I was feeling a little jealous of all the Thanksgiving posts on Facebook — the pumpkin pie, the turkey, the families and friends gathered together. I’ve had two Thanksgivings away from home. Prague in 1991 and this year.

But then we took a flight to Bocas del Toro. My menfolk and I had an island holiday.

Holidays are hard when Panama isn’t home to all our friends and family, and still feels brand new to us. So months ago when we had first moved into our Panama home and things were really hard and it was taking so long to get basics up and running, Dean and I booked this holiday in Bocas. We found a house over water, with snorkeling right off the deck. It gave us something to dream about when we needed it.

And it was just as lovely in person as it was in our dreams.

Our flight was delayed so we arrived late Thursday. The boat ride to the house in the dark on choppy seas wasn’t the best way to start. Just a bit too much “adventure” for me. But the house was beautiful, the area quiet and we could hear the ocean as we drifted off to sleep.


We woke up to partly cloudy skies and paradise. The boys threw on snorkeling gear and were in the water in no time. I enjoyed my coffee watching the boys and the occasional boat go by.

Coral, fish, and clear smooth waters. Water was about 8 feet deep in front of the house and about half that behind the house. It was perfect.

We took a boat into town for lunch, wandered around in the rain and made it to catch the boat back to the house. The next day we hired a boat to take us to Starfish Beach.


Starfish Beach was beautiful. Plenty of starfish to find (go early so they are closer to the shore, they move out as the water heats up during the day). One of the souvenir stand owners even took us to point out sloths high in the trees.

Lunch was lobster and fish fresh from the sea. Happy Black Friday to us!

More snorkeling, more sitting enjoying the ocean, naps in a hammock and outdoor bed… I could get used to this kind of Thanksgiving celebration.



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