Look Out, Panama, Here Come the Johnsons!

  Friday, May 23, 2014 / Stephanie / Uncategorized  

It was an exciting day in Bocas del Toro as Paul, Brian, and I headed to the airport... ...and waited at the end of the runway for this plane to land. Welcome to Panama!!  Darren, Katie, Annika, and Gavin had come to visit!  They'd traveled all the way from Boston, MA through Panama City and landed in little 'ol Bocas Town.  Everyone was in good spirits, but tired and hungry from the trip. Naturally, the first thing to do is eat!  We all piled into a local restaurant and ordered pizzas and cold drinks.  All the way to Panama and there we were chowing down pizza just like the good ol days! Katie took a look around at Bocas from the dock at the back of the restaurant while Annika and I explored the touch-pool which had starfish, sea cucumbers, and sea urchins. "I've been to your boat," said Annika as we hoped onto a water taxi and headed toward Rode Trip. Our little home was soon overflowing with friends and luggage.  Good thing we are good friends!  Paul, Darren, Katie, Annika, Gavin, Brian and I were all staying on the boat...oh yea, that was a TIGHT fit!  Paul's visit overlapped with the Johnson's visit for two nights.  Once everyone had settled their belongings, we'd changed into bathing suits and lathered in sunscreen.  It was HOT!  So Brian took Darren, Katie, and the kiddos in the dinghy and Paul and I followed in the kayaks over to the nearby mangroves and glorious water!  That afternoon we snorkeled, swam, and played until supper. That first night aboard was absolutely terrible and I'd be lying to say anything otherwise.  I'm certain that nobody slept.  When we went to sleep, the hatches were open and the fan was blowing and we were mildly comfortable.  Katie and Darren took the v-berth with Gavin, Brian and I took the port side bunk, Paul took the starboard side bunk, and Annika took the top bunk on the starboard side (typically storage, we'd managed to clear the space).  Everything was ok until it started to rain...and then downpour...and the rain did not stop!  The hatches were closed and the fan was blowing hot, stuffy air through the boat.  I thought for certain that the next morning the Johnsons would pack up and head for the nearest air-conditioned hotel.  But, tired and hot as we all were, everyone wanted to be together and they stuck it out...the sleeping conditions and temperature management improved (we'd hung shade covers on deck and Paul eventually had to go back home which left some extra room in the cabin). And the vacation continued...it was only just getting started!  Nothing a little stroll through the jungle - "No, it's the rain forest," our three-year old scholar, Annika, corrected each time - and afternoon at the beach couldn't remedy.   Sand makes kids happy!


  1. From Karol Layman on May 25, 2014
    Our little and big Johnson's loved the trip. Annika is still singing her theme song, "Oh Panamamama", Gavin hits applaud on the karaoke machine. You are a great story teller, Stephanie.

  2. From Ann Landau on May 24, 2014
    What an adventure for a youngster and she will have pictures to prove it! Glad you are all having a good time.