Wanting to retire in Panama

Archive for April, 2014

Welcome to Panama!

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Well here we are – we have arrived!  Whew – what a whirlwind the last four weeks have been!  I don’t even know where to start but here goes.  I will try to sum up most of the last four weeks into a nutshell.  D and I were busy the last two weeks of March getting everything ready for our move to Panama and our son’s move in Edmonton on April 3 and saying good-bye to our closest friends in Cold Lake.   We had a huge garage sale, sold more “stuff” through the internet and gave all our big “stuff” to our son to furnish his new home in Edmonton.   I must say, it is somewhat liberating to get rid of all that “stuff” one accumulates over the years and to start fresh.  In the end we ended up with five big Wal-Mart totes of all our most prized possessions which we have left in storage with family and four suitcases with two carry-ones to take to Panama- wow – talk about overwhelming!!

After helping our son get settled in it was time to take a few road trips to say good-bye (for now) to our families.  Our first trip was to see D’s mother and stepfather.  We hit the road early on April 6th to tackle the 7 1/2 hour drive with our beloved Jaydie with us (for this is where she would be calling home until we are more settled in Panama).  We had a wonderful visit but damn good-byes are always hard :'(.   (Just a little side note – Jaydie has adjusted exceptionally well in her new home – what with 40 acres for exploring along with two other little dogs, and three cats – she loves cats – she is in heaven).

We left in the early morning of April 8 so we could be back in Edmonton to celebrate our son’s 22nd birthday with him and visit with him for one more day before he headed back to work for his 7-day shift away from home.  We also had to get all our paperwork for our “pensionado visas” notarized and sent to the Panamanian consulate before we left so had an appointment set up with a lawyer on April 9th (this was quite a process and I will post about this experience at a later date once the papers are here in Panama and everything is confirmed to be “in order”).

Then another road trip was in order to visit my mom and dad!!   We spent one night with them and had a wonderful supper at a local restaurant along with one of my sisters and her husband, one of my brothers and one of my nephews – it was nice to see them and be able to say good-bye to at least two of my 10 siblings – lol (although I am sure I will be seeing many of them in the near future here in Panama!)

Well, after another tearful good-bye it was time to head back to Edmonton to spend our final two days in Canada to get all our stuff in order!  So the morning of April 15, with our two suitcases each, our computer and our carry-ons, we were finally on our way.  We left the Edmonton International Airport at 6:37 AM, had a stop over and plane change in Houston (with a 1 1/2 hour delay) and arrived in PC at ~8:30 PM (thankfully we had no problems/delays in customs).  Benny was waiting for us to take us to our rental in Santa Clara which was another 2 hour drive ….. arrival time 11:15 PM – Woot Woot!

The very next day, we had friends who were returning to Pedasi from Panama City stay with us for a night!  We had met Tim and Cathy on our first trip to Panama last July while in Pedasi and have stayed in contact with them and have become very good friends!  They were nice enough to take us for our first grocery shopping trip and to get our car rental.  It was great to see friendly familiar faces on our first day here in Panama.  Thanks again Tim and Cathy!

Day three we decided to head out and check the local fish market where we picked up some fresh sea bass for supper ….. D was waiting in line for some fresh shrimp but the person in front of him bought up the remainder …. lol …. poor D.  We then headed back to the house to have a our first day of R & R!  Phew – that felt good.  We decided to wait until the long Easter weekend was over before we attempt to hit the beach.  Apparently Panamanians love their long weekends and the beaches are insanely busy and being that we are still coming down after the busy month we have had, we decided that spending the day relaxing around the pool was a better option for us. Yesterday we headed into Coronado to pick up a modem so we can set up wireless internet and pick up a few essentials at the shopping plaza.  We were told to go to a little computer shop called Punto where they would set up the modem for us and everything but, low and behold, they were closed – I guess we will have to wait a couple more days for the wireless – we are both going into iPad usage withdrawals – lol – but at least we have the good ole Mac to relieve some of our internet fix!   The shopping plaza was also extremely busy because of the long weekend and we thought that parking would be a nightmare.  As it turns out in Panama (at least Coronado anyway), when it is busy, they have people directing traffic in the parking lot so finding a spot turned out to be a pleasant experience – even parking into the spot they were there to direct you – since the spots are quite tight.

Now back to our house rental.  As it turns out, the house we had lined up for a rental was a last minute decision (for our original rental had fallen through) and after spending five days here we have decided that it is not quite what we are looking for.  So we will be out exploring other rentals with a local real estate agent tomorrow to find something more suited to our lifestyle until we find our permanent place in the sun :).  And that has been our  life for the last month in a nutshell.  Until next time!