The San Francisco Plaza is one of my favorite touristy spots in the Historic Downtown area of Quito. It’s a good place for people watching and you have great views/photo opportunities from every angle: the statue of Virgin on the top the Panecillo hill, the green and gold domes or cupolas of La Compañía church, the pigeons and street vendors, the stairs and the entrance to church. There’s a conveniently located restaurant (Tianguez) right underneath the church/monastery area – and it’s a great place to have an Ecuadorian Pilsener or Club beer (or a jugo de mora) while you enjoy the view.
Photo of the Day
I took this photo of the Vilcabamba valley and mountains when we visited Ecuador a couple years ago. We went to the restaurant at Hosteria Izhcayluma, located outside of the town. The view from this place are amazing, you can stay there or just come for lunch/dinner or drinks. We shared a bottle of wine and had a caprese salad, with this view!
When I was 20 I (luckily) spent a few months in Paris, thanks to my uncle who was living there at the time. My cousin and I would spend our days exploring different parts of the city (old fashioned style with a paper guidebook). I remember going to the Jardin du Luxembourg (aka Luxembourg Garden) and trying to find the Medici Fountain. It was late fall and very cold, hardly anyone was in the park, and right as we reached the Lovers statue we saw a cute couple hugging. I think my cousin managed to snap a photo that included them as part of the scene….
Today’s travel memory photo of the day was taken during my last trip to Europe. We visited my good friend Rossana in her hometown of Bergamo and took a day trip to Venice. These colorful Venetian masquerade masks were everywhere. Of course, I’m sure most of them are made in China or you will pay a fortune for a real authentic one. Regardless, they are pretty to look at and every time I see them I get the urge to plan and host a Venetian inspired masquerade party. Or to make batch of bellini cocktails – also inspired by that visit to Venice.
My favorite coffee is the one that my mom grows on our farm in Vilcabamba. It’s not a large farm, but there are enough coffee plants that we get enough coffee for family and friends. I am by no means a coffee expert or connoisseur, and to a coffee snob this might not be the best coffee. However, for me personally the coffee from Vilcabamba is the best, it’s the coffee that as soon as I smell or taste it, it brings back memories. I love that it’s very smooth and hasn’t been over-roasted (like most coffee you get in the US). This doesn’t mean it isn’t strong or is lacking in caffeine – completely the opposite, it will definitely get you caffeinated….
Today’s photo is from one of my favorite viewpoints in Quito. Itchimbía is a park on the top of hill in downtown (Old Town) Quito, you’ll have one of the best views in the city from this park – especially because the view include the other famous hill, El Panecillo. There are a few restaurants and bars in this area, which makes it a great place to get a good night view of the city. This night view of Quito’s Historic Center and the Panecillo was taken from a restaurant/bar called Cafe Mosaico.
The region around Baños de Agua Santa in the province of Tungurahua in Ecuador is known for its many beautiful waterfalls. There’s even a route called “ruta de las cascadas” or route of the waterfalls. One of these impressive waterfalls, which is very visible as you drive on the road in this area, is called Manto de la Novia, this translates as the Bride’s Veil. Manto de la Novia consists of two waterfalls that are side by side. You can get a close up view by riding a cable car, there’s one that goes to the top of the waterfalls and another that goes to the bottom part.
Today’s photo of the day is a shot of crabs mating at Los Frailes beach in Ecuador. During crab mating season on the coast in Ecuador, there is a ban on crab fishing – called veda in Spanish. We happened to be a Los Frailes, a beautiful beach that is park of Machalilla National Park in the province of Manabi, during the season. You could see thousands of crabs all over the rocks on the edges of the beach and I got this photo of these ones mating.
Los Frailes is a must-see beach if you are in Manabi, it’s very close to Puerto Lopez. Since this beach is part of the park, it can only be visited during day time hours and they are very strict about this. They also do a great job of making sure that the beach is kept clean and that people clean up and take their trash with them – which if you’ve visited other beaches in Ecuador you will know can be a problem.
Today’s photo of the day is this delicious Hawaiian Pineapple Prince cocktail that I had in Kauai at the Westin hotel. This amazing drink was made with pineapple infused vodka blended with passion fruit juice then swirled with mango puree. Doesn’t this make you wish for summer and a warm beach?
My husband, Nicolas, spent many childhood summers and holidays in the French Alps. His family used to go to a small town called Albiez and we usually spend a week there when we go to France. This small town is in the middle of nowhere and has cows walking through the streets in the morning and evening – which means you can get fresh milk every day.
It’s very calm and great for hiking. These lupine flowers are everywhere during the summer, I just love their bright colors and thought this would be great for today’s Photo of the Day.
I’m going to start doing several short “photo of the day” posts. These will include random photos that I find in my travel archives. To start out, today’s photo of the day is this delicious seco de chivo or goat stew we ate in Quito, Ecuador. This photo was taken in June 2012 at the Hasta La Vuelta Señor restaurant in the Historic Center area.
Seco de chivo is a traditional Ecuadorian goat stew dish made by cooking goat meat (or sometimes lamb) by braising it in a sauce of garlic, cumin, achiote or annatto, oregano, peppers, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, chicha or fermented corn drink, naranjilla or lulo juice, panela and spices. I have a recipe for homemade seco de chivo if you are interested in trying to make it at home.