Sunday, June 27, 2010



Option #1.....bring a container. Pack up all our stuff from the previous life and stick it in a container. Have the container shipped to Cuenca. Complicated expensive process. You hear a lot (I mean "A LOT") of absolute nightmare horror stories about this. Cost (after port fees and etc)....about $10,000 dollars. For what? To bring in a small amount of our stuff that we actually treasured and wanted? Frankly, I was thrilled to get rid of most of that cr*p. This seemed to be a pretty horrible option.

Option #2....sell it all in Kansas. Make the trip with suitcases only. Buy new in Cuenca. Sounds simple. Right? I said...."Sounds simple. Right?" Well, it is and it isn't. Thia getting all new stuff is tough. I mean really, really tough. I am sure that it is Brennie's fault that is is so tough. When I figure out how to blame it on her, I will let her and the rest of mankind know how and why it is her fault. At this time, this option #2 also seems to be a pretty horrible option.


BACKSTORY: We opted to buy an apartment that is about 40 years old and is situated in old town. If you are wondering if it needs work...take a look at the "before pics". You will note that there are no before pics of the bathrooms.....good taste forbids it. (Like I wold actually know good taste if it bit me on the *ss.)

Remodel/paint option #1......Bite the bullet. Have it all done. New kitchen and baths. Tear out walls, etc., etc. Yikes! We started to go down that road and it was horrifying! Just the two meetings with the architect were a nightmare of decisions that we were just not ready to make. It was so stressful that I threw our old stinky toilet.

Remodel/paint option #2......Don't bite the bullet. Just kinda lick it. Have the place painted. God knows when it was last painted. Have it painted top to bottom....even the parts that will eventually get remodeled. (I accidentally typed in "remolded"....different concept and I hope no kind of evil omen.) Remodel later. Do it piece by piece...LATER. Get settled in. Enjoy life. Relax. So that is what we are doing.

Caitie asked for pics. So here you go:

These guys came to install our internet.
Nice guys, but no skills.
I actually had to put the RJ45 connections on the Cat 5e cables for them and they had to call in someone else to configure the connection on their equipment.
They did successfully drill 5 holes in the walls.

Test patterns for some accent walls.

Brennie sitting at her new desk in our lovely completed study.
A dream come true.

Gotta love the balcony.
What an inspiring view.
Wanted to enjoy a cigar, but was afraid to light a match.

This is Patricio...... painting maestro.
He really is quite good.
We are very glad that he is doing the painting.
His ideas are usually better than ours,
so we have learned to take his advice.....kind of.
However, he kept on saying "dos semanas".
Now my handy dandy pocket translator tells me
that means "two weeks".
Must be time to upgrade my translator.

Saturday, June 19, 2010



......and get the haircut and beard trim you actually want.

I wonder why the barber thought that I wanted to be clean-shaven when I came in with a beard?

I don't think I have been clean-shaven since I was thin and my hair was red.

Good thing the prior owners took the bathroom mirrors with them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Got the Internet in our apartment today.
Lost my cell phone while walking the dogs.
(I think we got a net gain going there.
That is the way I am choosing to look at it anyway.)

Look around you. Seriously. Look around. Check out the room you are in. Now go to the kitchen and other rooms. Check it out. Whadya see? Lotsa stuff, right. Admittedly, a certain amount is cr*p that you wish someone would steal. But, also you have all those little things that you need in order to carry on everyday business and take care of your comfort.

Now the beautiful thing about moving here with 3 suitcases each, is that all our cr*p now belongs to other people........and they paid us for the privilege of hauling it off. But the necessities? Gone too. Therefore...."decisions, decisions, decisions"

Most likely all the stuff you saw when you looked around your home, were purchased over a long span of time. Purchased and upgraded as need and finances allowed. One step at a time, right?

Now, imagine that all those necessities had to be bought at once, in a foreign country, in a foreign language, where some things are negotiable and others not. It is an overwhelming amount of decisions, decisions, decisions. How overwhelming, you ask? Well, even Brennie is sick of shopping. No, that is not a typo...."Brennie is sick of shopping!"

A couple decisions that we have been able to put off.....small tables. Seems like the microwave box, stereo box, etc. serve admirably....and oh so classy. So when shopping for small appliances, be sure that they come in a pretty box.

More decisions on the next post....painting, etc. Yikes!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


BEFOR ANYTHING ELSE....I am at an internet cafe using a spanish language keyboard...similar but different than I am used to...and a real pain.

It went as well as you can possibly hope for with excess baggage, bike, 2 dogs, 3 different we don´t speak Spanish. (THIS KEYBOARD IS A NIGHTMARE!)

(AAAAAARRRRRGGGH!!! This keyboard is horrible. ....I just lost most of the blog post! Time to recreate..)

Good Things About the Trip.....Example numero uno......
Our ground transpportaiton in Guayaquil....we had arranged for a van to pick us up at the airport, take us to where we were going to spend the night in Guayaquil and then drive us over the mountains to Cuenca the next day. The van people cancelled on us the day before we left because the place we had reservations was so horrible. Apparently, when you post pictures and descriptions of your hotel on the doesn´t actually have to be pictures or descriptions of your actual hotel. The van service refused to go there.

So the plan was....get off the plane, go through customs, and then figure something out at 1:00 AM in the most dangerous city in Ecuador with LOTS of luggage, a bike, 2 dogs and ´victim´written on our foreheads. I HATE THIS KEYBOARD!!! Unexpectedly, there was a van waiting on us (the ones that cancelled) and basically said...yeah, we are going over the mountains tonight. Rain and problemo

Example numeron dos..... At every juncture where we could and should have met some kind of difficulty or been charged extra....... everything went right...I mean EVERYTHING!! Is that even possible? Yeah there are some really interesting details that were on here before I lost most of the blog content.....tough. The keyboard is real sticky too. I am going to boil my hands when I get back to the apartment.

Example numero tres....Arrived in Cuencaabout 5:00 AM. Raining. (Remember extra bags, bike and dogs?) Dark. Locked out of our place because our tenant had upgraded the locks and we did not have the keys. FYI....nothing in old town was open...nothing. A couple hours later all was good.

No sleep for more than 24 hours!

Example numero quatro...friends had a surprise ´welcome back´ dinner for us. (More lost details.) It was fabulous! What a great welcome.

Random fun fact.
Brennie has learned 2 new words and has used them to rename the dogs. The dogs are now Bugger and Wanker. Look it up if you don´t know.

THAT´S IT! I AM DONE WITH THIS F....ING KEYBOARD! What an absolute nightmare this has been! Spell check is flagging evry word (not spelled right in spaninsh). Tough. Sometimes I wish I drank.