|A Family Afar|
In retrospect our first travel day probably should have been less ambitious; as arranged it entailed 5 airports, 4 planes, in 24 hours. This schedule combined with our major parental oversight of not loading any new movies on the kids iPads, made for a tough 24 hours. I have read a number of blogs written by proficient traveling families which state in a variety of ways “Our kids have never said they want to go home”...Well one of ours did on the first day; actually turned around on the gangway of the plane and started walking back. We had to use our mean-parents voice, usually reserved for at-home-use only, to get the mutineer to turn around and get on the final plane. But that actually makes it sounds worse then it was..most of the time it was just a bunch of sitting around and eating bad airport food, but it was a long day.
We finally arrived at Quito, Ecuador’s main airport, at 12:30 AM, at which time we had to convince the immigration officer that Yoda was in fact our child even though he no longer had longish blond hair like his passport photo. Spotting the simple cardboard sign reading “Perozo” was truly heart warming. The kids were thrilled that there were no working seat belts in the back seat, as we zoomed the 45 minutes from the new airport to our reserved apartment in the historical district . At roughly 10,000 ft altitude, it was cold, and we were extremely happy to crawl into our beds, topped with big fluffy duvets. We slept till 10am; That simply never happens in our family. Pulling open the shades, we were treated to our first glimpse of Quito.
The excitement of the kids was palpable and I couldn’t get the smile off my face. After cooking up some breakfast from the supplies provided by our accommodations, (A separate post coming soon about our wonderful apartment) we set off to explore Quito’s old town, the world’s first UNESCO Heritage site.
And that is what we have continued to do for our 3 days here thus far. Taxis are relatively cheap, $1 to $3 in the old and new town and all in-between, so we have been combining walking and taxi rides for our explorations.
There are some beautiful churches here and the the kids seem fascinated by them. They loved the Basilica, where we actually climbed to the top of the towers. Kiko had the pleasure of preforming the climb twice as he mistakenly left his cell phone at the top, when he purchased some Ecuadorian dark chocolate for me. (Thanks sweetie) You can imagine how fast his heart was beating with the combination of racing up flights of stairs at a extremely high altitude and the thought of loosing his unlocked iPhone on day 2 of a 365 day trip!
The Market Central was an education in animal anatomy and a great way to see a more accurate view of the food we eat. Yoda, who would prefer to be a "fruitatarian”, held his nose most of the time and his eyes bulged out when lady vendor showed him the cow’s heart, brain, & cojones. I was surprised by the eggs, pre-shell, actually still in the body of the chicken. Having visited quite a few local markets around the world, this was a first for me.
And when it is time to go back home we look to the angel guarding the city, La Virgen del Panecillo, which can be seen from anywhere in the city. We are living right at the base of her hill and feeling well looked after.
Kelly Perozo, Mom of this traveling tribe, telling our story of a 12 month, around-the-world journey; the good, the bad, and the crazy.