It’s been a while since I’ve written in the blog. I’ve been busy with the band, getting ready to travel, and life in general. Now I have landed in the US and have some time to catch my breath.
Usually I take the bus to Panama City, an all day undertaking. This time though, I decided to spring for a plane ticket. What a difference! I had most of the day at home, went to the airport in the late afternoon, and arrived in the city after less than an hour flight.
I stayed at the Airport Express hostel which I may have to rethink next time. We know it’s a no frills, but clean and decent place but this time *sigh*, I was on the 3rd floor, up an odd curving stairs with luggage to a door with a puzzle for a lock. There was no light in the bathroom, but the only outlet was in the bathroom. The AC had no controls so I had to toss my coat over it to keep from freezing. There was only a sheet, no blanket or comforter, the only light was a glaring one in the ceiling, and there was no cup or glass for water. But, there was breakfast and shuttle to the airport, very important.
I was very happy to get an affordable direct Copa flight to San Francisco (SFO). In the past they had been something like $1400, but now they are around $600. I don’t know why but thank you Copa. It’s a long flight but still got me to SFO early enough to go on to Seattle. This means I will go to CA later, and on the return only have the SFO to PTY flight, not the all night in the airport crazy long trip back from Seattle.
I’ve been here almost a week. I don’t know how the time has gone so fast. I’ve been walking to shopping to get things on my list, practicing bass a bit, helping a little in the house, and of course enjoying time with family. My granddaughter is growing and changing so fast, and the expected new baby is big enough that I felt a couple kicks, very exciting. Facetime is wonderful, but sometimes you just have to be there in person, especially for the little ones.
Of course there are the usual differences. It’s cold here! It hasn’t been warmer than mid 50’s, and nights are usually in the 30’s. Everything is very clean, manicured, and orderly. People follow traffic signals, and there are lights at every crosswalk for pedestrians. It feels odd, not in a good way, to pass people on the street with no eye contact or greeting. Food is crazy expensive. Yesterday I bought a 1 1/2 lb bag of grapes, two little boxes of raspberries, and a 15 oz tub of butter. $17.19. I’ve spent that much for a whole week’s worth of produce from the guy who comes to our door.
I am thankful for our Panamanian life for many reasons, but I’m also thankful that I am able to travel to spend time with family. This is way up at the top of the list of my priorities and as I get older, it only gets more important.
I will leave you with some pictures of why I am here. Most of these were taken Sunday on an outing to a nearby park with a great playground.