Oh Panama How I Miss You

Oh Panama How I Miss You

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It’s an adjustment getting back from being away and there are a few things I miss….quite a bit.

List of things I miss:

1. Jello as a dessert after lunch.

2. Cafe latte’s from the lobby bar.

3. Nightly entertainment in a language Yo No Comprendo! I did however understand that that one night the dancer’s were performing a rendition of S&M from someone’s bedroom. Am I really sitting amoungst a PG-13 crowd? What kind of resort AM I REALLY AT!

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4. Karaoke, again in a language I do not understand and more importantly a French-Canadian duet of “Lady in Red” ….. ahhhhh

5. Climbing palm trees.

6. Bathroom tissue with a mild baby powder scent. It exists. Odd.

7. Greek style lamb stew.

8. Eating bun-less hamburgers overloaded with salsa.

IMG-20121130-009199. The not so well stocked Lobby Library

10. The rain. Rain on vacation is not the worst that can happen. Being beat-up by an ATV is much worse.

11. The stairs, so many many stairs.

And most of all,

11. Being disconnected.

The Goat Man Proposes

The Goat Man is a fellow Canadian that the Latino’s aptly named The Goat during his public, on stage naming ceremony. The Goat nickname I can only imagine, is in reference to his odd 3 inch long, thick, chin hair.

On some vacation’s it can seem no matter how large and how vast the number of activities available, there are just some folks that you can never quite escape.

The Goat Man and his lady were just that couple.

Breakfast, the beach, the pool, the nightly entertainment, the casino, the plane ride home. After spending 7 days bumping into the Goat Man and his friend, it became a sport to guess his next move before it happened.

Like gambling all his money away at BlackJack {story}.

What we weren’t prepared for and couldn’t have guessed was his public, homeward bound, in-flight proposal to his lady with a place holder ring which was a green wire twist-tie {story}. Actually, we found out later there was nothing, no ring, no twist tie {fact}. There was a box, void of a ring {fact}, in it’s place an IOU? {story} – but a highly believable story at that 🙂

“For those who missed it at the back of the plane, she said yes.”

Round of applause

This prompted a discussion on proposals. Post-vacation?! On a discount air carrier?! No ring?! Was he so insecure she’d say no that he was hedging his bets?!

Why not on the way there, or while ON vacation? Panama is a beautiful place. Was she on vacation probation? If so, I believe she earned her worth when she successfully flagged down the bus back to the airport for her hung-over, soon-to-be fiance.

7 Days, 7 Nights in Panama

7 Days, 7 Nights in Panama

PanamaIt is the first time being so close to the Equator. I am highly aware of the proximity and how it may affect my skin. I am by nature, not a huge sun tanner. I prefer slathering on copious amounts of sunscreen and playing a beach sport.

I am THAT vacationer that arrives home whiter than I left from all the zinc oxide build-up on my skin. Being so conscious of my ghostly white skin, each morning I take great care applying, reapplying my zinc oxide sunscreen.

It was with great displeasure, two days in when I realized I had successfully burnt a 1 inch patch of skin on my right ring finger.

How does this happen? That one little spot that missed inspection prior to sun-exposure? It has turned into what I can only diagnosis with my lack of credentials as a 3rd degree burn. It’s bubbling, it’s painful and it is taking up most of my finger.

In anycase, it’s a good thing for adventurous-shev-ski who packed Traumeel, Polysporin, Aloe Vera Gel and a whole other slew of lotions and potion’s.

I am a last minute packer. It took me an hour, when I should have been sleeping, to pack my bag.

030The adventurous-shev-ski and I have travelled a few places together and we’ve turned out to be compatible travellers. I didn’t think of this the first time I agreed to that cruise we took. The one where I woke up in the middle of the night OUTSIDE our cruise ship suite. What the HELL!! That’s correct, yours truly decided in her sleep to walk past the convenient in-cabin restroom and in bare feet and barely there sleep-wear, traipsed up to the top deck, past the 2am deck hands, to use the public facilities. Only when I tried morphing back through our cabin door and falling backwards, flat on my arse did I wake up to what had been so far an adventure dream.

Since that trip we’ve made it on many more trips, all equally as eventful as the first and I have discovered I am neurotic about packing. I’ve tried escaping my neurosis by leaving it in the Atlantic, Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe and even the cold cold Yukon but it finds a way home. I can count on it always finding me.

I pre-occupy my packing with making sure I am way under the 21 kg weight limit. I worry that I might pack too much, too little and not the right clothes. The end result when I arrive at my destination is a self-fulfilled prophecy of all the wrong clothes and missing any sort of first aid items.

The adventurous-shev-ski gets a kick out of this. She packs triple of everything plus some.

This trip I did my best to pack light and pack smart.

I arrived at the airport with my carry-on size luggage and backpack. I felt confident I’d be within my weight limit. However the worry wouldn’t stop until the ticket agent weighed my bag.

The adventurous-shev-ski arrived pulling her trusty travel bag and carry-on luggage and I couldn’t help myself. All that pent-up neurosis and fear surrounding the 21 kg luggage weight per person and the first thing I blurted out, “My your bag is LARGE!”

She dismissed my comment, knowing my packing skill at best meant I’d likely only have enough clean underwear for each day, let alone clothing.

I knew she’d likely be right but I didn’t want to give in yet.

It didn’t end there. Once we arrived safely in our room we quickly realized two things:

1. By chance, we managed to be in the best possible location on the resort. To our surprise we had a beach front room and from our second floor balcony, had a clear a view of the Pacific ocean, the pools, the snack bar, the bar and the board walk. With a crank of the neck we could see Mojo Mojo, Panamai, the amphitheatre and it’s Nightly entertainment, the Gym, the Towel hut, the water sports. We were within 100 meters of everything one might want or need at a resort.

2. After some show and tell during our settling in, we quickly realized the adventurous-shev-ski has perfected the art of packing. She packed her bag like a luxury sedan carrying only two people. She had just the right amount of everything with room to spare. I, on the other hand, own a Clown Bag. I managed to somehow pack triple and quadruple of weather appropriate clothing, while only tipping the scale at a mere 12 kg. As I was unpacking it seemed there was no end in sight of shirts, shorts, bikini’s, dresses and flips flops. Not only did I out-pack my friend and her normal sized travel bag, my neurosis had followed me to Panama and in my anxiety of meeting a 21 kg weight restriction, overlooked packing lotions and potions and other necessary items to help numb the pain of frying to a crisp.

Louis’ Lessons of Love

1. A man always accompanies his woman everywhere, even shopping because he is her man and he is her protector. When he goes shopping with her he tells her “my love, how about this, maybe this one or try this.”

On men who don’t accompany their women “…bullshit! He doesn’t love her.”

2. Men should always be touching their girl. Massaging, kissing and touching their arms, and hands.

Louis’ easily spots Canadian travellers. They sit side by side, far apart. To help Canadians find love, Louis confronts unsuspecting vacationers with the following:

“Are you brother and sister.”

“No, we are husband and wife/boyfriend and girlfriend.”

He shakes his head in disappointment, “then why are you sitting like this?”

He grabs the man and woman’s hand, puts them together and declares, “You must hold hands! You must kiss and show passion”

Louis, is a compact man and he is looking for a Canadian Love and has asked us to keep an eye out for him. If anyone is interested in a real man who loves women 1,000% (because he has stressed he is NOT gay), let me know I have just the man!

Co-authored by the adventurous-shev-ski

Earning Panama

Earning Panama

IMG-20121130-00914Before we get to Panama and all its hot weather, sporadic rain and friendly spanish speaking Latino’s, its important to note the weeks leading up to this particular vacation to get the full effect.

You see, I agreed to this vacation BEFORE I knew I had a job that was going to support my basic needs of paying a mortgage, food and a car payment. After landing a job, I took a moment to have a sigh of relief. The downside is I still couldn’t bring myself to feel upbeat about my upcoming vacation. Aren’t vacation’s for people stressed out from their corporate jobs? A place to rejuvenate?

I’d been living the limin’ life for a year and this getaway felt exactly like the splurge it was and seemed like such a waste in my state of stress-free well being.

All that was to change 3 weeks leading up to beautiful Panama.

It started with a broken baby toe, progressed into a duel I lost with a 70lb animal and ended with the big bang of a condo flood 2 inches deep.

The toe and tooth are worthy stories, both were avoidable separate accidents, both are still causing me pain 3 weeks later. The condo flood is what will scar and scare me forever out of any semblance of a peaceful sleep!

I was preparing for my trip. There was work to be accomplished, packing to be done, pampering to be had. I was doing well, going to bed early, waking up early and one by one striking the “to-do’s” off my list until that morning at 3am when I was rudely awakened.

“Property Management! Property Management!”

My slumber was being pierced by an unknown male voice and it wasn’t coming from my dream.

I rolled over, rubbed my eyes and in my groggy state of partial awareness, struggling with my sheets I yelled back as loud and angry I could make my little 3am voice sound, “WHO Is IN MY CONDO!”

“It’s me, Steve, your property management.” He yelled back.

I grabbed my phone, it was 3am and I yelled back, “what the hell are you doing in my condo, bastard!”. And I looked around for that giant flashlight, my only hope, my only weapon!

“You’ve had a flood!!”

“I’ve had a WHAT!?!!”. I shouted back incredulously.

“A FLOOD!” Came his reply.

I rolled out of bed and took a step towards my bedroom door, the carpet was wet. I stepped off the carpet, reached for my door knob and stepped into what felt like the edge of the Atlantic ocean.

I opened my bedroom door, pried opened my eyes and saw the flood extending from my restroom, to my living room, my dining room to the kitchen to the front door.

The giant who is my property manager splashed by me, heading towards my bathroom. All the while he was chattering about the flood, “It looks like your toilet tank cracked, your neighbour noticed water coming through her vent.”

I groaned. I knew this neighbour. The one who is no fun at all. My property manager turned off the water to my toilet and suggested I clean up Lake Ontario that had unseemingly seeped into my condo.

He left.

I locked my door and in a dazed wandered through the flood only to fall flat on my back in my little private lake. As I laid there looking up at the ceiling and feeling the water soaking my hair, my shirt and my pants, I wondered if perhaps this may still be just a dream. I willed myself to stand up, brushed whatever water I could off myself and I went to work cleaning up the mess.

After two hours of soaking up water in towels, wringing them out into a bucket and dumping the bucket into my tub, I had successfully sent Lake Ontario back to where it belonged.

Now what to do? It was 5am and I needed to use the restroom. I quickly changed, dug up my insurance information, slid into my Mini and zoomed off to the nearest 24 hour donut shop I could find. For the record, the best time to use public restrooms is around the 5/6am mark! Trust me, I tried out a couple that early morning 🙂

So here I am in Panama 3 days post-flood. Enjoying every minute of sun, sand and drop of rain. Knowing that everyday is bringing me closer to my new condo reality – cement flooring “throughout” and my neighbour who is threatening to sue me!