Paseo, La Farra y Dia de la Madre

Beware – photo heavy!

I had a very busy weekend. At first I wasn’t sure what I’d be doing as I haven’t made any friends yet in Quito. On Saturday morning my host mom, Sandra, suggested that we go on an excursion to Tumbaco to visit some relatives with her sister, Sylvia, and her sister’s husband, Nelson, and young Pamela. Having no plans I was happy to have something to do.

Young Pamela and her dad, Nelson

I did have some plans to work on my knitting – I have a couple of designs that I’ve worked out in my head and mathematically on paper but I just haven’t had the time to knit.

Paseo

So around early afternoon on Saturday, we jumped into Nelson’s pick up and headed to Tumbaco. Here’s a lovely view of the drive there.

View from the car on the way to Tumbaco

Tumbaco is only about half an hour away from Quito. More of a suburb than anything. Sandra’s aunt Anita lives there as well as her grandfather and a few of her uncles. They all have houses next to each other. Once we arrived, the women went about cooking and myself, Pamela and Nelson went to the back of the house where Anita’s son, Santiago (Santi) was practicing with his band. He’s the one with the long curly hair. One guess as to what kind of music they play…🙂

The Band

Anita (in front) and my host mom, Sandra, frying plantains

After listening to the band for a bit, Nelson gave me a tour of Sandra’s father’s holiday home that’s in the same compound as the other homes. It’s this lovely yellow house. Here are some pics of the inside of the house.

Yellow House

Photos of Quito back when

Gray thingy used for water purification back in the day.

Pamela yet again. + Gramophone

An old sewing machine

Food was soon ready. We were having fritada (fried pork) which I’d never had before. With that we had mote (boiled corn), potatoes with a cheese sauce, an onion salad and maduros (fried plantains). The lunch was delish.

Lunch in Tumbaco

Then us womenfolk headed to an outlet store of knit sweaters. I got a lovely white cardigan for only $11. After that we headed back to the compound where Miche (Sandra’s great aunt) made us Pan de yuca (bread made with yuca flower, cheese and cream) and had coffee and tea. Miche is quite the knitter and so we had some knitting chatter. I was wearing my Minimalist cardigan and she wanted to know the stitch. Turns out that seed stitch in Spanish is arroz (rice) and moss stitch is arroz doble (double rice). I also had my Spiraluscious mitts on me and both Miche and Anita want to learn to knit in the round and to knit fingerless mitts.

After this, we cleaned up and headed back to Quito. On the way there, we decided that we’d go out to the Centro Historico to check things out and walk around. As the next day was Dia de la Madre (Mother’s Day), the place would be hopping. Mother’s Day is huge here. We had to quickly stop at the grocery store on Sunday after our big Mother’s Day lunch out and they handed all the women roses. I should add that roses are fairly cheap here as most roses in the states are either imported from Colombia or Ecuador.

La Farra

We dropped Pamela off with Sandra’s daughters, picked up Marco (Sandra’s husband) and went out to La Ronda in the Centro Historico.

Host parents: Sandra and Marco; and Sylvia and Nelson

Ordering our canelazos

We drank a couple of canelazos, a warm drink that you add a bit of aguadiente (liquor) to. In the car we started to jam to some reggaeton and then decided to go to Retro Bar. It’s this club that plays 80s music all night long. Some 70s too. I felt so young there as it was mostly people in their mid-40s and above (my host parents’ age). Nonetheless, I had a really good time. I love that Latin Americans don’t feel they have to stop dancing at a certain age. My host parents were jammin’. So were my host aunt and uncle. We partied till 3am. I danced so much I was sweating like crazy. First there was the normal stuff from the 70s and 80s. But then the salsa and merengue started as well – the old salsa and merengue which was really good.

Dia de la Madre

Sandra and her mom who sadly has Parkinsons

After my late night dancing, I slept in. I went down to breakfast only to find out that it was nearly time to head out for a big Mother’s Day lunch. Sandra’s parents would be there as well as Marco’s mother and aunt. We were going out for Chinese. We ended up going to about 3 places before finding one that could accommodate the ten of us. All the restaurants were packed with people celebrating Mother’s Day. It was good fun! Once we got home I pretty much had to crash though. I spent most of the rest of the day napping. That evening I did manage a little bit of knitting while listening to the Eat, Pray, Love audiobook. I completed a swatch for a pattern I’m hoping to submit. The swatch has now dried so I’ll take photos of it tomorrow in the daylight and send in my submission. Wish me luck!

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