Sorry for the delay in posting. It's been a hectic few weeks! I've included some pictures, and the rest can be found at my new FLICKR page! I'm going to try and go through them and caption them at some point, too. And so my week in Panama began...
Woke up at 330 AM on Saturday morning.
Landed in Panama around 230 PM [Eastern time]. After a happy reunion with my Tio Conre, cousin Nicky and his wife Emma, and my cousin Lauri, we piled into two SUVs headed for my grandparents place in David, Chiriqui (approximately six hours from the capital of Panama City).
We, instead, made it at 11 pm, about eight and a half hours later.
Everyone met and loved Jesse (of course).
The next day was my grandfather's 80th birthday and party. Coincidentally, it was also the Patriot's playoff game against the Chargers. Panama gets CBS from Denver, CO! No lie.
On Monday we travelled to Boquete, which is in the Panama mountains and is thus much cooler and less humid. And very windy. It was gorgeous.
The next two days were spent at Las Lajas. Pretty much miles and miles of empty beach just for us.
Also: best beach ever. No seaweed. Warm (but refreshing) water. Great waves. Sunny all day.
At night the full moon was SO bright everything had shadows as if it was noon. It was probably the most amazing natural thing I've ever seen - seriously. I was literally basking in the moonlight and taken by how beautiful it was. It was also romantic. I enjoyed looking up at the moon and holding his hand. Serenity.
My dad and Jesse stayed up late tending to the bonfire. Everybody had passed out and they were apparently bonding til 2 am. Men + fire = bros.
FYI, beer in Panama is 50 cents. If you really wanna go out, imports like Budweiser are 60 cents. My dad buying 15 people lunch? $28. NOT KIDDING.
This wasn't even THE moonlight night. This was the night before when we went to a restaurant by the shore and the moon was still gloriously bright. Still does not compare to that night at the beach.
It was great to spend time with my grandparents. I hadn't seen either of them since the last time I was in Panama, three and a half years ago. Also, in case you couldn't tell from the party pictures, my family there is HUGE.
On Thursday we headed back to Panama City to spend time with my cousins.
We toured the historical districts of the city, including some ruins and an area of town called Panama Viejo (Old Panama). Apparently, the new James Bond movie is filming there.
We saw the hospital where I was born, the places where my Mom and Dad first dated, the church they got married in, and the first house I ever lived in. My mom and dad are the happiest couple ever, and I loved seeing them get nostalgiac as we toured the Canal Zone.
We went to the Panama Canal and saw a ship go through the first set of locks. This was new to me; they didn't have the museum up last time.
Friday night Nicky and Emma (they're about 27 and married) took Jesse and I about town.
We stopped at a tattoo parlor where Jesse got some work done. More on that later...maybe. We ran into a few maritime school sailors (?) there, who were more than a bit drunk and possibly coked out. It kind of made me sad. The American image, port to port. Oof.
On the other hand, "el gringo" Jesse totally impressed everyone with his quickly-picked-up Spanish and accent. Love it.
Then we went to the Hard Rock Live (haha, our one non-Panamanian meal of the week) and enjoyed some shots poured down our throats and the crazy atmosphere (people were dancing on the bar).
On Saturday we had to say goodbye, and though we were exhausted from the jam-packed week, I think we would have enjoyed another week just as much. However, our plane was delayed about six hours and so we got to stay a little longer. At our gate. Sigh.
I think that was the best trip to Panama I've ever taken - and I'm not sure why exactly (they've all been amazing), but I think it may have to do with having him by my side. He made me smile, he made me proud, and he didn't complain once (did I mention how HOT and HUMID it is there?!). Honestly, I don't think I could enjoy any other person's company for seven days straight. As I've said before, I'm extremely lucky. And happy.