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From here to there; Panama City

PANAMA | Saturday, 25 August 2018 | Views [283]


We are off on another adventure! Panama City, Panama.

We have not travelled for a while, at least for personal reasons. Tim is on the move every other week with work; we are starting to feel some kick back perks from his status with airlines and hotels. Tim was scoping out airline tickets and hotel deal and stumbled on Panama. Since our adventure in Mexico City, we have wanted to explore more of Central America. Not only are tickets inexpensive, most of the area is in the same time zone. Anyone that does a lot of time zone skips knows how jet-leg effects both ends of the trip.   

Tim arrived home last night from Colorado Springs; Friday night. We packed our bags and had a lot of tomatoes from our garden to process into sauce. 

We got up at 5 AM for an 8 AM flight; started the morning and vacation right; enjoying mimosas. We called a cab that whisked us away to the airport for 6:20. We were processed through the priority line and had a short wait to depart. Our seats were good, especially good to view the drama that unfolded while boarding. Some guy, that was clearly drunk, was complaining that his seat mate was too big and they would practically be cuddling for the duration of the flight. After quite the spectacle, he half volunteered, but more likely was involuntary removed from the flight.

The flight to Chicago was void of further drama. We de-planed and set off for a United Club lounge, concourse C. It was packed but we enjoyed a snack and mimosa. We transferred to the B concourse United Club Lounge to have lunch. Tim also wanted a drink, no hard stuff in C. 

We had a 4 hour layover in Chicago, and I would say we actually enjoyed it. Not only are the lounges nice, the crowds are interesting to watch and the transportation between terminals was seamless. We transferred from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5; using the train. We thought it was a bit annoying to leave the secure area, but it was pretty fast and only took us about 40 minutes including a short break outside.

Star Alliance lounge finder indicated a couple options for Terminal 5; Swiss Air was the only one open at this time of day. Its is small, but they had a nice, small, selection of European beers and wine. Top that off with a nice charcuterie spread, I would suggest it was a nice spot to spend a bit of time.

The flight to Panama was operated by Copa Airlines. I had never heard of it, probably would never recommend it. The flight was late, the 737 was bare bones and the food and drink selections were horrible. The flight was fine, just long and boring. We had the very last seat and although we were the first on, it took us a very long time to get off.

Customs and baggage claim were seamless. The airport is very nice and the staff were very friendly. We grabbed a taxi but were not happy to learn it was $30 USD to our hotel. Cost of convenience. It was, only taking about 20 minutes to our Double Tree Hilton in Downtown Panama.

The room is very nice, really no complaint. The hotel is very conveniently located with lots of shops and food options. Even as such, Tim found a hole in the wall dive to get a pita wrap. Mixto, which to me means whatever is left in the restaurant; $3.25. Surprisingly, Tim enjoyed the unidentifiable mix meat pita; sweet and a bit spicy. Brave man, we shall see if he survives the experience *memories of food poisoning in Acapulco Mexico.

We grabbed some beer and headed back to the hotel. 15 or so hours of travel, 2 flights, 3 lounges and one hole-in-the-wall adventure; we were very tired.


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