Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Signs, I'm Seeing Them - Update!

... and I do mean everywhere, lately. It is weird.

I love applique.

Let me rephrase that. I love the way applique looks and I appreciate the work that experienced stitchers create with this technique but it has never been a friend to me.

I have done it. Badly. I have done every technique in applique as well and have never been able to do the one I like the best, needle-turn applique. I couldn't figure out way I was so bad at it, either.

I work at a shop that hosts the Applique Society once a month and I get to see some beautiful handwork over the years. It pains me to see this and accept that it is simply beyond my reach. I thumb through the books that arrive before the hit the shelf and marvel at the designs. I yearn for it and still, I know I can't do this. groan.....

And lately, it seems there has been nothing short of a plethora of books and BOMS and projects every day in front of me!

Now, I have plenty of projects that need doing so it isn't like I'm looking for something to occupy my idle hands but I am drawn like an insect to a candlelight. It burns in me.

Well, whaddaya think happened the other day? A woman dropped in the store on her way home form GSQA seminar, where she had been the instructor for applique ..... and brought in her lovely samples of designs. Again, the burn began and we talked about my lack of ability in conflict with desire.

So, Violet Newby gave me a 25 minute class. One on One and she was equally informative and patient and concise. She showed me how to hold my hands to minimize joint stress, how to thumb the fabric to get a crease and most important: "Look only at the two stitches in front of the needle. Don't worry about the curve or the point ahead or anything else. Not even dinner. Focus on the 2 stitches in front of the needle. All the rest will be there when you get there."

Can I tell you how illuminating that was?

and guess what?

I can needle-turn.

I can needle turn. AND I CAN MAKE FINE POINTS! Well, okay finer points, then.

There was a reason I was being inundated with all this applique. They were signs. It was to soften up my resistance to be ripe for that moment.

I'm am working on my first block now and can't wait to post a photo.

Update Ta -da!!
Don't look too closely... no, go ahead! zoom in. See the 5 small circles below? Compare them to the other two. I needle-turned the 5 and was frustrated at my incompetence!

Yesterday was Applique Society at the shop (signs... I'm tellin' ya!) and I slounched over at one point to see if anyone was sewing circles and ask questions. They told me about this "Perfect Circles" plastics and how helpful they were to creating a more perfect circle. So I bought a pack and you can see them on a metal ring in the upper right corner. They did indeed make the circle more round. Now it is up to me to sew them down a little better.

I am finding that tools, (the right ones, that is) are critical to this technique. The needle I have been using is a tad too thick to pierce this batik I am using. I will try again (soon) with a straw needle.

Now that block is crude applique, I admit. The pieces themselves are HUGE compared to fine designs these hard-core stitchers in the Society whip out. Here, check this out!

THese are from a Halloween BOM and if the blocks are 12" square, I'd be surprised. We are talking tiny.

This shot is of the larger center of the design. She is stitching down candy now and in the empty spot will be a cauldron. Look at the bats' wings. Look at the acorns!!!! Compare her hands with the design and you get an idea how small the fabric pieces are. It is a marvel!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Did You Hear About The Party?

No? WEll, neither did the pool reporter who covered it, from a Winter Park, FL mansion closet. He only got to "hear", not actually DO HIS JOB.

The very rich "developer and philanthropist" Alan Ginsburg (no, not that one, the poet/anarchist. He died some time ago.), hosted a fundraiser for Senator Ben Nelson and the irrepressible VP "Don't Mess with" Joe Biden but the only reporter allowed to cover the event was escorted to a closet by the VP's "staff" and held there. Oh, it is true that he was released to hear these two wax on for 35 minutes and then marched back to his holding tank for the duration of the party.

The guests who ponied up $500.00 to schmooze with the Vice Plagiarist munched on nibbly-bits like "rosemary flatbread with grapes honey and gorgonzola cheese" and presumably got their money's worth while the Least Transparent Administration held hostage the only reporter attending.

Do you get that?

I think Alan Ginsburg should drop that part "philanthropist" from his description. But anyway, here is what the reporter reported later, after he received an apology from the "host" and the office of the VP:

"Powers said of his treatment: ‘It was frustrating and annoying that I was not given a chance to do my job fully and properly.

‘This was an extreme, and extremely inappropriate way of handling the press… it was essentially a rude and uncomfortable way to treat a reporter.’

He attempted to play down his treatment calling it ‘hardly unusual or shocking’ and confirmed that he received an apology from Ginsburg.

But he said the Vice President’s staff emailed him an apology which ‘I found far less satisfying than Ginsburg’s.’

The incident is especially embarrassing for the administration because it comes at a time when the White House has been condemning the treatment of journalists trying to report in Libya.

Just ten days ago, President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney told reporters: ‘journalists should be protected and allowed to do their work.’

The Vice President’s office did not respond to requests for comment."

Now, this is what gets me intrigued..... that quote in red up there........ his treatment was "hardly unusual or shocking". WHAT does THAT mean?

Here's a new motto for the "Office": Least Responsive Administration Evah! It would seem nobody knows what they or anyone working with or for them are doing!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I'll Answer The Question

Answer: Yes

Question: Miss Him Yet?

He didn't fake it because he knew the song already.

Oh yeah.... and he didn't pronounce them "corpsemen".

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day Five - The Descent

We went to bed not knowing what the protests would bring on the Monday, but the dawn broke with the good news that all parties reached an agreement late in the evening. The roadblocks were being removed and although it would be late arriving to drive us onward, our car was in fact on it's way from David. (Hah!)

One thing I have not shown is the pavillion where we ate breakfast each morning. Isla Verda has you fill out a request and post it under a magnet on that green chalkboard the night before and an approximate time. The meal is prepared in front of the guests by a quiet young woman, peeling fresh fruit and boiling eggs or frying pancakes. Here you see John about to tuck into a bowl of yogurt with granola and fresh fruit. I enjoyed the fruit and boiled eggs and learned how many minutes she cooked them (to perfection. This is something of an issue in our house....)

Now the dawn indeed broke but the sun didn't follow. It rained just about the whole way to Bocas. And surprise! we were back in the truck with the suitcases wrapped in tarps in back. They survived and I was surprised. However, some 25 minutes from the landing to Bocas, we came to an abrupt stop, just a few cars behind a calamity. A beer truck, the big kind, must have approached the winding turn in the descent too fast, because beer bottles were everywhere, broken and the liquid was flowing freely down the mountain road. Needless to say, we were stuck. There was glass everywhere. I so mean everywhere. Well, what're ya gonna do? I got out and picked up a plastic crate and started shoveling the broken bits to the verge. Glad it wasn't raining here....

Here you can see something of the magnitude of the accident. We found lots of unbroken bottles, as well, in the brush on the side of the road. No, I didn't smuggle any. I figured the driver had hell to catch and didn't need more grief.
Now, this truck was AHEAD of us and all the mess and unbroken bottles were on the other side of the road, so really, the wonder is why he didn't HIT someone, being that far on the wrong side of the highway!

We eventually made our way to the dock, in the pouring rain now, and boarded a bumboat over to Bocas. Before we knew it, our luggage was grabbed and stowed by young boys working hard for some money and we were inside this ferry, headed for the island paradise, Bocas Del Toro.

Except the rain never ended. It worsened on the ride over.
Here is shot of a boat exactly like the one we rode. It's the small one in back with the yellow plastic raincover (thank GOD). The landing was only 3 buildings away from our hotel so we made a dash for it and checked in to a cute old-fashioned sort of hotel. Exactly what I would have chosen of the accommodations had been left to me.

After checking in and dropping off our stuff, we wandered around the town during a brief respite from the rain (finally!). It is fairly well consolidated in one area and the town has a nice square to hang around in with huge trees and a high canopy. Due to the unseasonably high rainfall, the grounds were also high in standing water. But the trees were abuzz with bird activity.

We made enquiries about hiring a boat and driver to go out in the morning snorkling and island hopping. I was still on the outlook for a sloth. I think I saw one during the morning drive over but since we whizzed poast in the rain, I'll just say I didn't. John made reservations at Guari Guari and we had a short lie-down before dinner.

The sun was setting as the taxi driver picked us up in town and down when he left us on the rain-slick road, standing at what can only be described as spooky house. We were on the rural out-skirts of town, in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by darkness. Even the stars were hiding. Before us was the brambling archway and hedge that obliterated the view of a veranda. The path itself was grass. OSHA would not approve. I wished for a trusty machete and found none at hand.

We ducked under the vines and the path opened up to this enchanting house with a few steps leading up to the deck, scattered with a dozen or so tables. None were crowding the others and only one was actually taken by diners. The host greeted us with a terrific smile and after picking up a cat off my chair (me-"no no, let it stay, I'll sit here..") , sat us down and tucked a mosquito coil by our feet. We could hear the sound of waves and realized the shoreline was just off the road where we were deposited. The cat sashayed to the kitchen door. We ordered drinks and listened to the menu. Guari Guari offers a 6 course set menu each night and tonight would start with cold gazpacho soup followed by stuffed mushrooms.

Something came up in conversation that required a cell phone so John reached in his pocket to pull out his and found the phone was missing. He thought perhaps he dropped it as he pulled money out to pay for the cab. He borrowed an umbrella and flashlight from (and here again I wish I knew the man's name because he was really helpful during the whole evening. I'll call him Ozz) Ozz and dashed out to the road but found nothing.

Now Bocas is not a large town and there were only a handful of taxis that operated in the evening hours. But all the cabs look alike and are fairly new. Right about the time John was out there I saw a taxi pull up and I thought "Aha! The cab driver fond the phone and is returning it!!!!! Hurrah for mankind!!!!! That is wonderful!!!"

As John walked back to the table empty handed, Ozz approached as well and asked what sort of phone is it. iPhone. "Ah.... well that one will not be coming back....... " The taxi I spotted had pulled away again by now and more diners stepped up for a table. So much for warm thoughts toward my fellowman!

Ozz asked if we thought calling the phone might alert whoever had it and they'd answer. Good idea. He called but it only rang. By now, the soup was being served but I was feeling ill at ease. That phone. Do you really realize what all you have stored in a cell phone? Do you back it up occasionally? Can you replace all those numbers and addresses and photographs and who knows whatall we type as calendar events and passwords?

Needless to saw, I was so focused on this calamity, I forgot to photograph the gazpacho. It was delicious. Right on it's heels came the stuffed mushrooms with goat cheese and crushed pecans.
I loved the presentation. Mo and sat together on one side and shared each appetizer dish while John and Gary did likewise over there. I see now that the photo is sideways but even so, doesn't it look fabulous? It was. Too bad we were still trying to sort out what to do about the phone.

When I stew, I stew. Could we have left it in the room? I remember John plugged it in to charge as we were dressing..... well maybe but he also remembered unplugging it too.

Then the din sum stuffed with a whole shrimp arrived and I forgot to shoot that one as well.

Ah, crepes... can't remember what was inside but it was creamy and nice.

We talked about losing cellphones. "Remember the time that guy walked up to you, punched you and took your phone in Mexico? " "Yeah and when I was standing on the corner in the city and that guy ran past and grabbed it off the holster as he went? That was weird"

When you carry everything you need, like keys, passport, coins, cellphone etc around in your front pocket, it all has to come out to sort through as you exchange money...... he really thought it slipped out in the rain and darkness and confusion as we got out of the cab...... he was kicking himself and Ozz was as kind and solicitous as you could want. At this point, he was like a good friend I wanted to ask to join us in a glass of wine!

I wonder what this was, besides awesome in flavor. I think it was fish. I know it's sideways.

I was beginning to mesmerize myself with the notion that the phone was still in the room, ringing off the charger and the people next door were hating their neighbors something awful. There was NO WAY THIS man would drop something like an iPhone, the size of a deck of playing cards for short-sighted people and not realize it! I was eager to be back there and find out! Dessert:

Again, as beautiful as it was yummy; a slice of caramelized pineapple with a scoop of grape seed ice cream with raspberry sauce swirled on the side.

The rain stopped by now and the wine bottle was empty. Ozz called us a cab and we said good night, thanks for all your help. We got in and although we were slightly dispirited, we had a talkative drive home. I started it.

"Say, how many drivers are out tonight? What happens when someone leaves a cellphone in a cab?" He helped us narrow the possible drivers as we pulled up to the hotel, El Limbo, and John went to the room. By now, the driver had HIS phone out and was calling another cab. It was as slow night in Bocas.

John reappeared with the phone to his ear, and there was much rejoicing. I could hear him speaking to, who could only have been, Ozz on the other end happily laughing as well. What a great ending..... Guari Guari. I need to try that place sometime.

Going Green

takes on a whole different meaning when you are already growing green.

I am pleased to show the progress on these onions..... so far they have 10 leaves and no flowers so I think they will be harvestable in another week or two. They have NOT begun to lose any leaves but they are beginning to fall over more.
Now these are leeks and I've posted my thoughts on them in an earlier post. I am so happy to report that these (28) were seeded by me and transplanted late last fall and have thrived in this spring. We have not lost a single one and I look so forward to leek and potato soup! (The potatoes however has not come up. Yet)
And these are the strawberries we planted last spring and they are going gang-busters! They looked so bad late last summer, we fluctuated with hanging on or throwing them out but decided to just let them do what they would, and they doubled and tripled during the winter months. Now, half of them are heavy with fruit and we water them every morning deeply as they plump up.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day Four Dinner Excursions

I don't call us the "Eat-Drink" club for nowt, but I don't wish to leave the wrong impression either. I also don't want to continue with the travelogue until I touch, briefly, on the dinner we ate the night before.

After the coffee finca tour, we grabbed a light bite at a crepery on the high street which was very nice and one crepe is extremely filling. We really should've split them but nevermind. They were very nice and it was fun to watch through the opening in the wall as the chef cooked the crepes.If you blow up the shot, you can see the crepe pan better.
This crepe was devoured by Gary, I think..

and I demolished this one, with a curried chicken filling. This does give me ideas....

We just milled around the roundhouses for the afternoon

and watched the rain as we solved the problems of the world and heard with increasing concern about roadblocks that had been set up on the major roadways. This was an issue for us because we were due to leave in the morning by car (HAH!) for Bocas Del Toro, on the other side of the Continental Divide and on the Atlantic Ocean. Roadblock protests which were apparently growing more violent were definitely not on our itinerary. WEll, I reasoned, rather reasonably, I might add, that if no one could come in or get out, we might as well just hang right here in this beautiful setting and wait it out!

John called ahead for reservations at another hotel, El Oasis, on the other side of the bridge. This is an 8 minute walk unless you have a knee injury so we taxied over and enjoyed a Panamanian highball, Seco Sour. Seco is a cane sugar liquor, mch like cachaca in Brazil. The drink is like the Pisco Sour of Peru.

The restaurant is just off the bar and it was perhaps a third full. Intriguing was this one area set off from the actual dining space; a terraced gazebo closer to the river, with 3 tables and a huge roaring fire. As the evening progressed, I think that space might have been fine to dine in, but at the time of seating, I was afraid it might be too warm to enjoy. As it was, we had coffee afterwards inside. But back to the meal.
Here are a few shots of the plates:
John and I shared this salad as a starter.

I needed no help downing this fish

While John and the others ate this

and this
and this.

I regret not paying more attention to the other dishes but, I was rather absorbed in my own moment of savoring. I did take the photos, though, so ..... I guess........ nevermind.

As we eat, we try to figure out what the sauce is made of, or if we detect something unusual try to ferret out that ingredient. We have been known to pass our plates in a circular direction. We enjoy a bottle of wine with our meals....... and since I have no memeory capacity, I try to shoot a label in case we want to revisit one.
It is hard to decide on a bottle from an extensive wine list and we are not experts, but rather enthusiasts.

And we don't just wolf it down and walk away. Gary has a high appreciation for good food and will go to great lengths to find it. He gets all the props and salutes for doing the research on each restaurant we visit and with one or two hitches, (only one really comes to mind and that truly was not HIS fault) they have all been memorable. ("TONY!!!! You're KILLING ME!") Really, that one was very memorable, to tell the truth. Memorable in a bad way but endlessly funny. To us. We, in turn, have a high appreciation for Gary.

So, I suppose the club has the perfect name after all. Eat Drink. We really ought to consider changing it to "Be Merry". After every experience, we usually are.

Monday, March 21, 2011

So, How Did Your Day Begin?

Yea me..... it's 4:30am and I am drinking sludge coffee.

I woke up early, as usual, and fixed a pot to brew. I use a coffee maker with a swing door, where the grinds are held in a reusable mesh strainer. (I save all the used grounds for the compost). The swing door must be firmly closed, AND I KNOW THIS, but for some unfathomable reason, I swung it closed rather carelessly and upon my return to the kitchen some 10 minutes later, I hear the tell-tale burbling of an overflowing coffee maker.

Sure enough, I dash over and instinctively slam it shut, thereby insuring that all the topped up liquid sloshed out onto the counter and into the pot below. AND I KNEW THAT WOULD HAPPEN.

Sludge coffee and a clean counter later, I find it mildly ironic that just yesterday I posted that lengthy piece about coffee bean production.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finca La Milagrosa

This is going to be a long post, I worry.

I love coffee.... who doesn't, right? But I knew next to nothing about how it grows, how it's processed and how it gets to my kitchen. So we arranged the day before to visit Finca La Milagrosa, Panama's 2nd best coffee plantation, owned and operated like an almost 1-man band by a man named Tito.
Tito is the man in the middle. The one on the left is our guide through the plantation.

He is a legend among Panamanians and coffee growers because he did all this with no funding by a bank and using under 10 acres of land. Not bad.

Now, it didn't happen overnight and as he had limited funding, he made do with what he had available to him and this makes his coffee bean processing machine look something like a Rube Goldberg apparatus.

For example, it was explained to us that this wreckage was once his car that he stripped for parts to make parts for his roasting machine, and conveyor belts.

You'll see more of this later but first, here is coffee beans growing. Now this particular bean is a Geisha, the most appreciated bean in Panama and the No. 1 finca sells their beans for $170.00 a pound. One of our fellow tourists bought a pound of Tito's for $80.0 US. Now, I like me coffee something fierce, but I draw the line in the sand somewhat below that price.

Tito grows several other varieties and these are all blended together to get another coffee bean. Geisha stands alone.

The beans are inside this beautiful red berry and I was surprised how small they actually are! I thought the beans we see inside a bag of roasted coffee was the size you'd find in the bean but here you can see in this hand what the bean looks like fresh.

Here is Mo enjoying a cup of coffee that Tito brewed and passed out as the guide continued to explain how the coffee is processed.

I don't remember what this is used for, I think it helps remove the hulls, but don't quote me on that. What is interesting about it is the contraption is the drum from a washing machine!!!

(Just one of many chickens I chased around getting shots of. This one posed.)

But I do know they go through this hopper and the lots of the outer shell goes flying through wide tubes and out the other end some 50 yards away where chickens mill around scratching at the remains.

You can see the dried beans and the hulls that are loosening from the bean

Now, there are several steps involved with rinsing and soaking etc before you get to a bean that is ready for roasting but we will sprint ahead to that step at this point.
Ready Beans

Tito pours the beans into this roaster
The roasting doesn't take long at all. Again, Tito made the roaster himself and oversaw the roasting. Below you see his famous spoon that he welded to a stick to make a handle long enough to reach inside and not get burned in the process. He monitored carefully and once the beans reached an acceptable brown, he poured a third of the beans into that wooden bowl and continued roasting to two additional darknesses.

As you can see, the beans get larger again as they roast.

I asked why we sometimes open a bag of roasted whole beans and they appear to be oily and other times they look dry? That, he explains, is a sign that the beans were "burned" and allowed the oils to be released. The dry beans are correct. (I would have thought the other way 'round. Which is why I don't roast beans.)

The guide brings the bowl up to the grinding room and as he grinds each "roast" he has us bite into each bean and try to guess which roast we drank 30 minutes earlier. He also asked which of the 3 beans we preferred in taste and aroma.
He gets a kick out of telling us that, by his unscientific surveys, Americans by and large prefer the light roast, the Latin Americans the middle and the Europeans like the dark but what people don't know is the lighter the roast, the stronger the caffeine and it is his theory that Americans like to drink the light kind all day long because they work the hardest!

See all those bags behind him? They are bags of unroasted beans ready for shipment. Again, all exported beans are shipped out unroasted so the destinations can do it to the taste of the customer base. I remember walking down Decatur in New Orleans and smelling the strong fragrance of roasting coffee. It's been a long time since the last time.

So there you have it...... Panamanian coffee is well respected and Tito is a giant of a man. PS he also screenprints every bag and sack personally. He has become so successful, now bankers come to HIM and try to press money to crank up his operation but he has no desire nor need.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2 Questions

1. Why do cats reject a can of food they happily ate the day before?

2. Why doesn't the industry put the same flavor in the cans as they do their "treats"?

Our cats NEVER turn down treats! Can't please them with the cans.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Panama Day Four

We left the City in the morning by plane to another city named David, which is on the Pacific side and as we flew over the terrain, we could see farmland and cows and villages and blue blue water.... it was very inviting. As we disembarked the aircraft, I looked up (and I do mean UP) and saw these enormous mango trees, heavy (and I do mean HEAVY) with fruit!!!!!! WoW!!!!!

The airport was small and efficient right up to baggage handling. I really feel the necessity to mention this because man has been traveling now by plane for over half a century and has perfected baggage handling to almost an art form but I don't think anyone has told Panamanians that you don't have to lift every suitcase and, bent over, shove it thru a small opening in a wall that is draped with plastic sheeting to another person standing inside the building...... who then in turn, shoves it towards the swarming mass of passengers eager to be off. Seriously. Up-date this before someone else gets a hernia!

We are met by the father of the woman who Gary hired to transport us up to Boquete, in the mountain region of Panama. It was a truck. A smallish truck .... so we helped hoist the luggage into the bed in back and climbed in. It was warmish and we managed to travel behind every slow-moving vehicle between the city and and the town. I was sat on the sunny side with the heat beating down on me. We had the windows open so that was some relief but I used by jacket to shield my face as best I could. What could have taken an hour took longer. Much. At one point I was willing to walk ahead and meet them when they caught up, just to get out of the sun's rays. One positive about the slow crawl was being able to really the land so, there was that! And the driver had married a Panamanian lady and retired from the US military and lived there long enough to give us a real tour/class on what was what in the country.

When we did arrive at the guesthouse, it was so picturesque and perfect, I was in love..... we stayed in a place called Isla Verde; a collection of roundhouse lodges.

Ours is on the left, theirs is on the right

Each one differing from the others and having at least a small fridge, coffee maker, some sort of cooking implements, if you intended to stay awhile. I was ready to surrender to Boquete and simply stay on while the others moved on to the beaches of Bocas in a few days..... it was so pretty. The grounds of the place was littered with interesting plants, most in bloom and I guess as this is a tropical and temperate climate, the blooming last pretty much all year round.

A river ran through to property as well and it was moving swiftly ....

We missed lunch while traveling, so we walked into town and stopped for a bite at the Boquete Bistro and found these two beautiful murals depicting life in the mountains of Panama.... somewhere in this area were citrus orchards......

and then proceeded to familiarize ourselves with the town, where to organize a coffee plantation tour, what restaurants the locals would recommend and a slow stroll back to the roundhouses.

We met a lovely lady, Deborah Duran, from Santa Fe,

who lives in Boquete year round with her husband and creates tile art, Tucan Tile, which she sells locally and at art fairs in the US southwest. She ships her things over and picks them up in an RV and travels the States fair to fair and then heads home from another Airport where she will repeat this a few months later...... pretty slick! and her work is very nice..... a little heavy to be hauling around in a small suitcase. Sadly.

We picked up a bottle of Malbec and orange juice on the way home and decided on a restaurant for that evening. John called, yes and made a reservation! Yes yes, we are going to do thing their way alright already!

We showed up at the appointed time at a charming turn of the other century hotel and, I am NOT making this up, there are 18+ tables, with one taken, and we're asked, "Do you have a reservation?" It's always asked politely.... "yeeesssss..." we say (smugly, for once) and they check the reservation sheet which has exactly 2 names, neither of which are us.

"Oh come on! I called not 3 hours ago.... really?" "I'm sorry, sir. Perhaps you called .. a.. different restaurant....?"
"No, I'm fairly certain we called here, Panamonte Hotel. Is it possible to seat us anyway?" he asked, glancing around at an otherwise empty space of expectant hospitality......

"Certainly..." and we sat down to enjoy a delicious meal. Also, art.

I wish I could recall the different names of the dishes.

Afterwards, I wandered out to the garden area... now, this is high season and it was extremely quiet in Boquete. On a Saturday night.

John made a wander with Gary as well and you'll never guess what they found....

Well, whaddaya know? Another restaurant....! And a jumping joint to boot! Here's where the action is! You think that might be where we made the reservation? You would think they might have mentioned this 2 hours earlier....... it is in the same location! On the other hand, perhaps this was done on purpose...... like an unsuspecting insect and a Venus Flytrap, we wandered into their maw and found no escape hatch!

I don't care. I rather doubt the pub spot had the same food offering and what we ate was absolutely delicious and beautifully presented. I would love to return and stay a week at the Panamonte Inn and Spa


Earlier in the day, we had made reservations as well to tour a finca in the morning......."the 2nd best coffeee in Panama!" "okay, how about the 1st best then?" No..... all their coffee is exported and they do not allow tourists..... (But I have to tell you, 2nd best was far more interesting than you might think and for that, you have to check back later.)