As Tom and I have not had a house for the past 6 months we have not had much experience with things that used to be commonplace. Like gas and electric bills, soap scum on the bathtub (or even bathtubs), keys, getting to walk around nekkid when no one is home, checking the mail or house guests.
Though we traveled with some friends from the States for a few weeks there was less of a burden to entertain as we were all just kind of cruising together. We were free to complain about the standard of food or the comfort of beds without feeling personally responsible for them.
Now that we (at least temporarily) have a home we also have keys and guests once again, though still no soap scum on bathtubs. Outdoor jungle showers are pretty self-cleaning and the shampoo ginger plants which have become my number one beauty product don’t leave any residue.
We eased back into entertaining, inviting the neighbors over for dinners, drinks or game nights, constantly apologizing and worrying that we weren’t “doing it” right. I am not quite sure what “It” even is. Being adequate hosts I guess. Luckily it quickly came back to us and we were soon ensuring that drinks or conversations did not run dry.
By the time our first visitor Shawna got here we were back in the swing of things. Luckily the boat was also back into the swing of things as well. The week before Shawna had gotten here I got to truly appreciate having a boyfriend who is an ex-paddler when our quick trip to town turned into a trip out to the middle of the bay, and then a slow row back home 🙂
I used to love it when people would visit in San Diego, it was a great opportunity to proudly show off my lovely hometown as if I had a hand in it’s making. “Oh the roses in Balboa Park, those old things? I just whipped those up” or pretending to be blase about seeing dolphins in La Jolla “Yeah torrey pines is ok, we basically see dolphins here like every day”.
Taking Shawna around Bocas del Toro in Cricket (the boat that thankfully got fixed right before she arrived) has been like that- times a million. On her first morning here we got to draw her attention to the sloth in a tree about 10 feet away from our deck. And then take her for a walk around the grounds to collect fruit and flowers. Did I mention that we live in a jungle? No big deal.
We spent the week hiking through jungles to get to palm fringed beaches, and remote Thai food restaurants, walking around acres of jungle, snorkeling in technicolor reefs, visiting the neighbor’s organic chocolate farm and going out to ladies Mah-Jong, complete with free-flowing wine and a skinny dip off the dock.
We have seen and enjoyed more of Bocas than we had for the first three weeks we were here put together. It is amazingly easy to think (wherever you are) “Oh we live here, we have plenty of time to see and do everything, we have work to do” while putting off exploring your surroundings as avidly as a tourist. This is so important to do, whether your surroundings include wild cacao trees and bananas or not!
Shawna’s trip is drawing to a close, and we once again feel confident that we have not forgotten how to be hosts, or how to enjoy our trip as if it was still our first week on it.
Mermaid unicorns? Oh, those are like rampant here, we barely even notice them anymore.