So earlier this year, my husband and I decided we would take a small family trip to Ecuador this year to visit our families before our little Evangeline came into this world. We boarded a Copa Airlines flight in early April and away we went. We chose April because we wanted to escape the cold winter here in Connecticut. One of the things I love most about Ecuador. is that the average temperature year-round is about 75-85 degrees. Nights are windier and colder. But the day is just wonderful. We needed this break!
This was baby Henry’s third trip to Ecuador, and just as we assumed, he adjusted very well to the change of scenery. Being that he sees his paternal grandparents on a daily basis by way of Facetime, he really took to them from day 1. And of course, they were thrilled to have their first grandchild in arms.
One of the first things we did when we got to Riobamba, a small city about 4 hours driving distance from the capital, Quito, was travel to Sucua, my husband’s favorite summer sanctuary. His family from his mother’s side is from Sucua and Henry and his sisters would always spend their summers here. It’s a small country town with warm, almost humid weather, many trees and such greenery, and enormous houses. It was his grandmother’s birthday, so we drove the three hours it takes to go celebrate with her. Baby Henry was thrilled to see new faces and especially little ones in the form of his daddy’s cousins’ children.
While in Sucua, we decided we would go check out a new waterpark that had opened up. We all bought bathing suits and a life preserver for baby Henry. He loves the water and this park was heaven for him. It was so clean and the staff was so friendly. We all got into the pools and Daddy Henry even went on the water slides!
Now, one of the many reasons we went to Ecuador in the spring was because my mother-in-law wanted to host a baby shower for Evangeline. I’ve posted about this here, but here’s a collage I came up with from that day. My son… would constantly torment this poor girl with kisses, hahahaha. He literally was on her all night, to the point where they both fall backwards on a small hill. Poor things!
He’s a Kisser and a Charmer!
And yet, another example of my son kissing people/ or what he thinks are real people. Bless his heart. He really is such an affectionate little boy. It’s things like this that make me smile and wonder if he’ll always be this way: caring towards others. I look at pictures like this and hope he doesn’t change. He is a dream of a child.
After the baby shower, we spent some time visiting other places in Ecuador. We went to Quito, Ambato, and Baños. We didn’t go to Guayaquil or any other beaches because since I was pregnant and although I was in my third trimester, I was scared about the Zika virus. In retrospect I really should’ve thought better about taking this trip at this time in my pregnancy, but I had read that most people who were bitten by the bug and pregnant, suffered effects in their first trimester. I did get the OK from my doctors to go to Ecuador and we talked about protecting myself in case I were to enter any areas that might house the mosquitoes. Luckily, nothing ever happened to me!
“Happy Birthday dear boy!”
On April 14th, we celebrated baby Henry’s 2nd birthday! My little munchkin is getting so big! This was his first time celebrating his birthday in Ecuador and with my husband’s family.
They bought him a cake and sang Happy Birthday to him. When it was time to blow out the candle, he didn’t need any coaching at all! It was like he’d been doing it his whole life. He puckered his lips, sucked in some air, and then pouf! The candle was out!
Later that evening, my parents sent us some money so we could buy him birthday clothes and a night out at a nice restaurant.
We went to Chili’s. He loved it as he loves going out to eat. Well, he loves going out, period!
The food at Chili’s was good, I had a Philly Steak and Cheese. But if you want some good food, you have to go to the hole-in-the-wall dives. If my mother-in-law didn’t cook anything (she’s a great cook by the way!), we would tend to go out and eat. That plate right there that my hubby has before him, that humongo plate cost about $4. The kebobs I’ve got, $3. Both our plates were amazing.
We went to Sucua again and this time we experienced something no one had planned: an earthquake. The big one. The one that was in all the news. I was sitting on a couch in my husband’s aunt’s living room when it happened. Actually, I had been chasing after my son when it started and when I went to sit down, I felt the room move. I thought it was dizziness from my pregnancy, then I realized, waitaminute, things are actually moving on the walls! Then I heard my husband running to the window to see if I was okay. He had been next door with his family at a reunion and I was at his aunt’s house resting.
We thought it was just a tremor until the next day when we saw the news. Sucua didn’t suffer any damage because we were far away enough. We really only felt about 30 seconds of the earthquake. The areas that were affected most were all the cities along the coast. We prayed for them and did what we could by donating water and other such things.
A carnival came to town and we promised to take baby Henry for his birthday, but that day got ahead of us so we ended up taking him on another day. It was all fun and games until it was time to go home…
He wasn’t… having… it….
He must’ve cried for over an hour. I felt so bad for him and all I could do was hold him and tell him it would be okay. I honestly don’t even want to remember that day. He’s never cried so much in his tiny little life and I hope he never cried like that again. Ever.
When I was a little girl, my parents always took my brothers and I to Ecuador to spend our summer days there. Now that I have my own offspring, I’m happy that they are able to spend their time where I spent mine so many years back.
I love seeing the look on my son’s face when he sees all the different, exotic things Ecuador has to offer. I love how excited he gets when he sees the many dogs at my in-laws’ house. Or the bunny! He loves that bunny!
Outdoors is Indoors!
When we’re home, my son and I are mostly indoors. But when we went to Ecuador, outside was indoors! My in-laws have an entryway that’s gated so baby Henry could safely be outside. I think that must’ve been the best part of the trip for him. He didn’t want to eat breakfast, he didn’t want to take a bath (which he loves!), he just wanted to play outside.
And he loved being silly. That’s him on the right wearing my shoes. Hahaha, he looked so cute.
We spent three weeks in Ecuador. As my son gets older, I know he’s starting to make better memories. He may not remember everything, but I know one day he might say to me, “Ma, did I ever kiss a big girl with red, stringy hair?”
And I’ll say, “Mijo, that wasn’t a girl. It was a mannequin. And yes… you did!!!!”
Also, if he ever comes your way, beware. Beware!