Monday, December 7, 2009

Turkey Cupcakes

Give a "gobble, gobble" and then gobble them up!

Thanksgiving x 3

We had three wonderful Thanksgivings again this year! The weekend before Thanksgiving we headed to Tyler for two nights to be with Kent's family. We had fun playing in the leaves with our nephews, and we all enjoyed a boat ride on Sunday. Kent tried his hardest to break his streak of not catching any fish every time we go to Tyler, but to no avail. He's a good sport, though!

My aunt and uncle hosted all of my dad's family on Thanksgiving day in Austin. The weather was perfect ... we sat and chatted around a chiminea and later played Loaded Questions, which was a super fun game. I have a feeling our laughter from the board game often overpowered the football game that the guys were watching, but oh well!

Kent and I hosted my mom's family the day after. We played our traditional game of Yahtzee and RELAXED! We were pretty worn out by the third Thanksgiving.

We are so thankful to have such wonderful family, and are also thankful that so many of them live close enough that we get to see them multiple times a year. Here are some pictures, most of them being from Tyler.

"No photos! No sitting! No breathing! No fun!"

Long-lost blogger here! Lots to catch up on, so hold on tight, 'cause here we go!

So when we last left off, I was in travel limbo and desperately trying to get to Ecuador for a few business meetings. The airline denied us boarding due to "weight restrictions," which I now believe is a bunch of B.S. I think what really happened is that they overbooked the flight, and because we were traveling via frequent flyer miles, they decided to give our tickets away to a "paying" traveler. I raised my voice, but refrained from screaming, and we reluctantly left the airport to try again for the same flight the next day. Alex, who is fluent in Spanish, had to alter our hotel arrangements and reschedule a meeting thanks to the lovely mishap at the airport.

We arrive at the airport the next day a full FOUR hours before our flight, to allow ourselves plenty of time to handle any other hiccups that may come our way. We get up to the counter, and it's déjà vu. They start talking about weight restrictions again, but this time Alex receives a boarding pass, and I am told that I'm on standby, and must check-in at the gate. So we wait, and wait and wait for someone to come to the counter at the gate. It's now less than an hour before our flight is scheduled to leave, and I still don't know if I have a seat or not. Much to my delight, I receive a boarding pass very quickly and am finally able to breathe a sigh of relief.

We had been in the air for about 1.5 hrs. when the captain came on the intercom with an announcement. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I don't want to alarm you, but we are experiencing an electrical problem in the right engine. It's nothing to worry about, but we are going to turn around and go back to Houston and put you on a different plane to Quito just to be safe." SERIOUSLY?!? I must have been slightly delirious by this point, because I remember barely flinching at the news. So another 1.5 hrs. back to Houston, and then we're told that we're too heavy to land, because we still have too much fuel, so we have to fly around Houston for an hour or so to burn off some fuel. Just what Houston needs, more jet fuel in their already polluted air! We finally land back in Houston about four hours after we took off. They got everyone on another plane pretty quickly, and we took off for Quito ... again. It was about 9:45 p.m. the second time we departed Houston, and it's a five hour flight to Quito. Knowing that we had a 9 a.m. meeting the next day, I tried to get some sleep on the plane, but that is never good sleep. Quito is one hour ahead, so we landed at about 4 a.m. and got to our hotel about 5 a.m. I finally got to bed at 6 a.m., and woke up at 7:30 a.m. for our 9 a.m. meeting. Yikes! Needless to say, I was sleep deprived the whole trip, and running on adrenaline the whole time, I think.

We had two meetings on Tuesday and two on Wednesday. Two of the four meetings were almost completely in Spanish, so Alex and I had to go back and forth with the translations. We ended up landing an account at the last meeting, so we were excited about that.

There wasn't much time for sight-seeing, but one of the buyers and her husband graciously took us to the downtown historic district of Quito for dinner and to show us a few of the sights one evening. It was dark, so the pictures aren't the greatest, but at least we got to see something other than office buildings while we were there.

Alex and I were constantly making fun of how strict some things were there. I was scolded for taking pictures at least twice, scolded once for sitting on a curb (in a parking lot, not even on a street!), we were constantly asked to show our IDs, and not only did I have to show my ID when paying for breakfast, but they also asked for my passport! So the running joke was, "No photos! No sitting! No breathing! No fun!"

Eventhough the trip was fast and furious, I really enjoyed Quito. Here are a few photos of my journey: