Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy New Year From Panama......Partying With A Bang

The festivities are over and so are the seven holiday parties that involved food, drinks and socializing with friends both old and new. New Years Eve began with the pre-party at Picasso's Bar and Restaurant for their happy hour.  It was nice to spend time again with owner Claire's family who are visiting from Europe.  Her parents, sister and boyfriend were sitting with our friend Phil who invited us to join their table.  From there we headed down the highway to the beach resort of Bijao where we  ended the year with an explosion of fireworks and sky lanterns on the beach. Bijao is a luxurious resort community with condos, houses, townhouses and amenities too numerous to name.  With expansive white sandy beaches, six pools, restaurants, a gym and so much more it was the perfect setting to relax and sip away our worries with friends. A big thanks to Bobby and Sally for inviting us again this year.
Aerial View Of Bejao

After meeting up at their condo for drinks we all made our way down to the beachside bohio for a night of fun  The place was packed with Panamanians all dressed in white clothing apparently worn for good luck.  Somehow though our white-faced bunch of gringos missed the memo and we showed up dressed in a variety of colors. As the midnight hour approached we all headed down to the beach for the fireworks spectacular.  There was a Latin disc jockey jammin' at the waters edge and hundreds of people lighting up Chinese or sky lanterns into the night sky. Clyde and I bought four lanterns at a local "fuegos artificiales" or "fireworks" store in Bejuco, while Leon and Sue ordered some from the states. Patience seemed to be the key to launching these light-filled bags of wonder.  It took a while for the little wax square to catch on fire as several sets of hands held the balloon erect.  Eventually the lantern became hot enough to rise as it was guided along by a gentle wind.  Up, up an away they went as we watched each one, eventually going out of sight into the vast universe of stars above.

Olive, Rey And I Inflating A Lantern
Bobby Releasing A Lantern

And Another

And Another.....

Everyone Watching......Is It Going To Fly?

We Think This One Is Almost Ready
Let Go Leon......Or You Might Fly Away.....

Shortly before midnight the DJ made a few announcements and counted down the seconds as the crowds welcomed in the new year.  Diez, nueve, ocho, siete, seis, cinco, cuatro, tres, dos, uno.......Feliz Nuevo Ano!

Just then the sky exploded to an array of fireworks that never seemed to end.  We watched overhead and all around us at the rainbow display that painted streaks of color across the dark sky.  The fallout from the explosives fell like gentle snowflakes against our skin. Once the fireworks were done and the sky lanterns had risen out of sight the kisses and hugs went around the group as we wished each other a Happy New Year.

Back at the bohio we enjoyed some champagne and nibbled a bit more on the food as Bobby tried to initiate  a sing-along.  Later on Clyde and I headed back home along the deserted Pan American highway.  Our neighbors were still rockin' the night away with loud music and merriment as we found our way into the house.  We made our way to bed around 3am wearing earplugs and sleep masks ensuring us a good nights sleep well into the middle of the next morning.

On New Years day we crawled out of bed around 10am ready for yet another day of partying.  We left the house around 1pm and headed over to city of La Chorrera which looked like a ghost town. This bustling , congested city is usually packed with people, cars, taxi's and busses but today being a holiday it was dead.  On the other side of the city lies a hidden development called "Brisas del Lago," where our friends Jennifer and Dan live.  When we first moved to Panama we rented a house in Capira and attended the expat mixers held in La Chorrera.  It's there that we met this group of people who invited us to house parties where we met even more people from these neighborhoods. So it was wonderful to reunite with some of the old crowd that we haven't seen in a while. We chatted away the hours over drinks and food catching up with old friends and making some new ones.  A young couple that follow this blog recognized us and came over the chat.  Jennifer and Manual, an American young lady married to a Panamanian, divide their time between working in the states and visiting his family here. It was fun getting to know them especially since his family is from around where our house is now. 

We made our way home just in time to chill out and relax for the rest of the evening. Hopefully today we'll have time to catch up on things around the casa.  I'd like to take down the Christmas tree and ornaments and get the house back to normal. Clyde plans to mow the last of the green grass before it dies off during the next few months of the dry season. But there is just one more holiday event to come, a very special time of giving back to the community.  You'll have to wait for the details of that one in a few weeks as we head into a new year of more exciting adventures......along the gringo trail.


  1. Sounds like so much fun!! What a great way to welcome the New Year!! I really loved watching these photos. I also attended the best nye party nyc. Truly, it was a great experience for me. Well, thanks for this article!

  2. Wow, this is so amazing post on NYE bash. I love lanterns. For NYE celebration I also used lantern theme last year. So we had to choose outdoor NY venues for this party. But this year I am going to host indoor house party. Hoping to have fun this year too!!


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