Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quito Half Marathon

IAAF/aims certified course. About a 400m drop...with a 2 km uphill at the finish. Starts in Quito at 2800m and finishes on the Equator. Maria ran 1:20:05...good for 4th and 300usd (last year she ran 1:30) Dad and Ramon in the baby jogger, ran 2:07 ish....The grandparents looked after Carla. She's in the terrible 2's at the moment and I didn't think she would handle over 2 hours in the double jogger very well. Last year I ran 2:20 with both kids.
A cool, cloudy 7 degrees at the start. Quito is full of great races if anyone wants to come for a running holiday. Don't know who took the photo....Maria rescuing Ramon from Dad at the finish.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beds are trampolines

Carla's racing car

Papi Ramon and Mami Maruja's 2 week visit

Papi Mon and Mami Maruja have been with us for 2 weeks. They will go with Maria and the kids to Pasto tomorrow. It's been great having a full house with all the generations!

The kids watched La Mami slaughter a chicken for soup.

Fresh pineapple, mango, and papaya for breaky every morning.

Bull fight...corrida de torros

Changing of the guard at the presidential palace in Quito this morning.

With cousin Sarita.

Bull fight band.

Old railway tunnel...now a bike route!

Chirimoya tree...sweet, custard like fruit.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Adam comes for a visit

Best pals :)

The typical lead foot Schmok...although driving fast is quite normal here. Squealing around the corners. Damn good driver though...much better than this old man...half blind, feeling my way down the from the mountains.

Doing what he loves best....kicking back and hanging out....and a cervaza always helps.

Chevy Alto...plenty up pep, even with a full load and great on gas...which is only 1.50 us gallon here.

The kids love him....and now ask where he is....guess that means they miss him.

Young, handsome and single....counting his colesterol, and watching what he eats, just ain't on his radar screen.....yet!

Course he has his bad hair days like the rest of us.

With those climbing skills...I hope we make it up a mountain one weekend.

The new addition to our family....Ramon enticed him out of a sewer grate with some pork a few weeks back and so he stuck with us. Bertha is her name.

Can't help but wonder how such a white baby came out of a "chica morena"

Cloudy, cool weather on the equator?? The coast has it's seasons, unlike the Amazon that stays fairly wet most of the year.

Carla having a drink after a hike up a hill.

The book is you're friend: It teaches you culture, knowledge and feeds your spirit. Take care of me!

Sure are alot of Zambranos in Ecuador.

Running over the new 2km bridge in Bahia de Caraquez.

500usd richer. Gatorade guy trying to give her stuff for the foto. Organizer looks like he needs to get into shape for his own race. And the obligatory "sexy" girls to hand out prizes and pose for pics. Ramon is behind the sign.

I must be getting old....my "little" cousin Adam is now 27 and it doesn't seem that long ago that I held him as a baby! He has decided to explore South America for the winter and we were privilaged to have him start his adventure by hanging out with us for 10 days. The school vehicle broke down the day before we were to leave for our 1 week holiday, so we had to rent a car. We tried out a small mom and pop agency here in Tumbaco and got their last car...a tiny Chev Alto with a 1 litre motor, for only 30usd per day. Served us well and we put on over 2,000km! Drove to Manta where Maria came in 3rd in a 15km and won 500usd. Adam took off to Montanita, a surfer town and few hours further south, where he has started Spanish lessons and surfing lessons when it warms up. Hope he's back for another visit or two on his way to the jungle or for xmas maybe? The coast was cloudy and a cool 23 ish, which was a surprise, but nice for the kids. Then we drove up the coast and up to the Colombian border for another race, in the border town of Ipiales, where Maria was 5th. We drove back yesterday with the grandparents, who will stay with us for 2 weeks. Amazing what you can fit in such a small car!
On another topic...I have the bragging rights for the lowest colesterol. I told Maria, that while she continues to beat me in all the running races, that I would beat her with my colesterol count. She had hers tested for the first time and it's 173. Mine was 190 6 months ago and is now 137! Yippee!