Birthdays and Carnaval!

Trip Start Dec 29, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2013

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Saturday, February 2, 2013

So it was officially my birthday, although the celebrations on the Cormorant the day before seemed like enough to last half a lifetime!  We had arranged with our new friends from the Galapagos cruise, Joni and Greg to meet for a birthday toast in Quito.  Since Joni shared my birthday and we truly enjoyed their company, I looked forward to it all afternoon during our long flight back to the capital.  Joni and Greg arrived at our hotel and we indulged in some wine by the fireside.  Then we invited them to join us for dinner at a great little restaurant we had tried out the previous week.  The chocolate retailer next to the hotel informed us that it was the beginning of Carnaval (not Carnival) and there would be celebrations that night.  What a coincidence and great way to celebrate birthdays!  On a side note - this chocolate shop had some of the best chocolate I have ever tasted!  Pineapple and banana bits covered in dark Ecuadorian chocolate!  After a fabulous dinner, we all walked down our beautiful Quito street.  The boys partook in the South American tradition of "foaming" for Carnaval, spraying passers by with foam.  At first I thought it would be similar to our "silly string" that you can purchase at home, but quickly found out that it is more akin to shaving foam!   While the boys were given rules by us - only to spray others that had foam containers in hand - we took photos with historical police and watched dancers, artists and clowns.  We called it an early night around 10pm as exhaustion from traveling settled in, and we were lulled to sleep by street musicians playing under our Juliet balconies.  I was awoken later on by fireworks - my first thought was what a fabulous end to my birthday.  I did get out of bed to watch them, but the fog was fairly thick, so I only glimpsed a small amount of colour.  The merriment in the streets carried on until the wee hours of the morning.
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