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Entries about christmas

Happy New Year

Happy Birthday Big John

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Happy New Year to all. We know we're a little bit late wishing everyone a great new year but the rubber clocks down at the beach keep bouncing around. Finally, on my brother Big John's birthday, there is time for birthday congratulations and new year's cheers!

New Year's Eve at Playa Coronado was once again unbelievable. The fireworks started about 10pm on a very intermittent basis, a few going off every ten minutes or so. At 11:45pm it started in earnest and for at least two and half hours fuego artificales lit up the dark sky. It was an amazing site up and down the beach and in the town fireworks were going off everywhere. The New Year's Eve celebrations are a Panamanian Passion. Panamanian's from all walks of life set off fireworks on NYE. The wealthy will spend hundred's of dollars on them while the working class Panamanian will save all year to buy a $100 display of rockets and starbursts. Everyone gets into the act. From our vantage point on our balcony we watched beautiful explosions, had some adult beverages and enjoyed the company of friends. It was a great way to start the new year. IMG_3908_edited-2e.jpgIMG_3901_edited-2e.jpgIMG_4053_edited-2screene.jpg

The fireworks didn't end on the first of January, there have been two more nights of very cool displays. Bringing in the new year has a real meaning in Panama. By this evening most of the people who live in our building will have gone back to Panama City and the beach will calm down and the night skies will be empty of fireworks...darn!

Between Christmas and New Year's we took a couple of fun day trips. One to Lake Gatun and the Panama Canal, the other to a friend's bed and breakfast in the mountains near Chicos, Panama. The Lake Gatun trip was arranged by a friend who owns Easy Travel Panama. We loaded up in flat bottom boats and motored up the canal and around Lake Gatun. The jungle surrounding the lake is home to lots of interesting wildlife including the Mono TiTi monkeys, inquisitive little primates.IMG_3697-copye.jpg The trip to Chicos was an adventure, once we got off the main roads the need for a 4 X 4 vehicle was very necessary. We didn't leave until after dark and the return trip was almost white knuckles. However, the sunset from the mountain top overlooking the jungle and the distant mountains was worth the trip. IMG_3842_edited-2e.jpg

Our new home/condo is coming along very nicely. Fans have been added to the family room and all the bedrooms. Kryss has picked some beautiful colors for all the rooms. The palette is very beachy, warm and friendly. We've added a smart TV and will pick up a Roku 3 so we can stream from the internet. Also, we looking for a beer-frig, all the necessary comfort features are coming along gradually.

Once again, a belated Happy New Year's wish to everyone and Happy Birthday Big John.

Hasta pronto amigos

Posted by rhislop 08:31 Archived in Panama Tagged monkeys christmas panama canal fireworks new_year playa_coronado chicos mono_titi lake_gatun Comments (1)

Rubber clocks

Manana and time is flying

sunny 85 °F

It's been over a month since we've posted on the blog. Sorry for the time lapse but even though the clocks in Panama are rubber (being flexible with time) our days have been flying by. During previous trips to Panama we learned that manana didn't mean tomorrow, it meant just not today. Well, time has been moving very fast for us during the last five weeks. Not only did we buy a car, get Panama drivers licenses, we bought a condo, sub-let our leased condo, and have been planning the upgrading of our new home.

First the car, we got a 2010 Hyundai Santa Fe that only had 30K miles on it. The owner had taken very good care of the car and offered it for sale on Craig's List Panama. It took us a couple of weeks to meet and arrange the sale but it all worked out. Then we had the bureaucratic hassle of the license plate. Since the car was originally purchased in Panama City the plates are from PC. The plates stay with the car for the life of the car. So the car is registered in the city until it's renewal time and then we'll register it in our district of Chame. (Much like being registered with your local county clerk). Additionally, while we were getting the car squared away we got the required insurance, our drivers licenses and met the couple that would eventually sell us their condo.

Currently we are living in unit 22B of the Coronado Country Club, Tower 200. About three weeks ago we met the owners of 21A, same building, just down one floor and the unit on the west side versus the east side. There are only two units per floor A and B. After a brief introductory chat we all went on our way. The next day we met again and they said that they had decided to sell their unit and would we be interested in buying it. Of course, we're always interested, so we took a look. It was beautiful, move in ready, turnkey, well cared for, never rented, original owners and the unit has it's own garage (a rare commodity in these parts). After a second lengthy visit to the condo, discussions with the owners and a night to sleep on it, we made them an offer. We'll be moving in to our new home in less than two weeks. The interior designer in Kryss is already working on new paint colors, ceiling fans, second beer refrigerator, large screen TV and new balcony/patio furniture. Did I say it was move in ready, those of you who know Kryss, she is adding her own special touch. It is larger in square footage than our house in Fruita, CO. Three bedrooms, each with their own bath, the master is so large we could have two king size beds in it. Very modern kitchen with stainless steel appliances with lots (mega) cabinet space, designer lighting throughout, a laundry room and maid's quarters. The balcony over looks the pool area, the Pacific ocean and the mountains. Needless to say, incredible views and room for company. Pictures will becoming after the first of the year.

Those of you that are Tashi fans rest assured she is having a blast. She like the leased condo but loves the new one. She hasn't picked her exact spot on the couch but she's looking it over. Also, she is enjoying the beach.IMG_9687e_edited-2.jpg She's made some friends on the beach, Slovaki a mini golden doodle (might be related somewhere along the line)IMG_3422e.jpg and Harley a rescued Panama brown dog (all the homeless dogs in Panama look like Harley). Also, she is just starting to relate to two blonde huskies, Rhett and Scarlet, they are still on a lease at the beach but they have fun sniffing.rhett_scarlett_tashi.jpg After coming back from the beach and splashing in the Pacific she suns herself on the balcony, drying off and resting. Being Tashi in Panama is a good thing.

We had our first visitors during all this buying and chasing the bureaucratic maze. It was no problem, the Hamersky's from Colorado came to visit and hang out by the pool. Working on their tans, we took a few breaks to visit some place around Panama. We went to El Valle for the farmer's market and lunch inside an extinct volcano. El Valle is in the mountains about thirty minutes from our beach community, an easy drive and a definite change of scenery. While they were here another couple from Denver, the Jeff's, arrived and we spent an evening on our balcony watching a Pacific storm light up the night sky. If you look closely you can see some lightning in the background of the picture.IMG_3287e_edited-2.jpg It was better then the TV, the movies or YouTube. There was no popcorn but a few adult beverage were made available.

Christmas is rapidly approaching and the Panamanians are buying Christmas trees, tree lights, inflatable Santa's, and all the other Christmas paraphernalia. Panama_Chirstmas_trees.jpgHowever, there are a few differences, no snow, no ice, no cold weather and no air traffic delays because of inclement weather. We'll be sending out a Christmas message but for now Feliz Navidad. All is good in Panama, come see us. Hasta pronto amigos.

Posted by rhislop 06:48 Archived in Panama Tagged christmas panama harley denver lightning condo tashi el_valle feliz_navidad playa_coronado panamanians rhett scarlett coronado_country_club Comments (1)

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