I am writing this blog from my new Mac Mini computer that Mikkel brought back from the U.S. along with a new keyboard and speakers. So now I have the option of using a desktop instead of my iPad. Some time ago we bought a mac mini from a friend in David, Panama, but soon found out that it was a much older model that I could not update anymore and unable to download many items that I needed or wanted. So now I have a new model. The only thing that is the same is the flatscreen, although I had to order a VGA-Thunderbolt adapter before I could set up the computer. But now I have a much bigger screen and keyboard I can use at home.
Moving along, I thought I would first share about Mikkel’s experience when he flew back from
California on Sept. 27th. He had brought an empty extra suitcase so he could bring back more Panama maps-inventory for the business. But by the time he finishing purchasing things and packing, it seems he ended up at the San Francisco airport with 2 overweight bags. He was able to combine and pay extra fro one overweight fee. But then when he went through security, he was asked to step aside; they opened and emptied his carry-on which had some of the maps and all the computer devices in it. When the TSA employee passed the pad over it and inserted it into the TSA computerized machine, it came up with a false-positive; at which time she shouted out for all to hear, “We got a bomb!” I will let you imagine what then happened. Nevertheless, after two full pat-downs and everything being fully scanned and re-scanned, Mikkel was left to repack the suitcase and board the plane. He believes the TSA employee was reprimanded later for shouting out about having a bomb. In Panama, customs did look at his carry-on again and when they saw the maps, just said “ehh” and he continued on to return home. Such excitement for importing maps to Panama.
October 3rd was our 6th wedding anniversary. Some people say we are still newlyweds. It seems like we have been together much longer, maybe because of all the adventures and experiences we have been through. We have had our ups and downs, but no regrets. And we have grown closer as the years go by. Anyway to celebrate, we rented a car again and drove to Las Lajas. It is one of my favorite places to visit, and I have written about it before. Being the longest beach in Panama on the Pacific side, we enjoyed a few days of relaxation, sitting by the beach under a thatched umbrella, taking an occasional swim in the ocean or nearby pool. Knowing that Mikkel was combining this with a business trip to Boquete to sell products at the Tuesday Morning Market and Snake Workshop, we both made a point to just enjoy the tranquil for a few days before business.
And unlike Pedasí with its gorgeous sunrises over the Pacific, Las Lajas has radiant sunsets!
On Monday, we set out for Boquete, stopping in David for lunch and at PriceSmart to buy a few things. We again stayed a Boquete Garden Inn and enjoyed meeting the other guests at the bar in the evening.
Most of us ended up at Geoge’s Grill, just up the road for dinner and more good conversation. The next day, Mikkel and I set up our table to sell maps and guides at the Tuesday Morning Market. After having lunch at our favorite spot-Sugar and Spice, we drove back up the hill to a somewhat new skating rink in Alto Boquete where the Snake workshop was conducted. Again we had set up our table to sell the guides and maps. Both venues were successful. The plan is to go to Boquete Morning Market once a month. I am not so sure I want to go each time, but I did enjoy the trip this time.
We came home for a day, having scheduled a planning meeting for Animal Advocates of Pedasí at our home that morning and a Bible Study that evening. Then off to the city for a meeting with the Panama City guide distributer. This time we stayed at the Courtyard Marriott next to the Mutilplaza Pacifica Mall in the San Francisco district. Seems we are getting much more comfortable driving in the city now. Spent most of the time at the hotel or in the mall which is more upscale than Allbrook Mall where we usually go when in the city. This mall also has 3 levels and 3 rows of stores, kiosks, a movie theater, and restaurants, plus a Terrace level; lots of walking. And for the first time ever in Panama, we went and saw a movie at the theater- “Pesante de Moda”, in other words- “The Intern”. You might ask if we understood the language while watching the movie. Well this one, as are some, was in English with Spanish subtitles. What’s even better, the normal price per ticket is $5.50. Because we are “jubilados/pensionados”, we pay half price of $2.75 per ticket. Can you imagine that in California? Not even close except maybe $5 Tuesdays at the Auburn Regal theater. The movie was funny and entertaining, although more of a “chick flick” according to Mikkel. It was nice to finally see a first-run movie for a change in a nice comfortable theater.
We returned home Sunday evening after first stopping at Discovery Center (a larger store that has many things you can’t find especially in the interior and at a discount) in the El Dorado district of the city, again driving directly through the city streets. We also stopped again at another PriceSmart outside the city before traveling back to Pedasí. Very glad to be home for awhile after so much travel. It takes 5-6 hours to drive from Pedasí to Boquete and the PanAmeican Highway is still under lots of construction, even though we take a bypass around half of it. It takes another 5-6 hours to drive from Pedasí to Panama City, although there is not much construction; just towns to have to slow down while passing through and sometime heavy rain. It’s like driving from Northern California (Auburn) to Southern California (L.A.) and back twice. At least we had no one damaging our rental car this time. No problems at all with the car. But it’s back to walking, biking, and riding buses for awhile. I don’t mind. Still all part of our third life adventure.
(Whoops! I guess I need to use my iPad after all. My pictures haven’t completely downloaded to my new computer yet.)