February Adventure Summary

February 2015

I’m a little late on this, but here is what I was up to in February.

I spent most of the month closeted in the lab and working to meet a number of deadlines.  It was one of the most brutal months of my academic career, and I was quite relieved when it ended.

To celebrate finishing everything I had to accomplish in February, I went on a trip to Panama.  Panama in February is much nicer than Chicago in February, and I rather enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather.

Boat passing through the Panama Canal

Boat passing through the Panama Canal

We explored Panama City and went on some ill-fated hiking adventures in the highlands of western Panama (more on that soon).  I especially enjoyed walking around Casco Viejo and learning about coffee on a coffee farm outside the western Panamanian town of Boquete.

Coffee berries at Finca Dos Jefes in Boquete

Coffee berries at Finca Dos Jefes in Boquete

Panama is much more modern than I was expecting, especially Panama City.  I heard a lot of people say that it looks kind of like Miami.  I haven’t been to Miami, so I can’t confirm this, but I can say that Panama City has an impressive skyline.  It’s also a fairly safe city, especially by Central American standards, which I appreciated.

Boquete was amazing, and I wanted to stay forever.  Part of this had to do with our amazing Airbnb host, but Boquete itself is lush and beautiful.  I can understand why it was named one of the best places in the world to retire; in fact, there is a fairly large expat community because so many people decide to retire here.

I was in a bit of a funk after I came back to Chicago.  It was so cold that I spent many of my days longing for the sunshine and laid-back vibe of Panama.

It’s still cold here in Chicago, but we had a glimpse of spring a couple weeks ago.  I’m hoping it warms up soon so I can get out of the house and enjoy the city!

STATISTICS

Number of trips: 1

Number of flights: 2

Number of bus trips: 1

Number of train trips: 0

Number of car trips: 0

Cities visited: 2 (Panama City, Boquete)

Countries visited: 1 (Panama)

Highlight of the month: Seeing monkeys on the Panama Canal

Disaster of the month: Too many to count

Favorite photo: I spent some time experimenting with the settings on  my camera to take close-up photos of various plants around the coffee farm that we visited in Boquete.  This is my favorite one.

Flowers at Finca Dos Jefes in Boquete

Flowers at Finca Dos Jefes in Boquete

Favorite food: Fried plantains!  I’d been looking forward to eating fried plantains the entire month before my trip, and they did not disappoint.

Fried plantains with farm cheese

Fried plantains with farm cheese

Where did February take you?

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