There’s nothing I like better on a weekend morning than brunch, bluegrass and a Bloody Mary. During our stay in Isla Bastimentos, Panama, when you run out of Bloody Mary Mix, a quick run to the store is not in the cards. But it ended up being the greatest thing that could have happened, because Lloyd came up with this Bloody Mary Smoothie:
salt + pepper
lime juice (we squeezed from fresh limes!)
Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce
Add ingredients to taste and blend.
We used Belvedere Vodka (my migraines make me a liquor snob by default). If I could have run to the store, I would have added celery salt. You can also use tomato juice instead of whole tomatoes. We probably would have, but again, used what we had. And it turned out I was glad we didn’t have canned tomato paste, bloody mary mix or tomato juice, because using all fresh ingredients made it taste truly (big surprise) fresh! Necessity truly is the mother of invention.
Also, we added ice after we blended and served on the rocks but decided it would be best to blend the ice into the Bloody the next time around. It’s the perfect refreshing, savory summer cocktail!
We docked at Punta Valiente and walked on a trail through the rainforest to the next village over, which sits right on the beach. Villagers were eager to help carry our surfboards, cooler and other gear (for a nominal fee) and were very kind and patient with my shattered Spanish.
I had an unhealthy obsession with the cows. This is a very whittled down collection of the pics I took of them. I was like that touridiot in Yellowstone who gets way too close to the elk for a photo op (again, see pic of me with my sunbathing bovine buddy):
But the best part were the kids. Sue taught them how to play root ball. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve lived in WNC for three years and have never been to The Root Bar nor played the game myself, but man, these kids were good!
I got back to the docks before everyone else and a group of children crowded around me. As interesting as I found their culture, Lloyd later told me that they are probably more fascinated and entertained by me than I am by them. They didn’t speak English, and again my Spanish is limited to random vocab I retrieve from the recesses of my brain. I picture the words crawling out of cobwebbed boxes marked “elementary school” as I blurt out “primos” (cousins) and the full sentence, “Quantos anos tienes tu?” (from the many birthday celebrations).
What I lacked in words, I made up for in technology. I pulled our camera out of our backpack and at first started taking pictures of them. Then, I realized that they probably don’t get the opportunity very often to be on the other side of a camera. So I showed them how to point and click. Some of them were too timid, but Edwin really got into it:
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to language barriers, a camera’s pretty priceless.
Back from Panama! It was an uh-MAZE-ing trip, but I was up for practically two days straight after a grueling travel schedule home, so I leave you with one of my favorite pics as an optical amuse-bouche of more to come. Bonus points if you can come up with a caption! Enjoy:)
Happy Mother’s Day everyone! For me, brunch on the couch is the new breakfast in bed (that happens when you get to sleep in until 10:30!), but we’re not going all out today because we have enough to look forward to this week because….(drumroll)… we leave for Panama in two days!
Pilferers and squatters need not attempt to track down our home. It will be occupied in our absence, and of course there’s the moat with the alligator that we keep just hungry enough.
So now I’m doing something that before child I’d always saved until the morning of, even the hour of departure… packing. Packing for Panama is not like packing for any beach. It’s a rainforest climate, which means SERIOUS humidity. You think we have it here in the South? Well, my friend who lives down there says she tries not to spend more than $10 on a dress, because unfortunately they don’t last very long down there. Everything is wet all the time. So with that in mind, she recommended swimsuits, quick-drying, moisture-wicking clothes, and well, that’s about it!
We’re staying at an amazing eco resort called Casa Cayuco, which is (at post time) the number two spot on TripAdvisor’s list of B&Bs and Inns on Panama’s Isla Bastimentos.
So packing clothing was a no-brainer:
3 swim suits (two-pieces that I can mix and match)
1 gauzy sundress
1 gauzy, hangy tank top
1 quick-dry skirt
1 moisture-wicking short-sleeve shirt with UV protection
1 moisture-wicking, quick dry hoodie with UV protection
1 pair of running shorts (more for lounging or hiking than running, but they’re that quick-dry material)
1 rain jacket (essential!)
1 pair of thin cropped PJ pants
1 cotton tank to sleep in (no quick-dry PJs in my arsenal)
1 cute, short nightie (this is our first trip as a couple without Jed since he was born!)
1 pair of flip flops
1 pair of Chacos for hiking, more active endeavors
And it all fits into half the space of my LeSportsac Weekender duffel:
Now the question is, will my skin and sun care regimen fit into the other half of my duffel? My skin is riddled with “beauty marks” that range from pre-pre-cancerous to pre-cancerous, so I am extra careful in the sun. So besides my straw fedora, which I think I can pull off (no matter what Dave says), I also bought a slew of different products to take down there. My friend Sue swears by coconut oil for a lot of uses, and I’m excited to try out any natural, local alternative to what I bring, but we are at least a 45 minute boat ride to any store, so I need to come prepared.
My sister knows me too well and bought me the Ahava after sun lotion for my birthday. I fell in love with their stuff when I visited the Dead Sea in Israel back in high school. My skin will love it after a day in the sun, burned or not.
Travel shampoo, conditioner and shave lotion were purchased based on what was available at Whole Foods in travel size (my hair Phyto regime is not travel-friendly). I don’t dislike Kiss My Face by any means (this is what I have for our guests at my house), but if you were to look at my packing list, you’d think I was obsessed!
I don’t know if I’ll post much of anything… at all… this week while I’m gone. If I’m proactive enough, I’ll put one in the works to be scheduled out, or post a few gorgeous pics of us swimming with the dolphins or something to make you jealous:)
This is definitely the most far-out, remote, tropical locale I’ll have traveled to. What’s yours?