Do any of you ever feel like you just need to up and GO? I've only been back in LA for ten days and I'm already bored. I love being home at the beach, sunset bike rides, my friends, and my neighborhood spots, but I'm afraid I'm infected with a serious case of the travel bug. I can't help but get bored and dream about the next places on my checklist. I've just booked myself an 8:30am flight to Denver tomorrow morning. I plan to take full advantage of my season pass, really work on my skiing and maybe even take a class or two with a coach (or just ski with my Dad as much as possible, same thing). Can't wait to rock my big fur coats, cozy knit leggings and snow boots!


This is so ridiculously simple that it's silly NOT to plant one every time you eat one. Here in Panama we've been eating them about every other day, so I've started a little pineapple garden on the side of the house. The great thing about pineapples is that they are really low-maintenance (totally my style), especially in a tropical setting like this with an abundance of rain, you barely even have to water them.  It baffles me how they form. I used to think they grew on trees or something. We once grew one at my mom's house in LA. It took roughly a year and a half or so before it was ready.  Now, as some of you may know I don't exactly have a green thumb (succulents, remember?) but you really can't mess this up.

Cut the top off, leaving maybe an inch or so of flesh.
Continue cutting as usual, but hey! Don't throw that out!
This sweet hat will magically transform into a brand new pineapple. Some people like to trim it and let it dry out for a few days, but you don't have to get that fancy. We just planted ours straight in the dirt and it worked out just fine.
Pick a nice spot in your yard with lots of sunlight. If you don't live in a place conducive to pineapple growing, just plant it in a pot and leave it by a window with plenty of sun. (note... I may have planted mine a bit close together)
Bury it up to its "neck", just covering the flesh of the fruit. The hole doesn't have to be so deep, just enough that the leaves stick out of the ground. Water it every few days, and within a year or two you'll have a beautiful sweet pineapple of your own!
Check back in 2 years to see how they turned out!

friends who travel like me

Hey friends! My friend Lizzie bought a one-way ticket to Panama and is documenting her travels on her blog theysometimescallmeverde. Click here for a funny account of our adventures on Contadora!

Also, Olivia is landing here at PTY tonight, I'm sure more fun will follow! Check her out at the nomadic files. (Boo! she missed her flight!)

better not miss!
they sometimes call her verde
practicing on working my charm on the panga driver. maybe he'll take us back to the city?


Long weekend in Panama for Dia de los Martires!  My friend Michelle invited us to her wonderful home in El Valle, a quaint town in the mountains. Her house is called Sans Souci, which roughly translates to "No Worries" in English, and that's exactly how you feel when you are there.  We were greeted by champagne in the jacuzzi, if that's any indication of how our weekend went.  The house is built on a hill, with a gorgeous terraced garden and an infinity pool trickling over a petrified wood waterfall, overlooking the tree tops.  Every morning, we enjoyed organic eggs from the coop on the property for breakfast.  We ventured to town to explore the farmer and artisan market and got a few things to take home to my kitchen. The clouds hang very low here and always give the place a mystical sort of quality.

We stopped at the beach on the way up and back into town, first at Malibu, and then Tits beach on the way back (that's right, Tits, the river there is called Rio Teta. Teta=Tits.)  On the Pacific side all the beaches have both black and white sand that create the most beautiful patterns when they mix together.

This is the India Dormida.  Legend has it, the chieftain's daughter fell in love with a Spanish conquistador, and as punishment she was sent up to the mountains, where she fell asleep and the mountain grew over her.

No trip to the beach is complete without a stop at Quesos Chela in Capira. This place is ALWAYS packed, and when you taste the empanadas de queso you'll understand.
heavenly, fluffy, crusty, melty, cheesy goodness...
Tits Beach


Bocas del Toro is a chain of islands on the Caribbean side of Panama, only 40 miles from the border of Costa Rica, and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country.  Christopher Columbus came here on his last trip in 1502. Today, most come for the surf and sun. There's a huge number of expats here (and who can blame them, I didn't want to leave either).  I actually remember surfing back home and talking to someone in the water who had set up a surf camp here. Bocas town is bustling, full of hostels, bars, restaurants. We stayed on Carenero, a calmer small island just across the way.

I had been told by many not to come for New Years because it gets too crowded.  Jill and Bill (our amazing hosts) kept going on about how many people were around, but to be honest I didn't think it was bad at all! I've spent New Years in places far more crowded. From experience, Floripa or St Barths are much more of a nightmare around this time. The only time it hit me was when the entire island ran out of eggs on New Years day.

Air Panama and Aeroperlas have multiple flights a day straight into Bocas town, or you can choose to go the long way and do what we did... drive! The 8-hour trip got pretty brutal at times, but we drove through the night and made it safe and sound. Panamanian directions make me laugh. It's not like in the States where you get on highway so and so and get off on exit 123 then make a right onto ABC blvd.  Here, you take the highway until it becomes a 2 lane road, then you make a right at the gas station that has good coffee, then you're gonna go down the really bumpy road, until you get to the fog, then pass the dam and make a left at the breakfast spot... That kinda thing. Nothing is marked, you just have to know where you're going.

We spent New Years day at Starfish beach, a beautiful stretch of sand with crystal clear lagoon-calm water, followed by sunset drinks, dancing, and laughs at Aqualounge on Carenero. Dinner was at the Cosmic Crab, a cute restaurant composed of tiny private bohios over the water.

orchid hunting and trekking through the jungle on Carenero...