Monday, October 11, 2010

Sundays in Cuenca

Remember when Sunday was a day of rest? You took a Sunday drive with the family, stopped for an ice cream cone at Frosty Freeze, took a nap, went on a picnic, and spent time with family?

Well, it still happens in Cuenca! Maybe that’s why I love it here so much; it reminds me of my childhood days in Southern California in the 1950’s.

There was no sense of urgency back then, just lazy Sunday afternoons with family and friends. Most stores were closed all day and Sunday dinners -- complete with buttery mashed potatoes, green beans laced with ham and double-dipped fried chicken -- were common (we didn't worry about cholesterol levels in those days).

Yesterday after church at Calvary Chapel, Mark and I took a walk and enjoyed the gorgeous weather with blue skies and white fluffy clouds. Mocha had fun exploring new territory and staking out a new “potty” spot.

For some strange reason, my mouth was watering for Burger King French fries (I know…not good for the cholesterol), but I had to have some. So we walked a few blocks to Mall del Rio (one of the newest and largest shopping malls in Cuenca). It seemed like the most logical choice since it has a food court with lots of fast food eateries.
We were amazed—shocked really—that they were starting to put up Christmas decorations. In the States, Christmas starts in July and is in full swing by October, so maybe it’s not that early.

There was a "choo-choo" train running through the mall with small children aboard waving their hands and laughing, a booth for Santa being set up, and a large Christmas tree in the center of the mall (void of ornaments).

The food court was packed, so we passed on the French fries and had ice cream instead at Tutto Freddo. We gave up trying to find a seat and found a bench instead with a perfect view of the mall and did some people watching (and listening!).

The stores were slightly decorated for Christmas, but nothing overt or flashy. I was amazed at the number of shops with evening gowns. I want to know where these people go to sport such fine attire. There must be a lot of weddings in Cuenca or some gala events that I haven’t attended. But even if I were invited to a formal event, this girl is wearing her flats! You’ll never find me strapping my feet to those six-inch stilettos (I'm afraid of heights!). I’ll stick to my Sketchers...thank you very much.

I meandered into a “profumeria” and bought some soap for the guest bathroom in a beautiful blue decanter ($5.95). I asked the clerk, “Estoy buscando para jamon?” She smiled (chuckled) and said, “Si, el jabon?” Silly me, I asked for ham instead of soap!

We took a taxi home and enjoyed a lazy afternoon along the river—walking Mocha—and watched families having picnics, playing soccer and marveled at the vendors lining the streets with soft ice cream, swirls of pink cotton candy, and Cuecano hot dogs.

Sundays are a day of rest, celebration of family, and good food--just like I remember when I was a little girl!

Until next time...hasta luego!

P.S. Yesterday was my dad's 81st birthday (10-10-10) and I called him via Skype. As we talked, the Sunday drives came pouring back in: My sister and I begged from the backseat of our 1955 Chevy for dad to stop at Frosty Freeze. Dad teased us by making a sharp right turn away from the drive-in while we sighed. And then just as quickly, Dad made a U-turn back into the parking lot of Frosty Freeze! He was and always will be my hero.

Happy Birthday, Dad. This "little" girl loves you!


Diego said...

Food tip #2 Some delicious cookies and ice cream, in mall del rio, right in front of the hyundai dealership, there's a small vendor in the middle called "Dolce" amazing cookies!

The cookie and ice cream combo costs $1.25, should not miss it.

The Fabulous Mrs. Garate said...

Great post! As someone who just had a little girl of her own its nice to see that the love and bond you have with your father is still so strong!

Connie Pombo said...

Diego, thanks for the tip; I think I just might have to head to Mall del Rio today!

Rebecca, congratulations on your baby girl. Yep, fathers play a significant role in a daughter's life!

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