"Too Much Fun" is just enough...as we welcome Rich & Nancy, and George & Carol to the Coast!

Rich & Nancy, brother and sis in law, and George & Carol, original owners of the California Kitchen in Cuenca, all arrived here a few days ago for fun on the Coast.

Even though, it's our "winter" here in Ecuador, we had a couple of unsurpassed beautiful days.

It was George's first visit to the Coast, and Saturday was just beautiful.  He and Rich walked on the beach, looked for interesting shells, and waded in the warm waves...

In the evening, we all trooped down to the Casa Blanca in Montanita...it was great for people watching, and the crowds turned out in droves...all worshiping the wonderful weather, and celebrating school vacation in Cuenca and Quito...so "people watching" was great, as usual...

Rich and Nancy picked up the tab, so thanks mucho guys!


Sunday morning we were surprised by Carol and George preparing the full bore "California Kitchen famous breakfast"  featuring the best bisquits and gravy anywhere, tons of bacon, knock your socks off omelottes and George's famous fried potatoes.  And...those wonderful breakfasts kept on coming every morning!!!  What a treat!  Thanks for the memories George and Carol...

Roxanne prepared Sunday dinner of sauteed chicken breasts baked with bacon and cheese, with generous servings of Rice Pilaf...actually a favorite in our own restaurant of many years ago...Every plate came back spotless...

We spent many hours watching the waves from the various decks and patios, and even saw whales in the distance a few times.

All the visitors took leisurely shell hunting walks...

We received much-needed rain Sunday night, and Monday still remained cloudy, but it was still warm enough for shorts and tees only.

However, the weather gave us an excuse to eat inside by the the fire on Monday night, as we had mountain-sized burgers with lots of trimmings, plus yummy potato salad, especially made by Rox...

The sunsets were perfect!

 


 As if we weren't having enough fun, we also got to celebrate Rich's birthday...some during the day shots...


 

Gooooood!!!!

 

 

Birthday Dinner was a whole Filet Mignon roll, expertly cut up by George, with Bob at the Bar-B-Que.  We had lots of baked potatoes, and a delicious Zuccinni Mushroom dish made by Carol...and if that wasn't enough, we had Tres Leches ice cream slathered all over the cake you see in the preceeding photo...


Fabian came down to pick up the happy group, and they are now all safely back in Cuenca...

Too Much Fun Is Just Enough!!!!

Posted on Fri, August 8, 2014 at 03:02AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

We live on the Equator and we "need" a fireplace!  Huh!!!

OK!, OK!, so we live on the Coast and we don't freeze our butts off, plus we wear shorts and tees all year 'round, so...what's the reason we need a fireplace???

Many, Many condos in Cuenca and Quito don't even have heaters, and they really do freeze their butts off!

Here's the story...Rox and I have lived, most of our 47 years of marriage,  in places where it got really, really cold and rainy...

Various places in the Mendocino Redwoods, Owning a mountain cabin for 25 years in the Sierras, and a home for 20 years in Southern Oregon...all places where we needed a fireplace just to make it through the winter!!!  (or pay a $400/mo heating bill).

Our climate at the Coast is ideal--warm for about 8 months a year with onshore breezes keeping us cool, and then four months of "winter" where it maybe gets down to about 50F at night.  But sometimes, we don't see the sun for quite a while, or it rains quite a bit.  (not now, of course, we are in a drought...)

We had toyed with the idea of having a FP to elevate our mood and interior temps during our "winter", but it is almost impossible to buy a free standing fireplace here, and a stone or mortar one built from scratch would be too bulky and ugly for our little living room.  So...what to do?

We decided to commission one built form scratch, by a guy who had only built one before. but only one.  He was familiar with metal working and arc welding, so we drew out the plan for him, and hoped for the best.

After about three weeks, the metal worker showed up with his sons, with the pieces of our fireplace. What was really weird, was that they brought it in in pieces on a motorcycle!  Unfortunately, we didn't get a photo of that!

Here is a shot of them welding the bottom and sides together.

 



Here it is looking like a little rocket...


In the meantime we had our trusty tile man putting together a neat little hearth...

Inside that square of bricks, there is a layer of cement holding nothing but mortared together bricks...

 

When the hearth was dry, the guys brought in the wood stove...here our maestro is getting up on the roof to make the hole for the stove pipe...

 

And a shot of the proud maestro...with his baby...

 

Of course, a woodstove isn't worth a darn without firewood, so here we are sawing up a bunch...

And...it's no good unless it is someplace close to the end product, so here we see Isidro and his brother having a beer after bringing up a few loads...Alex gets no beer, but he helped...

 

Here is a shot the first night we had a fire...what a difference!!!


We have had our new wood stove about a week, and we've had a fire every night, and we love it!  Great for our moods, and great to have nice dry heat on drippy nights!

Posted on Sat, August 2, 2014 at 09:36AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

Rox Celebrates a Milestone Birthday--and a Glance at the Last Big One!

We stuck close to home today, as Rox celebrated a milestone birthday...She wanted a special brunch, a quiet day, and a favorite dinner...plus ice cream and cake!

We began the day with Rox reading the latest news to me and Coquita--with Coquita mostly lying on her back with her legs in the air, pretending to listen...

Instead of our usual salad for lunch, Rox wanted our "Sunday" brunch menu, which today was a cheese omelette filled with a ton of shrimp, and lots of seasoned potato wedges...

This mellow brunch was just right for lying about, reading our Kindles, and watching some Happy Birthday wishes arrive.

On her last "significant" birthday, we threw a "back to the sixties" party, which looked a little like the following pics...

Rox greeting the arrivals...

Ready to party!!!

My brother Rich, and I,  going back in time...

Art and Ruth...

Nancy and Rox...

Where's a doobie when you need one???

Rich, Jim, Guy, Bob and Art--rogues all!!!

Rox and cousin Liz...

 

Back to the present, Rox was thrilled to see Agripina, her daughter Sonja, and grandson Alex, arriving with a full chicken dinner, banana chips, salad, and a really nice birthday cake!!!

Rox poses with the very same skirt that she wore 10 years ago...and looks even better now!!!

Tonight for the Birthday dinner, we cut the middle out of a huge beef tenderloin, which gave us two 3 inch thick Fillet Mignons...I compressed them a bit, and then wrapped four pieces of bacon around each steak.  The steaks were then rolled around in some vegetable oil, pepper corns and salt, and allowed to sit at room temp for about an hour.  Next, they were seared on a super-hot gas Bar-B-Que to score the grill marks.  Turning down the heat to medium and cooking for about 10 minutes more, gave us two "melt in your mouth" medium rare steaks...

These were covered with sauteed mushrooms (lots), and the plate was completed with two each medium baked potatoes, sour cream and soft margarine.  Didn't even think of adding side dishes!

We completed all the fun by having a huge chunk of cake topped with ice cream...Whew!  It's a good thing that calories don't count on your birthday!!!

As you can see in this photo of Rox, the daily walks on our beach really pay off!

Was it a nice birthday???  As good as it gets!!!

Posted on Tue, April 29, 2014 at 08:54PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | Comments2 Comments

Peru and low tide help Ecuador avoid Tsunami damage...plus a few sunsets...

Roxanne was reading from her Kindle Fire, when a feature she didn't know she had,  kicked in...All of a sudden a banner rolled across her screen telling her that there had just been an 8.0 trembler just a few hundred miles South of us, in Northern Chili...way to go Amazon!!!

Most countries have done a lot to prepare for the next big Tsunami, and Ecuador has joined right in.  We now have signs mounted all along the Coast, telling us where to go during an alert.   We have a large "antenna" hill behind us about a quarter mile, and that's our "alert" destination.

Our local fire department began to alert the town that we were going to have some high waves in about 3 hours.

We weren't too thrilled to evacuate, so we decided to wait.  The tidal wave was only six feet high, and we were looking at an extremely low tide.

Also, we are protected quite well by the country of Peru, when it comes to tidal waves that originate in Chili...take a look at the map...

Our beach sits just about where the "3 hour" band comes ashore in Ecuador, just north of the gold star.

As you can see the right side and back of the tidal wave must run up the whole coast of Peru before it hits Ecuador, and then, you see that Ecuador sort of tails away to the East, further protecting it from a direct assault.  This story only works well with tsunamis that originate in Chili, but it seems that those folks have a pretty good lock on them right now.

With that out of the way, how about some sunsets??

This is what we saw while eating dinner on the deck tonight...

 


We wish to thank a lot of you nice folks for your emails expressing concern for our well-being--so far, so good!

Posted on Thu, April 3, 2014 at 06:41PM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment

The "Lazy Days of Summer" are here at the Coast!

Roxanne suggested the above title for this entry...

Nat King Cole sort of took over the phrase with his famous song, but it means a lot more to a lot of different folks...

I Googled "images" under this title, and the predominant theme seemed to be bare feet near water, naps, watermelon, bar-b-ques, boating, nice scenery, and basically a feeling of taking it easy....

But...there was also an underlying theme to a lot of these photos!  That was that these idyllic, carefree days were just about over!  There were lots of references to "Back to School Dances" and "end of season Bar-B-Ques" etc.

Our weather here at the Coast is pretty great almost all the time.  We wear Shorts and sandals 12 months a year--it's just cooler Aug, Sep and Oct, and it's a little warmer Jan, Feb, and Mar.

Since our seasons are just about reversed from those in Northern hemisphere, we are really in our Labor Day, Back to School, Football, and "chill in the air" weather.  

Our sunsets are beautiful and golden most of the year...but this last week, they have been RED!  And...it's a tad cooler...


Not quite sure if red sunsets mean the end of "summer", but it's a great excuse to put in a couple of nice photos...

 

It's hard to find a reason for a separate entry for Brahma Bulls, cows, and babies wandering by sunbathing Gringas, so I am putting it here...

This herd just hopped over the neighbor's fence, grazed for a couple of hours, and then wandered back down the beach...

Posted on Sat, March 15, 2014 at 06:02AM by Registered CommenterBob & Roxanne | CommentsPost a Comment
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