With three weeks off work over Christmas and New Years, we were quick to make plans – quick plans! Over the course of three weeks we celebrated Christmas with my family, Norwegian Style. We then proceeded to hop over the pond to Canada in time for some Canadian Christmas cheers and celebrations before venturing on to some fun in the sun and reunion with friends in El Salvador.
We welcomed in the new year in Bocas Town with dinner, music, friends and a rather entertaining and long lasting Chinese Shoot Off. Let me explain! Every supermarket in Bocas is ran by a different Chinese family. Every single day (and almost every single hour of that day) of the year they diligently keep their stores open and sell cheap and random goods to locals and travelers alike. Come New Years Eve it is their time to shine! In front of each family’s respective supermarket they set up hordes of fireworks ready to show off. The amount of firework being blown up in the air supposedly indicates how much money each family made in the past year. Obviously, the family who can keep ’em coming wins. The show down started around 11:30 and lasted for a good hour and a half. That’s a long time of continuos fireworks going off!
This particular family, with little John leading the troops, must have done particularly well. His bakery is always full. We contributed to the stack of fireworks by buying our daily coffee there and our friend Jasper would down a couple of John’s doughnuts after his daily surf sessions. John went about the fireworks as he does his work in his bakery; with diligence and a serious tone. He did not leave until work was done! No kidding around! Little John served coffee early New Year’s Day, diligently and seriously.
It was a spectacle well worth seeing. The streets were full, as it brought out every man, woman, child and animal out in town. The Chinese got their competition settled and we were all ready to get going with a new year with new adventures awaiting!
Happy New Years!
Kyler’s 30th birthday celebration was a bit of a different one. It was the two of us in the most beautiful location one can imagine.
The celebratory birthday flags were already swaying in the slight breeze as we woke up in the early morning. A full day of birthday fun was about to commence!
We kept ourselves busy and the day went by fast:
– Jungle cabin birthday breakfast: Kyler had requested bacon (he really is Canadian) and pancakes. A bit of a weird combo if you ask me, but it was not my birthday!
– Gifts: One of the gifts I got Kyler was a Nixon Supertide surf watch. It has 230 beaches (including Pavones) with corresponding high- and low tide information programmed into it. It is a really cool, little thing! Unfortunately, the watch does not create waves!
– Walks on the beach (Are we getting old?)
– Lunch with beer(s)
– Frisbee fun
– Swimming and frolicking (Never too old!)
– Bird- and wildlife sightings: The usual monkeys, as well as a wild array of birds. Even our untrained eyes could point out 20-30 different types.
– Hammock time: One in the morning and one in the afternoon. Wildlife sightings can also be done from hammock.
– Dinner time: As it turned out, we got take out.. Not exactly as planned on the big birthday, but when the restaurant we had eyed out was closed and the second one (of two in town) did not serve celebratory drinks, we improvised! We brought the food home and had it with wine, music and jungle sounds.
Traveling, being active, having fun – What a great way to start a new decade! Happy Birthday, Kyler!