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Night at the symphony

National Theater in Casco Viejo
Last night we spent a very enjoyable evening at the National Theater at a free concert by the Joven Orquesta de Centroamerica (the Youth Orchestra of Central America). Fifty or so young musicians from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Panama put on a stunning performance. They played a wide range of music and had a couple of adult guest soloists, but the youngsters were clearly the “stars”. It was also interesting in that they started the concert with just the brass section on stage, then the string section had their turn, then the entire orchestra. Read more

Friends visit

Buzios Restaurant
C.J. and Richard paid us a visit today for lunch in Casco Viejo and a little tour. They are new friends that we first met a couple of months ago when we were staying at La Cresta de Ore. They have made several trips to Panama working on visa issues and (like us) hunting for their place in Panama. They had just returned from a trip out West to Chiriqu Province and came back with good things to say about the area around Boquete. Jane and I had made a similar trip two years ago and although we liked what we saw it’s become apparent that we prefer the big city experience (Panama City) after our nine years on a 6 by 27 mile long island. Read more

Diabolical "Slasher" strikes again

Ancon Theater
Saturday night Jane and I ventured out to the Theatre Guild of Ancon for a performance of “The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940”. The Theatre Guild (spelling intentional, as the organization was founded by British Expats in 1950) is like many small community theaters anywhere in the world - all volunteer, with budding actors/actresses doing their thing for a small but appreciative audience. The show was a comedy where the “Slasher” kept popping out of secret passages to dispatch his victims while the various cast members alternated between being the prime suspect, victims or less than great detectives. It was a fun two hours. Read more

Góngora was jumpin'

Casa Gongora
Stopped by Casa Góngora tonight to see what all the excitement was about. Upstairs a mariachi band had the packed house up and dancing. It was the usual diverse crowd for this place - young and old, smartly dressed and the blue jean set (me). A group of “senior” ladies was burning up the dance floor. Folks from the audience were joining the band to sing, with everyone having a great time.

Mariachi band at Casa Gorgona Mariachi band

It’s things like this that make living in Casco Viejo interesting and a lot of fun. Take care.

It's a . . . . .

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Jane and I are tied up on on little project but thought you might want to enter the “Guess what this is contest”. Grand Prize for the best answer (judges ruling is final) a treat at Casco’s ice cream shop when you visit - you are planing a trip, aren’t you? So if you want to enter . . . Read more

Rain Delay

Casco Viejo Map
Our walking tour of Casco Viejo was rained out, but the folks at the Casco Antiguo office offered to give us a special tour on Monday. They only have two English speaking guides and one offered to come in on a day when they don’t normally give tours. We’re both looking forward to learning more about the place.

Odds and Ends: Walked down Avenida Central the other day to shop. On our way back Jane decides to get two bananas. Asks the street vendor how much for two - he says 25¢. Jane leaves with six bananas, the price, still 25¢. Read more

Slow week . . .

Convent of Santo Domingo
Just thought we’d let you know all is well in Panama - nothing really exciting to report. Still looking at housing possibilities but most days we are just doing the “normal” things people do regardless of where they live.

In the meantime, if you missed this little slide show the first time around - hit PLAY and enjoy!

We are trying to catch the Saturday history tour of Casco Viejo tomorrow and hopfully come back with some pictures and information to share. Til then, take care.

One Egg

Casco Viejo Grocery
A few days ago Jane was one egg short for a batch of brownies. Out the door she goes to one of our little grocery stores (think convenience store with a little more character) a couple of minutes later she’s back with ONE egg. Cost 15¢. Brownies coming right up.

At the pharmacy if you want a single Advil, no problem. Need twenty - they’ll count them out for you. The same with most drugs, you only need to buy the quantity you want. Read more

Baseball Playoffs

The Ballpark at high tide

Today on the way to the monthly flea market at the plaza we stopped by to check out the baseball playoffs. No, we didn’t stop at the local sports bar (Casco doesn’t have one), we joined the crowd at the local “ballpark”. If you’re familiar with Casco Viejo you may wonder exactly where the “ballpark” is. Well . . . . Read more

Casco Festival

Casa Gongora
This week the Festival Internacional de la Cancion de Autor (International Festival of Singer Songwriters) had it’s final events. The festival was a series of free concerts - this year featuring the guitar and had performers from Panama, Spain and Mexico.

On Wednesday, Jane and I walked two blocks (stopped for ice cream on the way) to Casa Góngora for a small indoor event. Casa Góngora in a partially restored building that is the home to the Casco Antiguo Cultural Center. Read more

Gremlins at work

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Had a slight technical problem today as you may have noticed if you tried to access the site earlier. The “slight” problem was turned into a MAJOR problem when I decided I could probably fix the issue by just digging around in the sites server side files - bad idea! Once I realized I had no clue and called tech support at Little Oak (my hosting service) they cleaned up my mistake so I could reload the site. Still trying to cleanup some loose ends and barring another bonehead mistake (not unheard of) the site should be ok.

Please let me know via email if you spot any problems. Thanks

Birthday Bash

Definition: “Birthday Bash” for us = quiet night out together.

Jane and I have birthday’s exactly two weeks apart and for more than a few years we have forgone the usual “give each other a gift” thing and have opted for a quiet evening at a good restaurant. So, Monday night we went around the corner to Indigo, described as a “oriental-mediterranean fusion” restaurant - whatever that is. After settling in a a corner table in the bar (because it’s in a restored building the restaurant is comprised of several small rooms and a patio) I ordered a Mojito (mainly because I’d never had one - think I will stick with plain old rum and coke) and we picked up the menu. Soon thereafter, one of the owners stopped by and chatted with us about the various dishes - many of which seemed to have a Moroccan connection. We ended up having Shrimp Couscous and a cold Duck Salad (unusual and very good) as appetizers. Green Curry and Moroccan Chicken for the main courses and dessert. Bottom line - best restaurant meal I’ve had in looooong time.
Inside Indigo

If you’re ever in Casco Viejo, Indigo is located next to the Tourism Police on Avenida Central.

Postscript: No people in the pictures because I returned the next day before they opened for business to take these.
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