Airplane view: ships lining up to enter the canal. Waves lining up to crash ashore.
Driving over the Panama Canal in the golden sunlight.
Puffs of dust clearing to reveal boys playing futbol.
Carnival: Half-dressed women, musically inclined men, alcohol and water flowing freely.
Carnival: Fish scales and smoky meat and ceviche in plastic tupperware and shady spots out of the blasting sunshine and $1 beers.
Margaritas so strong you remember the night you stopped drinking them.
Sustained 25mph winds that make 78 degrees feel chilly. Warding off the chill with only a scarf wrapped around your shoulders.
Using your phone as a camera only. Thick, salty, wind blown hair.
Familiar faces making an unfamiliar setting recognizable.
Air dried hair. Sunscreen as foundation and bug spray as makeup. Sunglasses. Chapstick.
Getting more smiles than stink-eyes from 2yo V. Rooming with 4yo O. Reading Curious George 4x a day.
Learning life hacks; bathroom edition. Dumb questions and honest answers and genuine support in the face of a dirty task and laughter and success.
Measuring my steps not via FitBit but by high tide (100) and low tide (500).
Swimming adrenaline junkie style. Accidentally unleashing helicopter and motor boat rescue efforts.
Thoughts of Camp Nyoda swim lessons keeping you calm in the face of a crazy current.
Getting the chance to experience your friends living their new life.
No water, no electricity, but, a house full of problem solvers.
Beach day. Showering in the ocean. Bravely battling but ultimately losing the fight against the waves and seaweed.
Carnival: night edition. Fancy dresses, glittering head pieces, dancing in the street, drums, a yodel that sounds like a mountain goat’s mating call, shots of Seco, cold beer.
Sandy feet, sandy beds, sandy floors, sand dollars, beach living.
Homemade meals, dishes for 7 done in a tiny sink with limited water and even more limited drying rack space. Using my dishwashing powers for good.
Plantains. Fried. Grilled. With honey. With aioli.
Broken Spanish. Clear intentions. Communication achieved.
Roadside fruit stands with limited, but the freshest most delicious produce imaginable. Frozen pipa. Not there or not available in terms we recognized.
Drinks in the afternoon, in the evening, in the least-windy-corner of the patio.
Secrets shared, personality quirks explained, friendships deepening as quickly as the setting sun.
Kickball competitions with O, the broom being an important tool, sticker books, the human body as a jungle gym, I spy, V’s gymnastic movements.
Well water excursions, grocery store adventures, sharing bills.
Panama brand beer (not delicious), Soberana brand beer (delicious), Balboa brand beer (delicious), ecto cooler lime juice margaritas, gin&tonics not made with Bacardi, Seco with muddled oranges or grapefruit + pineapple juices, instant coffee.
Pushing your limits emotionally, physically, gastro-intestinely.
The hammock. The beloved orange hammock gently swinging in the wind. Cat naps.
Rising with the sun (thanks, V Bird) (thanks, O Man), throwing open all the windows and doors, brightening the house and doubling its size.
L and N absolutely killing it with their driving (N) and navigational (L) skills. Me, quiet in the backseat taking it all in, wishing I had 1/8th of either of those skills. Learning the Google Maps app trick.
Memories tucked into my pockets with seashells and grains of sand.