Popayan and Sylvia, Colombia

We had gotten kind of used to getting quickly around and through the little Central American countries. Colombia is big, though, and we endured two days of bus travel to get to Popayan. After Popayan it was another day to Pasto and three hours to the Ecuador border. It was still worth it. Buses are cheap in Colombia, and we saved a bundle.

We stayed in Popayan and took a day trip to Sylvia. Popayan is mostly a historical city. It had many buildings from the 17th through 19th century, and of course newer ones, which got destroyed by an earthquake in the 1980’s. What you have now is an almost entirely reconstructed historical area. It’s nice, to be sure, but still looks a little fresh. When it gets dog-eared in about 100 years, it’ll look better.

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Popayan has no potential as a retirement destination. WAAAY too much traffic, though they are changing some of the streets over to pedestrian senderos.

About an hour away is lovely town called Sylvia. We went there for a weekly market where many traditionally dressed indigenous people buy and sell their produce and handicrafts.

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Here’s an overview and some of the bucolic surroundings.

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So, after that, we went to Ecuador. We’re in a northern town popular with expats and some tourists called Cotacachi. We’ve been here about 24 hours. So far so good. We’re in full getting-to-know-Ecuador mode. We’ve talked to a few expats already. Tomorrow, I’m having coffee with the couple who publish International Living magazine and website.  I’ll tell you how it’s going in the next entry.

Be well, all of you.

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Bogota, Colombia

We made short work of Colombia. By “short work” I don’t mean to short change the country. It just wasn’t our intention to stay long. If you’ve been reading along, you know it cost less than half to fly there from the US than to Ecuador. We only went to Bogota and the Popayan area before entering Ecuador.

We had heard Bogota was a pit. You could tell it had some bad areas and it’s not safe to go out late at night except on the main streets, but I think the average tourist isn’t going to experience any more problems there than in any other Latin American big city. The historical center is safe till about 10 PM, I think. That’s late enough for us, as we are usually in bed about then.

We spent four days there. One of them was basically getting over the 24 hour Oakland-LAX-Fort Lauderdale-Bogota plane ride. One day was a nice, free walking tour the tourism department takes you on, then walking around on our own. Another day was going to a couple of museums, And one day was going to an attraction called the Salt Cathedral.

Bogota isn’t particularly photogenic. Maybe if you hadn’t been to a number of Latin American cities or haven’t looked at colonial architecture in my many blog entries, it would be more interesting. It has your basic grand square with a church and some old government buildings.

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One of the best things about Bogota, is the museums are free or a dollar. One of the museums is called the Botero Museum after a famous artist of that name. Part of the good part of the museum is the museumm itself. Here’s the courtyard.

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That’s going to be it for this city of several million. Despite this short shrift, it is okay.

Out of town about an hour is the Salt Cathedral. Now, if you have ever been to Ellora or Ajanta in India, this is barely a roadside attraction. You can go to November, 2006 in this blog or type “Ellora” in the search box to see what I mean. Better still, google it and Ajanta. In any case, you can appreciate the effort that went into carving Christian prayer halls out of this salt mountain. Here’s a couple of pictures to give you the idea.

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In Ellora, that herald angel would have been carved in situ from the stone the whole hall was carved out of. This one was sculpted in Italy and placed here.

That’s going to be it for Bogota. it was good to know ya. On to Popayan…

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Stockton, Yosemite and Locke, California, USA

I grew up in Stockton, spent three summers there after high school, and looked after my elderly dad and his wife there between 2000-2006. It was after that when I left for the travels documented in this blog. I always go there when I’m back in the States. My brother, Bill, and his wife, Rita, live there. Here they are at our wedding.

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On our way over, we stopped in Locke, an old town that used to be a Chinese settlement. The word “Locke” is an Anglicization of the Mandarin word for “Happy House”. They moved there after building the most difficult section of the first railroad across the United States in the 1860’s. There are still Chinese around there, but it is nothing like the ghetto it was.

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IMG_7742This building was about to collapse more than 40 years ago. How does it stay up?

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Stockton isn’t very photogenic. To me, the main things to do there are go to the museum and see the first Caterpillar tractors Benjamin Holt invented and built there in the 1920’s. The other thing is the Cambodian Buddhist temple. It’s been growing, little by little, for about 12 years.

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One good thing about Stockton is it’s close to a lot of things. San Francisco is a couple of hours away. Sacramento is an hour away. The Sierra Nevada mountain range is just to the east. Southeast of Stockton by a couple of hours is Yosemite National Park. Myung and I went with Bill on a day trip. At this time of the year, it isn’t very crowded, even on the valley floor. Here are some of our pictures. Note how dry it is. California is in the midst of it’s worst drought in recorded history. We would have taken pictures of the famous waterfalls, but they were bone dry.

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I’ve never seen the meadows when they weren’t green. This year they are brown. The Merced River is usually a torrent. This year you could walk across on the rocks. Mirror Lake is a sand pit.

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Yup, that’s Mirror Lake.

That’s going to do it for our month in California. As always, there is so much I could have put in, so much we could have done.    Next time.

We’re in Colombia now. We spent a few days in Bogota, then went to Popayan in the south. By the day after tomorrow, we will be in Ecuador. It was always our intention to not linger in Colombia this time. It was just the cheap destination from the States. I’m sure we’ll come back. I should get a blog entry about our brief time in Colombia within a few days.

Until then, be well, all of you.

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Bay Area, California

This is going to be pictures and babble about Marin County and the East Bay, both before and after the wedding.

Let’s start with Marin County, the area on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Myung had heard of Sausalito from a Korean movie, so we went there as soon as we picked up a rental car in San Rafael. Sausalito becomes more touristy all the time, but it’s a pleasant place to walk around.

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It’s famous for it’s houseboats, most of which are attached to the bottom and can be very luxurious.

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The view across the Golden Gate to San Francisco is nice.

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From there, it’s a couple of miles drive up to the Marin headlands, most famous for this shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Just a couple more miles along the coast, there is Point Bonita lighthouse.
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Looking north from there, the coastline picks up where it left off south of the urban part of the Bay Area. There’s a lot of this between just north of Los Angeles and the Oregon border.

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It was actually a couple weeks later when we went back to Marin and went to Green Gulch Zen Buddhist Center, Point Reyes and Mount Tamalpais.

Green Gulch is a very sweet place not that many people have visited. It’s off Hwy 1 between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach. (More on that later). The San Francisco Zen Center acquired the land as a gift from the Land’s, as in Polaroid-Land Camera, who were Buddhist. It’s turned into a Zen Center and working farm. It supports itself, in part, from the farm. As you would expect, it’s a working Zen Center, and has the feel of that.

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Here’s the meditation hall. Renowned Buddhists from around the world and a lot of practitioners gather there every Sunday.

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Like I said, it’s a farm, too.

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You can walk right down to Muir Beach on their property, though at this time the trail is closed during the day for creek restoration.

From there, we headed for Stinson Beach where very kind friends, Eileen and Marty, let us stay in their second home. Stinson is beautiful and popular. What a great place to chill out for a few days!

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One day, we took a day trip out to Point Reyes. It’s also very well known to almost everyone from Northern California.

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There used to be millions of tule elk in California. Now, the survivors are kept in preserves except for a couple of hundred who roam the Point Reyes area and are in a reserve on the north side. These are free range elk.

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Oyster farming is popular around there and Tomales Bay. There was a lot of controversy over this little operation, called Drakes Bay Oysters. The government owns the land on Point Reyes, and they shut it down. Now, there is still a very minimal operation still going on. This is all of it.

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There is a lighthouse at the end of Point Reyes.

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From Stinson, where we were staying, there are two basic ways to get back to the East Bay. We went there via Hwy 1, and returned over Mount Tamalpais. there are good views from there. Here’s the look back down to Stinson.

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We spent most of our time in the Bay Area in the East Bay, where Oakland and Berkeley are. This is the area I lived for two decades and where I would call home if I had to call anywhere in Callifornia home. There are many photoworthy spots, but I’m just going to skip over those pictures and wind this entry up with a few pictures of “Friday Night at the Oakland Museum”. Every Friday evening, there is a street fair and free museum entry there. We went and socialized with my (now our) friends.

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IMG_7931 This was sort of our send-off, as it was just before we left for Colombia. In between Marin and our last weekend in the East Bay was a few days in Stockton,  and going to Yosemite National Park. Coming up next is about that.

For me, this was a special time. Not only did Myung and I officially tie the knot, but I have never seen almost everybody I still know in one place. Despite being a confirmed expat, there is a sense of loss over leaving my past behind.. Being with them, reconnecting, enjoying their help and genuine warm feelings made me feel like Myung and I aren’t totally alone in the world. I guess it will always feel like “home” for me, no matter where we go.

I want to give special thanks to Mary, Roz and Jesus, Guiseppi and Cornelia, Lorenzo, and Eileen, who made our experience so heartwarming. They know what they did.

 

 

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San Francisco, California

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I didn’t know where to start blogging about the Bay Area, nor even how much to blog, given how familiar many of you are with it. I decided to start with San Francisco itself.  I already posted one entry today, and I think I can crank this one out in pretty short order. Everyone has heard about it and seen pictures of the most famous places, so I can just post the pictures with a minimum of verbiage.

Here’s the first picture Myung took when we got off the Bay Bridge from Oakland.

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The first thing we did, semi-unintentionally, was walk along the waterfront by AT&T Park, home of my favorite baseball team, the Giants.

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How about cable car pictures? We didn’t ride on one ourselves when we were sightseeing over there.

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How about Lombard Street? Its popular to drive down the “crookedest street in America”.

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How about the Palace of Fine Arts?
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How about Golden Gate Park?

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…and the De Young Art Museum there…

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…and the Japanese Tea garden? It now costs $8 to go in there. We passed on that.

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How about Pier 39, the sea lions which used to be a nuisance until they became a tourist attraction, and Myung enjoying a clam chowder in a bread bowl?

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That’s going to be about it for San Francisco. I’m going to spare you many pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge amd some other stuff. The last picture I want to post is one of my niece, Emily, and her daughter, Cora. They live in the City with her husband, Kenneth, and their son, Lucas. I had never seen Cora before, as Emily was still pregnant with her when I was in the States last time. We had to leave a little suddenly as we were wrapping up the visit anyway, and forgot to get a new picture of Kenneth and Lucas. Sorry, you guys.

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Up the California Coast

We headed up the coast from Los Angeles. Malibu is world famous so, like good tourists, we snapped a few pictures and continued on.

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Myung has a friend in Santa Maria, Jasmine. We visited with her and her husband and stayed the night in their home.

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She put on a nice Korean feed for us. Well, it was kinda mixed cuisine. At any rate, it was hecka better than the Korean restaurant in Koreatown, LA.

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The full day we stayed with them, they took us to nearby Avila Beach. Harford Pier there is a good place to look at seals and sea lions. We neglected to bring our camera with us, so this picture from Jasmine’s phone is all we have. Trust me, though, it was good seal viewing from three meters away.

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I was always telling Myung that the US Pacific coast is still alive with wildlife. Not quite all the birds, animals and and sea life has been eaten, like in much of the word, particularly Asia. Further up the coast, we were at I forgot which beach. There were hundreds, at least, of sea gulls and pelicans. Actually, that was about the most pelicans I’ve ever seen in one place. The photos of any quality we have is mostly sea gulls, but you’ll get the picture.

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Myung was giddy with excitement when she could walk right out among them and capture her experience when they finally took to flight at her presence. It was a swirl of birds all around her. I wish I had a picture of her in bird tornado, her mouth open, firing away with the camera.

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When you know a place, you know there is so much to see and do. This happened as we went up the coast. We wanted to get to the Bay Area in a couple of days, so we hit the highlights. The next highlight was Hearst Castle. Everyone from California knows this place. For those who don’t, William Randolph Hearst was a media mogul in the 20’s till the 40’s. Over a number of years in the late 20’s and 30’s, he had built a splendid estate in the hills overlooking the Pacific. Now it’s a state park.

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On the slopes down to the ocean, he had herds of animals from around the world.
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Care for a swim? There was a Roman bath outside, too, but it’s a construction site right now. It was in disrepair and leaking water terribly during the drought in California at this time.

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You can see clips from then in a movie they show there. Hearst invited everybody who was anybody to come up. Movie stars, corporate figures, artists. royalty, you name it, all sat around together at the banquet table or pools. This is a diving platform. Picture the pretty starlets of the era taking a plunge.

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The photos from inside are pretty bad.

Next up the coast is the beautiful Big Sure area. It’s all nice, but this is the most famous. As you saw in the bird pictures, it was foggy and drizzly, so these aren’t exactly postcard quality.

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Again, here is a famous spot, familiar to many if not most Californians. It’s the view from Nepenthe Inn (or is it “Lodge”?). It’s THE place to stop, sit on the deck or in the inside restaurant having a cappuccino or glass of wine and some food, and gather in the view.

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Here are good birds up to the left of the people.

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Movin’ right along, next up is Monterey (spelled differently than Monterrey, Mexico). Monterey Bay is a lovely protected area, teeming with fish seals, sea otters, birds, and everything else you might want to see but is nearly gone from many areas. The coastline is beautiful and the aquarium is world class. One could spend days there. We spent one day. Most of the pictures Myung took are of or from the aquarium.

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Forgive me for boring those of you who have been there a number of times. I like these pictures.

One of the main attractions is the sea otters. Once thought to have been hunted to extinction for their fur (They are unafraid of humans) there are now about 2700 left. The aquarium has a number of rescued otters. The thing to do at the aquarium is to watch them at feeding time.

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They are plentiful out in the Bay. There’s a deck to look at them and the seals and sea lions frolicking in the kelp beds. This park ranger was telling me that the otter population has stopped increasing because they are getting toxoplasmosis probably from kitty litter entering the ecosystem. Amazing, if that’s the case. Kitty litter is an infinitesimal amount of the waste draining into the ocean. There’s a lesson in that, eh?

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Somebody with a good telephoto lens could get this picture of kayakers getting up close to a couple of otters lounging on their backs in the kelp bed. It’s a little distant for Myung’s camera.

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Here’s the street outside the aquarium.

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That whole area is nice, but we didn’t hang around. We did the driving loop around Pebble Beach and headed up to the Bay Area. Next entry is about being tourist there, before and after our wedding. I’m going to post this and get that one up in the next day or two. In real time, we are currently in Popoyan, Colombia. We made a two day forced march south to here from Bogota, and plan to chill here for at least a couple of days. So, I should be able to post about the rest of our time in California.

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Los Angeles, California, USA

Besides getting married in Oakland, Myung and I were total tourists for much of the month we were there. Some of the things we saw I had seen once or twice, some many times, and couple of things, never. Myung, however, had never been to the US. It was fun to take her around. It felt like a honeymoon, really, starting two weeks before we actually got married.

Bear with me while I write and show pictures of things many of you have seen many times and know all about.

We spent three days in Los Angeles. LA is a huge place with many things to see and do, though the vibe there does little for me. Our agenda was to visit with my niece, Anne, and her family, take in a Dodger baseball game, visit Koreatown, and maybe something else without lingering long.

The first thing we did was the Dodger game because the Korean player, Hyun Jin Ryu, was supposed to pitch. They changed the rotation and Zach Greinke pitched instead, but we had fun. Myung likes baseball. I have been to hundreds of games and may ballparks, but never Dodger stadium, so it was fun for me, too. Here is Greinke warming up in the bullpen before the game, and Dan Haren and Clayton Kershaw looking on, sort of. Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball.

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Here is the birdseye view of the field from the cheapo nosebleed seats we had behind the plate.

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That evening and again before we left, we went to Koreatown. Although it is actually quite a large area and has a genuine Korean character, it is not photoworthy. We had a respectable dinner there and looked in some stores selling Korean products. Nothing special. Myung feels the same. She’s not the type who needs to hang out with other Koreans. If someone else did, and they wanted to be in LA, that might be a place to live. Bring money if you want to buy anything from Korea there. Think 1000% markup.

The next day was the real reason we lingered in La before going north. I wanted to visit my niece, Anne, her husband, Nico, and their new son, Zachary. Here they are:

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I really looked forward to spending some hours with them. The last time I was in the US in December 2012 was to go to their wedding. Their plate was full then, for obvious reasons. Plus, I’ve been out of the US for 8 years, except for a few months here and there, while she’s been in LA, where I never go. And even when we were both in Northern California, she was in high school, more than 20 years ago. We had a nice day, visiting in their home for a while, then walking around with the pram and going out to lunch. For a 6 week old, Zachary travels well. Suffice it to say, we enjoyed out time with them.

They live in Venice, which is a small beach town adjacent to LA. We didn’t take any pictures of them during our walk around Venice, but we have pics of Venice, one of the fun places in the LA area. It’s named Venice because of it’s vague resemblance to Venice, Italy. It has many canals and is on the sea, in this case, of course, the Pacific Ocean. Unlike Venice, Italy, the canal area is neighborhoody, though obviously not a World Heritage site.

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The seashore is definitely not like Venice, Italy. It’s a semi-fun, borderline grotesque tourist haven, for the most part. That said, you can block that out and focus toward the ocean. The beach is contiguous with more beach with different names, like Santa Monica beach to the north.

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Off the beach is weird fun.

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The weirdest of all there is the unabashed display of narcissism at an open air body building gym. I’m told some of these cats have been showing off here for years.

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LA can be about it’s own brand of weird. Anne loves it there, even though she isn’t weird. Me? I prefer Bay Area weird. For those of you not familiar with the US, LA or the Bay Area, you just gotta go there for a while to know what I’m talking about.

I’m going to break up the California travelogue into three chunks. That’s going to be it for this one. Coming up maybe even later today will be our drive up the coast.

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Our Wedding

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Just in case you didn’t know, Myung and I came to America and got married. Besides us loving each other, there are other reasons I wrote about in previous entries. You can go back a couple of entries ago and read all about it.

I won’t bury you in photos. Here are some we like. I’ll just go in chronological order. This first one is at a little rehearsal happy hour we had a a restaurant by the Berkeley Pier. Here’s the side of the restaurant and the view.

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I’ve known these people for over 30 years, except Brian on the far left who I’ve only known 20 years, and of course Myung who I’ve known 7 years.

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As I wrote before, we originally planned to only get quietly hitched. Many people wanted to share our moment, though, so it became a genuinely heartwarming event.

Roz and her husband, Jesus, are a couple who contributed greatly to our experience. Not only did they invite us to stay at their place for several days, Roz made a wedding cake. The cake says “Congratulations” in Korean.

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Actually, that last one was at the dinner after the ceremony. So much for chronological order.

The day before the ceremony, we put on our best wedding clothes for Roz to take pictures outside her home. We like this one.

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Here come the wedding photos. The room where they marry you has a simple setup. The commissioner who performed the ceremony was nice, and good at walking people through, even though they haven’t planned anything.

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Here we are posing right after the deed.

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Here are the people who came to the ceremony. We were pleased they made the effort to come, even though the ceremony took maybe 10 minutes. They are, left to right, my great friend Mary, Fred from my old men’s group, Jesus, Frank Daar from the men’s group, Cornelia wife of Giuseppe from my men’s group, my sister-in-law Rita, me, my brother Bill, Myung, Giuseppe, Roz, Liam the son of Frank Holden, Frank H., and his wife Chris.

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Right afterward, outside the front door, we posed with my brother and his wife.

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About 25 people joined us for dinner at my favorite barbecue place, Everett and Jones BBQ in Oakland. I was really looking forward to this, and it camae off well. Here are pictures from in there.

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Cornelia took a video of the ceremony on her smart phone. I’m trying to figure out how to let you see it. My blog host can’t handle anything that big, and when I tried to copy and paste the URL, the video itself tries to appear. If I figure it out, I’ll post it later.

I’m going to keep this entry short and to the point. We did lots of stuff around the San Francisco Bay Area while we were there. The next entry will be about that. Meanwhile, right now we are in transit (Fort Lauderedale, to be exact) to Bogota, Colombia.

Be well. all of you.

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Panama City

Hi y’all. We left Panama yesterday and are now hanging out in Alajuela until we leave for the States on Friday. Nothing much left for us to do now, so here is the second and last blog about Panama.

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After spending 10 days or whatever it was in Boquete, we spent another week or so in the capital. No more tropical beaches for us, at least for a while. Actually, the only pressing desire I had was to see the Panama Canal. I might as well get right to that.

For those of you who don’t know, construction of the Canal was started by the French in 1881, they gave up in 1904 due to engineering problems and high mortality from diseases like malaria. The US took over in 1904 and, with mostly West Indies labor who continued to suffer greatly, it was completed in 1914. Panama took over canal operations and had the Canal Zone returned to them in 1999. Panama is having a big 100 year anniversary now.

As interesting as going to watch the ships use the locks to rise or fall to the level of the sea on the other side was all this history and pictures. It’s really quite amazing the project was pulled off at all, given the technology of the day. The Chinese will have a much easier go of it in Nicaragua. It sure won’t take 33 years to build this time.

Here are some pics. The ships are pulled along by “mules” on rails on either side. It’s really very simple, in principle. The main area for viewing the goings on is the Miraflores Lock visitors center. That’s where these were taken.

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By the way, there’s a modern lock system being constructed along side of here which will accomodate larger ships.

We went to the old city, as all good tourists do. They are working hard to turn it into a good tourist destination. One place the tourists all see is the fish market. It’s sort of like how Cannery Row in Monterrey, California was until about 50 years ago. It’s still functioning and it’s popular to have fish meals at the many outdoors restaurants around it.

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It may be only a matter of time before all this is moved outside the center of downtown. Beyond this area is the new town.

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Looking to the left is a modern plaza.

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Behind is the old town which is rapidly being gentrified from slum to snazzy tiourist destination and center for many goverment offices.

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When you walk around the old town, you see a mix of very old, as in 16th century…

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…to more modern, renovated…

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…to nicely maintaned, privately owned…

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…to shabby.

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I’m sure you won’t be able to recognize the place in five years.

Myung is the people pictures photographer. It’s generally safe to take pictures of Panamanian kids. One day she went somewhere around the old city and there as a cultural festival going on. Many in Panama are still the real deal, and most are only a generation or two removed.

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That’s going to do it for now. I’ll write when we’re in the US, maybe after we’ve done a few things and before we get married on the 19th. Until then, be well all of you.

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Boquete, Panama

Getting to Boquete from southeastern Costa Rica was a breeze. We had some trepidation crossing the border because the guy who owned the land and hostal on the Osa Peninsula said we could cross without an onward ticket, that all we had to do was get one of those American Airlines 24 hour holds and show it to immigration and they wouldn’t know the difference between that and a ticket. I was thinking, oh right, like the immigration guy doesn’t know that trick. Well, either he didn’t know or he didn’t care, because we breezed in with it. Or maybe he figured if we would try that, we would certainly be able to buy a refundable ticket and show him that before we cancelled it. The whole thing is stupid.  You can do the refundable ticket thing and get into the US, too.

Anyway, it’s only about three hours from the border to Boquete, via Panama’s second biggest city, David, which has a hundred and something thousand people. So, voila, we got there in the early evening.

It was nice to be back up at 1500 meters elevation where it’s not hot. At this point, we’re just cooling our jets and waiting till it’s time to go to the States. We figured to hang out there for at least a week, cool off and let our mosquito bites go away. Turned out, we had to stay over a week because my ATM card pin was stolen. That’s a major problem in Boquete. There are many foreigners and the thieves have that card they can put in the machine and recover the PIN from the previous user. It took about 10 days to get my new card from Citibank. As I said, though, it wasn’t a problem because we were planning to hang out there anyway.

Boquete is a nice place, for sure, but after Costa Rica, it was sort of not as good. It’s quite developed, so there isn’t much funkiness. and the wild areas aren’t as wild as some of Costa Rica. There are some wild parts of Panama, especially in the east as you near the Colombia border, but not so much around Boquete. And, the mountainous spine of Central America peters out there, East of Boquete, Panama is all low tropics.

We didn’t do much while we were there. The hostal was very comfortable and quiet, except for the river running behind it. Our place is the one on the left and our room faced the river on the second floor.IMG_5961

Here’s the view the other way from ground level.

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Another creek runs through town.

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There are more indigenous people who still wear traditional clothes than in Costa Rica. In general, Panama has more of that than Costa Rica. You might think because the Canal Zone was governed for so long by America, and there is a lot of wealth from that to be shared among a couple of million Panamanians, that Panama would have lost that, but it hasn’t (yet).

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I just put this in because I like the picture and it reminds me how much especially Myung likes rembutans, which are a kind of lychee. I thought Thailand was the rembutan center of the universe, but I now think Costa Rica/Panama is, except here they call it mamoncillo.

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One of the nice things to do around Boquete is go to some hot springs about 45 minutes away by bus, plus about a 45 minute walk. It costs $2 each way on the bus and $2 more to get in because they are on private property. It’s basic, but well worth practically no money. there are two places where the spring has been dug out and surrounded by rocks.

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There are many hikes up and near the Baru Vocano. One popular one is the Trail of the Quetzales. Honestly, we’ve been in Central America for over a year and have not seen a quetzal. Oh well. We have many photos of yet another forest hike. Here are a couple. (Yes, that’s real bug in the top left.)

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Actually, that was kind of a hard walk. Steep up and down in many places for about 14 km. After coming down on the other side of the mountain, it was still three hours on two buses to get back to Boquete.

I don’t have much else to say about Boquete. It was mostly about hanging out. Hey, there were a couple of good supermarkets, a fine bakery, and some nice restaurants. The kitchen was good where we stayed. What else do you need?

As soon as my card came, we left for Panama City, where we are now. I don’t know if we will stay here till we return to Costa Rica to fly out on Sept 5. In any case, I’ll have another post before we go.

Be well, all of you.

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