What a whirlwind week we’ve had, and we’re just about ready to hop on that midnight plane to Panama on Wednesday. Hmm, “Midnight Plane to Panama” – sounds a bit like a spy novel!

By far our biggest achievement in this past week has been getting all of the dogs’ paperwork squared away, with every “i” dotted and “t” crossed for both the airline and the Panamanian government. Because I am married to the world’s most organized man, this went very, very smoothly with only one little moment of panic at the USDA office when the dude behind the counter thought we were missing part of the vet form.

Here’s a tip: while we were at the Panamanian consulate, we got also got our marriage license and birth certificates apostiled. Down the road, if we decide to go for permanent visas in Panama, we’ll hopefully have saved ourselves some time and effort — and we also ordered our FBI background checks a few weeks ago (another requirement for the visa application). From what we’ve been told, getting the dogs imported is a cakewalk compared to the visa process and we figured we’d do as much as we could in advance.

So, besides sitting around twiddling our thumbs, here’s how we spent the rest of our time last week:

  • Had our last garage sale and sold our remaining car, the rest of our furniture, and our bikes (that was a sad day).
  • Slogged through awful traffic down to San Diego to store keepsakes that aren’t coming with us in our friend Donna’s storage unit. Donna lives on her boat in the Bay of Panama and we’re looking forward to seeing her in just a few days!
  • Shipped four big boxes of stuff to my parents in Austin (it will come down with us later)
  • Had the final walk-through with our home buyer
  • Ate ourselves silly at our favorite restaurants. Yes, shameless foodies that we are, we actually made a written list of restaurants we wanted to hit and food we wanted to eat that might be hard to find down in Panama!
  • Got together with our closest friends to say our final goodbyes
  • Put in a full week of work on top of everything else

And here’s what’s left:

  • Pack. Yes, you read that right. We haven’t really gotten to focus yet on the stuff we’re taking on the plane because
    018ad0463030860bb1731c5bdd4b89356c5d119450 Does that countdown really say THREE days? Moving to Panama Pets
    Running a half marathon has been on my bucket list for awhile. Finally ticked it off on April 11!

    we’ve been so busy with the stuff we were selling or leaving behind. STUFF! Is there any end to it?

  • Make a final Goodwill run and return the rental car
  • Get the girls in for one last grooming so they can enter their new country in style
  • Get picked up on Wednesday by our lovely friends Jake and Sue, who will take us to the Copa cargo office to leave two dog-filled crates, and then to catch our flight to Panama City.



  1. So excited for you all and can’t wait to read the post from the other side. Be safe! Xoxox

  2. Oh, fantastic and so exciting! You’ve been so busy and organized, great job. I’ve a question. I had read somewhere that there is a timing issue with the paperwork needed for Panama residency, something like it has to be done within a certain time limit or you must do them again? Hopefully, I’m wrong so no worries. Safe travels!!

  3. We have been in the Coronado area for nine months (just moved into a new house!), and I still remember the day we had “three days left”! Good luck with your travels and your journey here to Panama! Also, just so you know….right now when applying for Visa (perhaps not with all of them, but with Pensionado), all of the paperwork turned in needs to be current (within three months of application). So while you are smart in trying to do things in advance and get it all done, the paperwork isn’t necessarily “allowed”, or accepted, if it is apostiled and stamped months ago. This is Panama haha

    • Hahaha, thanks! Yes, we know there’s a time limit but we figured – we’re at the consulate so why not try to kill a few birds with one stone? If we have to get it all re-done, well, luckily, we have a retired person in this family 🙂 Thanks for your good wishes.

  4. Janis Peace Reply

    Good job!! You can now write the book – “How to move with dogs and stuff to Panama!”
    I am on my way to BH and Long Beach in a few minutes. If you need ANYTHING, please let me know. I only have two things to do today down there and then heading back up to Santa Barbara. If you need any running around, I am available, otherwise, safe journey and can’t wait to read your next posting!
    Love, Janis

  5. Congrats, you two!! Can’t wait to see you down there in the future! Good info on getting all the paperwork for your girls in order! At least I’ll have a starting point when it’s time to load up!

  6. Diane Randall Reply

    Maybe I can meet you one day when I move to Boquete – we are planning on our first visit in September to check it out!

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