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I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to put together this pretty straightforward post, but I finally have a little (picture heavy) recap of our time in Ecuador. Ready? Here we go!

Our first full day there we spent unwinding at the house which was much needed because living at 9,000+ feet left us tourists crazy lethargic (climbing two flights of stairs felt like scaling Everest! I don’t think I would have turned down an oxygen mask if offered).

That morning we all went to the bus stop so the girls could see their cousins off to school- by the end of the week Evie kept saying (in the most forlorn voice), “Evie not go to school anymore”. :)

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Evie’s favorite activities there were playing outside and jumping the trampoline. My sister’s family lives in an enclosed area with several other houses that share the walkway and grassy area to the bigger “neighborhood” street.DSC_7507 DSC_7521

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Audrey had fun cruising around the back door and she loved their dog, Ellie. A couple of times she actually took Ellie’s face in her hands and leaned it to give her a kiss- definitely a missed photo-op. :)

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The weather there was pretty mild- usually in the 60s. Layering really helped since some days it was cool and breezy but then quite a bit warmer when the sun came out- AND I know this goes without saying but the suns rays are really strong at the equator! Our first day sight-seeing we took a double-decker bus tour of the city. I started out wearing a scarf and sweater:

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(This picture of Evie kills me.)

And by the time we got to the main stop of our tour I was in short-sleeves (and got fried).

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I just couldn’t get over the colorful landscape of the old town or the views of the mountains. Even with all of the gates, walls, and bars over the windows it is a beautiful city!CSC_7783

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Over-looking the city on a hill called El Panecillo is an aluminum statue of Mary.CSC_7781

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We took a day trip on St. Patrick’s day to Mindo, where we explored a butterfly farm! I’ve never been to anything like it and it was quite a sight to see so many butterflies in one place. I thought Evie would be in her element since she loves those winged creatures but she was more interested in the Koi ponds and with picking up the “gravel” (I think it was made of nut shells?). :)

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Plates of ripe bananas were set around the so you could dip your finger in to attract the butterflies.DSC_7924 DSC_7962 DSC_7971DSC_7858DSC_7896 DSC_7942

Afterwards we went to a restaurant that specialized in making their own chocolate! The menu options were all so unique and sounded so delicious it was difficult to choose what to order, but one of their (amazing!) brownies for dessert was a no-brainer for me. ;)DSC_7997 DSC_8006

Wrapping this up, promise!

One of my favorite places that we visited was “The Middle of the World”. There are actually two places to visit for this (we visited the first)- one is the official marker at the correct geographical spot for the equator and the other is a huge monument at the location originally mapped out by a French exploration team, which is about 250 meters off the equator mark.

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Our guide went through a few experiments unique to latitude 00° 00′ 00″ (like water draining straight down instead of swirling clockwise/ counterclockwise), and we were able to try our hands at balancing an egg on a nail!DSC_8037

I also loved visiting the markets full of all sorts of colorful, beautiful wares. This photo taken at the equator museum shop was the closest I have to the markets.DSC_8015The girls had so much fun with their cousins, and we all enjoyed spending time with family and were grateful for their wonderful hospitality! To be honest I wish we could have visited without the headachy and long travel days to and from, but it was worth it. Just, the next time I fly it will be a short flight, first-class, sans kids (don’t I wish ;) ).

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