Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Starting to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

Okay, so it’s not exactly Rockefeller Center, but “al centro” is starting to look a lot like Christmas. Unlike the States where the department stores are stuffed full of Christmas merchandise and decorations starting in July, Cuenca takes a more relaxed approach and decorating begins in earnest during the first week of December.

The last two days we’ve enjoyed Parque Calderon with its giant Christmas tree and all the festivities going on, including concerts. With weather in the 70’s, it’s hard to believe that this time last year we were bracing for a major snowstorm. Certainly, the best part of Cuenca is the weather; we’ll take perpetual spring over snow any day!

Soon we’ll be leaving for the States and I have to say I have mixed feelings. Of course, we want to see our family and friends, but to leave “paradiso”? It’s really hard to do. My list of things to buy for the States keeps getting shorter and shorter. Having lived here for six months, I’ve found a substitute for almost everything except red pepper flakes. They have red pepper powder here, but it’s not the same when you sprinkle it on pizza! So we were surprised today when we stopped by Chicago Pizza and our server placed a glass jar of red pepper flakes on our table. I nearly fell off my chair. By the way, Chicago Pizza has the best pizza in Cuenca at prices that are incredible. Their medium-sized pizza is more like the size of extra large in the States and oh so good! Sorry, no pictures of the food; it was simply gone too fast.

Chicago Pizza is across the street from Santo Domingo Iglesia (Iglesia de Santo Domingo) which is jaw-droppingly gorgeous inside with its wooden floors and blue overtones. There was a mass going on today with a “choir of angels” singing, so we plopped ourselves down in a pew to listen to the music while our pizza had time to digest.

I have some writing deadlines to knock out before we leave for the States, but it’s so hard to concentrate when activities for Christmas are gearing up and Cuenca’s gorgeous weather keeps pulling me outside.

Compared to the scene out of our window (this time last year), we’re thankful that Christmas in Cuenca has a different landscape and beauty we never imagined.

Wishing you joy as you plan for the holidays!

Inside Santa Domingo Iglesia

We decided to adopt this Christmas Tree!

Ride anyone?

Our Christmas picture postcard this year!

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