Sunday, July 30

July Busy July

Much fun has been had the past couple of weeks, starting with our family trip to Panama. The trip's beginning was less than smooth as at flight check-in we learned Egan could not travel without a passport. However, after lengthy research via our trusty governmental websites, we read it was ok until December of this year to travel to Panama with a birth certificate. Call me naive, but with less than two weeks to plan the trip we scrapped the idea of even trying to get Egan a passport. There's no way it would have arrived on time. Jon inquired with the customs folks in Panama if Egan's birth certificate would have gotten him in AND out of the country and indeed it would have been fine.

So what did we do, you're all dying to know (as if all of you haven't heard the story yet!). As Jon, Allie, and Gil boarded the plane, Egan and I sadly returned to our long-term parked Sprinter waiting in the parking lot. Through the tears I got us to Iowa City where my mom consoled me and the idea that I could leave Egan with her and my dad to join Jon and the big'ns in Panama. The next day I flew to meet them in Casco Viejo.

This is the apartment we rented for the week on La Plaza de Catedral. Our unit was the top set of doors.


Jon reading on our little porch outside the apartment.


A couple more shots from the porch




One day we met up with a work associate of Jon's (this is why we were in Panama) at a Chuck-E-Cheese-type establishment for his daughter's birthday (not the reason we went to Panama). Very bizarre experience when in Panama City. So old world, yet so obviously clashed with contemporary western culture. The party was in the Bennigan's (you know, the restaurant)Building and a Hard Rock Cafe was next door. Trust me. It was strange.

We braved the roads in a Diablo Rojo, the local's public transit system of buses.


These buses compete with one another, zigging and zagging through traffic, while the driver's helper whistles passengers on board when the driver barely comes to a halt at the next stop. At one point Gil fell asleep. Jon and I did our best to keep him from flying onto the aisle during the tour by supporting his limp sleeping body.

Another morning we took in a "monkey tour" on Gatun Lake. This was a magnificent experience of the Panama Canal and its historical and modern day usefulness.


At one point of the tour we got to see and hear howler monkeys as an amazingly large and flourescent blue butterfly fluttered by. Allie's hawk-like eyes spied a humongous iguana and crocodile. Mine found the sloth hanging in the tree munching on leaves. Then the monkeys. Albeit an irresponsible and terribly non-eco friendly practice, we fed the white faced monkeys bread which brought much joy to both the monkeys and Allie and Gil. It was a gas. At one point a monkey jumped onto the canopy of the boat, snatching Gil's bread from his hand without his knowing.


Gil and his tight grip on his bread for the monkeys.







Once docked, Gil found the coconut he was looking high and low for since he knew coconuts grew on trees in Panama and that you could actually access them yourself. Believe you me, he threw that thing down so many times. He kicked it. He pulled at seams he created. Finally a man saw this and helped him out, breaking free the fruit Gil longed for.


Jon had work to do one of the mornings, so the kids and I took in the sights of Casco Viejo ourselves.


The kids watching the huge ships head into the Canal.




These are old pirate dungeons converted into an art store. The kids are convinced we could have seen pirates but it just wasn't our luck this trip.



We saw this cat every day.


The ped-mall is full of lottery ticket vendors, locals, travelers, and everyone in between. Go there. You'll know what I mean.


Did you know it's possible for kids to get a too-sweet snow cone? In Panama, and from what I remember in Costa Rica, those central americans LOVE sweet, sweet, sweet. And they all think it odd to refuse the leche in addition to the ice and syrup. The kids begged and begged for a snow cone, we caved, and neither could finish it.


The last two days of our central american (do I capitalize that?) vacation was spent at the beaches that stretch along the coast west of Casco Viejo. We got to go over the Bridge of the Americas. Here's my shot of the Bridge. See it on the right of the frame?


We checked out Playa Coronado in Gorgona.



Followed by Playa Rio Mar that had a questionable rio that flowed into the mar. The rio didn't seem too sanitary so we stuck to the mar.



The last of the two days at the beaches we went to Playa El Palmar, just past San Carlos, which was excellent. Muy tranquilo, as the owner of the surf shop and I discussed. Don't go picturing anything fancy, now. So laid back and calm. Few people out there. It was great. The kids got to boogie board.



In addition to the aforementioned, Jon and I had a night out while a nanny watched the kids. We joined another associate of Jon's to a fabulous dinner at Manolo's on Avenida Central. Manolo's is adjacent to a cafe we frequented; Cafe Neri. Good eats and cold beer. Jon, the kids, and I had a relaxing and, even with the kids, romantic, dinner at S'cena.

So much more to detail, so little time.

WHEW...

Vacation #2 did not include any of my dependents, passports, or questionable anything! It was me and a great bunch of my closest and dearest girlfriends, and two of their offspring who provided me with the mothering needs I longed for while away from my own. The weekend consisted of a whole lot of nothing, coupled with lounging by the pool, excellent conversation, tunes that just kept coming thanks to Jami, cold Corona's, yummy food prepared together and shared together, and a LOT of laughter.

And with that, the pictorial:


The mamas and their ADORABLE babies, Brady & Luca.


THE POOL!


Srives helpin with the gazpacho.


Morning fun!


Mary and her boyfriend?

The ladies, the ladies...and Luca











THANKS GIRLS! I cannot wait to see where we choose for next year's destination. Hopefully we pick up a few more along the way. You know who you are...and I know where you live...!

1 comment:

Katie said...

Fabulous job girl....you must have been really busy posting! Anyways...all your pics are great and of course I especially love the Florida ones. You have created lots of great summer memories!