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Parque La Carolina

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I blew Lucia's mind awhile ago when I took her out of our neighborhood for the first time.  The destination- Parque La Carolina. Up until then Lucia was only exposed to the normal stream of neighbors, dogs, and traffic.   We hopped in the truck and drove a few miles to this large central park.  Since the park lies in the city center.

Parque La Carolina offers many activities for all ages, such as football, basketball, tennis, biking, paddle boats, Ecuavolley (similar to volleyball), just to name a few. The park is over 160 acres and surrounded by high rises and these main thoroughfares, Río Amazonas, de los Shyris, Naciones Unidas, Eloy Alfaro, and de la República.  It use to be an airport until the city grew around it and they decided to move the airport farther away.

Among the most popular attractions in the park, is the Jardín Botánico with native habitats covering páramo (high-altitude Andean grasslands), cloud forest, wetlands and other areas, plus an orquideario (orchid greenhouse), ethnobotanical garden (exploring the plants used by indigenous groups) and Amazonian greenhouse.  Since I was with Lucia, we didn't have a chance to explore them.  But I'll check them out next time and post an update.

All in all, Lucia gave it her paw of approval, so I'm sure we'll be back.

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Frida Tacos

 

Frida tacos

Frida Tacos

- located at Andalucia 584 y Francisco Salazar in Quito.

Six of us from work met up for tacos and drinks on Wednesday night.  I volunteered to drive since I was the only one that had a vehicle.  Frida Tacos was the destination.  It's around 5 miles away from  the U.S. Embassy.  

Carta-frida

Here's more info on the restaurant.   I had the Tacos al Pastor, Campechano, and some Doggerlander craft beer.  Portions were small but tasty, that's why I bought a couple entrees. There is limited sitting so large groups may have to find space where available.  We placed three bar stool tables together for our group of 6.

 

 

 


Covered in mud and bird poo - My car arrives safely

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Rain storms came through this weekend, the first time since I arrived in Quito.  The storm clouds could be seen coming off the mountains to the east.  The cloudbursts were dramatic and amazing as I watched them roll in from the safety of my patio windows.  

As the subject line states, I was reunited with my truck on Wednesday.  I've adjusted to life without it, but it's great to have it back. Several people have offered to chauffeur me around, and I've also used cabs when needed.  But nothing can replace the freedom of getting to know the city while driving your own vehicle.  Lucia will get a nice change as well, since we can drive to distant parks instead of limiting our walks to the nearest one.

The FJ is well suited for the hilly driving in Quito. Many of the side streets have pavers vs. asphalt or concrete.  So the ride can be a little bumpy for a sedan or other low clearance vehicle.  However, there's plenty of economy sized vehicles traveling the city streets.  And the cost for imports is very high.  I've heard new vehicles can cost twice as much as you'd pay in the States or other countries, even higher if you're talking about high end luxury vehicles.

One of the first things I've had to get use to is parking in my residence's parking garage.  The height and turning radius inside the garage makes driving the FJ feel like I'm a gopher burrowing into its hole.  

Speaking of new things arriving-

Everyone told me that the speed of shipments have improved over the last few years.  Here's how my personal timeline shaped up for my vehicle (POV), unaccompanied air baggage (UAB), and household effects (HHE).  Everything was shipped from Virginia during the week of July 10.  Everything was staged in Miami, Florida for shipment to the coastal city Guayaquil, Ecuador.  From there it comes over land to the capital city.

Here's how long it took everything-

UAB - < 21 days

POV -  35 days

HHE - arrived in Guayaquil Aug-17, a week to 10 days for Customs clearance to Quito

I'm hopeful I'll see the HHE before the labor day weekend.  Fingers crossed.


¿Por qué mi café está frío?

"Why is my coffee cold?"

I pour a fresh cup of hot java, take a sip, then set it aside for a few minutes.  The next time I take a sip, there's a noticeable drop in the coffee temp.  I'm a fast coffee drinker normally, so I was at a loss until someone explained what was happening.  

At higher elevations, water starts to boil at lower temperatures.  This is due to the decrease in atmospheric pressure the higher you are in the world.  At sea level, water boils at 212°F.   But at 7500 ft, it boils at 198°F.   Water starts to boil for me at 195°F, since I'm a little higher at 9100 ft.  So with cooking you have to compensate for the lower boiling temp by increasing your cooking time and not the cooking temp.  You can't increase water's boiling temperature, unless you use a pressure cooker.  So if you try increase cooking temps, you'll just boil away water faster and dry out what's being cooked.  I noticed this cooking with chicken.  The meat dried out quickly and I should have covered the dish in the oven to retain the moisture.

So my high altitude coffee never gets as hot as it could if made at sea level, thus it will reaches room temperature faster than a sea-level coffee since it's coming down from it's boiling point of 195 vs sea level's 212.

Speaking of coffee, I'd like to end with a nice graphic from Coffee for Less.

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