So, finally, as promised, I’ll be posting about my vacation in Nicaragua. I’m thinking I’ll end up posting a wrap-up/summary after all these.
So, our trip to Nicaragua actually starts with the best ever layover. We flew out of Boston at the crack of dawn. We landed in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That’s where we ran into our other two friends that we were traveling with to Nicaragua.
We picked up our rental car and headed to the beach! We grabbed some pizza at a nearby pizza shop and ate it on the beach, under the shade of some palm trees.
Partially because of those new rules about sizes of sunscreen, we ended up skimping on the sunscreen. I had bought some combination bug repellent and sunscreen, but figured that would be silly to wear on the beach…so end result was we all came out pretty burnt! I almost always wear sunscreen (my dad worked at a company that made sunscreen) so I wasn’t used to burns.
The water was so incredibly warm. It was clear, light blue, and really the temperature of bathwater! This was to be our first body of water of the trip.
We got some tasty gelato at a nearby shop. Mixed berry and chocolate….mmmmm! We drove up and down Las Olas Boulevard for a bit trying to find a place that wasn’t too expensive but would have something we’d all like (including decent vegetarian options for one of my friends). We settled on Mangos which was pretty tasty. I got the mango chicken sandwich.
Then off to the nearest bookstore to buy a good beach/travel book (I had bought one before the trip, but it just didn’t seem to be working…so I picked up a collection of O’Henry’s short stories. Short stories really are perfect for traveling. You can read one or two while you’re going somewhere, or right before you fall asleep, and you don’t have to worry about continuity.
Then it was off to the rental car place to return the car, and the shuttle to the airport.
The trip actually was originally suggested by one of our friends (we’ll call her M, I don’t know if I should post full names?) because she gets listings for cheap flights and vacations. We just had to jump on it. So we took Spirit airlines…they get to be cheaper by charging you for everything (checked baggage, drinks or snacks on the plane), but we didn’t mind, since we were just bringing carry-ons and would just sleep through the food and drink services anyway.
We quickly went through customs, paid our $5 entrance fee, and proceeded to the exit, where taxi drivers practically blocked the doorway. They were all standing there, waiting for the oblivious Americans (like us)
Two taxi drivers actually started fighting over us! The figured out who was going to take us, and so we went with the winner!
Now, when I was in middle school and high school, I only ever took French for my foreign language classes. This lack of Spanish language skills would have crippled us on our trip. Luckily, one of my friends, L, knew plenty of Spanish. The taxi driver gave us a tour of Managua (the capital) as he drove us to our hotel, he showed us where a church used to be (before an earthquake), a statue of Sandino, and told us about the protesters we saw camping nearby (they were against a pharmaceutical company, I believe).
Ended our taxi ride at our hotel for the night, Hotel Mansion Teodolinda. It was by far the priciest hotel we stayed in (it cost more than the rest of our our hotels combined!) They originally gave us two rooms, but we pointed out to them that we only needed one (there were two full beds in the room.) M had made the reservation in advance, since she figured we would just be tired and wouldn’t want to be wandering around looking for a place to stay, so overall, it worked pretty well. Plus they had complementary breakfast!
It wasn’t until I was about to hop in the shower that I saw just how burned I was. Standing naked, I saw in the mirror what looked like a red-colored person with a white two-piece!
After a refreshing shower, it was time to head to sleep for my first night in Nicaragua.