Hiking, Birdwatching, Orchid Festival and our first house guest…


We’re enjoying our first house guest here in our little casita.  Emma is on her spring break from teaching in Panama City.  She flew into David on Sunday morning and I drove down to pick her up.  This is the first time we’ve hosted anyone in our new casita.  I’m glad its Emma because she’s so low maintenance and doesn’t mind that we’re still kinda roughing it up here.   We don’t’ have a guest room in the casita so it’s the air mattress on the living room floor for her.  And we also don’t have any interior doors yet which means you must actually say the word, “SLAM!” when you shut the shower curtain that we have as our bathroom door! hah!  And then there’s the no electricity thing…well, we have electricity but its coming from that good ol’ generator still. So, Scott has to go out at night and turn it off and then he has to get out there in the morning to start it up again. And heaven forbid the generator should run out of gas in the middle of watching a movie or cooking dinner…ugh! All this hasn’t seemed to faze our first houseguest. She’s lived in Panama for nearly four years so she’s been thoroughly desensitized to things being ‘not-quite-right’ all the time.

Before Emma came for her visit she asked me if I wanted her to download any movies or anything to watch while she’s here.  Of course she’s got high-speed internet in the city which we greatly miss up here in Boquete.  And we were pleased to have the opportunity to see a new movie! It’s been a very long time since we’ve seen anything recent and we’d heard so much about Guardians of The Galaxy….so she happily loaded up her laptop with entertainment for us.  Bond & Luana were in the mood for a movie night and they came over to join us for movie and food! I wish my house were bigger I would have had a much bigger gathering, but with just 5 people in this little casita it was nearly bursting! hah!  It wont be long now and we’ll have plenty of room for all my wonderful friends to gather for movie nights, game nights and just plain ol’ stuffing our faces with good food nights!  I’m excited for that! As I’ve likely mentioned already, the main house is on its way! The foundation is poured and at the moment they are backfilling the terrace and master bedroom in preparation for pouring the cement for the floors in those areas, the last part to be done.

Excuse me while I digress into a bit of construction update…

I know you know that our property has provided us with a few little complications.   Complications that have arisen from being so far up in the mountains, on a very steep road which isn’t paved….ugh! And as a result of this beautiful, remote location, getting materials delivered is one big thing that has proven to be quite a challenge!  When we were building the casita Scott had to single handedly transport every lick of building material in his little truck. Sand, Rock, Cement, Water, concrete blocks, cariolas, zinc roofing material, blah, blah, blah…its a long list, you get the idea, a lot of crap! Well, we lucked out recently with the discovery of Rigoberto (cue the sound of angels singing…) …who owns a small 4×4 dump truck that can actually make it alllllllll the way up to the tippy-top of our property where the house is currently being built. It’s such an adorable little dump truck! Adorable? I know…how can a dump truck be adorable? Hah! Well, trust me, it is! So we’ve had our new best friend Rigoberto (again…angels singing) delivering material pretty much non-stop…..Schreeeeeeech!!! Until last week….Ugh! That wonderful, adorable little dump truck that ‘Could’ suddenly ‘Can’t!’ Cue, sad music now….and maybe a tear or two…from what Rigoberto tells us the truck is dead…sigh…well, there goes our material deliveries (and there goes the angels singing!). Gulp! So, needless to say Scott is back to driving back and forth with his little truck that can… with load after load of cement blocks, sand, rock, blah, blah, blah.  As I’m writing this post at 10:00am, he’s just drove by on his 4th trip from Ivan (our material supply store). We hear there’s a remote possibility that Rigoberto may be able to fix the poor little truck, but we shall see about that (ahem, I can’t really hear any angels singing).

In spite of this little setback, the house is really coming along. I love to go up there when the crew is gone and just walk around imagining where I’ll put my furniture and what each room will look like. We’ve had so much fun designing and planning out every little detail of this new home.  We’ve planned a really large outdoor living space where I hope we’ll spend most of our time. This terrace is where we plan to have our dining room as well as an area with a sofa and chairs for lounging about and gazing at the rainbows and hummingbirds…but I digress…. The outdoor terrace takes up nearly half of the square footage of the house, so I really hope we’ve got it positioned in such a way that we don’t get too blown away by the winds during the windy season up here.  We’ve tried to be mindful of how strong the winds can be and what direction they come from, so my fingers are crossed that we’re building the terrace facing the right direction and that we wont find our outdoor dining room blown down the hill!

One other feature of the new house that Scott and I have always dreamed of is the outdoor shower! We’re building this shower as our main shower in the Master Bath and we’re both really excited about it. If Scott had his way the shower would just be out there in the open, but I require a bit more, ahem, privacy.   Even though there isn’t a soul who could see us up here I just can’t be outside but naked for all the critters to have easy access to! I just know all those snakes and scorpions are just waiting for an opportunity to scare the crap outta me!   I wanted to at least attempt to create an outdoor shower without snakes or other critters!! Ugh!  So in order to satisfy my requirement of NO CRITTERS in my shower, this outdoor shower will have a nice wall surrounding it, maybe about 4 ft tall then glass above that, about 2or3 feet tall.  We’ve designed it in such a way that we’ll each have our own shower heads on either side and there will be areas for planting ferns and flowers and maybe a little palm of some sort.  Living here in Panama, even though we’re up in the highlands where its much cooler than most of Panama, we can use on outdoor shower all year round.  And if it’s too wet or chilly well…we have a spare bathroom with an indoor shower to fall back on, no problema…

So, enough about that… where was I….oh yes, Emma’s visit to Boquete. We went for a lovely hike yesterday and attempted to spot that elusive Quetzal. The Resplendent Quetzal is a bird that I’ve been just dying to spot. I frequently have my binoculars at the ready , hoping to get just a little glimpse of him. Just When did I become a bird lover? Well, I don’t think anyone can live in Boquete and not marvel over the many different birds you see. In this case though, its a bird I haven’t seen! ugh! That’s right, yesterdays hike was a bust for my birdwatching attempt. I very nearly broke my neck trying to spy that darn bird. And don’t ya know, my friend Kris, who lives in David, met us part way through the pipeline hike and had just casually walked up on a guide who showed her several Quetzals!!! LUCKY!!! She even got a photo of it!! Ugh!! I was very nearly bursting with envy, but also very happy to see the picture. I guess that bird just isn’t ready to show himself to me yet. I’ll have to keep on hunting and watching for this beautiful bird. I just wish he’d stop letting me hear his call wayyyyyy up in the trees! Its very crazy-making!!

After our hike we decided it was time for lunch…we were craving the fish tacos and Margaritas at Big Daddy’s but dontcha know they are closed on Mondays!! Humph!! Oh well, we made do with a burger at Baru instead, which hit the spot just fine…no margarita, but oh well! It was a nice lunch with a great group of friends..Kris, Lauren, Emma, Andrea, Bond and Luana…we had a great time and decided we would check out the Orchid festival going on at the feria this week. After lunch a few of us walked over to check it out. As happens often, it was, ummmmm shall I say, ‘under-whelming’. Yep, not a ton of orchids, one small area where they had a bunch of different varieties displayed but other than that the festival was the usual collection of touristy junk and food venders here and there, two small little huts that had orchids for sale and a large greenhouse that had other plants for sale, nothing especially exciting. I wonder if it livens up this weekend, Easter. I’m sure we’ll hear music up here this weekend, but yesterday it was not especially exciting to be sure the right description is underwhelming! hah! But….come to think of it, I think this weekend is ‘Dry’ so it may be a pretty quiet feria. Not a bad thing…

Its been fun having our first house guest and I’m glad she’s enjoying her spring break. I dropped Emma off in town bright and early this morning so she could take the bus to Bocas Del Torro and she texted me a while ago to tell me she had made it. Yeah! That gal really knows how to have fun. I’ve had such a great morning just writing and doing laundry and nothing too adventurous. The most wonderful part of this Tuesday has been getting to catch up with an old friend back in the states who I went to high school with. She and I have not spoken is over ten years and what a treat it was to reconnect.  I love technology! We chatted for quite some time via Face book private messaging. She may just have a little vacation to Panama in her future, who knows! It’s days like this, when I have nothing very productive going on that I really appreciate even more this peaceful spot where I live. Having the time to do whatever I like is indeed a delicious treat. And to top it off enjoying the sounds of the wind rustling through the trees and the birds chirping all around I cant think of anyplace I’d rather be at this very moment….

6 responses »

  1. I really enjoyed hearing about your first guest and all the things you did with her. Holly, one day when you aren’t looking for that DARN BIRD there it will be….have faith πŸ˜‰. The main house sounds so great can’t waite to see it. Love you enjoy your Tursday😘😘

  2. My sister has that open area in her home here in North Queensland filled with ferns and orchids. I know your area will give much pleasure and great for entertaining. Love reading your blogs .. Love to you both..

  3. I love to hear how happy you are! I’m also so excited for the big house – wow! It seems like you just recently “finished” the casita. It’s so nice that you can enjoy a day out with your friends and then a nice domestic scene the next day! Ah… Life is good!

  4. My name is Joe Pinzone and I’m casting an international travel show about expats moving abroad. We’d love to film in Central America/Caribbean and wanted to know if you could help us find expats who have moved there within the last 15 months or have been there for 3-4 years, but recently moved into a new home. The show documents their move to a new country and will place the country in fabulous light. The contributors on the show would also receive monetary compensation if they are filmed. If you’d like more information, please give me a call at 212-231-7716 or skype me at joefromnyc. You can also email me at joepinzone@leopardusa.com. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Joe Pinzone
    Casting Producer
    P: 212-231-7716
    Skype: Joefromnyc

  5. Holly, Joe is the first Casting Producer I spoke with before signing on to film the show. Let me know if you decide to do this–we have four more days of filming end of April for our new place.

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