The day starts at 0230. I have 4 alarms set - 2 by the bed and 2 on the dresser! My husband Harry has one. The flight leaves at 0648 and the airport is ~1 hour away. There are two kinds of people in the world when it comes to air travel - those who get to the airport (maybe too) early and those who don't want to spend an extra minute there. They're usually married to each other. I fall into the first category while Harry prefers dashing in at the last minute. I "let him think" (OK - so I told a little white lie) that the flight is a bit earlier than it is so we aren't late. I am so excited! He doesn't particularly want to go on this trip. I can't imagine why - but it just doesn't seem interesting to him. He agreed to come though when I decided that *I* was definitely going. I was diagnosed with cancer last year and decided that life was too short to wait any longer for something I have always wanted to do. Harry has carry-on luggage (as ALWAYS) - I have a bag that can be checked -with whatever doesn't fit added to my clothes. I've done all my homework - even checking the web to see if there is any roadwork planned that cause problems in our trip to the airport. (There isn't) We arrive on time and - in what seems like no time - we're off! We're on COPA airlines, a South American carrier that I had never heard of before this trip. It is virtually empty (a 737 with only 24 people and 1 cat as passengers). The stewardess tells me this is the emptiest flight she has ever been on . They serve us breakfast (wow - you never even see hot food on American airlines anymore!) with real silverware! We change planes in Panama City and eventually arrive in Quito. We get a cab and head for the hotel. Though we speak no Spanish, it is clear that our driver does not approve of the driving habits of many others on the road. We get to our hotel, the Casa Aliso safely though. The hotel is lovely and the manager brings us wonderful coca tea and delicious cookies - I'm impressed! He later walks us to a restaurant where we have a delicious meal and then comes looking for us when we are not back in over an hour - he is worried that we have gotten lost (we haven't). We get to bed pretty early. I am really excited!