ESCONCED AT THE PANAMONTE INN

BOQUETE

(Stupid) Jack, Alice! and I head to the hills, passing right by the turn-off to Hibiscus in our hurry. We double-back and catch the road with a slam of the brakes. The lane is narrow, twisting and dark. We strain to catch glimpses of Hibiscus signs to no avail. We dead-end. I lock Alice!’s doors. Barely managing to turn around in the tight space, we attempt another path, which delivers us more deeply into the woods. An angry german shephard chases us, barking loudly. A porchlight illuminates ominously. Someone is going to shoot at us any minute. We’re a half-hour late for our Hibiscus reservation now, so we blow it off in favor of a restaurant in town.

We are so Going To Get It from June and Larry when they find out!

At some point today Jane and Barry became June and Larry. It started off with my misspeaking, but then we derived such infantile pleasure from my bastardization of their names that the monikers stuck.

PANAMONTE INN AND SPA

The Panamonte Inn dining room is too brightly-lit and formal for our mood, but the bar is dim, cozy, and inviting.

Panamonte Inn Boquete

(Stupid) Jack volunteers that he returned to his cabin to find his belongings manhandled. The beers that we had purchased earlier — two Balboa and two Atlas — had been rearranged in his refrigerator: Atlas on the top door shelf; Balboa below, labels facing forward. My God.

Our server greets us.

“Do you know Price Peterson?” I ask him.

Of course I know Price Peterson!” Of course he does.

After a bottle of malbec, corvina ceviche and steaks our server asks if he can tempt us with the Panamonte Inn’s lemon pie we’ve been hearing/reading about. Why not?

“I thought you were hoping to lose five pounds on this trip?” chides (Stupid) Jack. He is referring to a comment I had made earlier in the trip. Yes, it was a girlie thing to say, but I am a girl.

Strike two.

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