Our first stop in Ecuador was at Mashpi Lodge, and it was an experience of a lifetime.
It's hard to believe that a place like this even exists.
The lodge is an architectural beauty in the middle of a massive private eco-reserve in a cloud forest. It's so remote that you feel like you are in the middle of no where, which just adds to the thrill of the experience. The design of the lodge is all about nature. Even while being indoors, you feel as though you are experiencing the tropical forest all around you. Nature and design are two of my all time favorite things, so this place could not have been more enjoyable to me. At times you literally feel as though you are housed in the clouds, perched above this beautiful tropical forest. The integration of nature and design was so well done that it reminded us both of Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water.
Danny and I felt so, so very fortunate to go here. The timing could not have been more perfect for us as our last few days in New York had been quite hectic. We had been trying to wrap our heads around our lives without anymore more fertility treatments. Then we planned this rather last minute trip (because the airfare was cheaper if we left sooner). So we quickly had to find a real estate agent and prepare our Brooklyn home to be shown while we were away. And we also got a head start on the paperwork for our resident visas in Ecuador, just in case we did decide we were going to move here. It was all quite a whirlwind.
We barely got packed and out the door...
And before we knew it, we had arrived at Mashpi Lodge, in Ecuador.
Here I am at a stop on the way to Mashpi, still in my winter coat from NYC (oops),
still not quite believing that we had just flown to Ecuador&%$*&#!!
From the second we arrived at Mashpi, our souls were just filled with an unmistakable feeling of peace and wellness. This place causes an overload of your senses and just makes you feel alive and well in every way. It seriously felt like a cleanse of everything hectic.
This is what we saw when we first walked in, after being greeted with a fresh fruit smoothie. :) :) (Um...our mile long to do list and our NYC coats were no where to be found at this point.)
And then they showed us to our rooms. Ahhhh...so perfect. The freaking rain forest might as well have been in our room!
We had been dreaming of all the fresh, tropical fruit in Ecuador and it was so fun to try some of it in our room. My new favorite is Dragon Fruit - ahhh... it's amazing!! (Danny now loves finding this fruit for me. This morning he left early and came back with some Dragon Fruit for breakfast. :)
And they had this relaxing tea in our room, made with 11 different flowers. I was dying over that color!!
And well, I am such a sucker for good design. Here are some details I just loved...
And one of the best parts about Mashpi is they provided us with some guides to take us trekking in the forest each day. We just looooved it. The guides were wonderful and it was amazing to experience the forest through their eyes.
Each morning we would meet here and prepare for the trek. They provided rubber boots, walking sticks, some all natural mosquito bracelets, and ponchos.
Off to the forest we would go for bird watching, a hummingbird sanctuary, a butterfly reserve, waterfalls, a jungle tower, and a "Sky Bike" - a bike ride through the tree tops!
Each night we'd come back for a wonderful meal and got to experience some common dishes in Ecuador (i.e. ceviche - one of our favorites.) Once we were even greeted by an ocelot outside the window!! And, we just loved getting all cozy in our room each night as we listened to all the sounds of the forest. Truly unbelievable (and romantic!! :)
See what I mean?? This was truly an experience of a lifetime. We are so, so grateful we got to stay there at the beginning of our month away. Our hotels since have been...um...not at all been as luxurious as Mashpi. Haha. I don't know how many times we've said, "Mashpi, please!" each time we've checked into a new hotel. Ah well, that was enough luxury to last us for quite some time.