“Leavin' on a jet plane; don’t know when we’ll be back again.” Well, that's a lie. We will return on April 5, but that’s not the way the song was written!
Yesterday (Sunday the 9th), Joe/Sharon took us to the Cities. We had a nice lunch, and they dropped us off at our hotel, along with our four huge duffel bags at about 25 pounds each. Hey – we have room to stuff them and bring some goodies home!
We went to bed around 7 pm (NO KIDDING!) so we could get up at 3:00 am to catch the 4:00 shuttle to the airport. All went well, especially since our shuttle driver was from Cuenca. What a small world. He was excited for us and wanted to give us the name and phone number of his mother who still lives in Cuenca. We didn’t have time (or more importantly, we didn’t have a pencil!), but it was fun to chat for a bit.
We are now sitting at the Miami airport waiting for our next leg which will take us into Quito. At 9200 feet above sea level, Quito is the second highest capital in the world. In preparation, we are taking high altitude medication. We haven’t been having any side effects, but we also have not been able to drink any alcohol. A day without a glass of wine at dinner isn’t much of a day! I think we will survive though.
We should arrive in Quito around 7:00 pm, and then we will head for our hotel in Quito, where we will stay until Thursday morning. Tomorrow, the plan is to do a lot of lying around to acclimate to the high altitude, and we will see some of the sites of the city on Wednesday.
Then on Thursday morning, we will fly to Cuenca (altitude 8200 feet above sea level). Our realtor will pick us up at the airport there, take us to his office to sign some papers, and then take us to our condo which will be our home for three months. We think our realtor found us a nice place. It has two bedrooms (lots of guests coming!), with 2 or 3 baths, and it’s fully furnished, complete with linens etc. It’s actually owned by a Jet Blue flight attendant from Miami who bought the place for retirement, but she hasn’t yet retired (good for us; bad for her). One of the nice things is that there are two ex-pats close by: one right across the hall and another in the next building. I have heard from one of them, and she is from Forest Lake, MN!
I suspect on Friday, we will hit the market to get some food (I’m sure it will be quite an experience), and Friday night, we’ll head to Zoe’s Bar and Restaurant for “gringo night” to meet some of the other ex-pats.
Whew! Our trip is becoming a reality, and it now feels as if I am truly retired. Keep on checking the blog.