Sunday, November 27, 2005


I am officially allowed to come home now because I got that picture of a Monkey that Jim said I am not allowed to come home without! Actually I got quite a few!

Backtracking a few days first though. Last time I wrote we were in Matapalo a quiet little beach town which has yet to really be discovered by the hoardes of tourists invading Costa Rica. There were 7 or 8 small hotels on the beach there, but it is a ways off the beaten track and a little harder to get to, so we were again rewarded with a beautiful beach pretty much all to ourselves while we were there!

We stayed two nights in Matapalo arriving late on Friday afternoon. Saturday was spent on the beach. All day. We played in the waves which were much gentler than any we have encountered thus far and read our books on the beach. It was a perfect day all in all, but by about 7 that evening I had to leave Mom and go lie down because all that sun got to me and I was feeling a little under the weather.

Thankfully I was feeling great this morning for the early start to make our way to Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio where we spent the day today. The man running our hotel was nice enough to get up at 6am and drive us to the main road to meet the bus so that we did not have to walk the 2kms with our packs on. From there we got a bumpy bus to Quepos (Amazing race watchers will recognize that place). From Quepos we got another bus 7kms to the edge of the park were there is a little ´town´, which is really rows of hotels along the beach outside Manuel Antonio National Park. We quickly checked into a hotel and headed to the park.

We were told to watch for monkeys and iguanas along the trails and were getting a little discouraged after about 45 minutes of hiking along a muddy rainforest trail without catching a glimpse of any wildlife....but our perserverence on the steep trails paid off when we stumbled on a troop of monkeys playing in the trees right alongside the path! There were at least a dozen of them and they gave us a show for a good half hour. It was a little scary how familiar they are with humans milling about because they barely looked our way the whole time. One little guy came onto the path at one point and looked like he was about to take a swing at another hiker though, so maybe they are telling us that there are too many tourists invading their home!

After the hike we spent a few hours relaxing on the 3rd of 4 beaches in the park. It was absolutely gorgeous, and was actually a little too hot for us....we had to sit in the shade most of the day! While we were on the beach we met some of the even more tame monkeys in the park who came right up to some of the sunbathers hoping to steal a little food. There were a few rather large iguanas soaking up some rays as well!

Tomorrow we are taking a Canopy tour through the rainforest which will involve bridges 20 stories above the ground as well as zip lines and some repelling...should be an adventure!! Mom´s a little nervous about this one, but she´s brave and knows it will be worth it!

Friday, November 25, 2005

We made it to Costa Rica!!

The last post came from Bocas del Toro in Panama on the northern Carribbean coast, and we are now all the way on the other side at the Pacific coast of Costa Rica.

Yesterday was a rather uneventful day. We left Bastimientos early in the morning and took a water taxi to Isla Colon, where we hung out for a little while and did a little shopping (tshirts, bathing suits, etc) before heading to the mainland in another water taxi. This one was more like a 15 passenger speed boat and we were very happy that it had a canopy with pull down sides to keep us dry!

Once on the mainland we all hopped in the back of a pickup to get to the bus terminal (we were travelling with 6 of the Yosemite Gang). This bus ride was a bit of an adventure as the driver really liked to race around the blind curves through the mountains. We spent most of the time hanging on for dear life and trying to stay upright! At one point we were unsure if we would make it to our destination because we were stopped by the police and the driver seemed to be in some serious trouble. We never did find out why they stopped us and held up the bus for 20 minutes...but we managed to get into some trouble of our own. While we stopped I decided that it would be cool to have a picture of the police station with all the cool vegetation surrounding it....but as soon as I opened the window and snapped a picture a policeman armed with a shotgun told me that it was prohibited to take pictures of police stations in Panama. Who knew? So I put the camera away and went back to my seat promising not to take any more....apparently this was not enough for him and he got on the bus asking to see my camera and made me erase the picture! We were worried for a while that he might try to take my camera away from me, but don´t worry Jimmie, I still have it!! I would have held on kicking and screaming before he got it away from me!

We ended up staying the night in David last night because we didn´t want to cross th boarder at night. It was a nice relaxing evening and a good chance to say goodbye to Genny, who we will greatly miss as a travelling companion. We had another great plate of mixed seafood for dinner (in wonderful company with the Yosemite Gang who were celebrating Thanksgiving) and after dinner Mom, Genny and I did a little shopping. I even found a great Christmas dress! We finished off the night with a trip to the Cine to see 40 year old virgin...funny show but pretty crude!

Today we got up early and started the LOOOONG trek to Costa Rica. The boarder crossing went relatively smoothly, but was a little confusing at times. There were no signs at all directing us where to go, and if we hadn´t asked the men changing money I think we might have just ended up walking into the town at the boarder without getting our passports stamped...not a lot of security that´s for sure!

The bus ride from the boarder was a long one. The highways in Panama were much better than the ones in Costa Rica, and we are already missing the awesome bus system there. We got on a bus at the boarder thinking that it would be a smooth ride, but about half an hour into the trip we were kicked out of our seats because apparently the pre assigned seats sell out a few days ahead of time and everyone else still gets to go on the bus but has to stand. So it was a long 5 hour ride to San Isidro el General where we ended up missing the last bus to our final destination for the day. Because we missed the bus we ended up hiring a taxi driver to take us the last hour and a half of the trip to Matapalo where we found a lovely little hotel with Cabins on the beach.

The room we have here is great. It´s almost twice as much as we paid last night at $41 dollars US, but it is a spacious cabin complete with a little table by the windows and separate towels for shower, beach and pool use...we can see the beach through the palm doesn´t get much better than that! We are a little sad though, because the first thought that we had when we entered the room was that there was an extra bed that Genny could have stayed in. We miss you already Genny!

We got all settled in and had a few beers at the hotel restaraunt with a fellow from Alaska, his Canadian son and an american who came to visit Costa Rica 5 years ago and just never made it home. After a nice chat with them we said goodbye and headed down to the beach to watch the sunset. Beautiful!

We will likely stay here for a few days before heading on to Quepos and a national park called Manuel Antonio where we will hopefully catch a glimpse of some of the wildlife we hear Costa Rica is famous for! I need to get a picture of a Monkey or Jim says I can´t come home!!!

For now we´re off to the hotel to enjoy a fresh Tuna filet cooked up by the owner of our hotel...the seafood diet is still going well!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Stranded on a tropical island..

Here is a post that I actually wrote yesterday but was unable to get up here...the internet on the island that we were on is via sattelite and the connection was pretty bad yesterday because of a storm. We were hoping to leave the island in the afternoon yesterday, but the water was too rough so we had to spend an extra night there. It has calmed down quite a bit today, so we left the island of Bastimentos and are now on the main Bocs del Toro island called Colon. From here we will catch a ferry to the mainland and head south to David to hopefully cross the boarder into Costa Rica this afternoon...hopefully we can make it that far today!!

So again we have been without internet access for a while and there is way more to say on here than I have time to write, but I´ll quickly write about a few of the highlights.

We left Santa Catalina on Saturday morning with heavy hearts because it was such a wonderful place and we had a great time during our short stay there.

From Catalina we headed to Boquete a small little mountain town that was absolutely beautiful! It was a little colder there and for the first time on the trip I actually pulled out a light sweater...which I later lost because it warmed up and I took it off!! Boquete was a very tranquil little town with a laid back mountain feel to it. Quite touristy, with a huge US retirement market booming´s a little sad because it used to be a popular place for Panamanians to retire but it is now far too expensive for most local people as homes are selling for the same as what a comparable one would sell for in the US.We spent a day strolling through the streets and there was a beautiful garden there called ¨mi jardin es su jardin¨ which translates as my garden is your garden. We spent a few hours exploring the gardens and taking pictures of all kinds of flowers. Unfortunately the visit there ended on a bit of a low note because Mom got attacked by some fire ants when she accidentially stepped on an ant hill! But she was ok, they only sting for half an hour or so, so she lived!

From Boquete the three of us (Genny is still with us) made our way up north to the Bocas del Toro province on the Carribbean coast where we are now. We took a little plane that fit about 30 people from a city called David onto the largest of the Bocas del Toro Islands (I can´t remember the name of it right now...starts with a C..) and when we stepped off the plane two of Genny´s friends who she had been hoping to meet were waiting for us. They had been staying on the island of Bastimentos for a few days with about 8 other friends of Genny´s so we took a water taxi out here to meet all of them and we´ve been staying on this little island for the past 2 nights. Genny´s group all know each other from working together in Yosemite National park in California and have a few months off during the off season so they are all travelling around Central America

We arrived on the island at about 10am on Monday morning and the weather was fabulous! It was super sunny and we quickly got changed into our bathing suits and took a water taxi to the beach. The main town on the island consists of a sidewalk on the south side of the island about a mile long with houses all along it. The best beaches are all on the north side of the island, so we had to hire a boat to get to a beach called Polo beach which is named after a man who lives there. We spent a few hours on the beach enjoying the crystal clear water and white sand. The snorkeling there was fabulous and we barely came out of the water the whole time we were there!!

Yesterday we went on an all day trip with the same man who took us the day before, and we spent the whole day traveling around. Frist up was a VERY bumpy ride to Dolphin Bay where we were lucky to see a bunch of dolphins splashing about. They came right up to the boat to check us out and swam beside us for a while. It was very cool!After Dolphin bay we headed to a little restaraunt/bar which was built on stilts above the water. There were three little thatch huts with a pier connecting them were we set up camp for a few hours and snorkeled all around. The sun wasn´t shining too brightly which was actually probably a good thing because it was quite comfortable to sit out in the sun and enjoy the views and watch the fish from the dock.

From there we headed to Red Frog beach which is named for the tiny frogs which are found in the jungle there. They are a brilliant fire engine red and are not much bigger than the size of my thumb! We got some really great pictures so hopefully I´ll be able to download a few of them and post them up here soon! The beach there was really great. It was a little less protected than the last one we´d been at, so the waves were bigger and tonnes of fun to play in! We didn´t quite get the hang of body surfing as well as the Yosemite boys, but it was fun to splash around in the water!

When we made it back to our hostal we were starving and cooked up big meal in the little kitchen Mom, Genny and I are sharing. The little Cabaסa we rented is so great! There is a bathroom and a kitchen on the bottom floor with a great little porch where we have spent lots of time hanging out sipping on wine and cuba libres (rum and coke) can buy them premixed in cans here!!! Upstairs in the ´attic´under the thatch roof are our beds. It´s pretty cozy up there, but we are glad to have a mosquito net as its completely open to the outside in a few places!!

Today it´s raining and not all that warm, but we couldn´t be more glad to be here because the annual festival to celebrate the founding of the island is today. There are about 5 different marching bands from the surrounding islands here and we got to see a parade!!! It was very cool to see all the little kids all dressed up in their uniforms. They were so cute!!We were hoping to leave the island today and head back down south to cross the boarder into Costa Rica early tomorrow morning, but it´s nearly 3 and the rain hasn´t let up so I don´t know if we´ll be able to make it back to the mainland!! It seems like we´re just not meant to leave this beautiful country! We meant to be well into our trip to costa rica by now but we just haven´t been able to tear ourselves out of Panama!

Hope all is well with all of you!

Until next time!

Dee and Shelley

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The time of our lives!

Ok, it´s been so long I don´t even know where to start!

We left Panama City and headed west along the interamericana highway and stoped for a few hours in a small town called Penonomé. It was a really cute little town with a beautiful central plaza we walked around a bit and took a few pictures but then it started to rain so we made our way to a little artesan´s market and took shelter there looking at all the beautiful handicrafts. Mom got a really cute Panama hat and we bought a few other souveniers but we didn´t let ourselves buy much because we don´t want our packs to get to heavy this early in the trip! It was still pouring when we were done shopping, so we sat for half an hour or so and visited with the lady working there. She was very nice and animated, and Mom even tried out her spanish a bit! (She´s really understanding a lot now and starting to talk more and more).

The rain wasn´t letting up, so we pulled out our rainjackets and braved the weather to get to the bus station and catch our next bus. We then headed to another small town right on the interamericana called Aguadulce which means sweetwater. It´s got its name from a freshwater well nearby. It was dark when we arrived there (and still raining) so we checked into a hotel and watched our first bit of TV since the trip began. After taking in an HBO movie the rain had stopped and we ventured out to find some dinner in this little town that is famous for its jumbo shrimp. There was a cute little resturant named Manolo´s really close to our place so we went there and had a GREAT meal. We enjoyed a dish of mixed seafood...including a few things that we didn´t recognize, but it tasted great and the shrimp were delicious. We also had some shrimp fried rice...there was a pretty big chinese influence in the food in this town.

The next morning we got up early to beat the rain and caught a taxi to the ´beach´just outside of town were we read that there were some tidepools and slat flats and a neat restaraunt....but we found it less than impressive. We are glad that we went though because it was different from anything we have seen and we got to see some locals coming back from their morning fishing trip and chat with some interesting old men who were sitting around (enjoying a 9am beer or two). We caught the local bus back into town and had another yummy lunch of sweet and sour shrimp and shrimp fried rice at a restaruant on the plaza, and then headed to our next destination: Santa Catalina. It took three buses to get there and we had about 10 warnings from people that we shouldn´t go because of all the rain we might have trouble with the road, so we thought that we would just stop and stay in a town if the rain got too bad, but luckily the weather was great and not only was the road paved all the way, but the scenery was breathtaking and the sun shined most of the way! Along the way we met up with an American girl Genny who we had intended to meet in Santa Catalina, so we were all able to take the last bus together. She was travelling with her mom too, but her mom headed home and she has a few weeks to kill before heading to Honduras to meet some friends so she´s traveling with us for a while.

Santa Catalina is AMAZING. It´s a beautiful little town that is still quite pristine (but unfortunately not for long because a few big hotel chains just bought up all the land there and are planning on building some resorts). We got checked into a hostel in the main town right away that was called Rolo´s and was quite cute and headed down to the water to dip our feet in. It was great and we were very extited to be at the beach. We wandered around and found a little restaruant that served us some delicious fish and we had our first fried plantains! I missed those!! We had a bit of an early night and got up the next morning and tried to see about taking a trip to a nearby island called Coiba that has a national park on it which is supposed to be very beautiful and full of wildlife, but the water was choppy and they weren´t sending any boats out, so we made our way along the rocks while the tide was out to what we found out was a much nicer beach over in the next cove. We played in the waves for a while and watched some surfers and then decided to check out a hotel on the beach that we could see from the water. IT WAS AWESOME! there were four little two room cabins that you could see the water from with some palm trees shading the grounds and a beautiful thatched roof sitting area/restaraunt that the owner and his dad built together. We found out the a room with three beds was only $30 a night so we quickly decided to go back to our hostal and gather our things and move to the beach. The owner, David is an Italian guy who has lived most of his life in Panama and was great. He kindly offered to take us back in his 4WD truck so get our bags because the tide was coming in and we wouldn´t have made it back over the rocks and the road was super muddy and would have been a half hour or more walk with our packs on.

There´s so much more to say about this place, but I´m running short on time so I will have to leave it until next time, but I will say that we spent three wonderful days enjoying the waves, in an absolutely beautiful place, in great company with David, his sister and some other people staying there, and some amazing food! David cooks up an italian meal (which I must say was delicious!!!) there every night since once the tide comes in its hard to get back into town where the other 3 or 4 restaurants are. We would have had to wade in water up to our necks at high tide to get the the road. We ended up staying one more night than intended there because we just couldn´t pull ourselves away from the wonderful setting. And it was still hard to leave when we finally did!

We´re now in a little mountain town called Boquette which is beautiful as well but we´re still missing Santa Catalina a little. We´re all scheming up ways to get back there someday!!

Ok I typed this fast and don´t have time to check it over so I hope it all makes sense! We´ll write more soon!! Hope all is well with all of you!

Dee and Shelley

Monday, November 14, 2005

Go Flames!

Ok I had to! 7 game winning streak! Woohoo!

Anyway, today was a big day so I should get typing! We started the morning off a little slower today because the last few hours of sleep were a little um...interrupted. At around 6 am the parrots which are in a big cage out back on the patio started squaking...about every two seconds....for an hour and a half... it was kind of neat for the first minute or so because it was a sound we´d never hear at home, but it got old fast when we couldn´t get back to sleep. Needless to say when it finally shut up we wanted to get a few more winks in!

Once we got going we had a complimentary breakfast at the hostel (just some toast and juice) and then headed for Casco Viejo. This was a city that was built in 1671 after Capitan James Morgan (yep the guy they named that yummy spiced rum after) invaded and sacked Panama Viejo or ´old panama´ where the city originally sat and is now in ruins. The two areas are about 8km apart and are now connected by the current city. Our tour of Casco Viejo began with a walk along the high wall by the sea with views of the skyline of downtown Panama. From there we went to Plaza Francia where we spent about half an hour translating some large stone tablets that told the story of the conception and construction of the canal. We continued our walking tour through the narrow cobblestone streets and took in the main cathedral and the churches of san jose (with a very impressive golden baroque altar) and san fransisco de assisi. We also saw the home of the President of Panama and the cultural institute of Panama. Many of the buildings have been beautifully restored but the streets were spotted with buildings now in ruins. Otfen times the ruins would lie between or be connected to restored buildings, looking quite out of place!

From Casco viejo we took a Taxi downtown to the Plaza 5 de Mayo where we wandered a pedestrian only shopping district and had a quick look. If we didn´t have to carry all of our belongings on our backs we may have bought some very inexpensive but nice clothes...but we´re hoping maybe we will find some similar things at the end of our journey in San Jose, Costa Rica.

We were hoping to catch a but from the Plaza 5 de mayo out to the miraflores locks at the Panama Canal, but after about 15 minutes of standing on the corner in the muggy heat we didn´t see the right but pass by (and at least 40 passed in that time!) so we gave up and caught a $5 taxi to this place about 9kms out of town. At the miraflores locks we paid an $8 admission to enter the Miraflores locks musem which also had a great observation deck on the 4th floor were we watched a few boats go through the locks. For anyone who doesn´t understand the locks (because I sure didn´t before!) I´ll give you a quick rundown. There are three sets of locks in the canal which runs about 50km from from the north to south of the counrty. Ships are required to pay in cash (or by an electronic transfer of funds) 48 hours in advance of their transit through the canal. The trip through the canal takes approximately 8 hours as ships are first raised up from sea level to 26 meters above sea level where they transit into Guatun lake which is one of the largest manmade lakes in the world. Once they travel through the lake they are then lowered back to sea level by another set of locks at the opposite side of the canal. Each lock has chambers 330meters long and 33.5 meters wide where ships move up and down using the water from the Chagreas river. The first chamber of the lock will equalize with sea level by opening a valve and in 8 minutes 26 million gallons of fresh water from lake Guatun are spilled into the sea. Gate A is then opened and the ship enters the chamber. The first gate is then closed and the ship is raised by opening a valve between chamber one and two and equalizing the water between the two. Gate B is then opened and the ship moves to chamber 2 where the process is repeated to raise the boat again and move it on to chamber 3, etc. Through 4 gates and into Guatun Lake. An opposite process is then used to lower the boat at the other end.

We watched two massive cargo ships go through before heading inside to check out the 4 storey multimedia museum dedicated the the construction of the canal, the Canal watershed, and the insects and wlidlife found in the area. After checking out the museum we were back on the observation deck in time to see a very large cruise ship enter the locks. We then headed down to the second floor open air restaraunt where we enjoyed a glass of wine and some yummy chicken tacos while we waved to the tourists on the criuse ship.

We then headed back into the city and grabbed our bank cards from the hotel to make our first attempt at withdrawing money from the bank machines here. Both our cards worked so we now know we´ll be fine for finances for the rest of the trip! Yea!

After that we stopped in at a little corner store were we bought ingredients to make ourselves a spaghetti dinner at the kitchen in our hostel. And went to the supermarket to buy a bottle of Rum. The total cost of the Rum, spaghetti ingredients, including shrimp; 2L of Coke, a box of tea, a few chocolate bars and laundry detergent under $15. We might do some cooking more often!

So we came back here and cooked up a feast and planned the next few days of travel! We head west tomorrow for Penome and Aguadulce, so we´ll have more stories to tell soon!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Island Girls

Well the weather did hold out for our island trip, in fact it was fabulous! We woke up pretty early again this morning and managed to leave the hotel by a little after 7am and the sun was shining already at that time! We think it must have been about 27 to 30 degrees already!

We caught a taxi to the port for the ferry to Taboga...we only got a little lost on the way because the ferry has changed docks from when our travel guide was written, but we made it on the ferry in time to get a seat on the second level with a great view of the scenery. There were barely any clouds in the sky and we had a great view of the little islands sticking up out of the water on the way to Taboga as well as many boats, mostly freightliners, lining up to pass through the Panama Canal. Some of them were huge!

We arrived on the island at around 9am and spent the first hour wandering the island. The houses there were all painted with bright pastel colours and were all named with cute little cottage names. Some were very impressive! The town was very clean and all of the local people were very friendly. One boy even stopped to tell us a little about the town....but we decided not to take his suggestion to do an ´´easy´´ hike up the side of a mountain...he said it would only take us half an hour, but we didn´t believe probably would have taken us at least 2...and we don´t want heat stroke on our first full day here!

After a thourough exploration of the town (it consisted of about 4 rows of houses along the bay and a big white church) we hit the beach where we camped out for the rest of our time on the island. We rented an umbrella for 5 dollars from a man who called himself Orlando Florida and by alternating between the shade of the ´para sol´ and the water all day we managed to get only mildly sunburned. As we sat on the beautiful tropical beach we couldn´t help but look back at the stormcloud pouring rain on Panama City with a smile because we were happy to be missing it. The rain reached the island just as we were preparing to leave and though the trip back to the city was a little slow, and wet, by the time we reached land the rain had almost stopped.

Once the boat docked we walked over to a really cute open air restaurant with a thatched roof overlooking the bay named ´Mi Ranchito´. Mommy Shelley had a plate of jumbo garlic shimp (with the heads still on!!!) and I had a plate of calamari..but not the battered and fried kind we get at home, this was fresh and very tender. It was really good and we are quite enjoying our seafood diet.

After dinner the rain had stopped so we went for a walk along ´The Causeway´which is home to a few shops, restaurants and bars on a little island separated from the mainland by only two lane road and promenade. We ended up walking for close to two hours to get back to the mainland because all of the taxi drivers were trying to charge us a fortune to get back....more than 4 times what we paid to get there! It was a really nice walk down the promenade though so we didn´t mind too much...and Mom´s knee isn´t even all that sore! She been a trooper so far, but we´ll have to make sure we don´t wear out that knee because the trip is just beginning!

Once we finally found a taxi to take us ´home´we were a little relieved, because it was still quite a long walk back! We had him drop us off one block from our hotel filled with shops and restaraunts and stopped in at a pharmacy suprisingly similar to Shoppers where we bought some snacks to go with our beers tongiht. Robin, you´ll be interested to know that the bag of peanuts and rasins we got is named Manitoba!

So after a full day we are back at the hostel and two beers and a few hands of rummy later we are ready for bed!

Tomorrow its off to ´Casco Viejo´ an older part of the city to explore the sights of Panama City and then we will hit the Miraflores Locks (any amazing race watchers will be familiar with this place!) to check out the Panama Canal.

It´s raining on the parade...

So again we have been when I'm wrong, I'll be the first to admit it. According to this article, the Southern Baptists acted better than what my article stated. I'll give them credit for that, though I'd still be interested, when push came to shove, how they would have dealt with handing out the Annheiser-Busch water.

But...don't be dismayed. While receiving this update from a friend, I got another article that proves the same point. Leave it to Robertson to save my butt and this post . We've now come to a point that we are willing to state that God's judgment will come upon anyone who doesn't vote along with us AND that if judgment comes, don't turn to God because He is no longer listening...Maybe I read the Bible too quickly, but isn't judgment from God almost always DESIGNED to cause people to turn to God....?

Below is the original article.


John 15:18-19 tells us in no uncertain terms that if we are not of the world, if we are of Jesus, then we will be hated. To associate ourselves with our Savior is to put ourselves in complete opposition to the world. For this we will be hated.

However, I don’t think that Jesus meant that we should go out of our way to be hated.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


We´re in Panama! We arrived at theairportt this afternoon, and though they were disconcertingly slow arriving in the baggage claim area, our packs arrived safely as well. We had a little cheer that we will be able to change our underwear tomorrow!

The trip from the airport into Panama was supposed to be about 30 minutes, but ours took a little longer...I´m not sure if it was because the car couldn´t go any faster, or it was just that the 117 year old man driving us didn´t like to go above 40k per hr, but he got us here safely and that´s what matters most!

The hotel we are in is very cute, it has an awesome little patio out back with some colourful tables and hammocks hanging from lusch trees. Our room is small, but cozy, and most importantly, VERY CLEAN!

We have however encountered the rainy season in Panama. It was a muggy 29 degrees when we landed and the sun managed to peek through every few minutes, but while we were settling into our room the heavens opened up and it poured for about 3 hours. To all you Calgarians, the floods this spring were nothing compared to this! But other than a little rain the weather is still fabulous..I´m a little warm in my jeans and light cotton shirt!

We had dinner at a seafood restaraunt overlooking the ocean....there are pictures to come, but I can´t get this computer to recognize the card reader yet! We had a bit of an adventure getting there and never did find the restaraunt we were looking for. The cabbie gave up looking after one circle around the block and we didn´t argue because driving through the rain was a little scary....Jimmie it was reminiscent of our trip to Denver last year!

Anyway, there is a girl waiting for the computer, so I´ll sign off and I will write more soon!

We´re off to an island called Taboga tomorrow just off the coast of Panama City, so hopefully the weather will hold out!


Friday, November 11, 2005

and they're off!!

We are officially on our way! There isn't too much news to tell of, we are in Dallas Texas tonight and have a few hours to sleep before our 4:00am wakeup call. The flight here was bumpy but uneventful.

Tomorrow we head first to Miami and then on to Panama!!

We'll post some news as soon as we get there!!

~Shelley and Dee

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I finally graduated...

Today was the big day and it's now official, I'm a university graduate! Whew! Feels like it was really a long time coming. And the day was much less boring than I bargained for. Luckily I sortof knew the girl sitting beside me...we were the lone development studies majors who showed up, so at least I had someone to chat with.

AND for anyone who went to the UofC.....the sign guy graduated today! I meant to remember his name so that I could call him by that rather than "the sign guy". I was a little disappointed that he didn't try to walk the stage with it, but his family held it proud for most of the ceremony. I guess it could be seen as a bit of a mockery....but the real mockery was really the jester outfits that faculty had to wear. Wow, I couldn't help but giggle every time one of them stood up.

So now I'm off to bed to hopefully get a good rest before the adventure begins tomorrow. It isn't really a super exciting day because we just fly to Dallas for an overnight layover, but it's the beginning of the trek, so stay tuned for more!


Sunday, November 06, 2005

5 more sleeps!

Well it's getting down to the wire and I leave for my trip in less than a week so I thought that it was about time I set this thing up! I'll be posting on here as often as I can so that I can keep everyone up to date with my travels in Panama and Costa Rica.

Mom and I are finally taking the plunge after about 4 years of talking about returning to Central America and I'm more excited than ever....of course I still have about a billion things to do, so it's likely that I won't be able to post again until the day that I leave, but keep checking on here because I'll do my best to fill you in on all the adventures we encounter!