Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gail's Visit

Wow, this is so way past my bedtime! Roger picked me up around 9 p.m. and off we went to the airport. Stood around, checking the flights, and it looked like the Delta one was going to be a little late. I had told Gail, when she came out of Customs, to turn right and I'd see her. So, of course, all my attention was focused to the right. She turned left and then walked right, but I was too busy watching people exiting to notice her walking by. Luckily, she stopped, looked around ... she looked back as I looked her way! I think she was a little worried:) Kind of hard to appreciate Panama City in the dark, but I think she was as surprised as we were the first time we saw it. You don't think of Panama City and skyscrapers, but that's it! Roger dropped us off, Gail checked in and we headed up to our room to say hi to Deb (who had just returned from her card games!) and pick up wine and snacks. Kept Deb up till after 1 a.m., and then Gail and I headed off to her room. Up talking till after 3:30 ... tomorrow is going to be a l-o-n-g day!

Met up with the group down in the restaurant around 8:30 and had another wonderful breakfast. It's kind of nice not having to prepare food, clean up and do dishes. Gary and Adam are off at noon in the jeep, and Mark will pick them up from the dock in Carti. Deb said she wanted to hang around to make sure they got off okay, so Gail and I headed off to Albrook Mall. I am really getting my walking in and I love it. These women in South and Central America love their shoes, and shoe shops outnumber clothes shops easily. Found one amazing store that sold shoes made out of Columbian leather. We Hudson girls have a shoe thing, so Gail had a great time. Turned out they didn't have her size in what she wanted, but ... this mall is SO huge they actually have two stores ... so off we went to the other one. On the way to the next shoe store we found her a sundress, a couple of souvenirs, and then the perfect CFM shoes. Oooooh, red leather, ankle strap sandals and a 3 inch heel. Then they looked at me, in my beautiful peach colored Keens, and wondered if I'd want anything. Well, I did get a great deal on a pair of Tommy Hilfiger flipflops at another store. I can say this because Dennis never reads the blog and one pair of flipflops looks the same as another to him. Works for me:)

Back to the room, a couple of snacks, and then the three of us walked to the Miraflores Lock. Unfortunately, the third and fourth floors of the museum were closed for renovations, and that's where the best exhibits are. Took a taxi to the Rey Supermarket and picked up the meat and everything else we needed, since our jeep ride will pick us up at 5 a.m. Had dinner and we were off to bed early. We were all in the same room, and set our alarms for 5 minutes apart. Gail's actually had us up and going. Can you believe that 3 women can get showered and dressed in less than 45 minutes? We did. Gave Gail a Stugeron and put her in the front seat, since she's had motion sickness forever. Wasn't quite the wild jeep ride that we had on the way, but we were all glad to get out at the river before Carti. We're going to arrange a flight back from Nargana for Gail, which actually works out better all the way around, so that we can make a circle instead of doubling back.

Dennis, Gary, Gail, Deb and Adam at the East Lemmons

Gail at the Helm
With a Starfish
Found a panga to drop us off at Sea Cycle, since Eulogio was nowhere to be found. Deb was thrilled because Gail's first ever sail was on Sea Cycle. We've decided we'll make her an honorary sister :) Mark took us all down to the East Lemmons, with a lot of tacking and some motoring. Of course, the wind was on the nose! Got Gail settled on the boat, went for a swim, cracked open some wine and sat back and caught up. Tuesday morning we went to shore and looked at molas. Gail, Gary and Adam all picked up some beautiful molas and other good stuff. Gail is only on the boat for 4 days :( so we picked up anchor and headed down to the Swimming Pool in the Hollandes. Had Gail behind the helm and she did a great job. After we anchored, Victor came out to collect the customary anchoring fee, but it worked out to our advantage for a change. We told him we'd be in the next day to look at molas (they certainly weren't as nice as the East Lemmons), and while Gail bought one, Victor gave us avocados and mangos ... and they were all really, really good. The wind has really been high, but the sun is out, so we splashed our way around the little islands, and actually got some snorkelling in. Gail was a little panicky the first time, but by the time we went down to Green Island, she wanted to try it again and was much calmer. Dennis, as usual, put bait out in the Pool, and we ended up catching a fish. He told Gail it was all hers to bring in. I wish I had the "Dennis Coon, get your ass up here and help me" on video! It was an edible fish, a yellowfin jack, but we'd all had a little too much to drink to bring it in and filet it, so it gets to swim on!
The Hudson girls snorkel
After breakfast and the local nets on Thursday we headed off to Green Island to visit Katrina, who makes beautiful jewelry out of the tagua nut. The seas were unbeliveably high in the channel, so Gail was quite proud of herself that she was handling 8-10 ft seas -- kind of. We let her take the helm again, which helps, until we got into the lee of the West Coco Banderos, and then the seas settled down.
Watching Dennis clean lobster

Anchored in 'our spot' and went over to see Katrina. They were having lunch when we pulled up to the boat, so we went into Green Island and walked around. Didn't tell Gail about the croc that hangs out there sometimes, but I sure was looking around. Picked up a couple of sea beans and urchins for her to take back home. Back to Katrina and her beautiful jewelry. Gail bought some and so did I! Had lunch, and then sailed down to Nargana for her to catch the plane Friday morning.

Buying molas
 Our only complaint about her visit was that it wasn't long enough. We had a lot of laughs (she really has to stop laughing at Dennis' jokes and stories, because it just encourages him!), and a few tears. I've missed my sister and it was so amazing and wonderful to have her visit us here, see our lifestyle, and get to know Dennis.

Of course, the plane was late, but off she went. See you soon, Gail. We both love you and miss you.


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