Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Day 11 – Headed back to Orlando

Bill did not appreciate the 5:45am alarm – he is definitely not a morning person! However, we decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get ready, pack, at least have a cup of coffee and get to the airport in good time. It worked!

Our driver, Antonio, was waiting for us before our 7:00am pick-up time (he had left his house at 5:30am to be on time!). The traffic was light heading towards Tocumen airport but in the other direction it soon became a parking lot! In fact, it made I-4 look like a piece of cake! We looked at all the cars headed towards the city and realized it was no wonder that driving in Panama City was a nightmare!

Since we had plenty of time Priscilla decided not to use a wheelchair and we checked our bags, were assisted through Security (the agent even helped Priscilla put her boot back on!) and by 8:15am we were sitting comfortably in the coffee shop sipping on delicious coffee and enjoying omelets and toast. Bill learned that a “Spanish” omelet in Panama was not the same as in the US! It’s hard to describe but it consisted mostly of potato and soft taco, rather than egg!

On the way to our gate we passed the Duty Free Shop and could not resist buying some Abuelo Rum at less than half the US price!

Before being admitted into the boarding area, we went through another security check! This time, the agent found our Nu Skin hand cream and said we could not take it on board because it was too big! It had been in our hand luggage when we left the US and there was no problem. Next time we’ll remember to pack it in checked luggage!

After landing in Orlando, going through Immigration, picking up the luggage, going through customs and another security check we met our limo driver and headed home. Although everything went smoothly, we both agreed that travel “back in the old days” was a lot more fun!

Our heads are spinning with ideas as to what our life will be like living in El Valle! Certainly, the pace will be slower but we feel there are many opportunities awaiting us. It will take time just to learn more about the country – and the language - and find ways in which we can contribute. And, of course, we are looking forward to sharing our new home with family and friends once we get settled.

For now, we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!


Ray said...

Thank you for such an informative blog. We will be heading to Panama for our 3rd time in March for 3 weeks. I am interested in the file you got for your GPS to travel around Panama. Where can I purchase it and what would I ask for. We live in Flagler Beach close to Daytona Beach.

Bill and Priscilla Parke said...

We bought the SD chip at Panafoto on Calle 50 for $99 called G25-Mapa/Panama. Great idea for getting around the city, must have. Loved it going up to El Valle seeing the switch backs before they are on top of you. Thanks for viewing our Blog. Lets get together in Orlando if you wish.
Bill 407-865-9861