Monday, April 30, 2012

Last weekend, Toby and I drove to Rumson, NJ, to visit our friends the Sorensons and get in on the opening of an exhibit of Leigh's warm, misty, layered and wonderfully colorful oil paintings.

We almost took a chicken back to Barrington with us--one that seemed very interested in hopping into our Prius.  Leigh and King live right on a salt marsh (whoa-climate change!), in an intriguing old house (wish I'd taken more photos) and with the utmost in cozy hospitality.  Leigh and I have lots in common as far as design, color and pattern go. We were best of buddies back in high school when we'd sit together on the long bus ride to school, still are.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Last Days of Vacation

As the week wound down, 

 we enjoyed more beach-time,


more lolling around in warm, fabulous water,

checking out the coconuts (Maddie looks just like young Sam in this photo),

an afternoon of scuba diving for the older siblings,


and fun and games in our rented home,


Then it was time to leave--the beach,


our trusty golf carts,


our villa,

 have a last ice cream at the gelato place,

 get back on the ferry,


where Max continued to wow Jess (and visa versa).

Then, sadly, leave Panama after a wonderful vacation together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


We were delighted to find 2 or 3 perfect beaches on Contadora

with calm water


and soft, soft sand.



Sam checking out the water scene (his t-shirt, designed by my sister Linda, depicts another water scene:  the new bridge over Lake Champlain, near her house). 

We kept seeing this family, first on the boat over then on several beaches.  When we finally talked with them it turned out they were from Red Bank, New Jersey, and knew our friends Leigh and King Sorenson very well--she's best friends with the Sorenson's daughter Eliza.  Not a small world?


Heading back to the house we stopped to look at the sunset.


And one more event of a busy day--Sam finding, Rachel catching (and later Gwen holding, Max patting--Maddie too, I think) a Bufo Marinus frog.
Many surprises on a small island!


Monday, April 23, 2012

To Contadora

On Wednesday, we all got up early for our trip to the Pearl Islands.


The 2-hour ferry ride out into the Pacific started out with snacks

and ended up with naps.


 The ferry had to anchor off-shore--there is no pier on the small island on Contadora.  Maddie's greeting the rest of the gang as they leave the small dingy that brought us ashore in batches.

 We rented golf carts to get around--one per family.

 And it was into play-dough when we got to our rental house.

Then the beach, and then

 a tasty seafood dinner prepared for us in our home by an Italian chef.  Quite a nice first day!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

On the Canal

Tuesday Rachel had to work all day so David took us all to see the Panama Canal. The canal building has wide eaves and a vent at the roof top for ventilation--a typical Panamanian building technique.

First you have to walk up a lot of steps to get a good view of the ships coming through. Kids didn't need much coaxing--it was kind of exciting.

Since the last time Toby and I were there, they've installed spectator seats (and a handy snack bar behind).

Our timing was excellent - there was a ship coming through!

Max, enjoying his snacks, gets an eagle's eye view of the crossing.

These cute little trains went down the slope on each side of the water to tie up to the incoming ship, then tugged it but mostly kept it straight in line. Little engines that could.

Sam explaining just how it all worked to attentive Max.

And there she goes. The Amarantha is free to sail on to the Atlantic!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Glorious Gamboa Monday

It's gorgeous in Gamboa now--trees beginning to bloom, lush greens, hot and humid but not outlandishly so--and cicadas loudly strumming away.

First stop--the swimming pool at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort (just up the hill from Rachel and David's house).

Swimming under the rainbow.

Happy parent portraits.

In the late afternoon, after nap/quiet time,
we packed snacks and a bottle of wine and headed to an ancient lighthouse overlooking the Panama Canal.

In the distance, one of the boats that is constantly dredging the canal.

Here are the beginnings of Simon's week-long total adoration
of his patient and very fun Auntie Jess.

And me, surrounded by tired, wiggly, delightful grandchildren.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Arriving in Gamboa!

After long plane flights from LA and Boston

Sam, Jess, Maddie and Max, Theo and Toby arrived at the same time in Panama.
Waiting for the taxi to Gamboa.

The next morning we got to see Simon

and Gwen.

and go to the Gamboa Easter Egg Party and Hunt.

where the cousins met.

Gwen climbed to great heights to retrieve an
Easter egg, Maddie searched for eggs on the ground,

and Max had a quiet moment.

After nap time, a swim in the pool,

raving over Lou's gorgeous tiles--all animals of Panama,

playing with toys,

coloring together,

transportation for a princess with a helmet,

and settling down before dinner. So good to be all together!!!