Panama Trip

As you can see from my blog posts or lack of blog posts, my fall was very busy.    I am not sure very busy is the best way to describe it.    I was teaching 5 credit classes, 2 weekend classes and 4 days of CPR.    I was a little insane, but the extra money was nice for December.    The kids and I spent most of December visiting my Sister in Panama.   Panama City,  Panama not Panama City, Florida.    I was surprised how many people asked why we would go to Florida this time of the year.  

For those of you that are a little geographically challenged.   Panama is the southern most Central American country.   We were almost to South America.    Panama's claim to fame is of course the Canal, but it has beautiful beaches as well.   
 We took over 1,000 photos between my camera and the boy's ipod.    Ben graciously sorted through them and picked his favorites to tell our story.     A shutterfly book is in the works.   I will link it here when it's complete.    But please be patient with that.  :)

The kids enjoying the pool at the Wyndham Resort at Playa Blanca

Back in Panama City, we toured the Canal and the museum .   We watched the Amsterdam cruise ship move through the canal.   

 We visited the Smithsonian Nature area on the Causeway.   We saw several aquariums with see creatures, but the start of the trip was the sloth.   We was sleeping just above the sidewalk.
The family at the causeway.  
 Panamá Viejo is the remaining part of the old Panama City.  It was founded in the early 1500s.  We did not stay to long, as it was pretty hot in the sun.  
The next part of our trip was on the Island of Contadora.    Contadora is part of the Pearl islands located just off the coast of panama.   It was a 20 minute flight or a 2 hour ferry ride.      The island had beautiful beaches. Our schedule for the next several days was a beach visit after breakfast, lunch, a beach visit in the afternoon, dinner back at the house and then some time to play games and read.   Bedtime was fairly early, as we were all tired from swimming. 

A iguana living in the ruins of the old resort. 
 The beached ferry sits in front of the old resort. Notice that they started to wear Uncle Tito's swim shirts to avoid more sun on their shoulders

A small island off the coast of Contadora.  
 We do have a fish story to share.   We rented a fishing boat for a couple hours one afternoon.   Our hopes were to see some dolphins, maybe even a whale.   We knew that we were late for whales, but several tourists had seen them just a couple days before.     We also wanted some fish for dinner.   We were about 1/2 way through our of 2 hours and we had not seen any fish and we were getting hot.    So we asked the boat driver to stop at one of the uninhabited islands for a quick swim.    The beach was picture perfect, but we were paying by the minute for this boat.  So back in the boat we went  We had resigned ourselves to the fact that we had paid for a very nice relaxing ride around the Pearl Islands, no fish.     We were within site of the Contadora beach when the fishing alarm sounded.    We were all pretty excited, especially the boat driver.   I think he had pretty much fallen asleep ( ok, not really, but...)   He reeled us in a beautiful fish.    Rachel asked him in Spanish what kind of fish we had caught and she translated it as a Gold Fish.   The kids and I looked at each other were a little disappointed that we were going to eat a gold fish.   Rachel realized our disappointment and suggested that maybe the translation should be Golden Fish.    The Fisherman said that is was also called a Mahi Mahi.   Oh,  that is much better!
Ethan and I on our fishing trip. 

Tito and our fish
 Our house had a lemon tree in the back yard.    Ben and Rachel made several pitchers of fresh lemonade.   That was the best lemonade we had ever tasted.   Really

Just a photo of the beach, the ocean and the sky.    It was really lovely.  
 Even though we did not see dolphins or whales,  we did see a scarlet Macaw.    Rachel noticed him in the trees.    I wish I could have gotten a better photo.   He was beautiful.   

 The kids enjoyed the rope swing on the beach.  

Our Family Christmas photo.     

A quick summary of our trip.   It was really enjoyable.   I suggest that next time Andrew and I go back with out the kids.    The kids don't agree.