Getting High in Panama

Not only is it promoted and encouraged but it is very popular especially in the Beach area. No Panama has not gone the way of Washington State or Colorado. We have entered what is commonly referred to as the High Season, otherwise also known as the Dry Season. This usually spans from mid-December through March. Weather-wise, Panama is quite a diverse country so I will only refer to the immediate area we live in, Coronado, so don’t try and correct me if your area of the country is different.

We were encouraged to come to Panama during the worst part of the year so we would be able to make a decision as to whether we really liked it or not. So we arrived in May in the ‘rainy’ season. Sounds bad doesn’t it, tropical rains? Well I am here to say I will take the rainy season over the dry season any time – the low over the high. I guess it is a lot like Florida (and other warm climates) where the residents cringe when the high season hits – roads are packed, long waits at restaurants, service generally is worse, prices go way up, you have to deal with all these foreigners, in our case mostly Canadians, who rush in, take over, supposedly know everything about what it is like to be here…..

Well what are the real differences in Panama as far as my opinion is concerned? First the weather. The humidity seems to drop about 10 points on average. The wind picks up – a lot! We have a pretty steady strong wind with gusts on top of that. It is possibly a little drier – less rain. During the off-low-wet season we had a good rain about maybe once a month – maybe. When it came it was a welcome change. It generally would stay for a short time and be gone. I think we had maybe 3-4 days across May thru mid-December where the sun was behind clouds and maybe it was wet a larger part of the day. To me this is pretty damn dry! It rains a lot other places but not here. Many days we would be in the roof top pool, watching the dark clouds form in-land and begin to move towards us. A short distance from here, sometimes by a few hundred yards, we would see the rain coming down in buckets but it would go right around us and away. We live in something called a Dry Ark, pretty cool.

So what has the High Season brought us? To me the weather is not better, slightly worse. I welcomed the occasional rain but the wind can be overbearing and actually makes you feel cold in the swimming pools even when it is 80+ degrees. It has brought a lot of people that are now occupying what once seemed like our private space – the roof top, the beach, the pools, the bars…..plus they talk real funny especially those from Canadia – ey.

This is kinda what it is like to be in Coronado, Panama during the High Season BUT as inconvenient as it might seem it is NOT Canadia, or the US midwest, east coast, or Pacific Northwest -no cold, snow, or rain. We still sleep with our windows open, wear flip flops and shorts EVERY day, and drink cold beer. Sooo….I guess I will take High Season for now and just continue to chill. Now pass those brownies!

On a side note, we left Panama in mid-December and returned January 3rd. We spent a lovely Christmas/New Years at Linda and Carls (Denise’s parents) in The Villages, Florida. What made this time extra special other than getting to spend time with the parents is; not just that we were able to make up for some missed shopping; not just that we were able to hit some food choices we just don’t have in Panama; not just that Carl had two big bottles of Makers mark on hand; not just because we were also able to spend time with my mom and also see Aunt Rita and Uncle Danny; not just because we got to meet Jennifer, my brother Rob’s fiancée when they came to visit BUT the greatest reason it was a great time is that Lisa also flew in and spent two weeks with us. We hadn’t seen Lisa in over a year so it was long over due. It was great to see her – did I say that already? We also were able to celebrate her birthday a week or two late!

Lisa, Denise, and I went out to eat, out to drink, played golf, went to the pool, went to the driving range, went shopping, etc… Lisa and Linda (and Denise) baked and baked. With all the cookies I was forced into a sugar coma before we left. We also made a rather large dent in Carl’s vast hords of Ham he has hidden away in his freezer. I think we are good on pork for a while.

When Denise and I went to fly out of Tampa to head back to Panama our flights were all messed up and we ended up getting ‘stuck’ for two days in Fort Lauderdale. We actually had a great time – Guinness in an Irish Pub next to the hotel, watched the Seahawks play sitting in a Tiki bar out by the pool where we had Chinese carryout delivered, we went to the beach, we went to a luxury theater and saw Star Wars in 3-D, etc…an unexpected additional 2 day vacation!

That is it for now, Enjoy the collection of random photos below. Remember all opinions are mine. Feel free to comment back or ask questions.

RB

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Full moon over the bay from our balcony
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Same pics as above but before dark still showing the full moon.
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Denise’s Water Aerobics Noodle Class. 23 folks mostly Canadians from the busy High Season.
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3-D, captain chairs, waiters with food/drink – nice!
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Fort Lauderdale hotel Tiki bar – just off our room, Seahawks and Chinese food good stuff!
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Ft Lauderdale Ramada
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We had to0 many frozen yogurts in Fla. But they were great.
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The others in my golf foursome.
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Giving me lessons.
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Evil Elves!!!
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Christmas morning
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Denise and her mom, Linda, working on a kitchen strategy.
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Beauty runs in the family!!!!!
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FLA holiday tree decorations

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This is from our neighbor’s (Bruce n Judy) balcony just before we left for FLA.
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scenery and shower near the pool on the ground floor at our place.
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Different view of the golfing 3 stooges.
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Good thing I can resist iced cookies – NOT
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Finished Kolach
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Step 1-2-3-4. Step 5, I eat.
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Happy Birthday Lisa, Joker is always wild!
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Doing her pre-baking stretches. 
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Lisa and grand parents.

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Lisa brought 6 bags of these chips for Denise who was able to hand carry one all the way to Panama!
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This is why there is a High Season!
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The living Cookie Monster!
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Me and my mum. Great to see you!
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Lisa heading home – sniff, sniff….
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Christmas morning
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In the Tiki Bar. Hadn’t seen one of these in a long time. Where is the pay phone?
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Ahhhh!
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Bet you didn’t know I was such an artist. They let me off with a misdemeanor.
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Our local mall in Panama before Christmas.
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More cookies, agh!
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We haven’t found good Guinness in Panama – enjoyed this!