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Panamania Coffee, chocolate, flowers ... and a nice tan

The Fine Art of Procrastinating

USA | Friday, 30 December 2011 | Views [472]

Lennox the Red Somali is upset that he won't be going with us.

Nine days until I leave for Panama!

 As you can see from the photo above, I am nowhere near the point of packed for My Big Fantastic Central American Adventure. (Hey, it’s tough to track down all of those little travel-sized bottles, folks!) Bless my travel-savvy significant other, Steven, for getting this she-bang organized. He not only made all of the hotel reservations; he typed them into an Excel spreadsheet and emailed me a copy. Yes, really. It’s adorably engineer-ish of him — which, of course, he is. Given my (procrastinating) druthers, I would have simply booked the flight and played the whole hotel-finding bit by ear like I’ve always done before.

That would have been So. Very. Bad.

As it turns out, there’s a whole bunch of stuff going on in Panama in January that really draws out the tourists, like the Boquette Flower and Coffee Festival and the El Panama Jazz Festival, which are apparently big deals. Any halfway decent place of lodging (my definition: with a private bath) would have been booked. If we would have flown by the seat of our pants, we probably would have ended up in some dreadful hostel where we would have spent most of the day fretting about our belongings getting pilfered and wiping other travelers’ unmentionable body ick out of the sink.

So this will be my first official “organized” vacation since I did the senior-year-abroad in high school. I actually have places to be and things to see. Coffee, chocolate, flowers, water sports, and hopefully a lot of really good seafood will be involved. But I’m not going to give you my itinerary; that’ll be my surprise to you — my friends back home.

A few words about those weensy travel-sized toiletries: I don’t know why I bother. The goal is to use everything up by the end of the vacation, making the luggage a tad bit lighter. But I always end up running out of shampoo/toothpaste/antiperspirant halfway through the trip, at which point I end up purchasing a full size from a local drugstore and toting them home anyway.

Tags: austin, packing, panama, travel sized


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