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Hairy Knees

Many new friends

sunny 85 °F

I was sitting at the pool a few days ago, diligently working on my tan and reading The Painted House by John Grisham, when one our new friends announced, "Damn, I'm getting hairy knees!" I looked up from my book, "What...?"

"I'm getting hairy knees," he exclaimed again. "I've been in shorts or swimming suits for such a long period of time hair is starting to grow on my knees."

Now that's a serious problem to have I thought. Then I looked at my knees...fine sun bleached hair was sprouting from my kneecaps. Welcome to the too long in shorts club. What a problem to have, but not to worry, unfortunately in a few short days I'll be back in jeans and the denim fabric will quietly and quickly rub off my hairy knees.

Our time in this beautiful place is rapidly coming to an end, we've been saying good-bye to many new friends for the past few days. Most of these new friends are from our northern neighbor Canada. It seems that Canadians have figured out what a cool place Panama is and they have been coming down here for years. There is a small airport in Rio Hato, Panama that has been expanded and is accepting charter flights from Toronto and a few other Canadian cities. The various hotels, condos, and all-inclusive resorts are filled with Canadians. IMG_3567e.jpg IMG_3571e_edited-1.jpg

When the winter Olympics were going on there was a lot of good natured cheering and bantering about our nation's teams. When the USA hockey team defeated the Russians high fives were slapped all around. Then the fun stopped, the USA women lost to Canada, the USA men lost to Canada, condolences were given to us, much like the Super Bowl defeat. As the Americans continued to falter the Canadians excelled. The gold medal game was at 7am, team Canada's headquarters at the Coronado Bay started the day with Bailey's and Coffee at 6am, switching to Caesar's at game time and most of the day. Eventually, beer and other adult beverages found the way into the mix and the Canadian victory dance lasted until 1am the following day. That afternoon there were no Canadian hairy knees at the pool.

One of the Canadian techies has set up a Facebook page for all the guests, friends, and others to share pictures of this area. If you are interested in seeing a collection of photos of the place search for Coronado Bay on Facebook. Most of the pictures at this time are from a wedding photographer from Toronto and me. IMG_3788e.jpg

We are heading into Panama City tomorrow morning to attend "carnival" or the Panama version of Marti Gras. We will be with Colorado friends for the big parade on Saturday night viewing the festivities from their balcony and from street level. Two years ago we left the city to avoid the madness of carnival but this year we're going for it. It should generate many cool images.

Posted by rhislop 05:37 Archived in Panama Tagged panama bay usa canada hockey playa carnival panama_city coronado_beach hairy_knees rio_hato Comments (0)

Food and Fireworks

...with a stop at the beach

sunny 83 °F

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We had an opportunity to visit Coronado Beach and stay at the Coronado Bay Condos on Wednesday night. It was an offer we couldn't refuse.
Coronado Beach is the first "planned" resort community in Panama. Established as a place Panamanians could come to that was close to Panama City (about 1 hour and 20 minute drive) and ex-pats could build winter homes or permanent residences. Just a couple of miles off the Panamerican Highway the town is easy to get to and offers lots of services, businesses and even a McDonald's and KFC. We only stayed one night, but intend to revisit in the near future. There seems be some interesting oppurtunities in Coronado.

One of our Colorado connection friends invited us to dinner on Friday night. The restaurant at the Crown Plaza Hotel has a new Indian Buffett on Friday nights, serving food with lots of curry, spices, rice and very sweet Indian deserts. The food was great. However, I found the appetizers the most interesting. The chef had made some creative art pieces with some of the fruits. They included a Pineapple Panda, a Watermelon Parrot, and a Watermelon shark eating a pineapple fish, all in the name of foodie art.
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Our condo is on Panama Bay in an area called Punta Patilla. About four blocks across the bay, as a pelican would fly, is the Trump Tower and other buildings of the Punta Pacifica area. In between us, on the bay is the Panamanian Union Club. This is a private club for wealthy Panamanians. Usually every weekend there is some kind of event on their patio, which we can watch from our solarium. Last night the show started at about 9pm and ended at 1:30am. There were fireworks, dancers, singing, showtunes, etc. We guessed it must have been an over the top wedding.
The fireworks usually exploded below us, which was an interesting way to watch since we normally are looking up at them. Additionally, as they exploded they reflected on to the glass windows of the buildings of Punta Pacifica. All-in-all, an enjoyable night.
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As we start a new day we wonder what is next during this Panamanian experience....

Posted by rhislop 07:06 Archived in Panama Tagged beach towers panama bay fireworks food_art coronado_beach Comments (0)

Panama City

The Walk...

semi-overcast 85 °F

Colorful yellow flowers

Colorful yellow flowers


Balboa

Balboa


Bright and early we hit the streets. Walking through our neighborhood, then to a major shopping complex and finally the walk along the bay. The bay walk was great, walking from the San Francisco area of Panama City to the Casco Viejo area. We are guessing it was about three miles, stopping along the way to take pictures, visit the fish market, and having lunch in Casco Viejo.

The Panama City fish market is a very colorful place. Fishermen bringing in the freshly caught fish, dock hands carrying, pushing, and pulling the ice and fish ladden containers to the various stalls. Skilled hands gut, chop, filet, and trim the daily catch. Restaurantures buying the catch for their evening menu, while individuals peer through the selections for take-home delights.
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Lobsters, shrimp, tuna, red snapper; you name it, it was there. We'll be back to the fish market to pick up some dinner items when we are prepared to carry them back to our place. We'll need a container with ice, just like beer, you've got to keep them cold. Selling fresh ceviche was as common as Dairy Queens in Texas.
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Lunch was at one of our favorite spots in Casco Viejo, the Budget Gourmet. The place was packed.We met three young NY college girls and imparted our local knowlegde to them. We walked over to the Magnolia Inn, our original home away from home in Panama City. The owners, Reggie and Cherie Flagg were away, but our favorite driver Karloz was there. I was ready for a ride back to our residence and Karloz answered the call.

The afternoon rains came, the sky blackened, the bay started churning, lightning flashed about and an hour later it was blue skies. Tried for some lightning shots but nothing exciting happened.

Last night we walked to a small and quaint French Bistro. A Latin guitar player entertained and the food was great. After dinner a cab ride home and a new game...Boggle. Who knows it?

Posted by rhislop 12:58 Archived in Panama Tagged rain panama bay panama_canal viejo casco Comments (0)

On the ground

Panama City arrival

overcast 82 °F

Sunbeams

Sunbeams

Gray skies

Gray skies

Yes, it is the wet season in Panama. Leaving the dry air of Colorado and stepping into the humid, damp, and rainy melieu of Panama was very moisturizing. The plane flight was very uneventful until the last forty minutes. We flew through some interesting clouds that not only provided some bumps but also a few pictures. The flight crew was ordered by the Captain to remain seated for the last twenty minutes prior to landing, but it turned out to be false alarm. The approach and landing were very smooth.

Flying over Panama Bay at night and in the rain provided some great visuals, but since we had to store our bags, etc for the anticipated rough landing no pictures. The tankers and container ships, lit up and lined up to enter the Canal, looked like a Los Angeles traffic jam with interesting water reflections.

Yesterday we completely unpacked, bought groceries, meet some locals and walked to a "Mexican" restaurant for dinner. Great food, even received the "desquento jubulio", the retirees discount of 25% for all our food. Beer, margaritas, vino tinto, no discount. Today we plan to walk the neighborhood, Panama Bay is right out in front of us, the Trump Tower is about six blocks away and very visable, the fish market, local pizza shop, and other haunts need to be discovered. Put on your walking shoes...

Posted by rhislop 06:18 Archived in Panama Tagged rain panama bay panama_canal humid Comments (1)

Drake Bay...reflections

Ylang Ylang...first impressions

overcast 80 °F

The Drake Bay Wilderness Resort is truly off the beaten path. A special thanks to our friend Steve G. in Grand Junction, CO for recommending this resort. The tranquility of the surroundings with mother nature´s extra added touch makes this place a very good memory. The staff was outstanding, mostly related one way or another, our cabins were always clean, the food delicious, the tours outstanding and of course a great place for chil-axing. If you need Vegas this is not your venue. If you want to get away from the everyday world, forget about everything, this is the spot. We'll be back.

After a water taxi ride to a taxi on the beach, to the Drake Bay airport,we boarded a eleven person single engine plane to San Jose. After a short wait we transfered to a 22 seat twin engine plane for our flight to Tambor. Another taxi and a hour later we were checking into Ylang Ylang.

When we got to our dome, Kryss cried. In Fiji it would be called a bure, here it is a dome. Sightly up a hill, about 50 feet above sea level, through the jungle looking to the beach. A beautiful view. YY specializes in natural healthy foods, chicken, fish, vegan, raw, sushi and no beef, but they´ve got a full bar. No Famous Grouse, but I´m getting by on Johnny Walker Red Label. If I need a cheeseburger, it´s just a ten minute walk into Montezuma.

Last night at sunset there were at least a dozen white faced monkeys swing and scampering on the vines and palms surrounding our dome.

A few issues with the local internet spot getting pictures loaded. Will try again on the next posting.

Pura Vida!

Posted by rhislop 12:05 Archived in Costa Rica Tagged costa rica bay montezuma drake ylang Comments (0)

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