Our normal strategy for travels to the States is to keep going. By that I mean scheduling flights with minimal layovers and absolutely NO overnight stays. A short layover is a great excuse to stretch your legs a bit, but there's nothing worse than arriving late, schlepping your luggage to a hotel and falling in bed for a few hours, then reversing the drill early the next morning. You arrive at your destination exhausted and out of sorts.
To accomplish this we generally fly red eye's. We are able to sleep at least a little on the plane, and with a nap the next day we're good to go. Plus overnight flights don't waste a whole travel day.
We follow the same plan returning home when going through Guayaquil, but we avoid that alternative whenever possible because we've stumbled upon a much better idea flying into Quito. Over the years we've developed great friends there who, when in town, graciously open their homes to us whenever we are coming though. One couple lives nearby and kindly transports us back and forth as well.
Resting and relaxing with friends and without responsibilities for a couple of days before flying home has proven to be incredibly rejuvenating. Plus since Quito is 1000 feet higher than Cuenca we find readjusting to the altitude at home is much quicker. It used to take us a week to feel like ourselves again, but doing it this way we feel great almost immediately.
On our most recent trip home we experienced a new wrinkle on this plan that I want to pass along to readers in Cuenca who don't have friends in Quito and others who may be coming to Ecuador to visit the Galapagos or explore the country as a possible retirement destination. We were contacted by friends Jon and Cheryl Byrd who now live in Mindo outside Quito and maintain a residence in the city that they've now listed on airbnb. They asked us to come check it out and we happily accepted their invitation.
Boy, are we glad we did because their place is amazing! Located in a quiet residential neighborhood with easy access to nearby Parque Carolina, this is not some cramped and sparse studio apartment--it's a real house loaded with cool amenities and their personal furnishings. With an open floor plan,
huge fully stocked kitchen,
three, yes, three bedrooms,
a lovely outdoor space with grill and fireplace,
washer and dryer, separate office and sitting area, plus, get this, a steam/shower room that is to die for, what more could you possibly want???
We loved staying at the Byrd's home and highly recommend it to all of you who find yourself in Quito. Check out more details here.