Just about a month ago we met Jimmy and Susan when they came to vacation in San Clemente, Ecuador. They are from Louisiana and had been following our blog in anticipation of their trip. Prior to coming to Ecuador, Susan contacted Mary and got a list of some food items and spices that Mary can not find here in Ecuador and Jimmy and she brought them for us. That giving spirit has continued ever since they arrived!
After spending a week at a local hostel Jimmy and Susan talked with our landlord and he agreed to rent the apartment next to ours for the month that they had left on their trip. We quickly bonded with them and tried to help them with any items they would need to live comfortably for the month. We have a small clothes washer and agreed to do their laundry while they were here so they would not need to send their laundry out. Much to our surprise, on the first trip they took to Manta they bought a gift for us! We had long wanted to get a crock-pot slow cooker and they found one in Manta. The first thing I cooked up in the crock-pot was some pulled pork and we enjoyed a dinner of barbecued pork sandwiches.
Last Tuesday commemorated their twentieth anniversary and they planned to renew their vows on the beach. To make it more memorable, they planned a trip to Canoa for two nights and invited us to come along for the mini-vacation. Our friend, Ramon picked us up on Tuesday morning and we drove to Canoa.
On the way Jimmy and Susan got to see the beautiful city of Bahia at the mouth of the Chone river.
Mary had made reservations at the Amalur Hostel and we were anxious see Lorena and Diego (the owners) again. Especially since they had a new addition – little Luna – since our last visit.
Luna greeted us with a beautiful smile!
Mary had made a little mobile as a gift for Luna and gave it to her after we arrived. See: https://johnandmarylivingitupinecuador.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/marys-time-out-for-art-mixed-media-lunas-wind-chime/
Amalur was as beautiful and welcoming as ever and we settled into our rooms.
It did not take us long to amble down town to visit the Surf Shak restaurant where we feasted on hamburgers and onion rings. We also ate a nice dinner at the Amalur restaurant later that night. In fact, we spent a lot of time eating great meals and enjoying the scenery at Canoa. Here we are at breakfast on Wednesday.
No trip to Canoa is complete without a walk on the beach and we took several. Mary explored what she calls, “Playa-Mart” for shells and craft items. Along the way she picked up an admirer who followed her up from the beach.
Susan and I found a nice log to serve as a bench while we rested on the beach.
Later that afternoon we enjoyed a great sandwich at Amalur.
A woman came to the Amalur and both Jimmy and Susan enjoyed a massage in their room while Mary and I again patrolled the beach in search of shells, stones and driftwood.
Ramon came back to pick us up on Thursday and we said goodbye to Lorena, Diego, and Luna. We stopped in Bahia for a lunch at a Chinese restaurant we like there and then came back to home.
In any language, “Hogar Dulce Hogar” (Home Sweet Home) applies and we settled back into the “rough” life here in retirement at San Clemente, Ecuador!
The only negative on the trip was that it is winter here now and it was off-season at Canoa so Jimmy and Susan did not get to see all of the shops and vendors that usually are selling items there and the skies were overcast each evening we were there, so the photo-ops for the vow renewal will have to wait for a clear beautiful sunset here in San Clemente.
We are so grateful to Jimmy and Susan for sharing their trip with us and for the genuine friendship they have shown us. This next week will go by too quickly and they will have to leave, but…
They have found the retirement life they’d hoped for here in San Clemente and will return as soon as possible to live here permanently where….
Life is good in Ecuador.