Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Julian!

March 18, 2008. Today my nephew Julian turns 3! Back in Quito in the Old City, Colleen and I had gone shopping for a piñata and small toys to fill it. No candy for the Henderson boys! Believe me, I can't imagine them hopped up on sugar. We managed to score a Lightning McQueen piñata and filled it with small cars, trucks, helicopters, and two LED-flashing fish. We managed to secretly drag the whole big bag of stuff with us into the mountains. This morning my Mom and I went to the Black Sheep Inn's yoga studio and set up the piñata and blew up some balloons while Colleen distracted the boys with an outing to hand feed salt to the llamas.

His first gift was a package of undies! You can see how excited he is! When you're three, and you've just graduated to underwear, getting a whole package of underwear emblazoned with cartoon characters is pretty great.

He also got two big trucks which were immediately coveted by Ian.

Next up was the piñata. Ian and Julian both got to whack at it. It took a little while to break, but it was pretty fun! The piñata was pretty much in one piece, so Colleen gave it to the staff and asked them to give it away.

After a birthday brownie, we piled into our rented car (with driver), and headed back to Quito. This time our driver was a Dutch ex-pat named Lex. He was interesting, but also a little volatile. His driving was pretty aggressive. At one point he was driving at a pretty good clip around a blind corner while gesticulating wildly with both hands off the wheel, and a truck full of people came right at us. He had to slam on the brakes and skid.

We made it back to Quito with several hours to spend at Mom's house before heading to the airport to fly to the coast. We got to exchange all of our damp and muddy warm clothes for clean beach clothes. It was really luxurious to know that the laundry would get done for us while we were gone!

We went to the airport in the evening and flew to Manta on Ecuador's coast. I had been developing a cold as we headed down the mountain earlier in the day, and by the time we flew I was thoroughly plugged up. The flight was pretty painful. I didn't realize just how bad my cold was getting, so I didn't load up on tissues. That was a pretty bad decision since my nose started flowing like a fountain, and the drive to Puerto Lopez took about 2 hours. I had to resort to whipping off my right sock and using is as a hanky. Luckily, it was a pretty clean sock, and I hadn't already been wearing it all day!

We got into Hosteria Mandala at about 10pm. It was really hot and humid compared to the rest of our visit in Ecuador, and I thought I'd never get to sleep, but I did ...

No comments: