2021 The BegInning

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

This was the scene from our terrace as the calendar turned to 2021. There were no official fireworks but hundreds and hundreds were launched by private citizens all over the city.

This continued for half an hour….it was magical.

Christmas is a really big deal down here but because of the restrictions, the day long parade was cancelled and no large gatherings were allowed. However, there were three giant Christmas trees erected in different parts of the city and lots of lights to celebrate the holiday.

This is the giant tree in El Centro. We can see it from our terrace along with the iconic blue domes of the New Cathedral.
At the foot of the tree
So many beautiful displays all over the city.
There are scenes like this all along the Tomebamba river.
The tops of the blue domes of the New Cathedral from the square.
These are effigys for sale. It is the custom here to burn them at midnight on New Years Eve. You choose one to represent all the bad things you want to be rid of from the previous year. I would have liked to see a corona virus 🦠. Or maybe a certain unbalanced person put in a powerful position?

But we are leaving that all behind us now and concentrating on the good things that will surely come our way in this new year. Bruce and I are thankful for our newfound friends here in Cuenca and our recent move to a new apartment. And of course for our continued good health.

This is Tom cooking up a batch of local shrimp for a small gathering of friends on his terrace to celebrate his return to Cuenca from the states. (Sorry about the black mark….screen grab)
Bruce and Louis on Tom’s terrace
Jennie, Regina and Sharon…..same gathering
And this is Lisa (Jaffe) my newfound artist friend in her previous studio.

I promised a couple of shots of our new apartment now that we have most of our furnishings. We have been here on the corner of Las Palomas and Del Chirote for a month now and we like it very much. It is soooo much quieter and we have an awesome view and a TERRACE! 😊😊😊

Our entrance door
view from our entrance door to the building entrance
View of the upper half of our building from a street below.
Part of our terrace
View from the dining area towards the fireplace seating area
We like our new furniture. The leather couch is super comfy. The rocker is made from local wood and the recliner is for naps! Bruce said I should hang up some of my paintings wherever there were nails…so I did. We bought a tele that is next to the fireplace so we can watch an hour of Netflix most nights.
View toward the dining area and terrace. Our little tree is fake, of course. That’s all they have down here. But the lights at night are fun. Minimal decoration this year, but next year we’ll put more effort into it!
I like the wall treatment! The kitchen is through the door to the left.
We had to buy new appliances and are very happy with our gas six burner stove and roomy refrigerator.
The breakfast nook adjoining the kitchen.
The plants in this little sunroom were left for us because they were too heavy to move. I’ve only added an orchid so far!
Early morning with a strip of light over the city. Weather patterns move through the city VERY quickly so we get a variety of weather throughout the day.
The clouds are amazing.
A huge thunder/lightning storm from our terrace.
Continuing the tour…. Bruce’s office with his collection of cacti in the south facing window. His easy chair is out of the frame🙂
My ….ahem…..studio with tons of storage out of the frame.
View of a bedroom
View from my bed. So far the only photo of Cuenca at night. We’ll do better next time. The bathroom also has the same view.

Bruce has started a new hobby! He has a collection of succulents and bonsai that he purchased at local nurseries and brought home on his bike. The succulents all needed potting up which he did on the terrace with a special mix he concocted himself from nursery soil and scrounged gravel from building sites. The owner of the bonsai nursery has invited us to her farm where they grow the plants. We leave for the coast for two weeks on the fifteenth, but maybe when we return.

From his office window. They all have personalities.
The rest of the ever increasing gang.
Forgot these three on the terrace
His bonsais…….only three so far🙂
my personal favorite
And to finish…..Bruce’s practice shot for double exposure. The fun never stops! I am reading my Christmas present from Bruce……my friend and mentor’s latest book, Windcliff, the story of Dan Hinkley’s famous garden. Sooooo good!

So that’s it for now. We will post again after our trip to Olon which has one of the prettiest beaches anywhere and plenty of sunshine and warm water. For my friends in the grip of winter, worry not. Spring can not be far away and we have so very much to look forward to.
Love to you all!


14 thoughts on “2021 The BegInning

  1. Your apartment looks just beautiful! I would like to see a few close up shots of your paintings hanging on your walls 😉 Love the cacti and bonsai Bruce! I, once again, loved reading your post and especially appreciated the positive feel throughout for a wonderful year ahead ❤️


  2. Dear Sharon, Happy New Year to you and Bruce. I love your condo tour and commentary. Thanks. Dinner at Tom’s serving the shrimp reminded me of the time I was enjoying his shrimp at your place. I am heading to Florida at the end of the month. I have been sort of “anti-Florida” quietly for many, many years…and now I’m going there. It will be better than the sun-less Chicago but not the same as my preferred south of the border places. Poor me!!! Yesterday’s DC insurrection/whatever you want to call it was so awful I can’t even write about it. I know I was almost physically sick yesterday and last night.

    Your place looks really nice; you’ve done a great job furnishing it. Enjoy it to the max! Be well and enjoy yourself and the beach! Be well, Love, Judy

    Sent from my iPhone Please forgive all typos



  3. Your new place is looking great. Love the idea of viewing the fast changing weather from your sun room and balcony. Nice to be in a warmer place for the winter too!

    We had a good holiday with Bob’s son and family from Woodinville coming for Thanksgiving and for New Year’s. They are very careful so we could be maskless inside together. Didn’t have your lovely fireworks tho.

    We did have a little excitement recently. Our spruce tree up on the bluff was hanging out at a 45% angle for most of the year and it finally went over the edge. Then a chunk of bank weakened by the tree roots went too. It will be interesting to be here for the winter. We are usually heading to a warmer place about now so miss any winter bluff sluffing.

    Happy New Year to you and Bruce!


  4. Awesome photos and great description. Your apartment is magnificent! I’m loving Bruce’s succulent and cactus collections … they all look healthy and happy. Nice report!!


  5. Your apartment is amazing! Love everything about it. My favorite Christmas decoration is the one of the fish on the Tomebamba River.It’s so fanciful and fun! The two of you look great and your projects reflect both of your artistic proclivities.


  6. Thanks for the update. It was uplifting in a way, given the misery of the last few days and the ongoing impact of the pandemic. We all hope for a better, healthier, more peaceful year. p.s. I would love to see some photos of your paintings.
    Regards Laura


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