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Our last two days have been easy peasy.

Easter is a bit of a non-event here after the huge build-up.  If we were devout Catholics we would be attending masses, etc.  But no.

Grace spent the morning on Skype joining her family for brunch, and egg hunt and duel of Words with Friends. 

I went out the Plaza Santo Domingo to watch the weekly folkloric dancingThe crowded square was a perfect place to watch people as well as the dances.

As usual we waited until the rain was threatening to really start our day.

Can it be?

We took the trolley to the Mariscal area.  I have been happy in my decision to change my reservation and stay in El Centro, the historic portion of Quito, but the tourist area is where the young action is.

Even on Easter Sunday when NO shops were open, I could see why it attracts the tourists.  Trees line the charming streets.  Restaurants offering beer, good wines, and everything from barbecue to Japanese cuisine surround the square.  No $1.50 meals here.We enjoyed the outside heaters and a dessert at a patio restaurant and then wandered down to the Artisan Market just in time.  We were under roof as the torrential afternoon rain left us inside to haggle over colorful scarves.

Off to the hotel again to catch up on my writing and Grace’s Facebook until we sent her back to her house to prepare for school the next day.

I was on my own for the last day…and what a time I had.

Watching the square from my breakfast table I saw uniformed young scholars from Santo Domingo crossing the square carrying large flags.


I got ready quickly, thinking that they might be in plaza by Iglesia de San Francisco.  I had a double motive there because I wanted to get a closer look at the original sculpture of the Virgin de Quito.  Oh well, both church and museo were closed.  Onward!

My new best friends.

Naturally, with my tsetse fly attention span I got sidetracked.  I passed some beautiful women who were in traditional dress but also wearing felt fedoras, each sporting a peacock feather.  They were so captivating that I turned back and asked them if they wore the feathers as friends or as a tradition from their village.

Okay, so they became my new best friends.  I took photos and then when one asked if she could have a copy, one of the women led me on a winding path for several blocks to an upstairs photo shop.  Fun!

I was heading back for the hotel when I was again sidetracked by all of the activity at the Plaza Grande.  Changing of the guard is on Mondays and is a great and colorful ritual.  By the time I arrived, the school children were leaving so I didn’t know if they had been spectators or taking part.

Immediately after the band stopped playing and the officers marched back toward the President’s palace, the protesters raised their flags, spread their banners and began the crush toward the palace.  They streamed through the center of the plaza and marched along the street.

After the uproar

Pretty amazing.

I was content to begin my packing in order to visit Grace and her family one last time.  (Made it own by bus, too!)

Hugs and Kisses to Grace.  Thanks for the memories…

Hasta pronto