Manta, Friday 03/08/2019

“Wake up and stretch Nilla! Time to explore the hotel and get some breakfast!  Feliz Dia de Mujeres! – Happy Women’s Day!”

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“Looks even better today than it did yesterday – we we’re just too tired Jackson.”

“Nice vegetation and quiet.  Sophisticated.”

“Wonderful view up here by the restaurant – El Faro.”

“Great looking buffet Nilla.”

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“Nice breeze too Jackson.  Great place to sit.”

Yumm.

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“I love blackberry juice!”

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“It’s coffee for me Nilla.”

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“Hey Hotel Balandra was voted most romantic hotel in Ecuador and received worldwide award in 2017.”

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“Romantic Nilla.”

“Okay enough relaxing up here – let’s check out the pool on our way back to the room.”

“Pool is small but large enough for the two of us Nilla.”

“Jackson, here’s the tunnel of love – ‘As long as this is locked (the pad lock) you are attached to me.’  Isn’t that sweet!”

“Let’s get going – back to the room to work on the blog.  No theme for today – just relax.”

“The Ts have to pick up bottled water, cups, paper towels and some facial tissue at the mall.  After that, maybe hang out at the pool.”

The Mall Pacifico is very large and comparable to some of the malls in the United States.  As in most malls, the prices are higher.  It seems as though non-Ecuadorean chocolate brands are losing to imports – the impression from seeing the candy selection at the check out lane. Lots of plastic products for most everything – no paper cups at this supermarket.

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“Nilla, the Ts need to get the savings card for these supermarkets when they return in December – it saves them ten percent and the card doesn’t cost anything.”

“I’m sure they’ll keep that in mind Jackson.  They can help Aventurero get one too.”

“I miss Aventurero Jackson.”

“We’ll see him again Nilla.”

The Ts get the first load of smokey laundry back and prepare a second load.  The suitcases were covered in soot – a little better after wiping them down with a damp paper towel.  Rather than go to the pool, a brief nap and then relaxing on the balcony before going out for early dinner at Martinica Restaurant – a little over a mile away.  The Ts will get some walking in today as well!

On the way to dinner they pass by a pizza place with three Great Danes – all eager to greet the Ts – all of them weigh over 200 pounds.  They also pass by an Avianca office and wonder if it is worthwhile to speak with them about upgrading flights home.

The restaurant exterior is well maintained and inviting.  The interior is very pleasant and relaxed.  Apparently the main dining area is upstairs.  Reservations are recommended and the Ts aren’t dressed for a more formal experience and are glad to sit downstairs.

Pork tenderloin with mushroom gravy, salad, mashed potatoes, and sea bass with seafood in saffron sauce, salad and rice.  Half bottle of San Carolina, Chile, sauvignon blanc and one Ecuadorean beer – total bill including tip and tax $58.55.

Once back to the Balandra, the Ts enjoy ‘aperitivo’ in the El Faro lounge before going to bed – tired.

“Sounds like the Ts had a romantic evening Jackson, they deserve it!”

“Text from Amarita – she wants to make sure the Ts are okay.”

“Little late for that Jackson.”

“Just keep in mind – we’re all safe, we don’t have to worry about the unexpected problems from that house!”

“But Jackson, even a house deserves to be cared for – I’d rather remember it as La Golfina, it has potential for survival just like the sea turtles.”

“Only if someone really cares.  Good night Nilla.”

 

 

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