A few years ago, I found myself starved for a vacation. This was before any European jaunts with Jen. In fact, at this point in my life, I was fairly destitute. (OK, that is probably hyperbole, but you get the idea.) I was working at a place that can be most accurately described as the publishing equivalent of a sweatshop. Low wages, little time off, abusive bosses. It had been two years since I had had a real vacation.
So when my friend Sabrina invited me to stay with her parents, who live in Panama, for a week, I jumped at the chance to hang with her AND do it in free accommodations.
I was SO stoked. Two long years and I was finally going to get the chance to park my ass on a beach and read like four whole books that didn't require me to edit them. And then a few days before my trip I was struck down with a cold. And it worsened...and worsened... I powered through, however, and got on the early flight to Panama, feeling sorry for my fellow passengers who had to listen to the nastiest cough I could remember in ages. I made it to Panama City, reunited with Sabrina, and we spent the evening with her parents and their friends in the city.
The next day, I woke up with such pain in my throat and fever in my body that I immediately began crying. And this was the day we'd be hitting up the rainforest and the Panama Canal. So I slammed back some Advil Cold & Sinus and powered through some more. I was glad I did. The Canal was...well, a canal, but I was glad to see it. The rainforest though was magnificent.
Following that, we took the two-hour drive south to Sabrina's parents' house, near a beachside club. I was deathly ill with what I imagined was the actual plague, but I did experience nearby hot springs, had some bomb-ass seafood, chilled on the beach and by the pool, visited the "disco," and did get to read those four books. When I returned home, I was promptly treated for a sinus infection and bronchitis. I also had an experience that was easily the crudest, most disgusting travel story I have in my repertoire. It's funny as hell, so maybe one day I'll write about it, but as of yet I'm not sure I'm ready for that kind of public self-mortification.
So in the meantime, enjoy some throwback photos of my time in Panama.