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Well, folks, I’m excited to say that our first visitors have come to stay with us. My in-laws arrived at Enrique Malek International Airport in David, Panama last Wednesday where we were waiting to pick them up and bring them back to Boquete.
Traveling internationally isn’t the easiest thing to do so I had put together a guide to help them make the trip to Panama a little less hassle-bound. I stripped out all the details specific to them (reservation info, etc.) and shared it here in my post “Traveling to Panama? The Ultimate Guide in Going from the U.S. to Boquete” if you’re interested.
My in-laws spent last Monday night at a hotel near Cleveland Hopkins International Airport since they had an early flight out in the morning. They spent Tuesday making the big trek to Tocumen International Airport in Panama City and then spent the night at a nearby hotel. Finally, on Wednesday morning, they took a quick hour-long flight from Panama City to David.
That’s some exhausting travel!
Normally, it’s a little easier than that, but with the travel industry still working rebounding after the pandemic, flight choices are still a little more limited.
Regardless, they made it here successfully and we were ecstatic to see them!
We’re spending as much time as possible together during their vacation here (they’re staying with us). Because of that, you’re not going to get a lot of blabbing from me on this post… you’re welcome!
Instead, I figured I’d share a little bit of our first few days together since I have a couple of hours. Here’s a little bit of the fun we’re having with our in-laws here in Boquete…
In-Laws… welcome to Boquete (Bienvenidos a Boquete)!
One of the cool facets of Panama is the city signs. I don’t know how many cities in Panama have these cool and colorful welcomings but we’ve seen probably close to a dozen of them so far. The Boquete one is awesome not just because of the sign, but because the welcome center overlooks Bajo Boquete. It provides an amazing view of the mountains and the Caldera River as well…
Showing my in-laws around Valle Escondido…
We live in a nice community in Boquete called Valle Escondido. It’s a gated community filled mostly with ex-pats. That’s a double-edged sword. It’s nice to have so many helpful and supportive English speakers around that have all been in the same position as you.
However, we miss out on the opportunity to integrate more into the Panamanian culture which is a shame. It would be great to become closer with more Panamanians here.
There are several reasons we live here though. Since we don’t have a car it’s nice to be only ½ mile from town – it’s a perfect walk! And the amenities are wonderful for us as a family. We have access to a full gym, two giant swimming pools (one being a nice heated, indoor pool!), a racquetball court, and other conveniences.
Anyway, here are a few photos of us showing my in-laws around the neighborhood…
Hanging around in Bajo Boquete
After taking it easy on them for the first day, it was time to get them out of the neighborhood. We walked to town and to show them the town we love. We took them into the grocery store, went into different shops, and stopped along the way at some cool places to take pictures.
And, of course, Faith somehow managed to get ice cream before noon… very impressive feat she pulled off!
My father-in-law was excited to sneak a little golf in while here. Luckily for him, we live in a resort right on a golf course. In fact, that last photo here was taken right off our balcony while he was on the putting green of one of the holes…
Faith convinced her grandparents to play Mario Kart on the Nintendo Wii (the OLD school Nintendo Wii). They picked up the game pretty fast!
Then she and her grandmother did some crafts and experimented with some different paintbrushes and palette knives…
Our in-laws 35th anniversary happened to fall on a day while they’re here in Boquete. So I snuck out and got a cake, some pastries, and balloons just to have something for them. We made them close their eyes and brought them in for a small surprise…
It’s hard to believe that the cake, all those desserts, and a bag of 50 balloons ran me a grand total of $13.29… I love me some Panama pricing!
Enjoying Boquete some more…
Nothing much to see here – just a beautiful town, magnificent landscapes, and wonderful people (and animals!)…
Taking the in-laws to Big Daddy’s!…
I have to say, I’ve never seen so much food on one table. Lucky for you, I forgot to take a picture of that gluttony – just a few drinks and the order of churros that we shared…
Big Daddy’s Grill is one of our favorite restaurants – a good atmosphere, great food, and fair prices. I also need to confess that my in-laws liked this place so much that it’s the second time we’ve been here in three days!
That’s all I’m giving you for once. Usually, I tend to just keep talking. Instead, I’m keeping this post short because I don’t want to spend my time writing while we have company. I’m retired after all, right?
We still have a lot planned including a few nights at the Show Pony Beach Resort in Las Lajas. We’ve never been to the Show Pony or Las Lajas but we’ve heard a lot of good things about it. We’re also going to be taking them to Raquel’s Ark, an animal sanctuary where you have the opportunity to hold the animals. Holding a sloth seems to be high on a lot of animal lovers’ lists and this is the place to do it!
Be sure to check out my follow-up post The Beach, a Sloth, and Monkey Lalas… where you can see the second half of our time together. This got a lot more exciting with some really cool places we got to go. If you like the beach, exotic animals, or beautiful landscapes, you’ll love this post!
If Panama’s on your radar as a possible place to retire to, check out Retire in Panama Tours. It’s a first-rate way to see different parts of the country, learn about the pros and the cons of living here, meet other ex-pats living here, and gain a lot of the right resources to make the transition easier (immigration attorneys, for example).
Oscar, Rod, and Megan are great people, too. They have the knowledge to guide you through Panama, answer your questions, and ensure that Panama’s the right place for you. Check out Retire in Panama Tours for more info!
Plan well, take action, and live your best life!
Thanks for reading!!
21 thoughts on “Giving the In-Laws the Grand Tour of Boquete, Panama!”
Thanks for sharing this “inside view” of your family. The pictures are great and will forever remind you of this time.
Thanks, Barak – it’s wonderful to be able to share this piece of paradise with others!
nearly every developed place on earth, especially the small-medium ones, have a sign/mural like Boquete’s, in an effort to encourage economic development/visitation/spending. It’s called being Instgrammable – at least by the jurisdictions that have modern marketing/PR/commerce staffs. Like most trends, it was cool for the early adopters a few years ago and now it’s yawn-worthy commonplace. Even tiny Cross Village, MI has one https://images.app.goo.gl/jvt8KCqopZwFBL7X9
That’s a fun piece of info, Mary. We haven’t visited a ton of other countries (except when on cruises). That makes a lot of sense to bring a little fun to the tourism side of things. 🙂
Great to see that your in-laws were able to get down there for a visit. Ice cream before noon is definitely a Grandparent rule.
Grandparent rule for sure! Without them around, we likely would have put the kibosh on that! 😉
Very cool, looks like your in-laws had some fun and you guys enjoyed some good family time together.
It’s been a blast for sure, Bob. We just got back from a few days at the beach and that was some real icing on the cake!
How great for all of you! Did you rent a car during their stay so you could take them back to Boquete then to the beach resort (which looks amazing!) and (presumably) back to David for their trip home?
You nailed it, Sara. The first handful of days we didn’t have a car (we borrowed our neighbors to get them from the David airport). But for the past week, we’ve had a rental to do some other things. Spoiler: The Show Pony Resort was fantastic! I’ll talk more about that hopefully in next week’s post.
Enjoy your visitors Jim! It looks like you guys are having a great time!
It’s really been wonderful to have them here. Now we’ll have to get ready for our next visitors – when should we expect you? 😉
Were your in-laws OK with the potential COVID risk to do international travel? I am petrified of getting COVID during international travel especially I see that as a luxury thing and not a necessary thing so I avoided it altogether although I am DYING to travel internationally and see the world again.
Ironically, we’ve personally probably done more travel during 2020 than we have in any other year. But we’ve also been extremely careful all along… EXTREMELY careful. My in-laws though are fully vaccinated so they’re a step ahead of a lot of us. I can’t wait for me and Lisa to get our jabs to help bring us just a little closer to normal.
Just an FYI – What your father in law is on is called a “tee box”, not a putting green. It’s important to ‘vacation accurately’…lol.
Haha, I never claimed to know anything about golf! ? But that last photo I was referring to is him on the green getting ready to putt it into the hole – that’s not called the “putting green”?
I don’t see a pic of him near the hole. The 4 pics are him “teeing off”…! But the pics are great anyway!
Strange – there should be a 5th pic below those four. Oh well, glad you liked ’em regardless, Phil!
Oh i see. On a tablet. He’s so small in the pic that i didn’t see him.
So glad you finally were able to have visitors and that you all had an excellent time so far!
Thanks, Mike! They just left a few days ago and we’re just finally starting to feel well-rested. We crammed in a lot in that visit! 🙂