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Happy Valentine's Day 2014

The Prom , aka "the flip-flop hop"

sunny 86 °F

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. Hopefully, you are with the one you love and can share the that great feeling. IMG_3431e2.jpg

On Wednesday, February 12th, a group of residents from our condo building got together for the first annual Flip-Flop Hop. The social area on the roof of the building was the home of the party. It was a bring your own everything, plus a side dish to share. Two large gas grills were set-up, one for meat and the other for fish and chicken. The side dishes were lined up on the bar, appetizers were place on appropriate tables and the chefs could cook at their leisure. The fragrances of cooking steaks, chorizos, red snapper, corvina and chicken awaken your senses.IMG_3439e.jpg

There were so many side dishes that it took two trips down the bar to sample everything. I believe the most favorite side dish was made by a woman from Manitoba, Canada. Twice baked mashed potatoes casserole with bacon chips, cheddar cheese, and some interesting spices. When Kryss asked me to get her a second helping of this dish, I knew it was definitely a hit. I don't know what it was called, but I call it Manitoba Mashers and want the recipe. Other great dishes included guacamole dip, pasta salads, brochette, tossed salad, and foods I can't remember.

Music was provided by one of the vacationing Canadian's from Toronto. Her playlist was excellent and all music genres were represented. The sound was pumped out of a very cool Bose speaker that could be heard all over the deck. There were boppers, strollers, slow dancers and girls only circle dances. The flip flop dancers rocked the roof.

At nine o'clock a select group of dedicated and bold pyro-maniacs proceeded to the beach and entertained the attendees and many others with a fantastic firework show, fuegos artificiales en espanol, IMG_3342e.jpgThe inexpensive cost of fireworks in Panama and ease of use make firework displays a favorite form of entertainment at the beach. After the show ended the music cranked up again and everyone partied on until it was time to leave the roof. A great time was had by all.IMG_3529e.jpgIMG_3525e.jpg

One of the unfortunate problems of dry season in Panama is fire. Even though we have enjoyed the various fireworks we've seen, one night last week we witnessed the forest fires in Panama, but from a safe distance. It's not just Colorado or the rocky mountain west that has issues with hot, dry, windy weather. IMG_3219e.jpgIMG_3214e.jpg

Have a great Valentine's Day and share your love with those you love.:)

Posted by rhislop 10:40 Archived in Panama Tagged beach panama fire fireworks pacific coronado coronado_beach Comments (0)

Happy New Year 2014

Groceries and Fireworks

sunny 85 °F

Out of Panama City by 10:15am on New Year's Eve day, across the Bridge of the Americas, lots of ships lining up for the canal transit. We were in Coronado by 11:15am, fast trip. However, the traffic around Coronado was crazy, everyone trying to get to and from their homes, buy groceries, stock up on beer, etc. The place was busy. There was a line-up for everything. We decided to get to our condo, unload the car and then go back and challenge the crowds at the shopping centers. The condo is great, an unbelievable deck overlooking the pacific with views up and down the beach. More about the BOO (base of operations) later.

Kryss whipped up a shopping list and off we went to stock up on the necessities of life; beer, etc. In the stores it was mayhem, line-ups for everything. We were told that New Year's eve is one of the biggest holidays in Panama. Lots of family celebrations and gatherings. They were all in the stores buying food for the weekend. What should have been a one hour trip took three and half hours.

Our rental agent had told us that starting at dark fireworks would start going off all over Playa Coronado and they would last all night. She was so right. We watched the sunset, the last one of 2013IMG_1963e_edited-1.jpg and then the fireworks started. We watched for a while from our deck and then grabbed the camera, a tripod, a shutter release cable and our adult beverages and headed to the roof. 360 degree views of the whole area, as it got closer to midnight more and more fireworks started going off. What an incredible sight, this wasn't an organized city father's firework show. This was the everyday Panama citizen, saving money for a year to shoot off twenty minutes of professional grade fireworks and it seems as if everyone does it. From our rooftop view we watched airborne explosions for four hours,IMG_2157e.jpgIMG_2172e.jpg then we went down to the beach and watched from ground level. Fireworks, bonfires and luminaries floating into the sky. A great visual experience. The floating luminaries start going up at midnight; all the old bad things in your life are carried away by the ocean breeze. The luminaries were being sent up until almost daylight.IMG_2334e.jpgIMG_2337e.jpg
After two AM we made our way back to the BOO, watched from the deck for a while and then called it a night...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Posted by rhislop 05:23 Archived in Panama Tagged beaches beach new playa fireworks panama_canal eve year's new_years_eve groceries coronado_beach luminaries 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)

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