Boquete delights

12/12/10

These birds are so beautiful and this was the first morning they actually came to my feeder (banana on a table). I believe they are called "White-ringed Flycatchers" And this I bought at the weekly market here. Can you tell what it is? Its a hand carved wooden shoe! The man who carved it (is holding it in pic) said it was very special to him and close to his heart. I love this piece!! It is about 2' long and beautifully decorated all around. It looks like an aladdins shoe, so I tell my friends to rub it and make a wish!!

La Orchida Tipico Restaurant

10/16/10

This little out of the way cafe has quite good food. This is what is called a "tipico" restaurant, meaning it serves the tipical Panamanian food. (Bet you couldn't guess that, huh). I had a plate of fish that I had never heard of before. It was really good, done on the grill with lots of lime, a salad, beans, and vegetables and it was $3.00 total. A tipico meal is meat, rice, beans and salad. It has a nice outdoor area also to sit, but all the tables were full.

taking a walk

10/13/10

Just too beautiful to not share. This is just a little ways up the road from where I live and I enjoy it so much when walking my dog. Try to imagine the sound of the water, and the breeze blowing through the trees. Click and make it bigger.

When I was in the hospital...

10/10/10

When I was in Chiriqui Hospital spending 2 nights for some kind of horrible bronchitus and sinus problem gone wrong, I saw a little alcove with benches and this statue of Jesus. I think it was a little chapel, a place to pray or seek solace. What I found very cool was all the rosaries that had been left on the statue. There were hundreds. I have never seen anything like this in the states. It was quite colorful, more so than the picture.

Panamonte Restaurant inside

10/7/10

I said I would get some pics of the inside of my fav restaurant next time I went there, and that didn't take too long. See what I mean about old world charm?


One of my favorite restaurants in Panama

10/6/10

I just love the Panamonte Restaurant. It has old world elegance and white table cloths, and really good food for a fair price. It is not as cheap as alot of places, but you always know you are going to get a really good meal when you go there. Plus they give you a 25% jubilato discount!! (It goes with a type of visa). They always have a huge boquet of large fresh flowers, and bring such good homemade bread in a basket with the cutest little embroidered hanky type cloth covering them. There are always fresh flowers on the tables and quiet, elegant service.

This is the view outside through the window. I will see about getting pictures of the inside next time there. My fav's are the Caesar Salad with chicken, it is really a great caesar!!! And the Salmon with dill sauce and aspargus is always wonderful when you feel the need for healthy food. And when you don't, the cheeseburger is great with avacado and fries and it comes to about $5.50 with the discount.

I will tell you about the bar/lounge area next time. It is so beautiful with outdoor seating and a huge fireplace. You can have your dinner out there too!

shopping for kitchen stuff

9/29/10

A new 2 story department store "Conways" opened up a few months ago in David, Panama. A mere 30 -45 minutes away from where I live. Everyone was very excited about this new place to shop. Much more modern than the other stores in town, and it has a fabulous kitchen department ! Felt a bit like I was in Macys and it was a good feeling. Prices are much better too!
They also have a nice cafe (coffee) shop area with tables and huge windows to enjoy a great cappachino.

To paint or not to paint...

9/23/10

I have decided to take painting classes! I have always wanted to learn how to make wonderful, colorful paintings. Here is my painting supply basket. It makes me feel artsy just looking at it! This is the terrace where the classes are held. An absolutely beautiful view and lovely place to be inspired. With only 3 people in class the teacher has lots of time to help.
The gardens are beautiful with lots of lush flowers.
Yep, I am going to paint!!!

Luscious sidewalk shopping

8/4/10



I just discovered this tiny little 'mercado' that is right on mainstreet in town. These luscious "Star Fruit" where right up front near the sidewalk and caught my attention. They are so beautiful, but I don't know how good they are to eat.
Isn't this just gorgeous!! I believe it is a type of Hibiscus. I found it in my garden area while I was walking my dog and had to take a quick snap.

Economical cat carriers!

7/16/10



These are the pics I promised you in the post about the animal sterilization clinic. I thought what an innovative idea for folks that don't have the money to buy fancy cat carriers, and they are sturdy, well ventilated and it looks like they were all strapped in very well for the ride!

"Amigos de Animales" Helping the animal population in Boquete

6/27/10

There is a group here that was started by an American expat several years ago that has sterilization clinics every month to reduce the dog and cat population. Imagine all these dogs running free and most had not been 'fixed'. Now, the group, Amigos de Animales, helps the locals here get their pets neutered or spayed. It is a great organization, with the help of many volunteers, and vets from the area and also vets who come in from Costa Rica. It is like an assembly line of sorts, but done so well, you would be amazed. The animal population is now much more under control and a blessing to all not having hundreds more unwanted pets running loose and hungry. They usually 'fix' around 50-100 animals at each clinic.

I have worked in a couple of the clinics and the organization has it down like a well run play. Sterile cotton and alcohol and thermometers everywhere. Each animal has it's "own" person who takes it through the whole wake-up procedure. After the operation, the dogs are laid on a blanket on the floor, and the cats on tables on clean towels with their "person" rubbing them and talking to them, keeping another towel or blanket on them to keep them warm, and taking their temperature every 5 minutes to make sure all is well.

They just had the big clinic today and I volunteered. Usually I sit at the cat table and wake them up after surgery, but today I was taught a new job. I shaved the tummies and "other areas" and disinfected the area just before being moved to the surgery table.

I will post a pic soon that I had to take even though I was in surgical gloves and had betadine all over. Call it a highly innovative and low cost cat carrier!

New Restaurant La Posada

6/10/10


Or as I call it, "the Argentina restaurant" because it has so many signs on top of the building you really can't tell what the name of it is. But it is owned by a lovely Argentinian couple and they make some good food. But, of course, it's the coffee that has to be good in my book. Cappucino, served up with almond cookies. yum, yum, wish I had one right now.
I just learned that some of Peet's Coffee (one of my favorites in the states) comes from beans grown right here in Boquete!! How cool is that!

oh yeah!

6/8/10




Our local grocery had a surprise for me last week. They had a booth set up and were giving away samples of the Panama made liquor, Seco. Yeah, giving away mixed drinks in the store! Of course, I had to try one! They had ginger ale, orange juice and milk(?) to pick from as mixers. It was quite good, tasted like vodka to me and looked like vodka. Ok, I confess, I did buy a bottle, spending a whole $1.67. I just love Panama!!

Local grocery store welcoming committee

6/6/10


Our largest grocery store in town has its own welcoming committee. Dogs run loose for the most part here, and they can always be seen all over town and just about everywhere really. Its not like in the states where most people have fenced yards, here, most yards are not fenced and people let their dogs run free. It amazes me that they all seem to get along.

Arriving Panama City airport

6/5/10


After the fiasco of getting my dog and going through customs, I found my way to my prearranged 'driver' who would be taking us to our hotel. I figured 16 hours of travel was enough for my 10 year old dog (and me) to handle in one day. While waiting for my driver to get his car/van/suv?? (it had to be big enough for the largest dog crate that you can fly) we made a few new friends with the airport workers.

I set in the backseat beside the dog crate, and for those folks in the u.s. that don't know this, alot of cars, taxis, etc. do not have seat belts in the backseats! It is not like in the states where it is a law. It is only a law here to have them in the front seat (and also that you use them.) So one needs to remember to always ask about seat belts, as well as air-conditioning.

So, sitting in the backseat, unrestrained, going through Panama City is a joyride in itself. They just built this new freeway that is above all the streets and congestion and is really wonderful and fast, but for some reason, my driver chose to go the old way.

I was very happy to finally be at the B+B, the Balboa Inn, which really was quite delightful if not fancy. The employees were so kind and considerate of everything I needed. The manager ordered a pizza for me from "a better place than all the rest" and indeed it was!! I was so happy to be able to relax in my room with wireless internet in my room, a good pizza, and yes, even a Panama beer!! Those of you who know me, know I am a Bud light kind of girl with lots of limes so I don't have to actually taste the beer, but this night, the Panama was excellente!! Of course they served lots of limes for me too.

I almost forgot to mention all the birds here. Amazing. All night they sang the most beautiful songs. It was a good thing.

Long trip from San Francisco to Panama City

6/4/10


I am back in wonderful Panama and have some great pics to show you since I arrived last month. Sorry it took me so long to start posting, but the time was full of stuff I had to take care of. Mainly, my dog, Oscar, who I brought back with me, was a little 'out of sorts' from the trip and I had to get him all settled before I could do anything else.

I am not even going to go into what I had to go through and do to get my dog preapproved (my word for it, they don't really call it that) and ready for the flight. Lets just say, it ain't easy! And I was near hysterical on the arrival in Panama City, cause they (and just who are they?) didn't get my boy into the luggage area as quickly as they should have and I thought he was out in the 96 degree heat! After 20 minutes and a sick stomach of worry, he finally came through in his crate on the luggage ramp. He looked fine, so I guess he was indoors on the other side of that wall, and not out in the heat that I thought! Whew, that was close.

I flew out of San Francisco on the 'red-eye'. It has the best connections for me. I had a great ticket upgrade though, as I was offered a 1st class upgrade for only $50.00!!!! I have never flown 1st class, and I was very excited about this. So when I got to San Fran and did all the checking in for both my boy (Oscar) and me, I went straight to the Presidents Lounge. I have heard so much do-da about the place and only the very select first class ticket holders get in. Well, I only had an hour to spend in there and it was midnight, so needless to say not much was happening, and the food choices were slim. Actually, it was more of a munchies selection of which I took a pic. I do have to say, thought, the bar was open, and boy did I need a drink. The lounge itself was nice and had different areas, tv lounge, tables for eating, separate internet cubicles (which of course was where I was). Anyway, as I said the bar was open, and a very dressed up bartender made me the BEST BLOODY MARY I HAVE EVER HAD!!!! If I didn't have to face going through security when I left the lounge I would of had another, and maybe one more. But, as most everyone now knows, going through security is something where you need to have your wits about you.

Next stop is a 3 hour layover in Houston. More on that later.. Actually Houston was a drag so next post will be more of Panama!!

I will be back soon with more adventures

3/26/10

Thank you for your patience. Check back in mid April for all new pics and stuff!

Dancers in Parade

12/20/09

These dancers were a riot!! Maybe a Day of the Dead influence going on here??
video

Independence Day in Panama

12/13/09

Boquete is the center of the Independence Day Parade here in the province of Chiriqui. Its really nice, this little town comes alive with people and marching bands from all over Panama. It reminds me of growing up in Napa Valley, California, where I lived in a little town called Calistoga, and that was the center of the 4th of July festivities, with the parade and the fair. Memories there and memories here.I like the ice cream vendor rolling along with the parade!
Girls dressed in the famous Pollera dresses.
All kinds of folks watching from the side of the road.
Nobe Bugle indigenous family sitting on the curb watching the parade. I love the beautiful colors they dress in every day.
Cute little girl carrying a flag in the parade.

Sharing the road...

12/6/09

Leaving Zancudo Beach, Costa Rica to return to Panama. I love the small dirt roads and the ranchers you find herding their livestock. Something you don't see in the states.
He was just too cute, had to get a closeup. I think he was making eye-contact, don't you?

Transformation Italian style!

11/25/09

Having heard how FABULOUS this Italian restaurant down the beach was from several people, I walked down during the day to see it and get a reservation for that night. Like a reservation was actually needed in the off season! Anyway, I found the owner lounging and having a cig in front of the fan, with a big smile, and he had quite an accent. Here from Italy for about 20 years, and operating this on the beach restaurant for about 8 years, and very serious about his food.

The transformation was astonishing! The ambiance was of a fine eatery in Italy. White tablecloths on all tables, fresh flowers, and the lighting was unbelieveable since we were 'on the beach' in what is lovingly called "the end of the world" by tourists and townsfolk.

The Porcini mushroom raviolis I had that night were excellent, and he brought the mushrooms back with him on the plane from his last recent visit to Italy! Now thats what I call dedication. Also, he makes the pasta from hand.

I really like how he draped cloth across the ceiling to hide the corrugated tin roof. And with the tropical plants and sound of the ocean it made for a wonderful, completely surprising experience at the 'end of the world'!

3 days on the Costa Rica beach!

11/14/09


Food was fabulous where I stayed. This shrimp cocktail had 4 of the biggest shrimp and a wonderful salad to boot! Fresh caught just that morning. umm, with lots of lime, yum. Wish I could have another right now.

Black sand beaches. Sometimes the waves would be close, licking at the drift wood piles high on the beach, other times it would seem you had to walk far on the sand to get to the roaring waves. It was quite an experience. I enjoyed it alot, even though it could be quite warm. Luckily this time of year, the sun was hidden behind clouds most of the time.

Walking away from the beach to the entrance of the cabinas where I stayed. I was so happy to find one of the few places that had air conditioned rooms at a reasonable price. Thank God. I wouldn't have made it otherwise.

I will post more information about where I stayed next time and also the OMG fabulous Italian restaurant I found down the road!

Just returned from my second trip to Costa Rica...

11/9/09

pictures coming soon. Went to the beach this time, and I am still scratching multitudes of bug bites!

Breakfast at Olga's Restaurant

10/27/09



Oh yum, I just found my favorite food on the menu at Olga's in Boquete, Panama. The Huevos Rancheros!! Absolutely delicious! And my friend ordered pancakes, and oh my, those were some pancakes, can you tell!

I can't wait to go back and do it all over again!

Is this the Craziest Fruit you ever did see?!!

10/7/09


This fruit is so wonderful and juicy with a nice sweet flavor, that is if you can get past the looks and actually try it. They are about the size of a golf ball, and you pop open the skin and this clear/whitish fruit is inside, much like a grape that has the skin taken off. You pop the whole white pod in your mouth and suck on it around the seed. When all the juice is gone you spit out the seed. You cannot cut the meat away from the seed with a knife and eat it like a mango, you must suck on the seed. But, after my initial hesitation, I tried it, and now I, and all my friends, by these by the bag full. Really, they taste just like candy!
A couple of Nobe Bugle (pronounced No-Bay Boog-Ley) children my friend saw and snapped the pic. They are the main indiginous tribe here in Boquete. The women are seen all over town in their bright colored dresses with a contrasting bric-brac design. They make the dresses out of all different colors, but always a solid color. This little girl looks to have a more simple 'childs' version.

If creepy crawly things bother you, skip this post!

9/20/09




I wanted to share this experience with you before I ended my posts on Costa Rica.
The first day at Wilson's Botanical Gardens I was heading for my room and saw this black kind of blob thing at the front door. It was moving, I knew it was alive, but had no idea what it was. I had never seen anything like this before. Since it was moving so slowly I figured it was safe to take a closer look. And besides, it looked like it was heading to go under my front door!

Once I got a close look, I ran up to the office to tell management, I figured they would want to capture and study this thing, or things, or do something kind with it, like remove it from my front door. I described it, in a hurried, out of breath, emergency type voice, and was calmly told, it was ok, nothing bad, it was a cluster of Beetles in caterpillar form! I had no idea that beetles started out as caterpillars! I assume they move together as one to protect their individual selves from looking small and enticing to all the birds here.

I have a video of them moving that I really wanted to show you, its truly amazing, but I can't figure out how to turn the sound off on the video. If you know how, let me know please. In the end, I gently scooted them over with a leaf (a very large one) onto the grass away from my door, as the guide suggested. I think nature is amazing!