I have a lot to be thankful for this year. My family’s health, our amazing European trip this summer, and my promotion at work. I couldn’t be more grateful for what we have this year despite such a tumultuous world we are living in right now. Our last family trip of the year was the 1st one we were supposed to do for my birthday, Panama. I have to admit I had reservations about visiting Panama. My husband was the excited one but I didn’t really see anything there that appealed to me. We were staying in the city & not on a beach. I think because I felt it was going to be another New York City I wasn’t that enthused. But my opinion changed once we got there.
We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel Megapolis centrally located in downtown Panama City. It stands tall with 62 floors among all the high rises in this big city. There are tons of beautiful rock memorabilia all over the hotel. From Kiss, to Michael Jackson to Beyonce, we felt like we were in a museum. Our room was on the 44th floor facing the city. It was spacious & clean. It definitely felt like New York with all the red brake lights.
November is rain season but still very hot. Temps were in the high 80s and very humid after the brief thunderstorms that would pass during the afternoons. The hotel has a roof top pool that was needed during those hot mornings. The added palm trees amongst the high rise back drops made you forget that you were in a city.
The top tourist thing to do in Panama is a visit to the Panama Canal. Our cab driver, which we had for the entire weekend, suggested an early trip to the Miraflores Lockes to catch the ships heading south to north. We were able to watch 2 ships sail through. Witnessing the wonder of how the ships are pulled & pushed through was amazing. It is an architectural wonder of the world. There is a museum that shows you the history behind the canal. Expect to spend about 2 hours during your visit that is well spent.
We didn’t dine at any restaurants at the hotel. We wanted to enjoy authentic Panamanian food. We found a few places through google searches & using the Fodor travel guides. Our first stop was at El Trapiche in the El Cangrejo province. They have traditional sandwiches like el hojaldra & combinacion en tortilla plus steak & eggs. Panamanians don’t eat much bread so their sandwiches come on tortillas which was so delicious. We left with our bellies full but wanted more.
Since they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving there, we totally forgot. We didn’t realize a restaurant in the hotel was hosting Thanksgiving that evening. Instead we ate at the Coliseum in Casco Viejo. It was ironic because it was an Italian restaurant named after the Colosseum in Rome which we visited in the summer. The food definitely wasn’t like Italy but it was tasty. Unfortunately I don’t think it was worth the over $100 we paid but we were in a popular tourist area. I wish we visited Casco Viejo in the day because I read it is so beautiful with it’s old architecture but unfortunately we only got to see it in the dark. It just makes me want to have a return trip one day.
This was another amazing family vacation. It is during these times together that I like to reflect on how much we have grown together over the years. How much I appreciate my husband and my son even though they both may drive me crazy at times. I love being with them, my perfect triangle. I can’t wait to see what adventures 2018 will bestow upon us.
Disclosure: This is a personal post. No compensation was given. All opinions are 100% my own.