Last week I asked: How can you create a reasonable family vacation?
Rent a house on the beach.
Hotels are too expensive, to my way of thinking, if a family of more than four wants to get away together.
My sons and their families, eight of us, rented an entire house with a pool on the beach on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.
Granted the airfare can be expensive but once in Nicaragua things are less expensive.
At first glance the house rental for two weeks may seem expensive but not when divided by eight.
I have been to Nicaragua several times in the last 25 years.
Interestingly, the first time I was there the Sandinistas, headed by Daniel Ortega, were being ousted and they destroyed many places in the process.
Guess who is back in power – Daniel Ortega and the Sandinistas.
The roads are the best one will find in Central America and the traffic rules are religiously obeyed.
The airport is new and efficient.
I arrived a day early and stayed at the Best Western Las Mercedes across the street from the airport… it is walkable but they do have shuttle service.
I have stayed there many times and they have the best club sandwich and a great pool.
The owner of the house where we stayed suggested a van and driver so for $100 he picked up all of us and drove us from the airport to the house in Pochomil, a 90-minute drive.
We also used him for our day trip to Granada and to return to the airport.
Not a bad deal.
The house was beautiful and roomy with three bedrooms with a/c and full baths, one also had an outdoor shower.
The pool was my favorite.
It had an awesome view of the Pacific.
It was a few steps down to the beach level where there was a large gazebo with hammocks, couches, and a wet bar.
While I liked wallowing in a shady part of the pool with a book, my daughter-in-law preferred the hammock in the gazebo.
My sons went boogie boarding several times.
They went out fishing and my grandson caught the first fish – a tuna.
Instead of a pole they had a board with the fishing line wrapped around it.
For me it was a flashback to my days on Raquette Lake.
For them it was a new experience.
It was New Year’s.
So, they were able to watch all the bowl games – sometimes in Spanish.
Roger, the caretaker’s son, spoke excellent English but he worked in Managua so he wasn’t always there but thanks to Google Translate communicating was not an issue when our limited Spanish failed us.
What really made it a relaxing vacation was the caretaker’s wife.
For $400 she cooked, cleaned, and did our laundry for two weeks.
We asked her to make Nicaraguan food not American.
We had some incredible meals and she created some delicious sauces.
I am not a fish lover but her ceviche was awesome.
Every day was filled with sunshine and every evening we gathered to watch the sunset together.
We looked for the green flash (which some thought was a figment of my imagination) but never saw it.
The green flash is a meteorological optical phenomenon that sometimes occurs around the moment of sunset or sunrise.
When the conditions are right, a distinct green spot is briefly visible above the upper rim of the sun’s disk; the green appearance usually lasts for no more than two seconds.
I have only seen it once when I was in Palau but I keep looking.
Travel Trivia Tease™: What is Vigorón?
Look for the answer next week.
Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!