I will not tell a lie. The 48 hours before we left were crazy. The lists were organized and items were being checked off, but still we were scrambling until the last minute.
On Monday morning, I ran Walrod with Juliette, made pancakes for the boys, Dano had 1 more meeting about the September event, and we were completing our last to-dos. Well, a hell broke out as little things were piling up & it looked like I was going to be flying for 18 hours with trail dirt on my legs. I can’t even identify the tipping point; we were scrambling to pack the truck, put the last thing away, pile the trash and finally drove to the airport to catch our flight.
Emotions were held in check for the most part. I was so proud of the boys as they were focused on the adventure at this point. As Liam said, “I realized I might as well be excited since I am going no matter what”. I was the biggest wreck as I watched the mountains fade away with thoughts of the people I was leaving.
Our flight was Gunnison to Denver (Thank God for Scott Miller & Chris Nute for styling us in the VIP lounge of United) to LAX to Panama. We were greeted at the airport by Michelle, Elementary School principal. All new hires flew in on the same day and we were on the flight with the new 5th grade teacher and her daughter from Mammoth, CA. The initial images and feelings of Panama City were blurry from jet lag. At times, Dano and I would look at each other and wonder “what the hell have we done?”.
At the hotel, we were met by the HR department of ISP where we were given a welcome bag with a cell phone, tour guide, snacks, and an itinerary for the next 10 days. We checked into the Marriot Finisterre in the Bella Vista barrio of Panama City. Little did we know this would be home for the next 4 weeks!