The Pocket Babe’s sister will be visiting us, from New York, in a few days. Exciting times! It will be her first trip outside the U.S. and Diane and her buddy, Carol, will be traveling to Quito to greet her upon arrival.
Carol and Diane decided to take a bus from San Vicente to Quito for the adventure, meet the sis at the airport, and then spend a few days in the high country enjoying Quito, Otavalo and Cotacachi, again traveling by bus; three women on a great adventure!
I think the plan is to connect with another female friend who lives in Quito for a night on the town. Then, off to Cotacachi for some amazing shopping on leather street. The next day, the trio will head to the large, indigenous marketplace in Otavalo.
When the sightseeing/buy-fest is over, they will return to Quito and catch a plane from Quito to Manta where I will meet them at the Manta airport. From Manta, we will take a short side trip to Monte Cristi for more great shopping and an amazing lunch at our favorite Italian place (almost like a monastery perched high atop an overlook). Finally, I will load them all into Rocky and deliver them, across a small mountain range, to our place here in San Vicente. We will, of course, have been stuffed full of authentic Italian and Sicilian cuisine and many glasses of homemade Sangria (not too many for me as I’m the driver) infused with freshly-diced fruit. I also suspect no one will say no to some really decadent Italian pastries.
The change from the Andes to the coastal lifestyle and infrastructure will be stark, for the sis! I’m already planning how to get those 3 women and all their luggage and newly-purchased goodies into and on top of Rocky for the drive home. I’m gonna’ need more rope!
As Diane was sharing the final details of her plans with me, I admit to having felt a bit of hesitation. The Babe was headed out for this adventure without me to protect her. Okay….OKAY! I know how that might sound to some of you. But feeling the need to protect her is genetically programmed, regardless of how capable she may be. Indeed, Diane’s Spanish is much better than mine and her brain is much bigger. She’s a smartie, with great instincts and quite capable. But still…
Yesterday, as we were driving back from a day of shopping and errands in Manta, we talked more of the specifics of her plans and itinerary. I am pleased to announce that I am finally far more excited for her upcoming adventures than I am concerned for her safety. Diane’s buddy, Carol, has made versions of this trip several times and is an old hand at bus travel here in Ecuador. It will be Diane’s first long-distance bus excursion. Although many others do this regularly, owning a car has restricted us from enjoying long-distance bus travel until now. We typically drive ourselves or fly where we need to go.
We are fortunate in that we do get to meet a fair number of folks arriving in Ecuador for their “look around” visits. It isn’t often, however, that we get to entertain a family member on their first visit outside the U.S. One of my sisters did the same thing a few months ago. I am expecting a Disney World experience for the sis and truly believe these women are gonna’ have a blast!
So, I’ll be living like a bachelor for a few days…just me, Carmine and our new Chihuahua puppy, Izzy. We’ll be fine! And I get complete clicker control!!!! Fatima will be here to be sure the house remains in order and she may even cook a few great meals. I’ve already begun to program the digital recorder for upcoming guy shows. Yeah, we’ll all be just fine!
Hmmmm…I wonder if Diane might want to lead some women’s tours in the future?