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In Case You Were Wondering…

For the past few weeks, I’ve been frantically searching for my mojo.  It just skipped out on me one day and I’ve been trying to find it ever since.  I got a tip that it was last seen sipping a margarita and doing the Macarena on a sunny beach in Cozumel. So, I hopped on a cruise ship and set sail to go and get it back.  Unfortunately, by the time I got there all I found was this mariachi band,

and this:

But, my mojo was nowhere in sight.  Sigh…..

I drank the margarita (no sense letting it go to waste), and asked some nearby beach partiers if they had seen that slippery little rascal.

They said they had, but that it suddenly took off the minute it heard that the cruise ships had docked.   They heard it mumbling something about the rainforests in Costa Rica.  Crap!

If I wanted to catch that darn mojo, I didn’t have a moment to lose.  I texted Mr. SGCC and told him to tell the Captain to sail without me. I needed to get to Costa Rica fast, and I could make better time on my own.   I hitched a ride with this guy on his jet ski and off we went!

When I got to the Costa Rican coast, I headed straight for the lush Monteverde Cloud Forest [1].  As one of the most outstanding wildlife sanctuaries in the Americas, it is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Costa Rica.  The cloud forest is home to over four hundred species of birds, over one hundred species of mammals, over five thousand species of moths and over two thousand species of plants.  I had a feeling that it was just the place where my mojo would try to “blend in”.

The Monteverde Cloud Forest was quite a trek from the shore.  I wasn’t about to give in, though.  I took a taxi as far as it would take me, and then I hiked the rest of the way up the Cerro Amigos mountain to get there.  (Whew! I realllllllly need to get to the gym more often!)

What a breathtaking view!  But, still no mojo……


At this point, I was getting pretty frustrated.  If I didn’t find my mojo soon, how would I get out of my rut?  What would become of SGCC? 


For the sake of my sanity, I decided to go back to the cruise ship and have a nice relaxing dinner (and multiple mojitos) with my family.  Our next stop was Panama, and I had a feeling that I’d find my mojo there.

Here’s me and Mr. SGCC:

And, here is the rest of the crew:

Doesn’t everyone look like they’re having fun?

When we docked in Panama, I headed for the Panama Canal Railway station to continue my quest to find my mojo.

The Panama Canal Railway Company [2] is a railway line that links the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean across Panama in Central America. The route stretches approximately 50 miles across the Isthmus of Panama from Colón to Panama City.  Construction of the railroad began in 1850 to provide a cheaper, safer and faster route from the East to California during the Gold Rush.  It was completed in January,1855, when it made its first ocean-to-ocean journey.  Prior to that, the actual east to west transit across the isthmus of Panama was by native dugout boats up the treacherous Chagres River, and then by mules for about the final 20 miles over the old Spanish trails. Until the opening of the Panama Canal [3] in 1914,the railroad carried the heaviest volume of freight of any railroad in the world. In fact, the existence of the Panama Canal Railway was one of the keys to the selection of Panama as the site of the canal.

Nowadays, the Panama Canal Railway is owned by the Kansas City Southern Railroad.  A popular tourist attraction, the railroad has a fleet of several historic passenger cars in service and runs daily shore excursions for the cruise industry.  But, don’t be fooled by its age. That train is fast!   Here’s a shot I got from the observation deck as we zoomed through one of Panama’s rainforests.  Not bad, huh?

After searching through every car, I’m sad to say there was no mojo onboard.  I still had a glimmer of hope that I might find it at the canal.  When we arrived at the Miraflores Locks [4] I took another look around.

There are three sets of locks in the Panama Canal. The Miraflores is the set on the Pacific entrance to to the canal.  Without getting into a detailed explanation of how the whole Panama Canal system of locks and lakes works, let me just say that the process is fascinating to watch.

As much fun as I had watching the ships going through the Panama Canal, I still had no mojo.  As I boarded the cruise ship for the long sail home, I wondered if I would ever find it again.  I knew that the past few months had been kind of stressful for me and that my mojo didn’t like stress. But still, I never thought it would just desert me! The idea that it might be gone for good was so depressing!

During those last few days at sea, I really tried hard to decompress.  I sat out by the pool, played mindless trivia games, drank lots of fruity rum drinks topped with little paper umbrellas and spent way too much money at the casino.  I figured that if my mojo could see that I was learning how to “chill out”, it would eventually come back to me.

When my sorry little mojo-less self finally got home, I began to unpack.  As I unzipped my suitcase, look at what I found inside.


It must have been there with me the whole time.  I just didn’t realize it.  The two of us had a happy and heartfelt reunion. I promised not to take myself so seriously all the time and my mojo promised never to run away again.

So, as soon as I remember how to turn on my oven again, my mojo and I will be back with lots of tasty treats to share with you!