bill's brother who just moved here a little over a week ago, and they are both staying on our third floor until they find get paperwork submitted and find a place of their own. I only snapped a few shots, and that place is really dark (and I hate flash!) so please excuse all the blurriness.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Meow, meow, meow, purrrrrrrr - look at me! I'm cute!

Friday, October 26, 2012

lots of meowing going on

The cats are growing, and Abby likes to play with the new kitten, Bandido, now that he's a bit bigger. Daxter doesn't look very big looking down from my room, but he is huge! I haven't taken new shots of them in a little while, so here's a few from the past couple of days.

Monday, October 22, 2012

random round-up

A few more random shots from the past week. I never get tired of taking macro shots (or simple close-ups).

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I haven't been consistent with my photo taking lately, but here's a mish-mash of shots I had on my camera from the past couple of weeks.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Deportivo Cuenca football match

This past Sunday, Dad, Susan, Frank, and I went to a Deportivo Cuenca (the local football (soccer) team) match. They won the game 1-0, but it was a tad boring. They aren't exactly a top team and their skills need work; but this criticism is coming from a girl who played soccer for 20 years and coached as well, so my standards are, quite possibly, a bit high.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

night photography tour - part two

After El Vergel we stopped by the iron sculpture of the man coming out of the ground, but since I'd just been on Saturday, I stayed on the bus while a few people snapped photos of it. Next we headed back into El Centro - first San Blas, where these little girls wanted everyone to take their photo! Then off to San Francisco and Parque Calderon. We also made a stop at San Sebastian, but it wasn't lit up enough. Last stop was Catolica, the Catholic university. The lights were in so many colors, I couldn't resist a light painting shot!

night photography tour - part one

Last night I went on a night photography tour through Cuenca. It's the first "gringo" tour I've taken since I've been here, but it was a nice adventure, and I got to see a couple of places I hadn't been to, yet. I brought both my digital camera and my 35mm Canon Rebel SLR (we'll have to wait for me to develop the roll for those shots), and between the two I snapped around 100 photos!  I met up with Nancy the restaurant La Vina for dinner downtown (yummy pizza!) and to check in with the group. Our first stop on the tour was Turi, up on the hill, where the views of the city below are pretty amazing! From there we headed back into town and stopped at Broken Bridge on the river, then onto El Vergel and the Incan ruins at Pumapungo Park (which I did get on film, all lit up).

Monday, September 24, 2012

afternoon at the river

This weekend was chock full of family time. Saturday we all headed to Kookaburra for breakfast (where I had some really yummy banana pancakes), then walked to the Museo Banco Central to check out  a bit of archaeology and history and also walk around Pumapungo Park, since Frank hadn't been, yet. Sunday we went to Windhorse Cafe for breakfast, and met up with some friends while there. Jennifer and Cristian invited us to the river, and despite the gloomy weather and a bit of rain, Susan and I accompanied Dorothy and Nancy to watch Jennifer do some tela. It was actually a pretty good weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

the past month in instagrams

A year ago, I would have said posting Instagram photos was cheating. Well, only a few years back, I thought using a digital camera instead of strictly using film was just wrong. I have since learned my ways, and found a love for both film and digital, and obviously jumped on the iPhoneography bandwagon, as well. It doesn't matter what type of film, what style of camera, or what brand you use, it only matters how you feel about the end result.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Tela with Jennifer

A few weeks ago, our friends Jennifer and Cristian invited Susan and I to hang out with them by the river and try out tela (aerial silk/acrobatics). It was more watching than trying, though Susan and I did attempt to do a little flip (which i remember being so easy on the playground as a kid), which turned out to be too difficult for us! But Jennifer  was fun to watch, and it was interesting to learn about something I'd only vaguely heard about before.

Friday, September 14, 2012


There is a traveling art show of hummingbird statues, which was here in Cuenca for the month of August. It's a show to raise awareness of the various species of hummingbirds in our region. There is one hummingbird mold, and each different statue was painted by a different artist. Susan and I went to check them out the afternoon after we visited Pumapunga park. I snapped a bunch of shots of these, but only saved my favorites.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pumapungo Park part two

More photos of flora and fauna at the Inca ruins.

Pumapungo Park part one

In August, Dad, Susan, Nick, and myself joined a new friend, Sage, along with her mom and little sister, on a walking trip to Pumapungo Park here in Cuenca. The in-town Inca ruins are alongside a museum (which we saved for another time) and are full of crops, flowers, and plants that the Incas grew here in Ecuador. There's also a small area where you can see some local birds, and a few alpacas, as well. It was fun to walk around for a couple of hours, and as you will see, there is plenty of interesting things to photograph!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

life lately: instagram

I've been mostly snapping photos with my iPod's camera, and posting on instagram quite often. Here are my favorites from July and August (so far).

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Quito part two

Quito continued! This is the old cathedral - on a past visit, Dad and Susan climbed up to the top of one of the towers.

Quito part one

At the beginning of June, Dad and I went to Quito to get my visa situated. It was about a nine hour bus ride, overnight, and we got into town in time for breakfast. After breakfast, we still had some time before our 9AM meeting with the lawyer, so we walked through this big park that was nearby. Many photos were taken, of course.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

random days

I tried out new specials on the board at Moca; I added a little doodle on a rainy day to attract attention. Not many people seem to notice that board, and don't even realize when they get to discount.

I actually went out on Saturday night with Susan and our friend Kaitlin. I met Nick, who is the nephew of a couple that Susan knows through a meditation group and new cafe they run. We went to Chiplote (sadly, that is spelled correctly) for happy hour and had a very silly entertaining evening.

I had been working for a little over a week on a scarf using a little 10" loom. I have never made anything like this before, so it's exciting that I made one! It's quite thick, and wide, but it's plenty long enough. I just have to hope for a cold enough morning to wear it or send it to a friend back in the States. I've already made another smaller scarf, it's skinnier and not quite long enough for my taste, but I like it anyway. I'm in need of a trip to a yarn store, now.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

La fiesta del Corpus Christi part II

Fireworks and pyrotechnics.

La fiesta del Corpus Christi part I

Yesterday was the last night of la fiesta del Corpus Christi. I wasn't sure what it was all about, so I pulled up some info from the Travel Ecuador site (check it out for a better explanation!). It's a church festival that seems to be mainly about the sugar and fireworks here:

A special manifestation of Corpus that remains today, there is a special way in the city of Cuenca in the southern Andes, where for the liturgical feasts of Corpus is performed in the main square of the city a curious and massive sweet fair of the most ingenious, original and varied ingredients, colors, shapes and flavors, which not only brings crowds of the city but in other parts of the country to enjoy these sweet treats. It also maintains the custom of Catholic religious procession these days. These events are special and important place castles fireworks and the role of "priostes" or sponsors of the festival.

With the help of Josh (my brother's Spanish tudor), I managed to convince Nick to go with me to Parque Calderon to check out the fiesta that's been going on all week. We ate dinner at Raymipampa, then wandered through all the many booths selling sugary treats, around the park. We tried homemade chocolate covered marshmallows, candy that looked like gumdrops (but was really just fruit juice sweetened balls of sugar - I didn't like them), I had a pastry that was like a mini cream horn (and sooooo good) as well as half a candied apple. Nick bought us a couple bags of cotton candy (that he says tastes the same in the States) for later. I think I ate enough sugar to last me awhile! We took a peek into the church where everything was lit up, and we caught a small parade led by a military band, walking down the street into the church, dropping flower petals everywhere. It was really interesting to see. There was also this large wooden tower set up that we walked past earlier in the evening, that they used to set off pyrotechnics and fireworks. We were fairly close to it, only a a few people into the crowd, and once the larger fireworks started going off, sparks flew into the crowd and people backed up (Nick put his hood on!), but I was just standing there snapping away on my camera! It was the closest I'd ever been to something like that, and it was quite the experience.
I managed to capture around 70 photos, but I weeded it down to 38. A lot of them are blurred because I don't like to use my flash, but with some fiddling with the ISO everything was bright enough, I just don't have the steadiest hands, but I really like how a lot of these came out.