Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow

Our wake up call came at 3:00 a.m. this morning in order that we could catch the hotel shuttle at 3:45 and get to the airport at 4:00 a.m. We weren’t sure what to expect at the Guayaquil airport since Houston had been such a nightmare the day we left for Ecuador. We were pleasantly surprised to find there were no lines at the airport when we arrived and we pretty much breezed through once again. We even found that the Guayaquil airport exit tax was $40.00 less than the Quito airport, another plus.

  Guayaquil Airport At 5:00 This Morning

Right before we were supposed to board our plane, an agent came over the loud speaker and called some names. Rod’s name happened to be one she called out, so we made our way to the gate wondering what was going on. Apparently they do random searches of baggage and Rod was just lucky enough to be picked for a search. I waited back at the gate for him while he was escorted by a guard to have the luggage searched. When he came back he told me there were drug sniffing dogs present. I told him it was probably all the medications he had accumulated while we were in Ecuador and had packed in his suitcase.

We finally boarded the plane and headed to Panama City where we would catch our connecting flight six hours later. This time I was able to get some photos of the odd Panama City airport. After snacking ourselves silly in the President’s Lounge for lack of anything better to do it was finally time to board our flight to Houston. This time as we approached the gate they patted Rod down. I told him he must be looking really shady today.

 A Cell Phone Store At The Panama Airport

A High-End Jewelry Store

A Cosmetics Store

Now that we are on the plane I have time to reflect on the past week, hence the title of this entry. As we return to the States there is a heaviness in my heart. On one hand it will be good to see friends and family and relive our adventures of the past week, but on the other hand it is sad to be leaving the place that we are now growing so fond of. I have a feeling that each time we come to Cuenca it will feel more and more like home. For now we must wait until September......

The Panama Canal

Monday, June 21, 2010

Our Last Day In Cuenca

This has been such a marvelous week that I hate to see it come to an end. Rod has been ill the whole trip, but in spite of the constant pain he has been suffering he has been a real trooper and I know that he will be sorry to leave as well. We met so many people while we were here and even formed some new friendships. Jenny and Chris have been outstanding hosts and had to put up with us for an entire week while we took up multiple tables in the cafe having our morning Coffee Klatch with the other Expats. I will miss Jenny’s bacon, avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwiches and Chris’ perfect cappuccinos.

 Rod, Ed and Mick At The Man Table

We will miss our new found friends and our old ones as well. Cuenca truly feels like home now. We have decided to try and return in September. Mick and Kathy think they will be there for good by that time, so it will be good to see them again.

This morning when I went down to the cafe to get my morning Cappuccino, I opened Mick and Kathy’s blog to find that they had written about our house buying adventure complete with pictures. You can view their blog at the link below.

After breakfast and some good conversation with our new found friends, Carlos came to pick us up and take us to Guayaquil where we would spend the night and catch an early flight the next day. We bid our farewells and promised everyone we would see them in September. Before leaving town we made a quick stop at the lawyers office to pick up our paperwork and then most importantly we stopped to pick up an inexpensive carry on so we wouldn’t have to fork out another $50.00 for excessive baggage weight.

The drive to Guayaquil was beautiful once again and this time I was able to snap more photos. I was really surprised at how well my camera did as I was shooting these photos out the window while we were moving.

 Beautiful Scenery on The Way To Gauyaquil

 More Beautiful Scenery

 The Bluest Skies

 A Waterfall In The Distance

 In The Cloud Forest Again

After we arrived in Guayaquil, we spotted a van on the road loaded down with passengers on the top. As we passed the van I could see the inside was full as well. What a hoot.


Rod Says In The States This Would Be A Lawyer’s Dream

Carlos drove us to our hotel and waited outside while we checked in and put our luggage in our room. We all went to dinner at a restaurant on the water as by this time we were all starving. The food was not to good, but the scenery was nice. Carlos said they must have changed owners because the food used to be very very good. After dinner Carlos returned us to the hotel where we said goodbye until September and turned in early to try and catch a few winks before our early morning flight.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

No Time To Blog

It is Sunday here and we are leaving Cuenca tomorrow. Today has been a truly eventful day for us. Just when I think I will carve a little time out to blog, something happens and off we go for another adventure. It is already 4:00 in the afternoon and I just finished up yesterday’s blog. We have met some wonderful people while we have been in Cuenca and truly feel like this is home now.

Today started out like most days and we headed to the cafe for breakfast. I went down first and as I entered through the doors, there were Jim and Kay. I asked them what happened as they were supposed to have flown out the night before. Apparently the flight had been changed to an earlier time and they were not notified. They told us how they caught a taxi back to our hotel and rang the bell several times. It was raining and Chris stuck his head out the upstairs window to ask what had happened. He was eager to hear the story forgetting that they were standing in the rain. We all had a good laugh over their misfortune and sat down to order breakfast.

About that time, Kathy and Mick walked through the door and Tresa and Ed soon followed. It looked like a big social in the cafe and then several of the bloggers that we followed came in as well. The cafe was full and it looked like a big party. Chris and Jenny were running their heads off. We all sat and made introductions and talked a while. Kathy, Mick and Rod and myself decided to have dinner together, so we are going to try a restaurant tonight that none of us has ever been to.

After breakfast we bid Kay and Jim farewell once again as they had a morning flight. Tresa, Ed, Kathy and Mick decided to take a field trip to our house with us, maybe we should start charging admission to help offset the costs of renovation (teehee). The six of us walked to the house and we began the tour, once again everyone seemed impressed relieving some of our fears.

While we were viewing the house two gentleman showed up and as luck would have it one of the gentlemen was Lucia’s brother, one of the previous owners of the house. The other gentleman was a friend and spoke very good English. I took this opportunity to ask if we might view the house next door since it was so close in design to ours and it belonged to the same family. Ularni (I hope I am spelling his name correctly) was happy to show us the house. He and his friend were very gracious and spent time showing us the property and giving us some history of the house next door.

It turns out the first Bishop of Cuenca lived in this house and according to him our house was built after this house, but that is not we understood from Lucia. I am sure in time we will learn more about the two houses and get the facts straight. Nonetheless it was very apparent that this was a house of importance. Very ornate and when we went upstairs into what is the parlor in our house, there was a shrine set up in this house. There were fine paintings everywhere (see the first photo in this entry) and statues and carvings all religious in nature.

There was a picture of the Bishop and a nativity scene enclosed in glass. I almost felt like we shouldn’t be taking pictures in this room, but Ularni said it was O.K. so everyone was snapping photos. The ceiling was much more ornate than our and was made of painted tin. What a treat to see this house and yes what we saw was extremely similar to ours. We asked Ularni about the facade of our house because it was much different than the facade on the house next door. He said ours was original, but again we will have to verify that.

Ularni shook our hands and thanked us for purchasing the house and then promptly told us he had a another house for sale. We must have looked extremely ambitious to him. He invited us for coffee with the family next time we are in town. He also said he had pictures he could show us of our house next time we come.

After Ularni and his friend Patricio left the six of us stood on the street a bit and talked and exchanged emails. Tresa, Ed and their dog MacKayla caught a cab home and Kathy and Mick headed off as well. By this time Rod was really feeling the pain, so we stopped at the pharmacy to try and pick up some medicine that Mick had said really helped him when he had a pinched nerve. I wasn’t sure how to spell it, but I wrote it down on a piece of paper and showed it to the pharmacist. The pharmacist typed something in the computer and then shook his head “No”. I wasn’t going to give up so easily, so I took Rod back to the room and I looked up the name of the drug on the internet.

I returned to the pharmacist with the correct spelling in hand and once again he shook his head. I pointed to another name that the drug may be called and this time he shook his head “yes”. I had a moment of triumph until he told me it was only available in the form of an injection. I motioned to the pharmacist and asked if he gave the injection. He shook his head and responded “yes.” I wasn’t really sure if he meant he gave the injection or he just sold the drug and we were supposed to self inject. I returned to the room to tell Rod the news and he was ready to try anything. I on the other hand was very leery of getting an injection given by a pharmacist in a foreign country.

I went downstairs and asked Chris if he knew of another pharmacy that may carry the drug. He drew me a map of how to get to a bigger pharmacy and I headed off to see if I would have any luck. After arriving at the pharmacy and using my best sign language I walked out with the oral dose of the much coveted medicine. When I returned to the room with my little bag in hand I did a little victory dance and then promptly returned to the cafe to partake of some yummy fig cheesecake and celebrate my triumph.

 Homemade Fig Cheesecake

A little later I called Dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day and then called Lindsay to chat. I was trying to be discreet and remind her it was Father’s Day, so I kept typing messages into Skype while we were talking trying to give her a hint. She finally said “Mom why are you typing messages to me asking if I want to talk to Dad?” Uuuuugh, my cover was blown and by this time I was a bit irritated. A few seconds later Lindsay asked me what we had done for our anniversary? Oh My Gosh, we had completely forgotten all about our anniversary on the 18th. Now who had egg on their face?

Later that evening we met Kathy and Mick at The Terrace restaurant for dinner. Rod had read on some of the blogs that it had the best steak in Cuenca, so we decided to give it a try. The meal was absolutely delicious and we all enjoyed the company and conversation. We got to hear how Mick and Kathy first met, it was quite a funny story, but you will have to ask them to tell you. 

Enjoying Good Company & Good Food In Cuenca

Jenny had read an article that the Terrace had been robbed a couple of days before by a gang that had come in, demanded the customers hand over their money and then robbed the restaurant. We didn’t want to scare Mick and Kathy, so we waited until after the meal to tell them this story. We all agreed this could happen anywhere in the States and decided that in spite of the news, the restaurant was a definite keeper. We closed the place down and all caught a cab home. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

I Became A Travel Agent For A Day

What a great day today was! Rod and I met two lovely couples in the cafe this morning and chatted over a leisurely breakfast. One couple, Ed and Tresa are from Nacogdoches, Texas and are relatively new to Cuenca.  The other couple, Mick and Kathy are in the process of moving here from North Carolina. We really enjoyed talking to both of them and learning some valuable information about shipping your personal belongings over from the States.

After breakfast Carlos was picking us up to give us a tour of the city and show us where the supermarkets, hardware stores, home improvement stores, utility company, banks, etc. were located. Rod was not feeling up to the drive so Carlos and I set off to do some sightseeing on our own. First I asked Carlos to show me a park that I had heard about, El Paraiso. Part of the park was on the river’s edge and had all kinds of walking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds, and a lake, it was absolutely beautiful and will be perfect for Buster and me to take long walks.

After our drive through the park I asked Carlos if we could go look at some hotels in town that had been renovated so I could take pictures and get ideas for our house. We drove to a very busy section of downtown and parked the car and started off on foot to view the hotels. Carlos came up with the idea to tell the hotel staff that I was a travel agent from the U.S. touring Cuenca and looking for hotels to put into my brochures (Yikes!) I asked what if the staff want’s to know who my company is or just wanted to get more information, he said don’t worry about it, so I went along with the plan.

The first place we set out to see was extremely busy so we decided to come back. The next place was next door and the lady that owned it also owned the first place we tried to look at. She was very gracious and allowed us to view her private home which also housed rental rooms for $120.00 a month. The house shared a common kitchen and sitting areas. A lot of young people were staying there I’m sure because of the inexpensive accommodations.

 Hotel Courtyard

 Fish In The Fountain

The house was absolutely beautiful and the woman’s son had done all of the faux painting on the walls, absolutely incredible. The private parts of the house were very formal and full of antiques. The owner showed us all around the house as well as her family photos and heirlooms. Even though she spoke in Spanish I managed to pick up some words here and there while Carlos interpreted the rest. She was such a gracious host and spent a lot of time with us.

 Faux Painting On The Walls

 Beautiful Parlor

After viewing the first house we looked at several other hotels from the most decadent to the very plain and simple. I was so inspired and couldn’t stop taking pictures. Everyone was so  helpful and only one place asked me for a business card. I acted like I had just given them all out and had none left. One of the Hotels actually gave me a CD with all of their information on it. We were allowed to view the suites as well as some of the rooms at each hotel and take many pictures.


 Another Beautiful Courtyard

 Wonderful Suite

 Beautiful Painted Ceiling

 Calla Lillies In The Garden

 Wonderful Sitting Area

 Faux Painting Of A Painting

 Another Courtyard

 What A View

 Another Nice Hotel

After viewing the Hotels we returned to our hotel to see how Rod was feeling and if  he was up to a little ride around town. We all piled back into the car and headed out for a tour of the city. We stopped at one place that Carlos wanted to show me. It was a private residence perched on the river where for a $1.00 the owner of the house would show you around. The house was filled with expensive antiques from all over the world and the owner had lived there her whole life. She told us what part of the country each item was from including the ceiling panels, draperies, etc. It was an awesome experience. The Ecuadorian people are so friendly.

 Very Ornate Dining Room Of Private Residence

 Sitting Area Of Private Residence

Carlos dropped us back at our hotel where we met up with Chris (one of the owners of the hotel we were staying at). We had promised him a tour of our house, so we headed off in that direction and on the way we met up with Kay and Jim, so they joined us and we all walked to the house together. We warned everybody not to faint when they saw the condition of the house, but to our surprise we were met with oohs and aahs!

Everyone seemed to love the house even though they were well aware of the work involved. Chris fell in love with the huge ferns that were hanging over the courtyard. We decided it would be best to donate the ferns to Chris and Jenny’s hotel because there is no one to take care of them and they would probably be destroyed during the renovation process.


 Our Ferns Have A New Home

After returning to the hotel we sat and talked a bit with Jim and Kay and Chris and we bid our farewells to Jim and Kay as they were catching a flight out to Quito that night where they would spend the night and catch another flight the next morning to the States.

After a short rest we decided to walk to the Plaza for some dinner. We had been eyeing a cafe on our previous trips to the Plaza and always noticed that there were a lot of people in there so we decided to give it a try. The name of the cafe was the Raymi Pampa and we were so glad we tried it as the meal was excellent.

I had pan fried trout with french fries and some sort of salad on the side that consisted of crispy bell peppers, tomato, beans, avocado and onion in some sort of citrus marinade. The trout was so fresh and came with lime wedges on the side that I squeezed all over the fish and fries (yummy!)  Rod chose a native ecuadorian dish of a stewed chicken and rice and he was very pleased. I tasted the dish and thought it was delicious, there was a lot of cilantro which really gave it a good flavor. After dinner we went next door to our favorite Gelato shoppe where I had pistachio Gelato and Rod ordered a sundae.


Rod’s Sundae Ooh La La 

After dessert we headed back to the hotel to turn in and see what adventures the next day held....Good night.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Busy Day Ahead Of Us

This morning after a delicious breakfast at Bananas, we headed back to our hotel to wait until it was time to meet with Grace and Nelson (our lawyers). On the way back to our hotel we bumped into Clark on the street and stopped and spoke to him for a few minutes. As we headed to our room we ran into Kay and Jim in the Cafe and sat and chatted with them for a while. They were headed off on a big adventure of riding the city buses. They said if they didn’t return by tonight, send out the search party.

 A Funny Door Graphic For An Obstetrician

A short time later we headed to the Lawyer’s office which turns out to be only 2 blocks from the house, how convenient. While we were waiting for our appointment an older gentleman and his wife came in and sat down. I guess we looked like Gringos because he asked if we were from the States. We replied “yes” and come to find out he was originally from Texas and retired here three years ago. Are all the Texans moving here? We asked him how he liked living in Cuenca and he was quick to tell us he hasn’t left since he got here.

We then met with Grace and Nelson and went over the deed, transfer of property, taxes, utilities and Marcelos contract. Nelson doesn’t speak English, but Grace does, so she interpreted everything for us. Property taxes for the year were a whopping $40.00 and telephone, utilities and water run about $80.00 a month, but of course that is because no one lives in the house right now. Everything seemed to be in order and we will pick up our copies on Monday. Grace will also have the architect’s contract ready before we leave on Monday so that we can sign it.

After leaving Nelson and Grace’s office we went to check on the house as if it’s going to look any better. Rod says it keeps looking worse. After a quick run through the house it was back to the hotel, so Rod could lay down a while and nurse his shoulder while I ran the streets again. At least this time I wasn’t carrying laundry.

I went up one side of the street and down the other. I was determined to do a little shopping for some necessities and try out one of the local bakeries. My first stop was a pharmacy where I purchased toothpaste, that went well enough. Then I ventured to a local grocery store (about 4 aisles) and picked up some toiletries without any problems. The cash register actually showed American dollars, so I was grateful for that.

A Very Ornate Door That Caught My Eye

View From The Hillside

My last stop was the bakery, where I purchased two cookies. When I asked how much the shop owner rattled something off in Spanish. I didn’t have a clue, so I pulled out a $5.00, but she didn’t have change. I dug around in my purse briefly for a dollar bill and she shook her head yes. I didn’t know exactly how much the cookies were, but I was happy to spend the $1.00 and headed off down the street. The clerk came running after me and waived me back to her stall. I thought “Oh No did I underpay?” Instead she handed me .75 cents back. What a bargain and the cookies were good to boot.

In The Left Corner Of The Bakery Is A Cat
Rod Say’s “A Little Cat Hair With Your Cookie?

As I walked back to the hotel I took in the sights of a typical Friday in Cuenca. A very busy day as old men were getting their haircuts and shaves, street vendors were pedaling there wares up and down the streets and people were doing their shopping at the local market. They even have a virgin statue set up in the market enclosed in glass where you can say a prayer next to the bananas. There was an old man there saying his prayers and he was really talking, either he had been really bad this week or he was blessing his food. I don’t know which.

One Of The Locals Getting His Haircut And Shave

After my much needed walk Rod and I went downstairs to the cafe to have a snack. I had a bowl of veggie soup and Rod had a brownie and ice cream. Soon we would meet with Marcelo and Maca.

Our meeting with Marcelo and Maca went well today. We called Mom and Bob on Skype so that they could listen in on the meeting. Marcelo gave us a quote on the roof repair and then we went over some of our ideas and Mom and Bob explained their needs as well. The roof repair was a lot less than we expected, but when we returned home after dinner there was an email from Grace explaining that Marcelo did not agree with the final cost of drawing up the plans as we had understood it. Here we go, just like building in the States, always arguing with the architect, contractor, etc. Rod wrote an email to Marcelo explaining that this was not the price we agreed upon in the beginning and that we were not going to pay it, so now we will have to wait and see (Yikes!)

The Best Burger in Cuenca

For dinner tonight we chose a place that Rod had read about on one of the blogs as having “The Best Burger In Cuenca.” We had to walk down a steep incline and then some stairs down to the river, and then up some stairs to the restaurant. It was just a small wood building perched on the side of the cliff over looking the river.

The establishment was quite small, had a very BoHo decor and Neil Young was playing on the sound system. There were only four tables inside, a bar and a long counter that could be used for seating overlooking the river. There was a small patio outside with some more tables and chairs and there was a larger patio underneath with more tables and chairs that also overlooked the river.

There were only about six items on the menu, but it was in English and the server spoke English as well, so Rod was happy that he knew what he was ordering tonight. We both ordered a burger and fries and two cold beers. When our burgers arrived our eyes grew wide. How did they expect us to fit these monstrous things in our mouths. The burgers themselves were huge and they were piled high with grilled onions, mushrooms and an assortment of peppers, plus I had ordered guacamole to boot. There was a healthy portion of thin cut fried potatoes on the side.

Once we took our fist bite, the flavors just flooded our mouths. There was a hint of  cilantro in the burgers and the bun had been grilled. Add all the grilled veggies on top and a smoky grilled bun and the flavor that was just awesome.  After we finished our meal we paid the bill of $12.00 and that included the beers. I can honestly say that may have been the best burger I have ever eaten.

On our way out we passed by a small patio on the side of the building that connected to the tiny kitchen. I noticed a charcoal grill on the patio where they cooked the burgers and it couldn’t have been bigger than 3’ x 3’, just one of those inexpensive aluminum grills you would pick up at Walmart for about $50.00, too funny.

Back to the hotel to turn in and in the morning Carlos will pick us up for some sightseeing.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Navigating The City On My Own

We started today with breakfast at the cafe where we are staying. I had scrambled eggs with onions and tomatoes and toast with Papaya jam, yummy! Rod had a B.E.L.T. that’s short for bacon, egg, lettuce and tomato. We had fun chatting with our hosts Jenny and Chris and met another Expat by the name of Clark. Clark writes one of the Ecuador blogs that Rod reads and he and his wife have moved to Cuenca just recently. Clark was a teacher in Kentucky and like so many of us was concerned about retiring on his pension and Soc. Sec. in the U.S., so he and his wife and their two dogs picked up after living in Kentucky for 20 years and moved to Cuenca and they love it.

The Cafe Where We Are Staying

Jenny Making My Cappuccino

While we were talking to Clark, one of Marcelo’s helpers brought over the renderings of the house so that we actually had something to look at. We tried to tell her in our non existent Spanish that we needed to add a laundry room and only dos banos’ upstairs. I can count and say bathroom in Spanish, how far do you think that gets me?

Rod Studying The Renderings

I realized early on this morning that we were rapidly running out of clean clothes, so I asked our hosts if they knew of a laundry mat close by? They put two X’s on the map and gave me a garbage bag to put my dirty clothes in. Rod wasn’t feeling well and I was feeling adventures so I set off on foot with map in hand and a big bulging trash bag full of laundry. I literally looked like a bag lady.

Of course I didn’t need a map, I had seen a laundry mat across from one of the restaurants we ate at one morning. I knew I could find it again. Well after walking five city blocks with my bag that felt like 50 pounds, I finally sat down and pulled out the map to get my bearings. Of course once I did that I walked about a half block more and found not the laundry mats on the map, but the one I had remembered. I walked up to the little window and in my best Spanish greeted the lady behind the counter with a Buenos Dias’ and handed her the bag. She put it on the scale and when I asked her what time it would be ready with my excellent sign language I think she said 7:00 pm. I just hope our clothes are actually there when we go to pick them up as I was not given any kind of receipt.

Now I felt energized without that big bag and decided to set off to explore the city. After all I will have to learn my way around. I walked up and down streets trying to be mindful of my home base so as not to get to lost. The streets were bustling with activity, people walking everywhere, vendors selling their goods and of course lots of traffic. As I walked my senses were assaulted by all kinds of smells (not all of them good) and colorful sights.

Flower Market

I walked past bakeries, churches, flower markets, hardware stores, drugstores, feed stores and everything else imaginable. It was fun to look in the windows and see the activities inside. There were dogs laying on the floor of little street cafes, old people exchanging conversation and young women with their children playing in and around the stores. There were street vendors pushing wheelbarrows full of fruit up and down the streets. A hard way to make a living, but this is one of the things we love about Cuenca, everyone works and you hardly ever see anyone begging for a handout. I walked to the river once again and strolled along the side just taking it all in.

Biblical Museum

Structure On The River Bank

Houses On The River

Street Vendors


Feed Store Window

Look At All The Bees In This Bake Case
I Would Hate To Be The Clerk That Has
To Get A Doughnut Out Of There!

The Stairs To & From The River Built On Inca Ruins
You See We Will Quickly Be In Shape

After a while I headed home to check on Rod and found he was ready to go view the house again. We gathered our renderings and walked to the house to try and make heads and tales out of the layout. Once in the house, we laid out the drawings and began taking notes. We had a few ideas and wrote them down so that we can pass them by Marcelo. We counted the rooms downstairs and figured out we can do 5 rentals and one house keeper’s quarters. I went up on the roof to take a look and found that just as you step on to the roof there is a little room straight ahead (probably 6’ x 4’) that would make a perfect writing room. It overlooks the Blue Domes and one of the church steeples. I don’t need any more inspiration than that!

At dinner time we called an English speaking cab driver that came recommended by our hosts. What a relief as the last time we were here getting around the city in a cab posed quite a challenge. Angel (the cab driver) first took us to pick up our laundry and yes it was all there, neatly folded and waiting on us. We dropped the laundry back at the hotel before heading off to dinner. We chose an Italian restaurant on the other side of town that had good reviews, but we weren’t all that impressed. The menu was in spanish and we only recognized a few words so it was luck of the draw. Puttanesca is one of my favorite pasta dishes and that is what I ordered, but it wasn’t to my liking and there was shrimp in it which I didn’t care for. Rod ordered Calamari (what was he thinking?) and a pasta dish that had all kinds of seafood in it. We were really living dangerous tonight.

All Our Laundry Washed & Folded For $7.06
8 prs. of pants, 4 prs. socks, 6 shirts and more.

Angel picked us up after dinner and drove us to the main plaza where we topped off a bad meal with some good Gelato. Rod had a banana split made with Gelato (how decadent) and I just had a scoop of Limone Gelato, very refreshing after a heavy meal. We walked back to the hotel and Rod studied the house drawings once again.

Tomorrow we meet with the lawyer in the morning and again with Marcelo in the afternoon. It has been a long day and I’m ready to call it a day. We will see what tomorrow brings.