How exciting! Our first visitor! Using my motherly skills of coercion, I gave my daughter the gift of a plane ticket to Panama for her Birthday and Christmas present which she readily accepted. She is becoming quite the traveler. I can relate totally to the addictive nature of traveling.
The highly anticipated day arrived, and we arranged a trusted English speaking driver to pick her up at the airport. That evening we caught up by the pool over a bottle of wine until we were discreetly asked to take it inside by the tap tap tap on the window by a fellow guest.
Always being one to maximize her fun, Lindsay was meeting a friend in the San Blas Islands on a sailing adventure. Transportation for her and a crew member was arranged and they were to be picked up at 5 a.m. the following day at our hotel. But first a small request by the Captain, “Can you pick up provisions? San Blas is a group of islands inhabited solely by the Guna Yala Indians and devoid of supermarkets or even a convenient store. Since Sam and I are usually up for a challenge, we offered to help. So we took our large suitcase to the Supermercado at the mall to pick up the list of items. Limes, potatos, eggs, parmesan cheese, boxed milk, cabbage, etc. and of course Ron Abuela Rum and wine. Sam, the logistician, carefully packed the groceries in our suitcase and then repacked in boxes when back at the hotel. The jungle ride to the dock is rumored to be quite bumpy so we had little hope for the eggs, even though carefully packed in their cartons inside a Nike shoebox recently habitated by Lindsay`s newly purchased boat shoes. At 4:30 a.m. the next morning we helped her move provisions and equipment to the lobby. Everything went smoothly which made me feel much better about the trip. She ended up staying an extra day and after quite a delay arrived a little tired but happy. The eggs also made it without a single yoke being spilled.
The next day was relaxing at the pool and then Happy Hour at the Balboa Yacht club. The bartender, Jonas making amazing passionfruit margaritas and moitos. Then off to Isla Flaminco marina for seafood and then a rooftop nightcap with a view of Panama City and Salsa music. A great night.
No trip to Panama is complete without visiting the old city of Casco Viejo. We went in late afternoon did some exploring and had dinner at a particularly interesting venue. Lindsay was craving fish that wasn’t fried and maybe a more upscale restaurant. I picked out an interesting place that got great reviews. This place is located in between two buildings. It is a permanently stationed food truck inside a completely gutted old building. “Mom, this is a food truck” she said and gave me a look that clearly said this wasn’t the restaurant she was hoping to find. The metal doors with “The Fish Market” messily scrawled in chalk opened just as we were walking by. Scattered around this interesting building were white picnic tables and a menu with about 10 items on a large chalk board. Twinkling lights were scattered everywhere and huge white columns rose from among the picnic tables, food truck and little cabana bar. The whole effect was magical. The food was outstanding. Beautiful fresh grilled fish nestled among greens and decorated with an edible flower, coconut and kiwi mojitos and key lime pie for dessert. Everyone was happy.
Next door, a beautiful rooftop bar at Barlovento where we had a cocktail. Then off to Tantalo rooftop where the views are spectacular and the pulsating Salsa music dared you not to dance. Tired but satisfied we found a cab and headed back to our hotel.
Next – Taboga Island in Bienviendos a mi mundo – Part II