Highlights: Shopping for art
Travel: Flights from Quito, Ecuador, to Los Angeles
Pictures taken: ?
Favorite photo of the day: TBA
Happy Valentine’s Day. Store displays, flower vendors, and even the TV lineup are persistent reminders of me being single now.
I got up and showered. Then i packed and by 9 i was out the door and walking toward the market that Victoria had pointed out to me the previous night. It was too early for most of the vendors though. I then had “breakfast” at KFC. I don’t think i have eaten at one in the last 10 years. They had good fries and i wish i could order buckets of their original formula chicken skin.
Vendors had been setting up in the nearby park so i walked through looking for original art and masks. Most were sstill setting up so i moseyed back to the artisan market and still less than half of the shops were open. It was a lot of the same stuff: t-shirts, alpaca stuff, jewelry, weavings, leather goods… nothing caught my eye. Across the intersection i went into a shop and found a decent quality and designed mask of a wolf head. The price tag was $28. I also saw some religious paintings that i liked too. I picked one that was priced $75. I inspected them both well and started to bargain. I had another $28 mask added and ended up paying $115. They removed the painting from the frame and wrapped the masks while i got out some money form an ATM.
Then i carried those back to the park and found three small original paintings that i liked. He wanted $45 each. He asked what my offer was and i said $100 for all three. He didn’t think that long and said OK. Damn. I should have said $80! He bagged them up and i headed back to the hotel. I repacked and checked out of Los Alpes.
If i’m ever staying in Quito again i’ll stay there. The only bad thing i can say about it is that they allow smoking in some areas of the hotel.
For $10 i got a taxi to the airport. I was smart to keep the copy of my old passport and a copy of the police report with my new passport (along with the new immigration paperwork). Twice they were looked at and read. I was treated with a little more kindness after they read my story.
An uneventful flight from Quito to Guayaquil that then bounced to San Jose. I had a connection and had to change planes. I figured i had 45 minutes or so to board so i went to the bathroom and got a meal from Burger King. Then i went to my gate but hardly anyone was there. I checked the arrival and departure board and i was at the right gate. But it said my flight had already departed. Oops! I was quickly re-ticketed and immediately boarded a flight to Guatemala. I arrived at LAX at about the same time if i had not missed that connection – just before midnight.
I went through the US customs and walked over to the domestic terminal. It was cold out. I got my ticket for my Alaska Airlines flights – the first boarded at 5:50 AM. I tried to go through security but was turned away after being told that they boot anyone at 2 AM that is in the secure area. I found a bench and tried to sleep. It wass too cold. All i had was short sleeved shirts. I lay there with goosebumps and near shivering.
Valentine’s Day has never meant much to me. It does now. I will forever be more greatful for someone to hold me, love me, and keep me warm! It is awful to think back on how relatively indifferent i was toward Valentine’s Day.