Yesterday was July 12, 2009. Twenty-nine years ago on this very day, I married my wife Aura. It has been the single most important decision I’ve ever made. It was like hitting the jackpot at the end of the rainbow.
We have had our ups and downs as every marriage has; but on the whole, it has been a lasting and rewarding experience. I still remember the words of the priest asking me to say the traditional wedding oath, “I, Omar Upegui Ríos take you Aura de los Reyes Achurra, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day onward, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and to cherish, until death do us part.”
All of that happened to us during these last twenty-nine years. For example, for more than ten years I was unemployed, and my wife took over the household expenses with an attitude firm as the Gibraltar rock. For that and much more I will always be grateful to her.
To celebrate our anniversary we decided to go out for lunch at our favorite Spanish restaurant—Restaurante Marbella—located at the Balboa Avenue, East 39th Street.
We had studied the menu on the Internet and decided for a Paella a la Valenciana for me and a Guabina Rebozada for my wife. This restaurant is well known in Panama City, Panama for its fish, paellas, grilled meats and sea food.
We arrived early at the restaurant—12:30 noon (-5 GMT). When we got there, we were the only clients. A few minutes later another couple came in, and for the rest of the period we were there, we were the only early birds.
The food was excellent as well as table service by our waiter Don Pablo. He suggested a Chilean white wine to go with my dish and a Sangría for my wife. It was a wise suggestion. Both of us were fully satisfied.
In order to capture this moment, I decided to tow my Birthday camera along. I guess you already knew that. These are the pictures I shot. Here we go.
Picture of a small parking lot at one of the entrances of the restaurant. Our car was stationed very near the restaurant as you can see. It was the only car there. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
This is Avenida Balboa and next to it, the recently built Cinta Costera (Coastal Strip) which borders the Panama Bay. At 12:30 noon, very few people had come to stretch their legs. A lot more would come as the day advances.
This is a picture of my wife Aura at the entrance of the Marbellla Restaurant in Panama City, Panama. The building follows the Spanish Andalusian architecture style with its low ceilings and red barrel roof tiles. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
My wife was surprised to see how many high-rise buildings have been erected on this side of the city. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Aura takes a look at the menu, even though we had already made up our minds at home through the Internet. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Another picture of Aura glancing at the menu for the next time we return. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Don Pablo, our waiter, explains the different food offers of the restuaurant to my wife. (Credit: Omar Upegui R.)
Even though the Inflation Index has climbed considerably during the last two years, I found the restaurant’s prices very reasonable. Let me give you an idea of what we ordered and what we paid for.
- Paella a la Valenciana – $8.00
- Guabina (fish) Rebozada – $14.00
- One cup of white Chilean wine – $3.50
- One cup of Sangría – $4.00
- Dessert (ripe Papaya in little blocks) – $3.50
- Total: $30.16 (including VAT, 10 percent tip and Retired Person’s discount)
The food and service exceeded by much our original expectations. We plan on returning shortly with some friends. It was a nice day out and one more year of sharing a happy marriage. Good Day.
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