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Zentangle Diva Challenge #248 – Travel to Cuenca, Ecuador Edition

by Suzanne Fluhr on January 25, 2018 · 7 comments

Descent into Cuenca, Ecuador

I didn’t expect to be able to do this week’s Zentangle Diva challenge because Mr. and Mrs. Excitement are traveling in Ecuador this week. It turned out I had more free time than I thought. More about that later.

The Diva challenged us to do a tile acknowledging Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day. Her seven year old son was born with this very rare congenital syndrome. He has faced many challenges in his young life, but is thriving.

I have done the Moebius Syndrome challenge in other years when I had a printer available. Thus, I was able to print myself a template for the Moebius symbol which is beyond my power to deconstruct.

Purple is the color chosen by the Foundation working to support those affected by a Moebius Syndrome diagnosis. This was my tile for last year’s Moebius Syndrome challenge:
Moebius Syndrome logoFor this year’s Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day challenge, I found myself in the Quito, Ecuador airport with a lot of time on my hands.

I had a purple pen, so I decided to “write” on my Moebius Syndrome Awareness tile. The tangle Sand Swirl on this tile is supposed to represent the Andes mountains visible from the Quito Airport, but if you want to think it represents the sea—hey, it’s a free country or something like that.

Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day

Mr. Excitement’s perennial New Year’s resolution is to be more patient. His first test came at the Quito International Airport.

As we set out on our three week trip to Ecuador and Colombia which involves nine airplane flights, I mentioned to Mr. E. that after two years of staggeringly good flying juju, we were “due” for one of “those days”.

Our first 12 hour travel day which included flights from Philadelphia to Miami and from Miami to Quito, Ecuador went off without a hitch.

We spent the night at the Wyndham hotel at the Quito airport so we would be close by for our 12:30 pm flight the following day. When we checked into the Wyndham, the desk clerk asked me about our itinerary for the following day. I told her we we would be flying to Cuenca, Ecuador on TAME Airlines, Ecuador’s national carrier. She rolled her eyes. I didn’t interpret that as a good sign, but my anxiety was washed away when we turned on the TV in our room and found the Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings championship game. It was the third quarter. Amazingly, the score was 31 t0 7 and the Eagles were winning! (They won 38-7, in case you’re interested in American football.)

Nick Foles

Not something I expected to see on TV in our Quito Airport hotel room. Eagles Quarterback Nick Foles, looking at the crib sheet on his wrist to know what play to call next. #FlyEaglesFly

That night, I tried to check in online for our flight. The message was that I could not sign in. Hmmmm. I rechecked the itinerary I received from the airline: right day, and a record locator code. We decided to we would give ourselves some extra time to check in at the airport – just in case.

When we arrived at the airport, I tried to sign in at the TAME kiosk and received the message, “No tenemos esta reserva.” Translation: We do not have this reservation. Not good.

We found our way to the TAME Airlines check in counter. I speak Spanish. The following is a translation of what happened:

ME: [Handing the desk agent a copy of the email confirming our flight information with our record locator code]. We were unable to sign in at the kiosk. It said our reservation couldn’t be located.

DESK AGENT: [Punching some information into her computer terminal. Frowning. Yelling over to her supervisor]. We have another one.  Same situation as those other people.

DESK AGENT TO ME: This is wrong. Your flight is for 7:30 tonight.

ME: But, but, but it says 12:30. We never received any notification from the airline about a change. The flight is still listed as on time on Flight Tracker.

DESK AGENT AND SUPERVISOR: How did you make this reservation?

ME: On the airline’s internet site.

SUPERVISOR:  Were you in the United States when you made the reservation?

ME: Yes.

SUPERVISOR: [Shrugging his shoulders, but at least looking a little embarrassed.] It seems the airline didn’t notify any passengers who reserved the flight from the website in the United States about the cancellation of the 12:30 flight and the change to 7:30 PM.

I looked at my watch. It was 11:20 AM. We only had to wait for 8 hours.

Quito Ecuador View from Airport

At least there’s a nice view from the Quito Airport.

Of course, I bemoaned our fate on Facebook. Our son posted that there were 3 lounges we could use in the Quito, Ecuador Airport thanks to our Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card. I was concerned embarrassed I had forgotten about this perk even though I published a post extolling the credit card’s virtues less than 2 weeks ago.

We found the lounge in our terminal. Good wifi. Coffee. Tea. Snacks. Time to write. Time to tangle. Did I mention snacks?

The good news: Our flight left on time. It was only a 40 minute flight. Our suitcases weren’t lost. It was a short taxi ride from the Cuenca Airport to our hotel. And, there was this outside my plane window as we descended through the clouds into Cuenca.

Descent into Cuenca, Ecuador

Why I always choose the window seat.

But, if you ask me about TAME Airlines…….I will roll my eyes.

How’s your flying karma?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Margarete Gilge January 27, 2018 at 2:52 am

Your new styled Moebius tile with Sand Swirl looks so friendly, even if the external circumstances were not perfect when drawing. I like the soft colouring. The tile from last year is also very beautiful. I wish you a nice trip and a good return flight without unpleasant delays!

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avatar Annette P. January 27, 2018 at 7:58 am

Both tiles are lovely and I like your new tile with Sandswirl very much. Have a nice trip in Ecuador!

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avatar Deanne B January 27, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Love both your tiles!

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avatar Nan January 28, 2018 at 1:55 pm

Snacks ALWAYS make things better – that and WiFi!! And a good charge on my Kindles! I always carry two in case one battery croaks before I can get to an outlet! I am going to laugh WITH you about you forgetting the perks of the credit card you JUST told us about – too funny! Good thing your son is so savvy!!

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avatar Roz Warren January 29, 2018 at 10:23 pm

I never choose the window seat — but I enjoyed the photo of the view from your window seat.

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avatar Agness of Fit Travelling February 2, 2018 at 6:12 am

Cuenca seems so charming and an amazing travel destination, Suzanne! Fortunately, I have a good flying karma. 😀

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avatar Mike February 4, 2018 at 1:44 am

I’m glad that it all worked out ok despite the hiccup in the wrong flight time! 🙂

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