I will humbly admit it has been an extraordinary amount of time since I had last posted and I’ve got a lot to catch you up on. However, its become daunting to even think about how much has happened since Scott (Mr. Hoes if you forgot) and I put 95% of our belongings into storage and packed the remaining into a couple of suitcases.  Since we were dropped off at hotel near O’Hare in August, we have had a couple of kinks, and I may have aged a couple of years in the process, but it has been well worth it.

All I need in the world (I'm allowing myself this one moment, or any moment when Peaches is mentioned, to being sentimental)

3 Week Tour before even arriving in Panama City Panama 

Stop 1 for less than 24 hrs: 500 lbs of luggage= Dresses, shirts, Cardrunners gear, a HUGE computer monitor, and a computer tower dropped off in Pittsburgh.

After a lovely dinner at Bravo! with the Augustines’ of Pittsburgh we headed back to bed for an early night because we were suppose to catch a MegaBus the next morning to D.C. to visit Scott’s ADORABLE niece.

Stop 2: Down to 2 carry on bags so not to be stopped by TSA....again. Bus missed due to rain and we find ourselves searching for a rental place in Pittsburgh at around 7 a.m.

Once we successfully arrived in D.C. (by car instead of by bus and only by the skin of our teeth thankfully because Mr. Hoes drank enough Coke Zero to fuel a machine) we settled into what we thought would be a carefree weekend – Hurricane Irene arrived shortly after. We had spent the day at Busch Gardens (AMAZING except for the pasta in the cafeteria) and, after drifting into some semblance of sleep, we heard (and felt) a tree crash through all three stories of his brother’s house. Resulting in this:

Suddenly moving to Panama seemed like the safer choice

I was happily selected to watch Baby Augustine instead of being on clean-up duty. After jumping between hotels for a couple of days we headed west!

Lucky for us my Dad, Step Mom, and their four children are entertaining because otherwise its a long ways to go for a pretty view and a collection of interesting folks.

Northern Idaho. You can see Canada in this photo for those looking to flee. "God's Country" -Dad

We stayed with my Dad for a week to enjoy the festivities of my cousin’s wedding. My father’s cousin and life-long best friend from Iowa also arrived with his wife.  There are few people, including myself, that could ever keep up with my family when it comes to finishing off the booze:

In his own words "TOUCHDOWN IOWA"!

After enjoying the sights of Northern Idaho we ventured back to Pittsburgh to spend some time with Scott’s parents, attend a Pirates game, and figure out how to get ourselves down to four pieces of luggage and four carry-ons. We needed to go this far:

My spanish isn't good enough to explain how far that is.

Amazingly we got that far and so did our luggage (including the monitor and tower with no damage). We arrived at night and were escorted to our temporary three week apartment by a private driver hired by the real estate broker. He was a perfectly nice driver who insisted that taking a taxi in Panama is equal to playing Russian roulette and humbly recommended that he provide us with all our transportation needs. Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he wasn’t a ponzi scheme either.

Over the next few days as we were trying to get a notion of how Panama City is laid out, we avoided taking cabs despite the heat and jungle rains (I never knew it could lighting when its totally sunny and not raining!). Lucky for us the online poker community, like the american juggalos, helped us connect with a pair of aces (sorry…had too). Martin and Brenda, he an online poker player and she a national singing treasure, have welcomed us into their home, showed us around town, and have been our go-to for information since as early as June for things like learning how to properly take a cab (it is an art form here) or how to find your way around a city that doesn’t name its streets. Thank goodness for friendly people; this transition would have been much more difficult without this top pair (shameless).

You should for sure check out Brenda’s youtube clips of her singing in Spanish, Chinese and English. I can’t even sing in gibberish.

Finally, here are some general photos of us in Panama and a poster put up in our new neighborhood to give you a feeling of the flair around town.

I'll trust any figure floating along the express way in Panama.

Our first apartment was in an area of town that wasn’t very good for folks who don’t have a car, although it did have an ocean view. We ended up moving to an amazing apartment in the El Cangrejo that has a view of the rainforest which isn’t to shabby. Our building is brand new, which sounds like that wouldn’t be an issue, but in a city that literally has no addresses it gets interesting explaining to the cable guys where to find the new white apartment building just off to the right of the statue of the Einstein head near the Meat House.

Mr. Hoes in his new hat. Thats "old town" behind him. We had just come from the public fish market-not recommended if you have a weak stomach. We purchased green peppers which I still can't bring myself to cook.

the Pocket Queen in her new hat. Thats the newer Panama City behind me.

P.S. The local cable company isn’t playing reruns of Brothers & Sisters, so I blog while making homemade hummus without a blender. I realized that prior to blenders all human food must have looked like cat food.

P.S.S. Normally I mention more of online poker news but lately the roller coster has driven me to the point of hysteria and I am happy to continue singing French Revolutionary songs to myself. I’ve posted news articles for updates under the Laymen Online Poker News page and very much relate to this twoplustwo post…