Galapagos Islands Day One: Meet The M/S Beagle

Aside from spending the money, my only hesitation in taking a Galapagos Islands cruise is that it’s been my 90 year old mother’s “dream trip” for years. As a “bird nut” and wildlife enthusiast, it’s been on her bucket list probably longer than it’s been on mine. So I felt overwhelmed with guilt to be taking this trip without her, even to the point of sending her an “apology email” beforehand.  While Mom’s mind is still sharp as a tack, (she is on email, Facebook, and never misses a blog post from her favorite reading list) her body is less cooperative these days. So although I offered to pay for her to come along, she understandably declined. A trip of this length is challenging for many, let alone someone of 90 years. So instead I will do my best to “take her along” in my posts with greater detail than I usually would devote to a one week trip. I hope my followers find the cruise interesting, but please feel free to enjoy the photos while skipping over the detail in the next eight posts if it’s too much.  You now know the reason why… Continue reading

Basking in Thoughts of the Bucket List

I’d all but given up on my dream of finding a last minute discount cruise to the Galapagos Islands, my sole reason for flying to Ecuador at the end of my Mexico journey. While Plaza Foch lived up to its reputation as being the central location of dozens of travel agencies, discounts were not as deep as I had hoped. I wandered every street, popping into shop after shop, but nothing seemed to fit within my budget. Between that frustration, the robbery, and my busted camera, I was starting to turn my sights toward a return flight to the US. Continue reading

Quito, Ecuador: Don’t Let Crime Ruin Your Time

I had “theft” on the brain from the moment I landed in Quito, Ecuador. I don’t typically give much thought to petty theft and street crimes, having lived in Manhattan for ten years. I have accepted that theft can happen anywhere, so I do what I can to protect my personal belongings, keep them out of view, and stay alert and aware when walking the streets of any large city. Then I try not to think about it too much.

Accepting the risks while arming myself with local knowledge, I refuse to let fear dictate my Continue reading

Real Time Update

Greetings, Friends and Followers. Time for a real time update from the “Middle of the World,” Ecuador.

Thanks to those who have written to inquire if all is okay since I had been posting regularly from Mexico, but have not posted in a couple of weeks. I have much to share, as I have seen some phenomenal places, both in Mexico and Ecuador.

But first there is a big black cloud that I need to clear.  I only want to write about this once, so as not to “go there” over and over again. I am ready to move on.  But friends have asked about photos and updates, and I have always tried to share the bad along with the good.  So here goes… Continue reading