Friday, Aug 2, 2019

I can’t believe how fast the time went while my sons were here visiting. That is usually how these things go though, right? Here are Easton and Chase as they arrived in Guayaquil on July 22nd.

Sun Day Fun Day

You know from my weather reports that this time of year is gray, cloudy, and rainy. We did luck out however and have one sunny day in Olon during my sons’ visit. I guess it was a good thing we went to the Galapagos for most of their time here.

Regardless, it was fun hanging even one day on the beach with my sons and friends, Shawn and Teresa. We enjoyed the heat from above, and the cool refreshment from within as we sat in the sun on our beach chairs and drank cold beer. It was a great afternoon to soak it all in.

Two of the people we saw on the beach were the “massage guys”. These two guys are the counterparts of the Montanita beach “massage women”. Do you know what they have in common? None of them ever take no for an answer. Personally that in itself is reason enough for me not to get a neck or foot massage from them.

I know…grumpy old man. Maybe that’s true. All I see though are people who do not respect another person’s boundaries. Don’t get me wrong, as far as I understand they give fantastic massages. It is probably well worth the 5 bucks they charge for a five minute or so neck massage. I totally disagree with their business model however.

It goes like this:

“Would you like a massage?”

“No thank you.” (The massage people then walk up behind you.)

“Just let me give you one for a few minutes.”

“No that’s ok, thanks anyway.” (Now they are sitting behind you on their stools)

“You will really enjoy this massage.”

“I really don’t want one.” (They start kneading your shoulders.)

At this point you have to either stand up and walk away or they will continue to give you the massage that you didn’t ask for and told them you didn’t want, and then they charge you for it.  I have a problem with this approach. It feels like someone selling ice cream who sees you walk by, scoops up a cone, places it in your hand, then asks for $1.50. Way too aggressive for my liking.

Fortunately for the massage guys on the beach that day, my sons don’t have their dad’s hypersensitivity to boundary violations. Chase and Easton both said no as well, but as soon as the massage guys hands hit their shoulders, all resistance was lost. I said no AND stood up out of my chair. It required the extra step to stop these guys, which again pisses me off. (Notice the chair next to Easton? That’s my chair.)

Anyway, Chase and Easton had a great vacation beach massage. Teresa had one too in fact. Shawn, on the other hand, took off on his moto and I went for more beer…remember the film Grumpy Old Men? That’s me and Shawn. 😉

It takes effort to NOT have a beach massage in Olon. Sunbathers beware.

Playing Games

Chase, Easton, and I had a lot of time to play card and dice games while they visited. This was a regular thing with friends when we lived in Bahia, and it continued as a family thing when when we moved to Cuenca and then to the coast in Olon.

Our friends Roy and Melody had a dice game, complete with a leather and felt playing surface, shaker cup, and dice. When they moved back to the US, they gifted the game to our family. I’ve written about these friends before in a few different blog posts over the years.

Melody died last October after battling a degenerative lung disease for many years. Her husband Roy died unexpectedly this last April. Both our friends died in less than 6 months of each other. I miss them.

While we were playing dice with the game Roy and Melody gifted us, Chase suggested we have a drink in remembrance of our friends and the fun we had together. It seemed fitting as we were enjoying their game, and one that Roy taught us how to play.

Here is to our friends Roy and Melody


Good Food and Fun

We were able to plan a night out at Lido’s in Montanita with a bunch of our friends. I haven’t been to this restaurant in well over a year. I love the food; the steak is like butter. It was a fun evening to enjoy some laughs, great food, and a cocktail or two (ok three) with people we like.

I had a little mishap while there though. The spicy mayo bottle seemed to be clogged so I just decided to squeeze harder. This caused the lid to blow off and spicy mayo covered my plate and…my cell phone! I am still getting a message that my port is wet and not to plug it in.

(My phone is completely covered on the table by the blob of spicy mayo to the left of my plate.)

I’ve tried washing the port with a Q-tip and alcohol, and a toothbrush with dawn soap with hot water. I have used a blow drier to dry it, and packed it in rice over night. Days later, I still am getting the “wet port” message. Fortunately I have a wireless charger, but I am going to have to plug it in at some point. Uuugh. This is a relatively new phone too!

Hasta Luego Boys

And just like that, Chase, Easton, and I were having our last meal together before they were to board the bus for Guayaquil, and fly back to the States. We decided to have some great Mexican food at Guadalajara’s in Montanita. It was nice to have this time to be able to reflect on the days and activities that we got to share in.

Afterwards, we went to the CLP bus station in Olon where I got my last hugs in with my boys. Appreciative of being able to connect as a father with his sons, and to connect just as three men doing the best we can, I fucking love these guys!