Friday, June 26, 2015

New Thing #36 ~ Guy Wades Into a Bar....

What's that quote about 'the best laid plans?'

New Thing #34 was my first time traveling to another country: Panama.

(If you're new here, and some of your are, this post is New Thing #36 in the year of Barbie's 50 New Things. If you're anything like me, linear as hell, you might want to click back to the original post and start there. If you're nothing like me, and celebrate disorder, send me your physical address so I can schedule you for an intervention. Either way, thanks for reading!)

Weeks before leaving for Panama, my best laid plan was to incorporate additional New Things into the trip.  At least two.

Um......okay, okay, I confess. The truth is, when I left for Panama I planned to include any New Thing I could possibly manage. Any and all!  (Do not judge me, people!! Time was running short.)

This plan, best laid or not, flew directly in the face of ...
Barbie's 50 New Things Prime Directive
.....something about not lumping multiple New Things together and the Space/Time continuum.
Blah, blah, blah...

Two things I specifically intended to include:   
(#1) Swimming in the Caribbean and (#2) Surfing.

In fact, before leaving Seattle, I was so sure about these two things that I thought of them as foregone conclusiond. Upon arrival in Panama, however, it was clear that things would not go as planned. And that these two things were highly unlikely. Unforeseen circumstances and all.

After being there for a couple days, we rather spontaneously decided to splurge and book a room at the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Our dual motivation was to provide Ciara and Ephraim with a get-away from the base where they lived and worked (more details later).
And to have an indulgent vacation-within-a-vacation for Jackie and I.

When we made our reservation, I had no idea what the resort would be like. Although the word 'resort' is often a good sign. And as you may be well aware, I love hotels! So I was quite excited about staying at one in another country.

Soon, we were packed and in the community van.   Then, after ...
  • surviving another perilous and death-defying Panamanian road trip to get there, 
  • checking into the opulent resort
  • drinking our ruby-red, tooty-fruity tropical Welcome beverage, 
  • ooo'ing and aah'ing over our room and the hammock on our balcony,
 ... we finally got to walk around the huge complex, taking it all in. And much to our surprise and delight, we discovered that there was a pool bar. Okay, mostly just my surprise and delight because I knew we'd stumbled upon a New Thing.

Pool bar! We are not talking about a bar in close proximity to a pool. But a bar IN THE POOL!
One that you swim up to and sit on a bar stool that is under the water!
Actually luxuriating IN THE WATER as you sip your umbrella'd cocktail, your cerveza or your repeat ruby-red, tooty-fruity, tropical Welcome beverage !! An opportunity for a New Thing if ever there was one.

"But wait," you say?  "This bar looks suspiciously bare....hmmm."
Well if you think this bar looks completely empty, you're absolutely right! In fact, it was virtually abandoned. We happened to be there during Panama's off-season (Translation: Really frickin' HOT Season). And it turned out that the bar wasn't actually staffed. At least 'officially.' Although we didn't know that at the time. Oddly enough, there wasn't a "No Bartender On Duty" pool sign.

So there we sat, in the pool bar, with no bar service.
"Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!" (S. T. Coleridge)

We sat in this state of 'Pool Bar Denial' for some time. We chatted and let our feet kick easily under the water. Thinking that maybe, if we sat there long enough, some resort staff member would notice and take pity upon our thirsty tourist faces and come down to serve us ... something. Anything.
Seriously, I'll take tap water! But could it please have a brightly colored umbrella in it?

I'm not sure how long we waited. But at some point, one of us noticed that nearby there were a couple of plastic cups that were half empty (or half full, depending) of something. The cups were clearly abandoned. We decided, for the sake of photo documentation, we'd snag these as props.
"Ephraim, take our picture!"
I mean, technically, the New Thing was being at a pool bar. Drinking, as usual, would be optional. So, we took pictures for the blog. Yay! New Thing #36 done, right?
Come on, you know me better than that.

As it turned out, posing with cups that contained the dregs of someone else's good time didn't feel entirely satisfying. Go figure! It just didn't seem right. Plus, by this time, I really needed a drink.

Eventually, we lucked out and spotted a staff member who said they would send someone out to the pool. We soon placed our order and were sipping ice cold beverages, while sitting on a bar stool in the water. Very cool. Jackie ordered "cerveza," Ciara had a fruity drink that looked a lot like the Welcome beverage. And honestly I can't remember my order. Something with rum, I'm thinking.
Mission accomplished!

My 36th New Thing ~ Drinking at a Pool Bar

And all was right with the world.
Well, 'right,' aside from the blatant violation of my own Mission Statement and a pinkie promise not to combine New Things. Even so, CHEERS!

Along with our time at the bar, we also enjoyed the pool in a more traditional and dignified manner.


Remind me to talk to you more about Jackie's Graduation Nails in later post....

Sequoia napped through the entire Pool Bar photo shoot. 



In the shot below, to the right of those palm fronds, you can see the green roof of the pool bar. 

It was a good day.  How often does one get to shout, "I'll buy a round for the pool?" (This was especially easy since we were the only ones there.)

Post Script:
I was just asked if I was sad not having tried surfing in Panama.
Let's consider the choices, shall we?
Face-plant onto a hard board in shark infested waters.....or.....alcoholic beverage sitting in a resort pool. 

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