Panama was soaked in anticipation for James and I. One of James' best friends was waiting for him in Bocas Del Toro and my fiancé Tabitha and step daughter Beatrice were about to fly into Panama City. Neither of us could wait to be with them. After we crossed the border we split ways for the week and headed off to our respective rendezvous. I got into Panama City the night before Tabitha and Beatrice's arrival and stayed at a hostel that Tab had organized for us. The owner was great and gave me a ride to the airport to pick the two of them up the next day. There was small door that all of the international travelers were funneling out of and I jumped every time some popped through the opening. It felt like forever before it was finally my beautiful family that came through! I gobbled Bea up and squeezed my lady tight. Amazing to be back with my girls and we all rode on that high for the rest of the week.
The next day we were off to a beautiful mellow beach area on the pacific side and a relaxing stay at a bed and breakfast for the week. The host was awesome and helped us fill our days with amazing mountain views, great food and a swimming pool we could barely get Bea out of.
The first night was a real make it our break it with the host and his friend who was also staying the week. Tab decided to get me good and loose with a margarita that never seamed to run dry while I was playing dominoes with our hosts. Dominoes is one of my favorite games and talking shit is a key part. Tab thought the amount of it flowing out of my loosened lips was hilarious while also being a bit afraid that it was going to end the night in a Panamanian knife fight! The final domino of the night was laid by me at the pinnacle of rowdiness and I slammed it so hard that the dominoes all went flying and drinks went crashing. Luckily everyone thought it was hilarious and it solidified our fast friendship.
Water as the name of the game in Panama. After sampling the beach and the pool for a couple days the B&B owner offered to take us to a secret waterfall and cliff jump. It was an awesome spot and Bea climbed around like a mountain goat. She even jumped off her first cliff into water! Such a fun day. Watching her learn and grow is hands down my favorite thing in the world.
Tab and Bea's final night was new years eve and we went back to Panama City to meet up with James for it. Spent the evening with piggy back rides and holding hands while walking around the old town area. We found some food in a lively plaza that had some great musicians playing and a few other kids running around. Bea was completely enthralled with a guy who was painting a picture of one of the buildings and hovered over him between dances with momma and scarfing down some a great food.
Back at the hostel we set off fireworks and lit sparklers. Panamanians are no strangers to partying and you could hear the festivities clamor the whole night through.
In the morning, with a heavy heart, I said good bye to my loves once more. I went with them to the airport and held them as long as I could before they slipped behind the wall and off on their long journey home.