Parque La Carolina

What’s old is new again.

One of our favorite places in Quito is Carolina Park. A sprawling oasis sandwiched between busy streets of green and more green. Food stands that pop up at just the right moment hawking everything from fresh fruit to frozen treats and of course, everything fried.

Bounce houses with slides and shade where the kiddo can let loose for fifteen minutes. For the reasonable price of a dollar. Paddle boats. Pony rides. Every kind of jungle gym for both kids and adults to enjoy. There’s even a library and dinosaur museum.

I mean, it’s totally stacked for a good time.

Most days, we post up near the botanical garden. Trails for days. Intermittent snacks. Always something to climb on or jump off of. So much to do, that we rarely travel far.

But with my son’s recent bike riding skills – sans training wheels. The world was our oyster. His little legs pedaling fast as he weaved between people and dogs. Taking us to a different part of the park where we’d never been. A spongy running track. Cross-fitter-type athletes rolling tires in the equipment area in the middle. And a huge bike ramp that sloped down into a path of hills. Bikers of every age launching off the top with enthusiasm.

I want to do that, my 3-year-old says.

Maybe next time, I say.

It was cool. And one of the coolest things about being a parent is that growth. That newness around every turn. Unexpected at times. Most times. The fact that instead of covering a mile, now you can go maybe three. In both the literal and figurative sense. Taking an already fun thing you like to do. Discovering something different within it. And falling in love all over again.

Like one of our favorite places, made even better.

We finished off the day munching on some mango next to a playscape. A small art area was setup with some kids painting photos of Disney characters on easels.

Can he do it, I ask my husband.

Who was already tired and showing signs of wear.

Next time, he says.

And already I can’t wait.

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