If only they had the bruschetta mix …

It's not Trader Joe's, but Foodie specialty produce market makes me think of one of my favorite stores. One opened near Dean's work. It was nice to peruse fresh fruits and vegetables, seasonings without additives and to just explore some culinary options I haven't found elsewhere. Guess who's gonna get grocery lists to bring home from…

Cruising through Carnival

Carnival is happening in the country of Panama, but the city of Panama is EMPTY. The place clears out. Traffic Friday and Saturday morning was ugly, but now you can cruise the city with ease. We were a little worried when we saw maps showing street closures that last from Friday morning through Wednesday... We…

Earthquake!

We are from California. Earthquakes are nothing new to us. But ... last night at 11:45 p.m. when Panama was hit with a couple of quick but decent-sized jolts, it felt a little new. Our concrete bunker of a house jumped significantly. This is NOT a California quake-code structure that sways with the movement of…

Transit ticket

I got my first ticket today. I'm not even sure how it happened. I was sound asleep when Dean got a call from frantic friends this morning. They were headed to the airport and had been caught in a checkpoint. They don't have driver's licenses and the husband who was actually driving didn't have his…

Almost normal

Jack and I were driving home yesterday, chatting away in the car. I was driving and in Jack's eyes I'm a senior citizen driver because I actually almost stop at stop signs (Alto) and wait for a car-sized opening before merging into traffic. All things that 18-year-olds in Panama think are signs of personal deterioration…

Waiting for our ship to come in …

It was a bit of a wait, but worth it. The ships just kept coming. Dean and I visited the Miraflores Locks on Sunday. The idea was a quick trip, scope it out, be prepared for visitors. (We have our first guests coming mid-March, and we are very excited.)  Friends had visited the locks and…

More mail we didn’t get

Turns out not only do you not get your vehicle license renewal in the mail, you also don't get your insurance renewal in the mail. We purchased car insurance in July. In California, your insurance goes for a year (July to June in this case). We filled out the auto-renewal paperwork and figured we were…

Plugging along and in

Remember being the new kid at school? Or the newest hire in an established business or department? Have you gone to a party where everyone else has known each other for years? That’s a little bit like moving to a new country. You feel like a fish out of water and you are pretty sure…

Renewing our vehicle license

You don't realize how much you depend on a mail system until you don't have one. Sure, it's inconvenient not to get mail. Your family complains, birthday cards disappear into the void, bills are hand-delivered (they just show up tucked into the door), and it's difficult to send anything but Amazon gifts to family. But…

Starting the New Year off right

We left Atlanta with temperatures ranging from 8-30 degrees Fahrenheit and landed in summer in Panama -- 89 degrees with humidity around 70 percent. We landed, headed through immigration and customs (a breeze with our resident cards by the way! It's a post for another day, but I feel like we are treated better in…