We recently had the amazing opportunity to go to Ecuador for 2 weeks for my great aunt's 95th birthday party & family reunion. I had not been in 20 years and Eric had never been, so we jumped at the chance. Granted, we booked the trip before we got engaged and didn't know that we would be leaving the country in the midst of planning a wedding - but it was worth it. Since we never know what work will be like for either of us, we need to take advantage of these opportunities when they come up. We are so glad we did, we saw a beautiful country, reunited with family and had a blast.
We arrived in Quito in the evening and were met by my cousins who took us to the apartment we had rented downtown. We were sharing the apartment with family from the states but the first night it was just us. It was an amazing place to wake up! The views were fabulous and it was so sunny it was impossible to sleep past 7am, which in this case worked for us. There is no time change from Chicago to Ecuador, so there was no need to adjust our clocks.
We took the morning to check out the apartment building and then met my Tia's for lunch and a trip to Mitad del Mundo (the center of the world). Lunch was over a canyon that unfortunately had some clouds rolling in, but we did see our first llamas of the trip. Then off to the Equator! I remembered the monument of the Equator from my last visit, but since then we had discovered GPS and there's now a new museum and "new" equator line. The museum has some exhibits recreating life in Ecuador from the Incan's and other indigenous tribes. Eric acquired a new nickname from our museum guide, "El Gigante", as he is very tall and literally towers over most Ecuadorians. The most interesting activities are the ones you do while walking the equator line, the magnetic pull is pretty strong and water really does drain in different directions on the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. They have an Incan sun dial that has to sit vertically (rather than lay flat) and joked that since they don't do daylight savings time on the equator, and because there are actually slightly less than 24 hours a day, Ecuadorians are actually on time - its the rest of the world that's early. If, like me, you grew up with any Ecuadorians, you may strongly disagree.
We ended our day with ceviche and margaritas on Plaza Foche near our aparment....Foche yeah!