Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Coffee!

Mark and I decided not to give each other Christmas gifts this year, but I simply couldn’t resist sneaking something under the tree. 

This morning Mark asked, “Did you happen to get coffee at the store yesterday?”

“Hmm…urr…yes,”  I said hesitantly.

“Well, where is it?” Mark prompted.

I reached under the Christmas tree, grabbed the small package and blurted out, “Merry Christmas!”

“Wait, I thought we weren’t going to buy each other gifts?” Mark said forcefully.

“I don’t think this is really considered a ‘gift'— more like a necessity,” I whispered close to his ear, while handing him the loosely wrapped package in red cellophane.

Mark couldn’t have been more surprised as he tore into the “paper” and held up our favorite brand: Sweet and Coffee (think Starbucks of Ecuador). We held each other and reminisced about our first “Sweet and Coffee” experience in Guayaquil during our coastal vacation in July.

While I made coffee, Mark and I got out pictures of our trip and did a play-by-play account of each glorious day: Los Frailes (the most beautiful beach in Ecuador--possibly South America); our trip to Isla de la Plata, my first whale watching experience, our leisurely walks along the beach at night and breakfast each morning at our favorite café in Puerto Lopez (La Ballena – The Whale Café), where we soaked in an ocean view paired with the best French Toast I’ve ever tasted. But it’s the cappuccino that I remember the most; it was literally a “bowl”—not a cup. The foam was meringue-like and had me begging for seconds!

Is it any wonder that we came back from our vacation in paradise with a bag of “Sweet and Coffee” in our “mochila” (backpack)? This morning as we enjoyed Christmas Coffee on our balcony overlooking the Tomebamba River, we toasted to our memorable vacation and made reservations for our return trip, so we can once again bask in the glow of Ecuadorian sunsets, collect whole sand dollars on the pristine beaches of Los Frailes, and enjoy breakfast at La Ballena.

Truth be told; it’s not really about the coffee. It’s about all the experiences that come with it and this morning we re-lived one of those.

Our Christmas tree is decorated with reminders of Puerto Lopez—white sand dollars looped with red ribbon. Simple but elegant.

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without our favorite coffee and this morning we enjoyed the perfect blend!

May you find
health, happiness and peace
during this Holiday Season!

Feliz Navidad

Connie, Mark and Mocha

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