Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Long Night Indeed

Rod’s shoulder was bothering him so much last night that neither one of us got much sleep and are only functioning on half a tank today. This afternoon we will meet with Marcelo and his staff again to go over the plans. Rod and I decided to try a new American restaurant for breakfast that we had been reading about. It is called California Kitchen and offers a more typical American fare. Rod ordered a waffle with eggs and bacon, while I chose granola, fruit and yogurt. We both ordered the fresh squeezed blackberry juice that has now become our favorite juice when we come over here.

Fresh Blackberry Juice, Nectar of the Gods

We met with one of  the owners and his daughter who was our server. The family of four had moved here from Arizona for the same reasons a lot of Americans are offer a better quality of life at a more affordable price. The restaurant was really nice, fresh flowers on all the tables, linen cloths and of course great hospitality. They serve breakfast and lunch and then dinner on certain nights. It was a bit of a walk from where we are staying, but well worth it.

The California Kitchen

After breakfast we decided to go look at the property, just the two of us and start to plan out in our heads what would go where. At this point it looks like the best option will be to have our living quarters upstairs and rental rooms downstairs. We do have a retail space up front that we would like to build out for some sort of restaurant and then lease it out. No more restaurant business for us. The plan is to have maybe 5 or 6 rental rooms to generate some income and then of course the restaurant for our guests convenience and also to produce income. We decided it best to have the rentals downstairs in order to keep the upstairs private.
After going through the house a couple of times, we locked it up and peered into the house next door (the one that looks very similar to ours). You could see from the front gate into the first courtyard and part of the balcony that surrounds it. The layout is very much the same as ours, but much more ornate on the front as well as the inside. The facade is in really rough shape where as ours is not. When I was taking pictures of the courtyard my eye caught a cat snoozing on the balcony railing, what a balancing act.

Courtyard Of The House Next To Us

Careful Kitty

We decided to return to our room for some much needed R&R and as Rod snores I write this blog. We obviously have two totally different ideas of R&R.
This afternoon Marcelo, his helpers and Maca met us at our hotel to go over the renderings with us and find out what our ideas were. We spent a good deal of time deciding on how the guest rooms would be set up and all agreed it would be best to have our living quarters upstairs and our gust rooms down. This would afford us the privacy we needed and at the same time allow our guests to have the first floor to themselves and come and go as they please.
We are thinking that we want to put a small cafe in the front retail space that serves only breakfast and lunch. That way our guests will have a place to eat when they stay with us. It looks like we will probably have five to six guest rooms (plenty for family to come visit) and then a common area in the front courtyard with tables and chairs where people can sit and meet or just relax.

Upstairs will be our space where Mom and Bob will share one side of the house and we will share the other side. We will each have a large bedroom, bathroom and sitting area. Bob want’s his own project room and Mom and I will share our project room. Of course the whole house will be Rod’s project room (teehee).
We will share a huge common living area, laundry room and kitchen and maybe a butler’s pantry. We have decided to put a deck off the back of the kitchen that overlooks the back courtyard/garden and that will be our outdoor space. We will have stairs that lead up to the roof and down to the garden. There is also a second common area with a balcony that we will share that is off of the kitchen. Plans are subject to change, but we have to get these as perfect as possible the first time, otherwise we have to start over and it will be another 9 months to get them approved again.
After our meeting with Marcelo, Rod and I took off and walked to the square to grab a bite of dinner. It was a beautiful walk and we took pictures along the way. We went to a restaurant that we had been to on our first trip and I ordered cream of tomato soup and an avocado stuffed with a grilled chicken salad. My soup came out in a huge bowl and I couldn’t even finish my meal, but it was delicious. Rod was disappointed in his dinner. He thought he was ordering pan fried shrimp and potatoes, instead he got boiled shrimp and rice. We better learn the language quick!

An Interesting Building We Saw On Our Walk

The Square and The Blue Domes

The View From Our Restaurant Window

After dinner we walked downstairs and discovered a lovely little cafe that served Gelato and Espresso drinks and baked goods. All of the Gelatos were labeled in Spanish and I was feeling a bit adventurous so I ordered a flavor that I had no idea what it was. Turned out to be some sort of caramel with a crunch to it, absolutely delicious! Rod got chocolate chip and we sat and enjoyed our surroundings for a while.

The Gelato Cafe Inside

The Gelato Cafe Front

A Church On the Way Back

While staying at our hotel I had met our downstairs neighbors, Jim and Kay. It’s a small world as I learned that they are from Denton Texas. They wanted to hear all about our house buying adventures in Ecuador and I told them we would try to get together before they leave. On our way home from the restaurant I thought I spied Jim and Kay and as we passed on the street and I shouted out a big “HELLO.” The lady looked at me like I was crazy and about to mug her and her husband. I told Rod they must not have recognized me.
When we returned to the hotel about two minutes later, there were Jim and Kay getting ready to leave. Ooops, there is some lady out there that’s going to tell all her friends while in Ecuador there was a lady walking down the street yelling Hello to perfect strangers. Oh well.

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