Monday, December 28, 2009

Too Cold

Kite Boarders Brave the Elements

It was a cold and windy and bright and sunny day, and the plan was to take a long walk along the beach, but the family ate breakfast/brunch and read and talked and played on the computer and waited for the wind to die and the temperature to rise. I kept reading my book, Maya played on her new computer from Santa, Tara watched a television show on her Macbook, Eric worked on his computer, Dad read the paper and Sherlock Holmes, my mother read or talked or sat. I kept saying we would be off for our walk, but then I would see the trees bent over in the wind and read some more. Finally around 3 PM, Maya and Tara and I braved the elements for a stroll. Surprisingly there were wind surfers and kite boarders in the water, which had whitecaps and looked cold and forbidding. Eric had said first thing this morning that it was a perfect windsurfing day, and all the wet suited boarders agreed.

Maya dared Tara to take off all her clothes and plunge into the water. Maya agreed to give Tara 15 dollars and be her slave and servant for the rest of the vacation. I did not expect Tara to do it, and even while she started taking off layer after layer, I still thought she would stop and renege and joke about it. I was stunned when Tara actually took every bit of clothing off and dove in. She stayed in the water longer than seemed possible considering the frigid temperature, and then came out, put all her layers back on, and walked with us to get an ice cream for Maya at the corner sweet shoppe. She left us soon after to warm up while Maya and I searched for intact shells. We found so many big and beautiful shells we could not find enough room in our pockets and in our hands to pick any more. We walked to the end of the island (Pass-a-grille) where we found a fisherman at the end of a jetty covered with wave after wave of the very wild sea. Walking back against the wind was work. It was cold and the wind was biting, and it seemed that the distance back was further than the distance out.

Tara Takes the Plunge

My parents had decided not to join us because walking in the cold was not an attractive thought. The view outside was beautiful, the sky bright blue and cloudy, the sea dramatic (like a Turner painting) the sun bright and piercing. I could not get warm after the walk and kept my ski jacket on (my parents had asked what we needed for Christmas and I had told them that we needed warm jackets because Quito was much colder than I expected) for several more hours. I am hoping that the weather warms up over the next few days!

Staying Warm

We are trying to finish all the leftovers we have accumulated over the past week. I would like to leave the kitchen much like it was when we arrived, with the pantry bare and the refrigerator empty (except for 50 or so tupperware containers full of key lime juice, which my in laws harvested from their keylime tree). So it was leftover turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and the locro de papa with avocados and a tomato salad. I made a quiche with the leftover mushrooms and another with the leftover broccoli. The piles of food on the counters are shrinking with each meal. There are two boxes of oranges from Marc's two orange trees, but those go quickly when we squeeze them for juice each morning.

Beautiful Beach

The plan was to go bowling tonight at the ten pin bowling alley with Sherry and Jeff and Max and Jason, but the leagues were playing tonight and we postponed our bowling night for tomorrow. Eric remembers bowling at the same place when he was a child and little has changed in the 30 or so years since.

Sun is Setting

Somehow it does not seem necessary to have too many plans here; we talk, we eat, we read, we play; time passes and night falls and we sleep and then another day begins.

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