Back in Boquete – finally!

No, I did not drop off the face of the earth.  We went to the States for several weeks for some really, really good reasons.

First, we went to Seattle to meet our new granddaughter, Berkeley.  She just turned 9 months old and is precious.  I know all new abuelas (grandmothers) say that about their grandchildren, but she is just adorable.  Great personality and always smiles.  We really enjoyed spending an entire week with her while her parents were working.

Berkeley2We took her to lunch, we took her to watch her US Army dad jump out of an airplane, we took her to her mom’s kindergarten classroom, and we took her to unexciting places like the grocery store.  She was a joy every minute.

We found that childrearing has changed since 1976 when we both had newborns.  We did not own a bath water thermometer; we used our hand to see if the water was too hot or cold.  We did not have a bath seat; we used the kitchen sink since it is small and waist level.  We did not have 4 (yes, 4) strollers; we had one that only needed a shake and a foot on the brace to use.  We did not have Mommy Bliss, Keurig-like instant formula makers, white noise machines, humidifiers or a creepy pump used to suck snot out of nostrils.  Most importantly, we also didn’t have a thousand straps to attach babies to everything.  Four straps for the car seat, four straps for the high chair, covering for grocery carts with numerous straps – I have never attached so many straps to secure a 12 lb. baby .  Do all of these things make parenting easier?  The formula maker was awesome.  Many of the other things seemed like overkill sold to parents who want to be the best parents ever.  Little Berkeley is lucky that she has 3 complete sets of grandparents, several great grandparents, aunts/uncles and friends who are very content to spoil her with everything cute.

We did a little sightseeing but mostly we pre-shopped.  Men have no idea what pre-shopping is so – it’s the looking process that all women must complete before actually purchasing an item.  We pre-shopped at Lowes, Home Depot, JCPenneys, Kohls, Ikea and all the other big chain stores that are not in Panama.

We spent hours pre-shopping in Seattle for the second reason we went to the States.  We packed our container for our move into our new house.  Yeaaaa!  Finally I can have all the things that I packed so long ago.  So long, in fact, that I either forgot what I packed or no longer want what was once so important.

By the time we got to Florida, I was ‘real’ shopping like a crazy person.  I had already ordered a lot online.  Shopping is so much easier in Florida than it is in Panama.  Home Depot must have 50 kinds of light bulbs. Lowes has thousands of paint chips.  JCPenneys has sheer curtains in every size and every color.  And if anyone doesn’t have what you want, you can order it and it is delivered in a few days.  That is nearly impossible or just plain impossible here.  We shopped ‘where shopping is a pleasure’ (that’s Publix for non-Southerners) for grits and egg noodles.  We got Fancy Feast (480 cans of Classic) at Sam’s Club and Target.  We got tons of stuff for our new house.  We got fabric at Joanne’s.

Then came loading day.  We rented a 10′ x 25′ unit to consolidate all of our new stuff and the stuff that’s been sitting in the 10′ x 12′ unit for over a year.  The new unit was pretty full and we were a little concerned that we would be leaving some things behind.  But these two guys worked a miracle.  It took lescontainerThe last things fit exactly against the doors as we shut them.  We couldn’t put in another thing.  One free day in Florida and then our flight home.  These three weeks could not have been smoother – until we got on our Air Panama flight home.

This is rainy season and it rains hard.  Afternoon flights are always iffy during rainy season.  When we boarded the flight in Panama City, the pilot mentioned the excellent weather we would have.  Nope.  As we were coming into David, 30 seconds to touch down, the pilot suddenly pulled up and I knew that we were not going home.  We circled for a bit and then headed back to Panama City.  This happens frequently in the afternoon.  So frequently that Air Panama already has a contingency plan in place.  We arrived at the airport at 5:30 AM for a redo and landed safely at 7:10 AM.  Home for breakfast!  Our cats and new puppy missed us and we missed home.

Now we wait for our stuff, expected to arrive in about 2 weeks.  Closing on Monday and time to prep the house for the container delivery.  Life is good in Panama.


I recommend that future expats visit the links below.





Boquete’s newest B&B – Highly Recommended





living in Panama


Blog Expat: living abroad




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expat exchange




6 thoughts on “Back in Boquete – finally!

  1. Hello my name is Max, thank you for sharing your experiences. Abuelita y baby muy Bonitas! I recently retired in Florida and planning to move to Herrera. My wife and I are planning to ship a container with our belongings to Panama. Can you send info on company used and around how much it cost. Any other info that can help us is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Much of the cost is ground shipping. We were lucky being so close to the Port of Miami. It was about $5300 for a 20′ container. We connected with a private individual here in Boquete. I can get you their local number once you are here.

      • Tombseekers thank you! Great, we are also close to the Port, around 20 miles at Pembroke Pines, Florida.

  2. Cindy,
    I am also Max. Love your blog (you are my new role model). Keep posting I am about 2.5 years behind you and need the insight and encouragement
    I can so relate to the 480 cans of cat food! Hope you will be in Boquete for the Coffee and Flower Fair in January when my husband Ken and I will be visiting Panama. Nos gustaria comprarles a ustedes unas bebidas. ¡Brindis!
    Max (de Alaska)

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