Curacao/Panama Trip Day 1

To celebrate my 40th birthday we decided to go to curacao and panama. The reason we have panama as a second stopon the list is because there is no direct flight from SF to Curacao. We have to either fly through Florida or Panama, and I would rather go through Panama instead of Florida. Since Panama is trying to drum up tourism business, Copa Airlines has a stopover program setup where you can have a layover on either the outbound or return trip for up to 7 days. So I decided to take 5 days in panama. and 8 days in curacao.

The only issue that I forgot about flying east is that most of the flights are always “red eye” flights. Our flight left SF at 7:19 and arrived in panama at 5:45am. Then there was a 4 hour wait until a 9:30am flight. The issue was that the baby could not sleep on the flight, so Naomi and I only slept a couple hours total on the flight.

We arrive at Curacao at around noon time, and I didn’t realize how small the airport was. We were the one flight that arrived, I think I was also one of the only american arriving at Curacao, so the immigration officer grilled me on the hotel room i was staying at, because I’m not the common type of person arriving. What sucked is that the name of hotel was Boho Bohemian Boutique Hotel. So I called it the Boho Boutique Hotel because Boho and Bohemian mean the same thing to me. Which made him raise his eyebrows, but I assume that to be because he didn’t notice how those 2 words mean the same thing to me.

The other issue I had when i arrived at Curacao, was that my iphone was not switching to the correct time zone automatically, so I thought the time was 1 hour earlier. Which meant that I had a hard time finding a place open that had food at 3pm.

We ended up eating at an asian place that seemed to have a mixture of filipino/chinese appetizers.

Driving in Curacao is very different than the states. Everywhere outside of the main city was roundabouts and yield signs. I only recall seeing a total of 4 stop signs on the whole island. I think I drove around more 2-lane roundabouts in my life in curacao, than I have driven in my whole life in the states.

There were a lot of random signs I had never seen before, like a priority way, where I figured out that you can tell which sides have “yield” and you have the right of way. Then there were the no parking/no stopping signs. I could not figure out what those were when I was initially driving, I thought it was a “do not enter”. However, on the corner of 2 adjacent streets, so i realized that is not what it meant.

We ended up staying in the Pietermaai area, which is a UNESCO site. It has a lot of historic houses and buildings made out of coral, and has a lot of neoclassic style. I also found out the area I am on was super ghetto 10 years and there were a lot of crime/drugs/shootings. However, it has gentrified a lot. So it feels like I am in oakland.

The first place we ate at was Mundo Bizzaro, it seemed to be the restaurant that was most recommended by the hotel and from searching the internet. It did have the best vibes, they had a nice latin music in the background.

We ate dinner early at 5:30pm, so we were the first people there. :). I think this is what happens when you have a child. I always end up trying to make reservations a little bit earlier than I usually would because I don’t want the food to take too long, because my kid might get angry and fussy randomly throughout the dinner. The main caribbean meal in Curacao seemed to be stews. So I ended up ordering a a Stoba (which was a beef stew).

We then ended up walking down Nieuwestraat street, which has all the night life in Pietermaai, and had some wine before going home. The temperature was around 85 degrees at night, so I never wore any long pants or sleeves when I was out there.

The hotel that I chose described itself as the most instagrammable hotel. Which made our room look nice, but there was not many shelf spacing for my clothes.

The buildings look nice, but also look old and you can see how these places have slowly been transformed.

There is a common area in the middle before I go upstairs to my room. The area has a small pool and a grill everyone can use.

Unstairs hallway

Here is a picture of the room we were in, it had a bed, and couch that could turn into another bed, a bathroom, and a small kitchenette.

The room was really nice and big, and the AC was super important because I could not sleep without it. By the way, after just one afternoon/night in Curacao, Sherri and I both got 3-4 bites on our ankles.

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