You are at the first picture: Me, chillin' and in need of sleep about 12 hours into the trip. This was taken in Detroit Airport.
Jenna is like a car without oil in regards to her sleep. If she doesn't get it, things don't run right.
First photo in Ecuador. I soon found that public sculptures/monuments are nothing more than the hangout place for birds.
Parque Bolivar, also the Park of the Iguanas.
Metropolitan Cathedral, Guayaquil Ecaudor.
Inside Metropolitan Cathedral.
I often aim the camera down to give a sense of place: an 'in-your-shoes' type sense of place.
Something important probably. Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Two Gents shaking hands back in 1780.
Baby Iguana on the Malecon.
Gringos looking fly.
Ecuador Window. Las Penas.
Ecuador Cafe. Las Penas
Walking to the top of Las Penas.
I believe it's supposed to be 456 steps to the top of Santa Ana Hill (Las Penas) but I kept getting 444.
Old Church at the top of Santa Ana Hill, Las Penas, Guayaquil.
Inside the old Church.
Jenna overlooking Guayaquil.
Mike with Guayaquil in Background.
Guayaquil from Santa Ana Hill.
Adjacent hill of homes. My mother has a painting with these homes in the background. As a child, I always longed to see this place in person. While the vivid colors have faded, they'll always live bright in my mind's eye.
Mother and Son.
About to kneel, pray.
Old Lighthouse, top of Santa Ana Hill/Las Penas.
The spiral staircase that leads to the top of the Lighthouse.
Lovers Lane Scrawl. . .
. . . which gave us this idea to document these guys/gals. . .
. . . at the top of the Lighthouse.
With a strict Catholic upbringing. . .
. . . it's only natural these young guys and gals look for a reprieve. . .
. . . from Mom and Dad. . .
. . . Jesus and his Dad (God) breathing down their necks about religion and how they should conduct their lives.
Many thanks to these folks for participating. . .
. . . in this fun little departure during our visit to Ecuador.
Guayaquil from the air enroute to Quito.
Guayaquil from the Air. It's fairly smoggy there.
from the air.
Jenna giving me the look.
Clouds so thick, I didn't see ground for quite awhile during our approach into Quito.
Outside Quito from the air.
The route (hardy har) of the problem in regards to smog.
One of a couple taxi drivers in Quito.
We stayed with Esther during our time in Quito. . .
She's a friend of my mother's sister, and quite a talker. Here's she telling Jenna something very important it seems.
Ester's home in Quito.
Our other taxi Driver. He's taking us up to the top of Quito: El Panecillo where the Virgin of Quito watches over the city.
Street Scene. Ecuador.
Inside El Panecillo. Quito.
Quito from El Panecillo. Breathtaking view!
Jenna looking good as always. Quito in Background.
Working it. Quito from El Panecillo.
Cheeseball Smile. Quito from El Panecillo.
The Virgin from Below.
Inside the Virgin of Quito. Each piece is put together in numbered pieces.
Old friend 79. The year I was born.
Stain Glassed Beauty 1.
Stain Glassed Beauty 2.
Stain Glassed Beauty 3.
More Religious Stuff.
Jenna and Guillermo. Guillermo is uninterested.
He took this photo of us. Thanks Guillermo.
Bye El Panecillo.
From the Cab.
I love this stuff.
I don't know. I'm not a sign reader during rock slides.
At the Plaza Santa Domingo. The Statue of Mariscal Sucre.
Sucre Looking all Diplomatic and whatnot.
Iglesia Santa Domingo. This was a beautiful church.
Iglesia Santa Domingo.
Altar at Iglesia Santa Domingo.
Side Chapel we didn't go into, but the paintings were absolutely beautiful.
This was a side chapel that was closed and the attendant motioned me in. I wasn't allowed to take photos with flash, so I fired off this image of the amazing altarpiece gilded in Gold. Iglesia Santa Domingo.
They were working on the paintings that represented the stations of the cross. I reached over the partitions and just happened to catch these restorers in a moment of conversation.
This guy was clearly enjoying his job way too much.
One of the stations closed with wall.
Plaza de la Independencia. Quito, Ecuador.
Tiger Style? . . . or Lion Style. Plaza de la Independencia, Quito, Ecuador. Believe that building with the flag on the top is the Presidential Palace.
Plaza de la Indenpendencia. Quito, Ecuador.
Inside the Museo Catedral in the Plaza de la Independencia.
Really Dope Altar Inside the Museo Catedral in the Plaza de la Independencia.
Believe this area housed the remains of folks or saintly appendages from saints.
Inside the Museo Catedral.
The Tomb of Ecuadorian Statesman Gabriel Garcia Moreno.
Uhhm. . . Beautiful.
This is like the Ecuadorian Bishop/Cardinal version of the Baeball Hall of Fame.
The Bishop All-Stars Team 1600-1859. The portriat missing is of Hector "Fireball" Garcia: known for his ability to put the Eucharist deep into the seats of his congregation.
MVP: Most Valuable Popes.
The Pope Hall of Fame.
Amazing Soup that was deliciously fulfilling. . .
. . . Jenna agrees and I will be no more when she sees this pic.
Doors to one of the important buildings that was closed when we went to go see it.
I believe this was La Basillica. Pretty sure as it was offered to go up to the top of the Bell Tower, but with all the walking and high altitude. . .
. . . we opted to sit on the lawn and enjoy looking at it.
Jenna craves cafe de leche. . .
Jenna walking into La Basilica.
Looking up at it.
The huge (I'm guessing) Bronze Doors to the church.
Hip Hop is Global. Ya' heard?
You can see El Panecillo from here. That's the Virgin of Quito at the top of the hill.
Hair Salon: Peep the Mannequin Head (top left)
This is like a karaoke club for up and coming singers. The photos in the hall of all the acts were great.
Awesome wall. Quito, Ecuador.
Backs turned to Plaza San Francisco. Don't recall what the building in the center is.
Plaza San Francisco.
Jenna and I inside the Iglesia San Francisco.
Hmmm. . ..
Wicked Religious Art.
Stairway to Heaven.
Another Pope Hall of Fame Moment. This painting was like the graduating Pope Class of 1724. The Virgin Mary (at the top) was again the valedictorian.
Some Major Renovation yields pretty colors by which to shoot through.
The Alternate Team from the Cardinals vs. Bishops All-Star Game of 1724.
Incredibly Not Cool of Me to take this picture apparently as this was a super rare relic, I'm guessing housing someone's garment or finger that was deemed saintly.
Ornate Woodwork on the top of the side chapel here is not done justice by the incredibly low light and ISO 1600 it was shot at.
Pimptastic Altar in the La Compania, said to be the most beautiful church in all of the Americas. It's like all made out of Gold.
Pretty pretty. La Compania.
Outside La Compania, the details on this bad boy were breathtakingly gorgeous to behold.
Central Bank of Ecuador was not too shabby either.
Again, La Compania.
Portrait of Esther.
Esther and I in her home. This amazing portrait setup that I had going was stolen on the Bus from Quito to Banos by master indigenous child thieves. Only had one chance to try it out. But in a later post, you'll see Fernando came to the rescue.
The gang at Ester's house getting ready for our drive to the Bus Station to head to Banos. From left: Marcia, Jenna, Esther and Me.
School Kids on the street in Quito.
Jenna and I on the bus from Quito to Banos before my photo dreams were smashed.
Just outside Quito. Beautiful Volcanic Hills. Unfortunately we didn't see any of the volcanoes of lore because it was completely cloudy during all our days in Quito and later in Banos.
This is the only shot of the Mannequin shops I kept seeing everywhere. There was a great one in Guayaquil and I wanted to take a photo at night, but it wasn't in all that great of a neighborhood.
Missed this pic of Dragon Slayer lady in the center of one of the towns enroute to Banos.
Ambato by bus.
Lone Dog. Ambato, Ecuador. We saw these guys everywhere.
Rock the Vote!
As we got closer to Banos, the sky opened up and the shadows of the clouds on the valley were breathtaking.
Rolling Hills. . .
The Hills/Mountains/Volcanic Earth was absolutely Massive! Behind that cloud was to have been a very large, active volcano. . . Drats!
Our view from the Hostel Isla de Banos in Banos. Such a great time there.
Jenna relaxing after I realized I had $600+ in photo gear stolen.
Sugarcane Juice Vendor.
Making the Sugar Cane Juice. If I was thinking, I would have photographed our reactions as we drank it.
Street Art, Banos.
Large Open Air Mineral Hot Spring called the Piscinas de la Virgen. We had planned to go to this one, but Jenna and I took a chance and were quite pleased to go to the one in Santa Clara frequented by locals. It was amazing, but no pics from that one.
Next to Piscinas de la Virgen. . .
an amazing waterfall!
This was the area for the Agua Santa. The holy water is said to heal and protect, and later as you'll see if you intone her name, i.e. 'Save me Our Lady of the Holy Water' you can survive burning buildings or falling into a deep river canyon.
Bottle it up and take some with you sinners.
Street Art in Banos.
Street in Banos.
Street Scene in Banos. I don't know who was winning this: the kid or the dog. I suspect this is an ongoing battle for turf.
Another Lone Dog. We saw this dog quite often and he definitely patrolled/policed his turf. If another dog came by, he'd bark 'em away: All property, scraps and water left become the property of Extremely Muscular Hot Dog Dog.
Really Amazing Street Art in Banos.
Pray or burn in Hell.
Here's an example in the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Agua Santa. This bloke was falling to his death when prayed to her. Apparently he lived. . .
Here's another. What blew me away about these paintings is how contemporaneous they are but being completed in the 1930's and 40's. I love how the artist's mix narrative with amazing modeling and they just put the whole story on their paintings in this very unapologetic way. One of the highlights of the trip.
Inside the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora de la Agua Santa.
Jenna reading a painting (strange language) like 'watch your eyes' or 'feel your hands'
I wish this hung on my wall or at least sat on the floor, begging for an ample enough wall on which to be hung.
Uhmmm. . . sending a message to all you sinners out there.
Mass First Communion.
The floor of Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Agua Santa.
Inside the Iglesia de Nuestra Senora del Agua Santa.
Kind of not pretty. Scary, really. I was blinking my eyes when Jenna shot this.
Reading light in Isla de Banos Hostel after discovering the employee stole $70 from my envelope in their strongbox.
Not sure she was as pissed about being decapitated as I was about having to stay one more night in a house of thieves.
Rainy in Banos for our departure.
Rush Hour 2 appreciated by all.
This is the only hint of a volcano I saw while in Quito.
Somehow, this says a lot about the country.
Marsh Mellow Clouds
This is Fernando Landin Cantos. He saved my a$# after I had some lighting gear stolen. I was able to rent a few things from him and for his goodness. . .
I came over and showed him a couple portrait set ups and gave him a pointer or two in the way of lighting. We managed to shoot some great stuff while together. Thx so much, Fernando! You saved my @$#.
The Showdown: Messi, the dog VS. My Little Pony. Messi is victorious.
This is my little cousin, Sebastian. He's such a great little chess player and all-around guy. He took it easy on me.
Sebastian and I. He reminded me a lot of myself the way he wore pajamas to bed and was totally cerebral and bookish.
The Fish Mongers arrive. They'll come to your house and bring what you need to you. All fresh for a reasonable price.
Slaying the Meal.
My little cousins: Isabella on left, Paula on right. Both adorable and cute as buttons.
Jenna and Alejandro, my godmother/cousin's son.
Grandparents with Grandkids. the kiddies from left: Isabella (seated looking upset), Paula in Orlando's arms, Marianna seated looking as beautiful as ever. Standing from left: Sebastian, Alejandro and my other cousin Nicholas who was in town from the states with his dad, Wilfredo.
Messi. Named after a popular soccer star, this little guy is the puppy of Alejandro and Paola. Absolutely the cutest.
Spider from the Ecuadorian version of Charlotte's Web.
Walking to the Lighthouse at La Chocolatera.
Important Marker signifying the importance upon which it sits.
My Uncle Orlando. He is such a handful. I love this man beyond words.
Jenna and I soaking up the rays on the Chocolatera.
Family: Orlando, my uncle. Carmen, my cousin and me. Chocolatera
Fisherman wondering why anyone in the world chooses to do something other than what he does all day?
Jenna, Orlando, Carmen and Marianna.
Guessing this cross signifies lives lost here on this point.
Sea Spray from La Chocolatera.
A restful ocean.
Jenna looking down into the Chocolatera.
There you go.
About to chow down at this Cevicheria. . .
. . . I could have eaten six bowls of this stuff.
Calamari Ceviche that Jenna was enjoying.
Smile or Look Straightfaced.
The Harvest. These guys brought a whole boatload of little fish in.
They just gave us a bag to take home. Fried up and eaten with lemon juice, these little guys are delicious so I'm told as we didn't eat them that night opting for prawns the size of chicken legs.
This is my Godmother/Cousin's Family: Carolina (my G.Mother) left, her son Alejandro, husband Mauricio and their daughter Paula. Taken on the beach outside Salinas assisted by Jenna punching in the gold flex fill.
The Villas at Dusk.
Ecuador Sunset. I wouldn't leave Ecuador alive without getting one or a couple of these.
Jenna at Sunset.
Me at Sunset.
Fishermen setting nets at Dusk.
Absolutely memorable night with Jenna watching the sun go down on the beach.
Monster Shrimp of which I was forced to eat like 16. I was so FULL that night.
It's between this one. . .
. . . and this one. Which one do you like? This one? Me too!
Out near Salinas, Ecuador.
I'm now doing floral arrangements in case anyone wants to hit me up.
Isabella, my little cousin. Daughter of my mom's niece, Carmen.
Jenna smiling easily while Mike is anxious about his picture being taken by an eight year old girl with greasy fingers five feet from a swimming pool. . .
Ayangue Beach where we had a lovely lunch with the family.
The Point at Ayangue.
The cutey, Paula posing for a picture. Such a natural.
My Aunt Marianna.
My Uncle Orlando.
Jenna and I photographed by my Godmother/Cousin Carolina.
Grilled Lobster was out of this world.
Lobster meets the Semi-truck known as my stomach.
Let me explain. Marianna was walking around with a plate of Patacones and Sebastian is following her like a dog. She literally had one dangling from her hand and he'd come up and chomp a section off like he was a little piranha.
Patacones being made. I love this photo.
Marianna and Orlando, the Happy Couple. I was able to do this photo with the aid of Fernando Landin Cantos' setup. Thx so much for letting me get this photo.
Carmen is also my brother's Godmother (forgot to mention that). When I was growing up, she would come and stay with us when we lived in Nolensville, Tennessee.
My favorite Parrot.
Some crazy native bird.
Carmen wishing some animal would come out of it's cage. She's so cute . . . That's her son, Sebastian to her left and her daughter, Isabella to her right.
Our rag tag crew in Parque Historico. Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Sebastian thorougly amused.
Jenna and Paula. I love this photo.
Old Church in the Parque Historico, Guayaquil.
Pretty Yellow Flowers. My Cousin says that this flower attracts ants like crazy.
Nice Still-life I found.
Gorgeous Flower Beds at Parque Historico.
Jenna and Paolo both looking cute at Parque Historico.
Old Sitting Room preserved at Parque Historico.
Old Room preserved from a Plantation/Farmhouse.
Jenna giving me the look after we had the most disgusting cup of coffee I've ever had in the Guayaquil Ecuador Airport. Words can't describe how bad it was.
Back in the states and dealing with craptastic airlines. In this case Delta after NWA got ate up by them. We got majorly delayed in ATL on account of human error. We were stuck there with like 10000 other people who didn't make their flights. All in all, I wouldn't change a thing. . . Viva la Ecuador!!!