Our bus ride back to Quito on Friday seemed like it took FOREVER. When we left the bus station around 1:30, they were playing "The Final Destination" dubbed over in Spanish and one of the screens was directly above our seats so it was super loud, even when I had headphones in. But, I read The Giver which was nice because I've started that book so many times and never finished it, so it was nice to finally read it cover to cover. When the movie was finished I enjoyed the ride much more thoroughly. When we took the bus to Atacames the first time it was dark out, but now it was daytime, and the landscape here really takes your breath away. I've never been in the middle of mountains so high and valleys so low, and the mountains I've seen have been either desert or snow-covered. These mountains were so lush they seemed to draw me in, it's indescribable, I stared out the window for hours. When it finally got dark and I lost the comfort of my scenery, I started getting a little anxious and just wanting to be in Quito, so I listened to the album that never gets old and never fails to make me calm, Give Up by The Postal Service. Finally, we got to Quito around 8 and were dropped at this huge bus terminal where we found a much-needed ATM. I called my mom to say hi, we grabbed a Coca-Cola, and found a taxi to take us to our hotel, Hostal la Carolina. We checked in, got online, Skyped Seth with a terrible internet connection at the time, and passed out.
Today, we got up in hopes of finding breakfast. When we went downstairs, we were told that it was included with the room, so we sat down in the small restaurant at the hotel and immediately were served eggs, bread with a jam-like condiment, coffee (they pour hot milk into your cup, then you add the grounds like they're instant), and a drink I believe is popular here but I can't remember the name of which is sort of like a limeade.
We then walked down to the mall which was about 4 blocks. Kevin wanted a hat and we were unsuccessful in finding one he liked, but he did get a Whopper from Burger King, which was the only thing we got at the mall (he said it cured his homesickness). But, on the way home, we stopped to look at a movie store (they were obviously pirated) and we bought 6 movies for $10, then watched Ninja Assassin which was intense and we loved it. We might be going back there, so if you're reading this and you want us to get you a movie, let us know which one!
After being a little lazy and watching the movie, we went to Plaza Fosh which has been dubbed "Gringolandia" because it's apparently a popular spot for local white people and tourists. We forgot the camera, but are planning on going again before we leave Quito, so I'll get photos then. There was a small market with handmade items in the middle of many bars, restaurants, lounges, etc. so we sat down at one called "Dragonfly" and had some nachos and Pilsner. We looked around the market a little bit after that, then sat down at a bar called "Chelsea's" watched a little soccer and had some good conversation with my apple mojito and Kevin's long island. After a two-dollar, seven (or so) minute cab ride, we were back at the hotel and ordered a pepperoni pizza (they don't really use tomato sauce here) and watched Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges, and it was absolutely an amazing movie. Goodnight!