We took our first Ecuadorian vacation last week!  Some friends invited us to join them on a beach trip.  Initially the plan was to go over Thanksgiving but with my due date being just 2 days after we would return we couldn't commit to that.  Fortunately Ecuador has this lovely holiday called Dia de los Difuntos in early November, which is actually a longer vacation than Thanksgiving.  Dia de los Difuntos is celebrated in a few different countries and is a time where people focus on honoring their ancestors and lost loved ones.  Some people take a picnic and go to the cemetery where they are buried.  In Ecuador, the symbolic markings of this holiday are "gua guas de pan," which are breads made in the shape of babies and decorated with frosting and "colada morada" which is a thick, berry drink using mora and other fruits.  It symbolizes the blood.  


Anyway, we did not celebrate the holiday by sitting on a grave.  Instead we were beach-bound ... along with half of Quito.  We left at 6, along with three other couples, and 7 winding, uphill and downhill, single-lane hours later (it usually takes 5 but holiday traffic was crazy) we were in Same, a beach town, at a rustic hotel called "Islas del Sol."


We spent 3 nights there and came back feeling like we had experienced our first restful vacation since having Canaan.  Because Nate and I were up at the crack of dawn with Canaan every day, we managed to get a tent and lots of nice lounge chairs on the beach every day.  We lazed on the chairs, chatting.  We read our Kindles.  We took dips in the ocean and the pool.  We were right on the beach so I could stay in my lounge chair with the monitor during Canaan's naps.  Nate was a little more active, playing soccer on the beach, digging a giant hole each day to bury someone in.  I was amazed people let him bury them because I can't STAND the feeling of sand in my swimsuit.  


Canaan was scared to death of the "agua" so keeping an eye on him wasn't hard at all.  I had been saving a set of beach toys for our first trip and he loved shoveling dirt in and out, helping his dad with holes and destroying any attempt to start a sand castle.  He wandered to other families on the beach and was nicknamed "Canaan the Creeper" by others in our group as he would try to edge closer and into a family circle without being noticed.  The pool was pretty cold and he wasn't a big fan but by the third day he was walking around the kiddie pool by himself.  He mostly loved sitting on the edge of the pool, filling his fish with water and drinking it.  He was non-stop sandy and got a terrible diaper rash from sand rubbing.  


At around 5 we would head out to dinner, walking down the beach about 10 minutes and showing up barefoot at the beachside restaurants.  We ate ceviche, corvina (which I think is sea bass??), patacones, breaded, fried shrimp and wood-fire pizzas.  We brought our Itouch with us and let Canaan watch Baby Einstein while we ate in the hopes of a little peace and quiet.  It usually gave us about 20 minutes and then he wanted to talk to the whole table.  We asked questions for every couple to answer and later back at our cabins we'd set up our monitor, put Canaan down, and then play games or cover topics like how to interact with your spouse's family til 9 ... at which point we were all exhausted and would go to bed early.  


It wasn't exactly a "baby moon" because we had our toddler and 3 other couples on the trip with us, but it was the closet we'll get before this new baby comes.  I was so thankful for the time and felt like the whole trip went even better than I expected!  Canaan was AMAZING in the car both coming and going, easing my stress a lot.  I felt like everyone in our group was really accommodating of us having the only kid.  I had been worried about being the annoying couple with the annoying kid who had to keep a certain schedule but everyone was great about it.  I felt really cared for in that way, as people would play with Canaan, grab him when he wandered too far, and carry him down the beach when he got too tired to walk.  I also just really enjoyed spending quality time with new friends, as we're still finding our place in this community.





Trying to catch a few extra minutes of sleep by snuggling.




Finally somewhere warm enough to wear the PJs Emily bought him.







We took breakfast and lunch with us so we could eat out on the beach every day.







Burying Santi and Bethany. Again, I could NOT believe she willingly got in the hole.




No idea how much sand he ate in three days!




Helping Dad dig the hole













One of my favorite pictures I've ever taken of these two. He just loves to be chased!







Nate's first target to bury










Exhausted after three days


0 #2 Emily Runyan 2011-11-15 19:57
love these pictures. especially the ones with that big tree trunk and are you kidding me with those muscles Nate--when you were burying your friends...your shoulders are a little crazy. ;) and Kelley that bathing suit looks REALLY cute in those pictures. ~em
0 #1 thisnomad 2011-11-11 06:47
Oh Kel, I love this post. I love that up close shot of Canaan with his pink cheeks. And I love the shot of Nate chasing him with his blond curls everywhere. This sounds like so much fun. Did he get sunburned? Was it a pain to get sunscreen on him all the time? That little swim suit outfit from mom has gotten lots of use. All the food you ate for dinner made me nostalgic. And this was my favorite sentence: "Anyway, we did not celebrate the holiday by sitting on a grave." Love it!

Add comment

Security code

Chicago Web Design Company