Posts Tagged With: market

Eat, drink, dance and feel the love in Amsterdam!

Denise should look extremely familiar to those who have been peaking at this blog for the past 21 months as she has made many appearances. I met this magnificent lady years ago while we were studying in Alicante Spain. We reunited in Argentina for some volunteer work and more studies and have spent many of evenings dancing the night away in Amsterdam. Last year, I even lived with her family in Alphen aan den Rijn. Here is just a few pics from the years of memories that I’ve made with sweet Denise.

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Now, I return again to replenish my craving for her presence and this time, I get to introduce Mike and Hayden too! (If you’ve followed for long enough, you’d know that last year she got to meet three other of my American friends, Ian, Mike D and Marshall!).

The day starts with the introductory as we sit outside at one of the many terraces offered in Amsterdam.

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Time for a snack which leads us to a variety of options. Here in Holland, there are many typical Dutch bites to pick from. In Amsterdam however, you have a wide selection from many parts of the world. Specialty stands to Turkish, Mexican, Italian, Japanese and more. I suggest just wandering the streets until your eyes, nose or tummy decides for you. Today, I went for a home baked spelt bread cone that was filled with Salmon, sprouts and a dill spiced sauce.

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The group of us decided on trying out an extremely typical plate here in Holland which consists of herring fish, onion and pickle.

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Flashback moment! This construction site has been here every year that I’ve visited. Just for fun, we shot the first picture years ago and of course it has turned into an annual photo. Enjoy, year one, two and present!

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After a fun walk around the city, we depart from the boys to go back to her home town of Alphen aan den Rijn for dinner with my (her) family before getting ready for a night out on the town. We made a pit stop by the work place of Denise’s little sister, Manouk. Her and I connected last year when I was adopted into her family. Unfortunately this year, she is working so she won’t be able to join us out and about. Here is her “sad I can’t come with you” photo, followed by the “glad I got to see you” smile.

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A little time in the kitchen, a wonderful dinner at the table and a complete evening with one of my favorite Dutch families! Writing this page made me realize I didn’t get a photo of them… Next time.

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To get back to the city, we hop on a bus that takes us to the train that brings us to the centeral station. From there, we get her bike again and ride to find the boys.

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Along the way, Denise hinted to me that there would be a few more joining us this evening which is always great to hear… the more the merrier! News to me, it was a surprise from my dear friend Carina! All the way from Germany, she had traveled here with another sweetheart Jenni for a night out with us!

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Details about Carina and Jenni will come later. For now, here’s a peak at what a girls night out in Amsterdam can look like.

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Two fun surprises in the coat check! First we have Denise’s hairstylist that we danced with last year, always full of energy!

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Next, this wonderful woman has been taking care of the jackets and wash room here at this specific club now for 20 years! The first photo is from last year followed by this evening!

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Not feeling like a big dance party? Other evenings leave you with choices like a nice dinner on a terrace, a walk to a coffee house (not to be confused with a coffee “shop”) or one of my favorites, a picnic next to a canal. Depending on the neighborhood, time of day and weather, you can find several groups, big and small, gathering waterside. Tonight, 4 of us went to a local store, collected goodies then found a seat next to a canal for snacks and great conversation.

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Who’s the fourth in the pictures? Lets pause for a moment and reminisce of the times with Simon. He was one of the fellow travelers I met in Argentina that I reunited for the hike in Machu Picchu with. Take a look!

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Night walks can also bring unexpected surprises. On this evening, I followed the sounds of a beautiful acoustical set. These three kind girls have been playing to fund their future worldly travels. Of course I’ll donate to driven people doing something they love to support a journey they desire, well done girls! Your voices caught my attention and your attitude kept me intrigued. Keep on smiling and doing what you do!

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On Mikes last night here with us, we decided to stay low key and chat at a local pub when this woman approached our table and in the sweetest voice offered us a “reading” based on our names and birthdays. Very interesting and certainly entertaining as she called us out on some personality quirks, especially because the boys and I have known each other for so long!

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Leaving Amsterdam before us, after two weeks in Europe, Mike departs back to the states. I watch him walk away feeling gratitude for his company and happy for his experience. Mike, I truly value our deep conversations and friendly debates that not only stimulate new thoughts, but keep me on my toes. Cheers till next time my friend!

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My favorite picture of the boys this trip!

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A few more days in Holland and then you’ll find me bouncing my way through Germany. Get ready for curry wurst, live music and roller coasters!

Categories: Edibles!, Travel talk, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Notting Hill and Jerk chicken

The longer I’m on the road, the more fascinating people I get to meet. Through volunteering, hostel hopping or simply chatting with another passenger on a long train ride, friends are being made all of the time! Reconnecting with fellow travelers has become one of my new favorite pastimes, as it’s like nothing else I’ve experienced. Theres something to be said about bonding with someone by natural chemistry and to stay connected by choice. A neighbor is always there and you can grow to like a classmate, but to meet someone thousands of miles away from home and stay in touch for years to come takes energy and effort.

In the past, you’ve seen the follow up path crossings, however the next few chapters of this journey will have an abundance of these marvelous people that I’m truly thankful for.

With that said, time to reintroduce a new friend Sophie. Her and I met while volunteering at The Donkey Den in Santa Marioñita, Ecuador. After an easy conversation, we decided that linked travels were in our future. From there, we journeyed south together for a week and parted ways with the “hope to see you again” farewell. Here’s a collage from some of our South American excursions.

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During our time together, the talk of reuniting in her homeland of England started as a casual joke that turned into proper plans. 4 months later and a train to London, brings us together again!

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We spent the weekend with her and her friends as they showed what a holiday in London looks like. After checking out the view from her apartment, we dove into what is still my favorite thing to do in a new city…. the local market!

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A group effort went into the dinner of Paella and greens with dessert being a pile of typical candy for us to try. I’m sorry England, you have not peaked on my list for best sugar delights. Even though the sweet treats weren’t my favorite, this great bunch of eager locals did a fanatic job at adopting us in for their holiday weekend.

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This is a weekend in which London comes even more alive to celebrate Caribbean roots with the famous Notting Hill Carnival. Sophie and her friends took lead as our guides to experience the event. From the bus to the tube we blend with a crowd of participants shuffling shoulder to shoulder.

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Reaching the top brings a huge deep breath and just enough time to adorn my purse with my Barbados flag that was given to me in Barbados, thank you Mikie! Feeling proud to represent my new bag (see the story of my old bag here) and “Caribbean roots”.

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Heading into the festival you’ll see several stands offering souvenirs, drinks and food for sale. The parade really wasn’t what I had imagined as it was more of a group of people randomly making noise in costume as they tried to catch up to the next bunch. The street sights are visually stimulating and definitely a complement to the unique variety of styles that the attendees bring.

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I understand that when you over crowd popular streets with music, food and drinks, a little waste is to be expected. I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve been to festivals, carnivals and holiday events around the world, but this was the first time in which I watched the trash develope into mounds along the roadside. Is suppose this just encourages the eyes to keep focus on the happy people and vibrant festivities.

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Due to the Caribbean influence, the main dishes are ones you wouldn’t typically find in England but more so in the islands. The drinks included but aren’t limited to Jamaican beer, coconut water and Rum Punch.

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Thank you to Sophie and new friends. Our first weekend abroad was filled with quality memories that are still being smiled about! Cheers to tiger suits, Curly Wurly’s and Jo-Jo’s dancing skills (my rib still thinks about her everyday).

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Categories: Edibles!, Fashion from a backpack, Travel talk | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Peruvian Cooking Experience

I arrived in time to check in at Casa De Avila, grab a shower and meet up with the group for what is called “The Peruvian cooking experience”. I’m usually not the first to sign up for an organized excursion, however this has great reviews and besides, who doesn’t love to cook, eat and drink?

The day started with a guide through the local market, I felt like a little kid in a candy store!

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Anybody else find it hard to order a fresh juice smoothie while sitting across from raw animal “parts”?

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I don’t necessarily have a weak stomach, I just don’t have a strong desire to indulge in this section. Ready… hold your breath… I’ll run through it for you!

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Leaving the edible portion of the market takes you into every other imaginable item you can purchase. There’s fabric, car parts, cooking utensils, pet food, clothes and more. Here’s a glance as we make our way around.

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Peruvians use indigenous animals for both their cuisine and their traditional medicine. Last year I tried roasted guinea pig (by “try” I mean I put it in my mouth and removed it quickly). Here is a dried llama fetes and hanging prepped frogs. They that take these dried up little fellas and blend them into smoothies, soups and other dishes.

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On that note, lets eat! As we return to the kitchen, ingredients are laid out, we suit up and the instruction begin.

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Tradition goes, if you can peel an entire tomato without breaking the skin to create a rose, you are now ready for marriage. Look out world!

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Cooking is complete and now it’s time to eat!

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An amazing meal topped off with yet another new favorite dessert! This is an ice cream made with the protein rich grain of quinoa. Sign me up!

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The end of the experience includes a private lesson on how to make a traditional Peruvian beverage called Pisco Sour.

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This is my Pisco making buddy from England. Scott, I loved the fun conversation and fully appreciate the photo sharing. Cheers till London!

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A very special thank you to the creator and owner Armando. His magical energy keeps this place feeling alive and so welcoming. If you are interested in a fabulous day of local food and drink, please check out the website at Peruviancookingexperience.com

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New friend + new path = F.U.N!

It’s been a couple of days now and Sophie and I have stuck to our plans to head south together. Having a travel buddy adds a different energy to the journey and one that I’m always up for! (Hint-hint to all of the people who say they want to join me. When you want something strong enough… you make it happen. I know you can do it!)

We’re packed up and ready to depart from the Donkey Den and say farewell to the friends we’ve made here.

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Another truck, another walk and another bus to get to our next destination.

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I know exactly how you feel buddy.

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We stopped here in Puerto Lopez for the gateway to visit the Isla de Plata, otherwise known as “The poor mans Galapagos”. I’m going to save the island tour as a completely separate post, simply due to it’s beauty and entertainment value.

A quick view at our new bedroom with a complimentary look at the guilt stricken face on Sophie as she “reconstructs” the ladder that she “disassembled”.

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While cooking one morning in the outdoor kitchen, I starting talking with this guy from Argentina that is traveling around selling his jewelry. Of course I donated to his journey as he was eager to design one specifically for me. With the flame sealing the deal, you’ll see this anklet on me for awhile. Oh the days of backpacking at it’s best!

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A walk around Puerto Lopez that leads us to the beach!

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Instead of shopping our way through town, we decided to eat! Considering most items cost from $0.25 to $2, we thought to buy one of anything that looked interesting and share all of it! Let the taste buds begin! (This was done over a few days).

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Sunset brings a great evening before we rest up for our day on the island. Buenos noches!

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Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

$6.45 well spent in Ecuador

This morning brought me joy when the owner of the hotel offered a ride to the nearby city that’s full of local food and an open market. Without hesitation I jump in and off we go, leaving the greenery of Canoa and heading into the city of Bahia.

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I’m already hungry so I start my walk checking out the huts that line the water. Some offering ceviche, others have fried “things” and most of them have zero to a few customers.

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I spot a crowd of locals happily sitting and thouroughly enjoying what appears to be a popular dish. As I approach, it’s now clear that they are all eating the exact same thing.

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Well, do as the locals do! No menu, just smile as you take a seat and patiently wait for whatever they serve you.

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Turns out what they placed in front of me was the best dish I’ve had in Ecuador so far. A perfectly seasoned fish soup called encebollado de piscado that included yuca, onions, garlic, carrots, a hint of tomato and then topped with green herbs. Instead of crackers to crumble, they serve you a small bag of plantain chips. Y-U-M!

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As I took the first bite and melted into my breakfast, the local kid next to me quickly waved (as if I had done something wrong) and pointed to the plate of “options” that I had seemed to over look. There was lemon juice, ketchup, salsa, mustard, oil, picante sauce, salt and pepper.

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Honestly the soup was so amazing by itself, that I hesitated to add anything. After looking around and watching everyone pile on the goods, I figure I might as well give it a try. I selfishly enjoyed half the soup first, then added some picante salsa and a dash of lemon juice as I floated away to breakfast heaven.

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Next, up a side street to head for the market!

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The first smell that hits my nose as I enter the market is what I would describe as “raw”. I round the corner to see the fish and meat section and I’m instantly thankful that I’ve already eaten.

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As I tried to scurry through quickly, I was stopped and entertained by this group of friendly locals. They must have read the “please don’t make me touch it” look on my face.

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Separating the meat and veggies was a small row of random vendors offering homemade goodies that clearly needed to be sampled. They were extremely excited to see how eager I was to partake!

On the left is good ol’ butter and to the right is peanut butter that they grind in front of you from the nuts on the far right.

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Cheese you can buy by the hunk that tasted similar to “string cheese” from the states.

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On the left is crushed peanuts and on the right is a spiced powder that they often use in recipes. The dark item hanging is tamarind.

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My favorite picture of the day is with my new pal. Just try not smiling when you look at this!

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Moving along to random items and more kind smiles.

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This guy wanted to show me the chickens that were for sale were still alive. Thank you buddy… I think.

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Finally, my section! I pick up a few veggies and a piece of fruit to bring back for my next few meals.

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On the way out, I saw a sign in which I could make out yogurt was somewhere in the description. As they rambled (mumbled) off my options, I just smiled and said “your favorite”. Great choice! It was a melon flavored frozen yogurt blend of goodness.

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Fully satisfied and ready to head back, I find the boat launch that will take me across to the next town closer to home. From Bahia to San Vicente, here is the 15 minute journey…

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…until the motor stopped and they spent another 10 minutes fixing it.

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I get to San Vicente and now attempt to find the bus stop (that wasn’t there) that will take me back to Canoa. Photos of my walk in the order they were taken.

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This polite man was selling fresh watermelon juice put over ice shaved from a huge block. Refreshing during this heat filled day.

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I finally found a local that took me by the hand to the “bus stop” which was an really just an intersection where you wave as they cross and you jump in as they pass. I don’t think the wheels ever came to a complete stop. Kind of fun really!

Another salesman on the bus has a special promotion for his product. Great for me, as I could use it due to the fall I had in Panama. This little dandy is an all natural rub for muscle and joint pain.

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Back in Canoa I pleasantly recap the day:

Ride to Bahia: Free
Best breakfast ever: $2.25 (that’s including the $0.50 tip that totally confused them)
2 days worth of veggies and fruit: $1.60
Melon smoothie: $0.60
Boat ride to San Vicente: $0.35
Watrmelon shaved ice: $0.15
Bus ride to Canoa: $0.50
Muscle cream (bus special): $1

Total of my incredible day: $6.45 (the most I’ve spent in over a week!)

Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Does this make the adoption official?

To be welcomed into a home for a good nights rest and a solid meal is heart warming but then to be invited to the families farm for a sacred holiday weekend is an honor. They informed me that the gesture was not an obligation but an invitation to join them in their home away from home in Arraijan. Of course I gladly accepted and packed up to head out!

The girls and I are ready to go! As we depart the city, you can quickly see the surroundings begin to change as the buildings turn to trees and the holiday traffic diminishes.

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I’ve been informed that we’ll be stopping at a popular local spot to pick up a snack along the way. Here they make everything fresh including the empanadas, fruit juice, desserts, cheese and yogurt. Wait, fresh yogurt… and it’s frozen! Yes please.

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Back to the car to share the goodies! Here are empanada’s they ordered, on the left is con pollo (with chicken) and on the right is con queso (with cheese).

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For me, homemade yogurt that was just simply frozen. A bit sweet for my taste, but what a treat!

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As we near the farm, they take me on a small detour to snoop around a local market. This one also included local artist selling their work, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

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I figure someday when I “settle down” (enter sarcastic finger quoting here) I’d love to decorate my home with things I’ve gathered from all over the world. It may be few and far in between, I enjoy supporting the local creators making a way of life doing what they love. Thank you Raman!

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The next bulk of pictures are just shots I took from the passenger seat as we drove through the gorgeous country side. This is the Panama I’ve been waiting for.

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As the gates are opened, my excitement increases seeing the hidden treasure that awaits. I’m not sure when this was built, but the grounds itself should be fully taken in and not just passed through.

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My goal is not to fully expose this generous family and their belongings, however they were more than encouraging of my photo taking! Here is the open air play room that dubbed as my new hair salon as well.

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Again with precious Allison not knowing what to think of it all. After we were done with the haircuts, she came up and grabbed my hand and with her other hand touched her head. Adorable, she wanted a haircut too!

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My accommodations in what I think is the biggest room I’ve stayed in since the beginning of my travels (that doesn’t have 12 bunk beds included).

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Here are only a couple of the homemade goodies that I got to sample. First we have the popular Panamanian fried bread called hojaldras. These traditional doughnuts are usually eaten plain at breakfast or topped with cheese and beans for a midday snack.

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This is a basic rice, fresh pork and beans with a side of platinos.

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On the last day here, the sun exposed perfect heat for the girls to have their swimsuits on by breakfast. As we take a walk, you’ll notice the guest house and a pool… with no water? Turns out the swimming pool area is in the middle of a renovation.

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Being the creative and determined girls that they are, it’s been decided that a couple feet of water still makes for a good time! Can you remember the days when nothing got in the way of playing in the sun? The pictures below are actually a part of the 30 minute attempt to get her back out of the pool. All smiles from my view!

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On the way back to the main house, we noticed a great location for the handstand photo.

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A final note of gratitude to my new family in Panama. Dan and Lia, I loved observing the unconditional care that you have towards your children and I encourage you to keep guiding by example as I learned so much from you. Many thanks for sharing your home, food, family and time with me!

In the photo below, starting from the left: My coloring partner Elena. Your high energy and love for fun reminds me of the youth I still have inside. Keep practicing your handstands and next time we’ll have a contest!
Next is the oldest named Alexandra. Our walks and talks are still fresh in my memory as I enjoyed listening to your thoughts and sharing ideas. My fingers are crossed for you to get to that “One Direction” concert soon enough!
Oh sweet baby Allison, I loved connecting with you and was thoroughly impressed by your intelligence and never ending smile. (I’m not just saying that because we share the same birthday)!
On the far right sits Eliza. Concerned for my comfort, you were always the first to offer additional help…your consideration didn’t go unnoticed. Math can be a bummer, but finishing homework in time for dress up made it all worth while!

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Categories: Accommodations, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Farewell Santa Catalina, I’ve been adopted!

My final days at Cabanas Time Out leave me feeling sad to depart from my new friends but eager to explore other parts of Panama. I get asked often of “how” I decide where to go next or just how far do I plan ahead. My response varies quite a bit depending on the situation. With major flights or extended volunteer programs, I plan ahead. With small city transfers or hostel hopping, I usually find myself making the decision on the way to the bus stop. This week, I got a call during my stay in Santa Catalina. I repeat… I got a phone call! Imagine the look on my face when the reception says, “It’s for you”!

On the other end of the line was a kind woman with a gentle voice that said something to the affect of, “You don’t know me, but my good friend Debbie knows your mother in Florida and we heard that you were injured from a fall”. (This is true and not my brightest moment). “We live in Panama City and are here for you if you need anything like a place to recover or a ride to the airport”… Well hello there unexpected sweet angel!

This my friends, is how the next “plan” was made. I cut my time short in Santa Catalina and found out my new friends from the hotel were also heading to the city. So, off we go together as I get excited to meet my new Panamanian family!

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Upon arrival I was welcomed by a family that made me feel like I was the long lost sister, or some sort of guest celebrity. A neat feeling compared to the usual “one more backpacker” greeting that comes complimentary with each hostel. I don’t have a photo of the entire family so I snuck this adorable holiday picture to give you a visual of my hero’s.

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With time for some arts and crafts and a warm dinner, the girls and I connect before
I settle in to get a luxurious night sleep on a bed… with two pillows…. in an air-conditioned room… and no bugs!

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The morning brings school for the girls and who leaves for class without braids if Erika is around?
Can you tell by their facial expressions just how excited they are to be up at 6am on the last day before holiday break? Oh memories of dreadful alarm clocks.

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As the lovely ladies are off in school, I get the pleasure of joining Lia (mom) to the fresh local market. My favorite!

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The rules for this maze of fresh fruit and veggies:
#1. Pay $0.25 to enter.
#2. Enter at your own risk.

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What stood out to me about this street market is that it’s a drive, park and pay. You literally drive around (in any direction) and when you see something you want, you park (anywhere you want) pick and pay for your goods, then get back into your car and keep going.

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Driving around the city brings us to a few fun sights. This is a huge building that serves several sweet dishes and treats from milkshakes to layered cakes.

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Crossing the American Bridge with a great view for the canal too!

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Handstand shot at the Panama Canal!

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These funky wheels are everywhere!

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In order for me to blog, I had to find wifi and Lia knew just where to drop me off. Here is my view as I type away.

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As a “Thank you” I brought her family one of their favorite goodies from the cafe. It was a croissant styled crust stuffed with warm cream cheese and slightly sprinkled with crystalized sugar. The tea was for me and I love the yogi quote too!

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Returning home I find the girls with an abundance of energy and creative enthusiasm that stretches way beyond a few coloring books!

It starts with a little dress up…

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Sweet little Allison doesn’t know what to think of this beautiful disaster!

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Next comes the make-up…wait, what’s the blindfold for?!

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She liked to zoom in… A lot.

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Some final photos before bedtime. I love my life.

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Streets of Panama City to the beaches of Santa Catalina

I arrived safely to my new destination of Panama, a central American country located inbetween Costa Rica and Columbia. I have a day to play here before I catch a bus to my volunteering project that lies out of the city.

The budget hotel I’m staying at is nothing to boast of except it offers a free breakfast and complimentary ride from the airport. These two things eliminate a bit of stress, especially when first arriving to a new place.

After being served my complimentary breakfast of black coffee and dry toast (the usual around here) I decided to take my hunger on the road in search of fresh fruit or some other traditional eats that I could experiment with. After asking several people where I should go, the response was similar “Nada aquí” (nothing here) so I just decided to stroll in one direction to see what I could find.

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Clearly this neighborhood isn’t on the “must see” list of Panama city, but it’s where my feet where leading with fingers crossed there would be food around. Just a few blocks up the way, I see a glimpse of what could be breakfast!

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I decided on a plain yogurt from the mini market and this little baggie of fruit that I haven’t seen since Malaysia! Before I could stop them, they through the salt in the bag as the locals like it (not my favorite) and handed it over.

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The one thing that stood out to me about Panama city was the clear division between modern higher quality shopping and street side discount vendors.

After my morning snack, I headed in a different direction to see what was near the water. Less than a few blocks later, this is my new view.

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Perfect spot for the handstand shot!

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After the friendly woman snapped the handstand photo for me, I asked her with my broken spanish where I could go for local shopping. With enthusiasm she pointed me towards the bike path with directions to follow.

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Upon arrival, I realize that “shopping” was probably the wrong term to use, as what she was so excited about was the cities Grand Mall. Equipped with everything from Tommy Hilfiger to a McDonalds, you can imagine the amount of time that I didn’t spend here.
As if the mall doesn’t take enough cash from your wallet already, this place even has a casino inside.

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Back to the hotel for a nights rest as tomorrow brings a trip from Panama City to Santa Catalina with two buses, 7 hours and a sweaty ride.

Morning shines and now I’m off! Can you spot my adorable little blue buddy? This isn’t the first time my backpack has gotten to ride roof top!

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Pit stop in Soná leads me looking for a snack at the only store in town.

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Here’s what I found for the remaining of the trip, simply scrumptious.

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I took a picture of the only toilet offered here, but honestly the angle exposes probably more than you want to see. Well it’s in the journey, so just skip the next photos if you have a weak stomach.

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At the end of the layover, I look over to see what appears to be a volcano erupting! Wouldn’t you think so? Judging from the lack of response from the locals, I shrugged my shoulders as I snapped a picture and boarded the final bus. Apparently it’s very common for the Panamanians to burn just about everything they don’t want or need.

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The usual “out of the window” shots from the bus ride.

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Check out this other public bus I spotted along the way. They’re everywhere here! Can you imagine your kids being picked up in this on their first day of school? Priceless.

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I get kicked out of the bus (thankfully) at the bottom of a hill and pointed with the verbal command of “arriba” (up). Ok then, up I go holding fingers crossed that I’ll see some clue that my new home is this way.

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A sign! Cabañas Time Out is the hotel in which I’ll be volunteering at for the next 10 days.

I arrived just in time for this gorgeous sunset hugging the poolside with a ocean view.

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Puerto de La Libertad

When you go to the average restaurant and see “catch of the day” or “fresh fish plate” on the menu, I feel it might be better titled as “the most recently de-thawed” or “the plate of whatever we stocked too much of”. Not here in La Libertad! You actually get to walk the pier as the fisherman are bringing back the load of the morning. You have the choice to buy your protein right there and carry it to a vender or have a seat in one of the cafe’s that line the water and order from their grill.

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Here’s what you’ll find as you walk to the end of the dock and back.

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I’m sure some of you may have lost your appetite after that fresh walk and for the rest of you, you’re ready for some delicious ceviche! Although I’m all about diggin in the local way, I wasn’t confident picking out a slab from the dock to cook ourselves, so we treat our hunger to one of the open air restaurants along the water.

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I went with the white fish ceviche and mom had shrimp in a pink sauce (that came out of a mason jar with no label, got to love it!) A local sat down next to us and suggested the papas fritas with a cervesa and tequilla to compliment it all. No arm twist neccesary as we toast to our “catch of the day”. All of this for $11, score!

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With full belly’s and happy hearts we board the bus heading back to the city. A roundtrip ticket from San Salvador to the coast of La Libertdad is a whopping $1.20.

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How do you pass the time on another bus ride besides gazing out the window and snapping random photos? With some giggles and a game! I held the camera up and we took turns saying an animal or person. With no reaction time allowed, I snapped each photo of our first response. Here are a few of our favorites.

Fish!

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Rabbit!

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Horse!

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Elvis Presley! (Done poorly)

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Jim Carrey!

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Wrapping up our game and realizing we were providing the free entertainment for the other passengers, we’re back to the hostel. Traveled, fed, happy and tired… all for $13.40 total. Perfect!

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Categories: Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

An unexpected day with the locals!

Returning to the city we find our hands already busy by helping the owners of the hostel prepare for a birthday party. Nati is turning 3 and here was our experience with the celebration!

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The food for the guests was fresh fruit and a homemade chicken sandwich. Everything was made from scratch including the soft roll and the layered coleslaw. The orange soda is called Kolashanpan and if you like cream soda, you’ll love this local gem!

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Let’s not forget the vanilla cake that was layered with dulce de leche, a common caramel flavor in Central and South America.

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The following day we were treated with an invitation by Gladis (the owner of the hostel) to join her on an outing. Where? We have no idea, but that made it even more intriguing!

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We had told her of our desire to volunteer so she was taking us to some local churches and orphanages to see if they needed any help. We collected contact info for the next week of opportunities and got to see a part of the city in which isn’t in your usual guide book.

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We were so thankful for this unexpected journey and even more grateful as they treated us to view a hill that’s only known to the locals. It’s full of food, drinks, music and markets!

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If you ever come to El Salvador, be prepared to partake in their traditional dish if pupusas. A corn or rice tortilla wrapped around the filling of your choice, we went for bean and cheese. The salsa is a spicy slaw accompanied by a tomato based sauce.

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For a desert or sweet snack it’s hot cocoa and quesadilla. Let’s clarify here, a quesadilla is not a flour tortilla with melted cheese (as us adorable North Americans call it). It’s a fluffy sweet bread flavored with a small amount of cheese and sugar.

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Thank you dear Gladis, Malcom and Jose for our wonderful excursion of local eats, treats and sights that usually go unseen!

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Categories: Art, Edibles!, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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