Take Me Back To Panama, Part 3

In previous episodes, our hero was seen battling the horrors of air travel and participating in a wedding of epic proportions.  And now for the thrilling conclusion…

Dylan and SandraWith the happy newlyweds heading off to parts unknown for their honeymoon, we settled down for a relaxing week at our beach house.  The house was amazing, with plenty of room for the Sweeney clan.  It was great being so close to the beach and the wedding site.  While it seems odd to have a pool so close to the beach, it was actually very nice.  It was much easier for the kids to be in the pool than down in the ocean, or perhaps it was just easier to watch the kids in the pool.

Clubhouse PoolThe house was part of a large resort called Buenaventura.  There was a very elaborate club house nearby that had a giant pool that the kids loved to play in.  For the adults, the pool-side bar was fun, complete with bar stools underwater.  The hardest part in coming home was giving up the easy access to the water.  Both Ian and Elaine love the water and would spend all day in a pool.

Kevin on zip lineOn Tuesday, we got up early and drove to El Valle for a canopy tour.  This involved riding on zip lines through the jungle and over this beautiful waterfall.  Somehow we convinced my grandparents to give it a try.  While going on the zip lines was fine, the path between the four different rides was treacherous.  The staff on the tour were very helpful and a fun time was had by all.  Just check out the video evidence: Grandma Mary Lou, Grandma Elaine, and Grandpa Varrel.  We also stopped in the town where there was a little market.  Ian was very interested in the local monkey and didn’t stop talking about it all day.

Jet SkiThe next day, Jennifer and I did a snorkel tour.  The visibility at the site was non-existent, but we made up for it by riding a jet ski to and from the site.  The (very small) island also had a cave through the middle that we swam through.  Erin and Lisa did the same tour a few days later and had much better visibility.

Christmas Eve DinnerFor Christmas Eve, Sandra’s family brought a traditional Colombian meal.  I wish I could remember all the dishes because it was quite good.  The language barrier made things interesting, but her parents speak English very well and my mom has been working on her Spanish so there were plenty of translators to go around.

Running in the wavesIt was a great vacation and Jennifer is already figuring out how to go back and trying to convince her family to join in and help split the cost of the rental house.  Even with being sick and having to take little kids through endless customs and immigration lines, I would love to go back.  It sure beats cold weather and shoveling snow!

Elaine in the waves

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