Monday, February 9, 2009

Testimonial to Our Great Hosting Skills!

Leena & Mall in the good old days - prior to the taxi ride!

When we sent our guests, Mall and Leena, off to the airport at 7:30 a.m., there did not seem to be very many cabs about. So, when a cab came by, and it turned out to be a pickup, that was also a crew cab taxi, I flagged it down. Mary Ann when she looked at it says, “Maybe we should wait for another taxi”, Mall says, “oh no problem” and they pile in. And thus the story unfolds:

Dear Tom and Mary Ann -

I'm a bit overwhelmed with the mail on my desk, in my computer and in voice messages - all wanting responses. So this is a very quick, but heartfelt note to thank you for a wonderful week in Panama. I can't believe how quickly the time passed!

And thank you for the memorable send off. It couldn't have been scripted more perfectly. We piled into our yellow pickup truck, remembering Mary Anne's protestations that we should secure a "regular" taxi. It was an adventure! Mall and I are convinced that this particular driver hasn't made many airport trips. Fortunately we were reverse commuters (that doesn't mean he spent a lot of time in reverse, but he certainly seemed to weigh that option accessing the toll road) and traffic in our direction was relatively light. After lots of horn honks (at us) and rumbling over many of the yellow road bumps, and slow downs along the shoulder of the road, we were on the toll road headed in the right direction - Mall with her eyes closed (the wind whipping her freshly coiffed hair into her face and eyes and the fear of a contact lens being flicked from an eye a genuine concern; plus she couldn't see anyway because the line paint on the front windshield was so low); I was snuggled in the back between the 2 suitcases noting there was no dial on the speedometer (not that it mattered anyway). We were able to ask "how much" for the fare by drawing a dollar sign with a question mark - $25.
We truly hoped he was able to pick up another fare for his trip back to the city. Mall had the most astonishing comb over (I'm sorry there's no picture; I almost hated giving her my brush, but then again I was being seen with her.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We arrived in Houston a little early, easily cleared customs and settled into our seats for Seattle. Both flights (Panama City to Houston and Houston to SEA) were packed. I left Mall at SeaTac and got home before 7PM with a happy husband and to an equally happy dog. I must confess I was in bed between 8:30 and 9; woke at 3 but managed to sleep a little longer and got up 5:45 this morning. It's a nice day - supposed to reach 50.

Hopefully you have, or are recovering from our visit. I can't believe how much we were able to do (and actually how much there was to do) in a week. Thank you so much!

When it begins to rain, which it is supposed to do tomorrow, I'll be thinking of you basking in the 90 degree sunshine, feet up, having taken a dip in the pool, with your rum drinks in hand!

Truly – Leena DerYuen

Hi Tom & Mary Ann – Thank you for a wonderful week – it really was fun – you are such great hosts!

I am wading through my 264 emails before I get to the piles of paper mail stacked on my desk (but only 7 voicemails), but I in getting Leena’s email I thought I had better pause to say thank you and to add my two cents on the taxi ride. As Leena said, getting to the airport truly was an adventure.

I was too tall to be able to see through the front windshield as the top half was painted with an opaque paint so I just saw the area immediately in front of the cab – lots of close up views of bumpers – but even if every car and truck hadn’t blared their horn at us as they careened by too close for comfort, I could tell we weren’t supposed to be stopped on the area striped with yellow and having hobnail style bumps for emphasis, but we were finally able to get onto the exit ramp. But, after going through all that effort to get on that road, the driver decided that it wasn’t where he wanted to be, but totally undaunted and without a perceptible change of speed, we drove over the curb, through the median and then lurched down the other curb into the lane of traffic. But, it all worked out. I’m so glad Mary Ann wasn’t there with her camera – Leena took one look at me when we got out of the cab and doubled over with laughter – I believe my hairdo would have made both Donald Trump and Rod Blagojevich quite jealous. We laughed so hard – it was quite the ending to what had been a great week.

Enjoy your remaining time in Panama and remember to drink lots of rum!

Mall Boyd

(Editor’s Note: We are not really becoming confirmed alcoholics with all the references to rum. Mall & Leena bought us a bottle of rum when our modest bottle was getting low. I don’t know what we were thinking, but we now have a huge 980 milliliter bottle, mostly full, to drink in our last week. I think Enrique will receive a nice present!)

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