All posts tagged: summer

The House on the Hill

Growing up in Panama, I spent most of my weekends and summer vacations in my grandmother’s rustic beach house. The land where it’s located is about 10,000 square feet of lush vegetation and steep hills. Not so far one can see the Pacific Ocean. I remember clearly those hot summer days running around the estate with my brothers and cousins from dawn to dusk, when our parents would summon us back to the house worried we might encounter a snake in the dark. I remember my father rising early to plant trees and pick up different herbs. A cilantro tea each morning. Simpler times, indeed…  The contrast between the city, chaotic and densely populated, and the interior of the country is radical. Real estate developers and the hotel industry are responsible for more and more new luxury resorts and beachfront communities each year. Little by little, the landscape is tarnished. We are losing more and more of the virgin nature. My grandmother’s beach house is not completely abandoned, but it’s true that as her grandchildren …

Island of Flowers

Only 20 km from Panama City, and nicknamed the island of flowers, Taboga Island is truly a charmer, and a must for anyone visiting the country.  There are several different ferry companies taking you from the port in Amador to Taboga and back; for my last visit there I took the Calypso ferry departing at 9:30 a.m which is only $20 round trip. It’s a thirty minute ride passing next to enormous cargo ships that are on their way to the Atlantic Ocean through the Panama Canal. Quicker than you realize, you arrive at Taboga Island: colorful, friendly, and truly relaxing. When I was kid, I frequented Taboga with my family a lot; its proximity to the city really makes it the perfect weekend getaway. However, if you’ve only got a day to spend, Taboga is also perfect  since its area is under 5 square miles. (Happy Tiki tip: try to avoid Sundays and weekends/holidays in general if you can, some of the beaches can get really crowded!) The houses in Taboga are colorful with bougainvilleas growing against …

Souvenirs from the South Pacific: Bondi to Coogee Walk

My friend Jess had told me that a must-do while in Sydney was the cliff top coastal walk from Bondi to Coogee. It was early October and it was finally starting to get warm and sunny outside. I had been to Bondi a few times in the winter but was eager to witness the beautiful Sydney coastline in less layers! I had a Monday off from work and woke up early to begin my commute to Coogee. I packed snacks, a large water bottle, headphones, and my camera – the photos from this walk are probably my favorite souvenir of my time in Oz.  The sun was shining and the ocean was a beautiful turquoise color, the waves alluring dozens of surfers from Coogee to Clovelly and Bronte, all the way up to Bondi. I encountered runners, hikers, dog-walkers, photographers, and children all throughout the 6km walk. It was hotter than expected, but needless to say I found plenty of shade under trees. The walk takes about two hours, but I kept finding beautiful photo ops and perfect areas to meditate. It was …