Christmas in Bocas Del Toro

We had decided that it would be nice to spend the holidays in a small town like Bocas Del Toro. The San Blas Islands were beautiful, and we really enjoyed them, but a touch of civilization seemed like a nice idea for partying and celebrating. The marina has organized a number of events and the whole town seems to be alive with the holiday spirit.

We had the forethought when we left San Diego to bring along a tiny tree and some decorations which she spent the afternoon setting up. This is our second Christmas on the boat, and, as last year, we also put up a string of lights on a front halyard. It was nice to see RHAPSODY lit up in the night and to come home to the pretty scene inside.

We watched the town Parade one night at Captain Tutix. As we were up on stage playing and during our breaks, people were streaming by, going out of town towards the airport. There were families with kids in tow, older children obviously dressed up for something, and teenagers in twos and threes making their way somewhere. But the most interesting thing were the cars and SUVs that passed by sporadically, covered with Christmas lights and decorated with ornaments and even Christmas Trees.

Then, after a while, the flow out of town trickled and a bunch of fireworks were set off, and the parade began, this time making it's way past Captain Tutix in a more organized and noisy fashion. The cars and buses a lit up, honking their horns, sometimes with kids riding on them, throwing candy out the window to the people lining the street. The high school drum corps, pounding away, thundered by, as did apparently the mayor. The town Firetruck was decorated and lumbered by as well, occasionally giving a brief blast of his siren. It was great fun to see the town contribute to itself, as about half the residents were in the parade, while the other half were watching!

On Christmas day we attended a Potluck Dinner and Yankee Swap gift exchange at the marina. The marina provided the turkeys and stuffing and all the marina residents and boats at anchor brought dishes and deserts of all kinds. The turkey came out tender and sweet, the dressing and gravy were great, and the variety and quality of the many potato, salad, and vegetable side dishes was astounding. For desert there were all kinds of cakes and pies, to which we added a batch of home made Snickerdoodle Christmas Cookies and a wonderful store bought Christmas bread as our contribution. We went to a Potluck last year at Philo's in La Cruz, and there's definitely something special about this kind of a group holiday dinner where many people's different favorite dishes are mixed in with the traditional Christmas Feast.

Mmmmm mmmm mmmm. Delicious!

Finally, on December 27th, after Christmas, the marina had it's big Boat Parade. All of the waterfront restaurants were jam packed with people lined up to see the boats stream by, lit up by dozens of strings of lights and tons of other decorations.

Decorating Rhapsody
Parade in Town
Potluck Dinner
Boat Parade