We had a good time in Gamboa, though it's a little bit captive there at the resort. There aren't any external restaurants, so it's the buffet in the morning, and either the buffet again (at $22/head) in the evening, or bar food. We opted for bar food. The morning buffet was good, though. I don't recall what it cost, as it was rolled into the cost of the room at the time.
I thought I would be able to catch an Uber from Gamboa back to Coronado. I thought that because when I checked, I could see that the app showed a price -- usually around $90. Not terrible, but not great. However, I neglected to allow my eyes to scan to the bottom of the screen each time I looked, so I didn't see the "No cars available" message each time. So, when it was 24 hours ahead of our planned departure, I was forced to inquire at the front desk of the resort about a taxi. I was rather surprised to hear a price of $180 for the trip.
I really had no choice, so I reserved it. I think the counterman saw I was over a barrel, and padded the amount by enough to make that phone call of his significantly profitable. I've come to the conclusion that there are only two degrees of separation for all of the country. But in respect to taxi/Ubers, it's only one: every person knows a driver personally, and calls their friend when a gringo needs a ride. Such as it is.
However, the night before we were to depart (about two hours after reserving the taxi), I sent a line to my friend (yes, friend, and I don't drop the term lightly), asking if he wanted to make $100 and give us a ride. I figured the amount was sufficient to entice, but easily sweetened. Much to my surprise, John said he was in the city (Panama City) and would be happy to pick us up, as it was only about 20 minutes away. He adamantly declined any payment (little does he know he won't be buying drinks or dinner for awhile), and even stopped for us at a grocery store and a roadside stand that no gringo would go to for victuals. That stand had some of the best smoked pork in the Western Hemisphere. Damn.
Anyway, Mikaela is gone, the apartment that much quieter. I miss her already. My kids are amazing, and really complement each other. I will treasure the memories of the laughter and fun we had, even if they might have been bored at times. Most especially the time Spencer shoved a wadded up shirt in Mikaela's face as we were walking out the door, asking if she thought it smelled funny. It had just been laundered; I suspect the man cub doesn't know what freshly laundered clothes smell like. He action was so reflexive, it just cracked me up. When I started laughing, they soon joined, and we laughed the entire elevator trip to the lobby.
It's going to be overwhelmingly quiet and empty tomorrow, when Spencer leaves.