Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Holidays

We are having a wonderful holiday season. Though at this time of the year we miss our family and friends back in the US, our new family here has made this year one of the best.
We are very fortunate to have fallen in with a great group and look forward to many holidays and events.

We wish everyone a safe New Year and hope prosperity finds you all.

Until next time..................J&D

so close...........

Will be ready soon.

It Begins

Our December has been great. On the 10th ground was broken and work has started on our home! This is as it looked on Christmas day with the foundation prep underway.

main view from house
Ecuador is a seismic area so a good foundation is a must have.

nice and deep

laying out the house

site work

this is the main view from the salon.
We are very excited and looking forward to our final move!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Up North

Cotopaxi from the plane

Thought I would mention our trip to Otavalo, Cotacachi, and San Antonio a few weeks back. If you are in the market for anything of the textile persuasion head to Otavalo, tons to see and prices are great. Cotacachi for anything leather. San Antonio is the woodcarvers location with tons of art and furniture, all amazing to see.
That is one of the many great things about Cuenca, very centrally located in the country. I would encourage anyone living here to get out and see some sights. Ecuador is an amazing place.
Something I would have never thought of while out and about, if you are someplace and you buy something but it is too big or you already have too much stuff in the way of luggage have your item shipped to Cuenca. Barbara had a beautiful walnut piece shipped for an amazing $6 bucks. That was delivered to her front door, very cool. Is she happy, you bet..........

On a seperate note the apartment is very near completion. We are looking at next week for things to be complete. Furnishings will follow quickly. Anyone interested in short term accommodations next to Park Calderon shoot us an email for info.

Until next time...............J&D

Monday, November 15, 2010

renovation pics

more later............

Saturday, November 13, 2010


If you are in need of a very good architect, I can recommend Oscar Abad with out hesitation. Renovations, additions, new projects, Oscar is your man. He studied in the US and speaks perfect english for you non spainsh speakers. He does all his plans to US standards and demensions and is a good guy personally. He lived in the US for many years and knows what North Americans are used to and what they want, lots of light, storage, etc.
If you know Paula the dentist, Oscar is her husband. I would truly give him a look if you are needing anything in this area.

His email is
cell 091530018

Friday, November 12, 2010

like clock work.

Well the apartment is shaping up. Ivan and his crew are the best. He is honest and trustworthy. We really are fortunate to have met him (thanks again Juan).

When we left for Quito he sad they would do the demo (during the 3 November celebrations) as they would desturb less people in the building. When I went there upon my return, demo done, debris out.

2 days later all new water lines and new electrical in, all holes in the wall where they ran pipe already plastered over.

Ivan thinks about 5 weeks until completion. Our goal was to be done before the end of the year, looks like we are right on scheduel. I'll see about some pictures.

Until next time.............J&D

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

1st stop before Cuenca

This was our pad on Aruba. A small 1150 sq./ft. place but we really loved that house. The beach, Arashi beach for anyone familiar with the island was a 3 minuite drive. The California Light House 5 minuites away. We could walk to the Marriot Beach Resort if so inclined, we were not.

No grass here, and with the wind it was a full time job cleaning house, if of course you had the windows open.

Yours truly did all the brick work front and back. Hard work in that heat, as you can see below. A typical summers day.

Do we miss it, not really. It was a great leaning experiance and we do not take anything for granted. If it was not for living there we would not be here in Cuenca now. Fate is a funny thing.
Bon Dia to our friends on the island Pete, Carol, Dan and Heather and others, and our old neighbors Paul and Eileen, Iris and Sandy, Joe, Paul and Ali from Holland, Gene and Bernie, and Tom and Stan, and John and Anna. We think of you often an wish you guys well.
Life, enjoy the ride.............J&D

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Hostal

I know, I cannot spell. It must be the altitude..........Maybe not.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

nice to be home

Well I just got back after a 4 day tour of some places up north with our good friends Barbara and Howard. Donna is headed bak to the US for a visit so we went early to see some sites.We flew to Quito on Saturday and from the airport took a van to Otovalao (2-2 1/2 hour drive).
We got to the hostil in the early afternoon and were able to hit the big market day. This is the place for alpaca blankets, ponchos, jackets at very nice prices. We loaded up on blankets and got some gifts (sorry mom not telling, you will see soon) for family.
The next day we went to Cotacochi (20-30 min drive from Otavolo) and that is the place for leather goods. Everything you can imagine is there. It is a nice place but on either side of this town like towering book ends are two "sleeping" volcanos, the locals call them Mama and Papa.
The next day we went to San Antonio (20-30 min from Cotacochi). This town is where they do wood carvings. Statues, pictures, bowls, you name it. I was amazed when Barnera and Howard scored a beautiful walnut statue and had it shipped to Cuenca for $5 bucks delivered to thier place. Wow, that is service. We were about 3 hours from the Columbian boarder in this area.
I would post photos but Donna brought the camera to the US for her visit.
We had a great time but I must say it is nice to sleep in my own bed. Donna have a great time and I will see you soon. Do not forget to lift with your knees.

Until next time..............J without D

If you are interested in going to these areas I would recommend these places.

Dona Esther in Otavalo, $34 a night- resturant is ok but you could do better elswhere
Mira Flores (Land of the Sun now) in Cotacochi, $59 a night- includes breakfast (very good)
Boutique Hotel in Quito (in old town) $61 - 95 (we booked online for 61)
*all places fees inluded all service and tax. All rooms were very clean and all showers had great pressure and good hot water (2 things that make or break a hotel stay for us), we did not drink the water. When in doubt bottled is the way to go.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Begins

The house has sold, wow that was fast. We put up a sign on Sunday and accepted an offer yesterday. We will press ahead with the house construction asap. The apartment renovations are underway and I will post some pics soon.
We are real excited to finally settle down on our piece of paradise and are looking forward to the end moving.
We are planning on a trip to Quito so stay tuned for that.

Until next time.........J&D

Saturday, October 23, 2010

rough times

Happy birthday Mikki. You and Megan have an extended family here now. All the best.
As you can see the stress of daily life here is taking its toll. Send help asap.

Cajas video

Cajas pics

Do not forget to click the picture to see a full screen image.
Here are some pics when Chris and I went for a hike in the Cajas. We had a really fun day. If you decide to go dress appropriately. The wind howls up there so gloves, a knit hat and ear protection are a must.

We are really lucky to live in such a diverse area. Until next time........J&D

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

and now we wait.....

Sorry I have been "off line". Things are poco poco as always here in the Andes.
As anyone can tell you things happen at their own pace. We are waiting for the permit process to finish as well as our contractor to finish prior projects.
Chris and I went for a hike in the Cajas and I have some pics and video. Stay tuned as it is on the way.

A note for anyone with up coming construction projects, the municipio here in Cuenca is being very difficult. Get ready to wait and toil with the process. If your are well acclimated to the manana time tables you will be fine. If you are "fresh off the boat" and still used to things being fast and efficient you might be in for some stress.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

Renovations begin.........

Here are just a few pics of the place. You can see it is in need of some work.

There are going to be major changes made and we cannot wait to see the finished proect. It
looks nice on paper.

We hope to be complete around the first of the year. We are very fortunate to have hooked up with a very nice guy and great builder. We will meet him later.
The apartment is located 1 block from Park Calderon with a terrace looking down on Luis Cordero.

We saw this guy in Gualaceo on Friday. He is now in Cuenca by the cathedral, or he was on Saturday.
Until next time.....................J&D

Saturday, October 2, 2010


I know, I have been a little lax with the blog but we have been so damn busy.

Renovtions set to begin at the apartment. I will post some before pics.

Stay tuned...............J&D

Oh yea, we are alive and well.

Friday, September 17, 2010

bus route guide

Just discovered these new bus route guides. They are very easy to read and show the hours of operation by days of the week. They can be found at the Turista Info office on Park Calderon. You have to ask for it, I did not see any out in plain view.

By the way, the guide is free. Better hurry as you never know how long it will take to get more when they are gone.

See you on the bus................J&D