Panama 2010 – Day 14

Day 14 – Friday.  Our last day of our first trip to Panama. We are both sad to see this wonderful trip come to an end! We have seen the wonder of the Panama Canal, the beauty of the beaches and the mountains, the gorgeous interior of the country, and the very awesome Panama City. We have met so many nice people – many in passing, including the people working in the airport, hotels, restaurants, and shops.  But the time we got to spend with the various people living in Panama was truly a treasure.

Hans, his father, and his staff at the awesome Hotel Villa Romana in Pedasi were such a pleasure – we got to hear about the building of the family compound which is now being run as an inn by Hans, we had a blast watching the eclipse of the moon with Hans at 3am in the morning, and ate incredible food at every single meal while overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I can only say WOW about the experience.

And sharing the Christmas holiday with our hosts, Avril and Derek, their cat, Scupper, and their friends at the Seagull Cove Lodge was a treat that far exceeded our hopes. The lodge is beautiful, the food was terrific, and the company was truly a pleasure. We had a tough time leaving.

Our time in Boquete was such an unforgettable experience.  Our host at the Villa Marita was terrific, and we really enjoyed talking with him – we loved the inn, and our view was awesome. But the real treat that made the trip unique was spending time with our new friends, Ellie and Jeff Simon. Again, the people made the difference.  In spite of much lousy weather and Mike getting a bit sick, we still had a GREAT time, and loved spending the time with Ellie and Jeff, and getting to meet their beautiful dogs. Can’t wait to see them again.

But, back to leaving. We dragged our luggage back downstairs at the Marriott, and loaded the car one more time. We had managed to learn our way around Panama City pretty well while in town, and were able to find our way back to the airport with no problems. We were dreading turning the rental car back in at the airport, but were highly surprised when the company didn’t charge us a penny for the lost hubcap. That must happen a lot!!! We climbed aboard the Continental jet, not believing the this trip was already over. As we took off, we strained for a last look at Panama, and then settled back for the flight back to Houston.

Once we landed in Houston, we made our way through customs (which was a breeze due to our new clearances from the Global Entry System), and trekked back to our car which was patiently waiting at The Parking Spot.  As we drove home through Houston on Friday afternoon, we were quickly reminded about the huge size of the city, the immense number of cars, and the crazy drivers. But, you know what? We felt right at home with the crazy drivers! Mike had gotten some excellent training during our cross-country travels in Panama.

We began to realize and comprehend what a fabulous vacation we were returning from, and talked about what a fun time we had.  A truly unforgettable trip.  Once we got back to the house, we dragged in all of our luggage, unpacked most stuff, and changed clothes to head out to join our close friends for an evening of revelry for New Year’s Eve.  Back to reality!

Can’t wait to go back to Panama!

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