We got up to catch our flight home – 3am! – and the boys were great about it, jumping up and getting ready with less moaning and groaning than I myself was making. It had been recommended to us that we arrive at least 2 hours before departure time because Ecuador airport emigration is not known to be speedy, and it was good advice. The flight was delayed a short while so that people stuck in customs could make it through and get on board.
After an stopover in Miami (Starbucks!), we were on our last leg home. It was back to Toronto where the ocean, the mountains, and the jungle were behind us. But where instead we find family, friends and reliable wifi.
As we left the airport in Toronto to drive home, there was a heavy blanket of fog rolling in off the lake. It wasn’t a normal fog that you get on a cool day, but a thick, isolated cloud that covered the entire shoreline of the lake from one end of the city to the other. It was strange and completely out of place. Props to the weather for reflecting how I feel being back after a long time away.
And now, we’re home. There’s always a danger in high expectations, in a long anticipation. But this trip, one whose plan was hatched 30 years ago, did not disappoint. Traveling with family, experiencing the culture and wildlife, watching the boys expand their horizons; this trip brought all the very best that travel has to offer. The places we visited were varied, exotic and impressive. I feel fortunate and don’t take for granted, even for a moment, anything about it. There was Quito, an enormous concrete city. The Galapagos Islands, a burning hot moonscape. Mindo, a chilly, bug-infested cloud forest. Pappallacta, a hot spring resort in the Andes mountains. All of it Ecuador. The country exceeded every single expectation I had of it.
(March 20, 2012.)