Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Final days in Nicaragua

I found myself staring out at the bay constantly. Couldn't get enough. Felt very maudlin and pensive. Knowing it was no longer going to be a part of my daily routine to sit with my coffee and iPad with ocean sounds to calm my soul. Knowing also that another chapter in this journey of ours was ending. Very bittersweet when you leave a beautiful haven in this world to move on to the next.

So our final days were filled with enjoying what San Juan del Sur had to offer - surf, sand, sounds, sun, rain, food, drink, and friends. And, we got to enjoy it all with our good friends from Granada, Steve and Marti Owen. They came to spend our last 2 days with us. We did it up right here in SJDS!

They also got to meet our friends at Park Avenue Villas. We all enjoyed the evening ritual of having cocktail time while watching the stunning sunsets on the veranda before heading into town for dinner, as our cubbard was bare in anticipation of our leaving.


Louis & Mandy DeSouza, Me, Marti & Steve Owen
Since we hadn't made it up to Jesus yet, we decided to grab a taxi and head up there early Friday morning.  The climb up was extremely steep and I'm glad we hadn't tried to walk/climb it.  Although, I'm sure we would have made it and the exercise would have been good, the cab ride was just fine with us! LOL

When we got there the driver parked in the parking lot but you have to climb the last steep grade up to the statue itself.  But once we got to the gate, it was locked.  Never fear, that would never stop us! Mike climbed over the barbed wire first then Steve.  But just as Marti was going up and over, the guard appeared.  Fortunately, he only scowled at us.  :)  Come to find out later from Renada that there is actually a "door bell" on the side of the wall but we certainly didn't see it. Oops.... 

It was absolutely gorgeous up there!  The views so stunning.  But, boy did the wind whip up and I had to hold on to stay upright.  So worth the trip up there!

The chapel inside the base of the Jesus statue.

Me & Marti a little wind blown.

Marti on her way back down the hill.
On the way back we asked the driver to stop a couple of times so Steve could take photos.  That's when we discovered the over grown stair case up to the top. 

Hidden & overgrown steps.
We also asked him to take us up to a new development that we saw from the statue.  He could only get up so far before spinning his tires on the loose dirt road.  There were construction workers everywhere and we met up with the general foreman who said he'd give us a tour of one of the homes that hasn't sold.  Wow!!  Beautiful 1800sf, 3br/3br, pool, granite, open floor plan.  Nice!! Asking price $200,000 with pool. Beautiful views but very small property space and they were stair stepped up the hill so you were either looking down on someone or you were being looked down on.

Modern Entry

View of the unfinished pool and the ocean beyond.

Open Living/Dining/Kitchen area
Friday night we all went out for the "last supper" to Cha Cha Cha and a good time. Yummy! From there a few of us went over to Republika for a night cap before heading home. 

The gang on the veranda.


Mandy being herself.  Love that gal!
Saturday morning, Steve, Marti, Louis, Mandy, Mike and I, we're picked up at 9:30am by our van for our journey back to Granada. Louis and Mandy were taking advantage of us going back for a day before our flight out. They were going to be staying for the weekend to explore this beautiful colonial city. 

We arrived in Granada in time for lunch at Margarita's so I could have one last meal of their fabulous pork BBQ ribs. They are awesome!  Afterwards a walking tour of town that included all of us getting to see Steve and Marti's completed new home. How wonderful for them!

Pool & water feature.

Living Area with 2 double doors to the outside walk.

Kitchen/Dining area. Everything separated by beautiful hand carved columns!
An afternoon nap on Steve and Marti's couch, some quiet time for all so us to rest our minds and bodies before heading back out to meet up with our friends, Bill and Nancy Mattox, for drinks. It also gave us the opportunity to meet Nancy's daughter, Karyn and her son, Eric, whose 2. A nice leisure evening to enjoy what the Calzado has to offer. 

Steve & Marti Owen, Bill & Nancy Mattox, Karyn (Nancy's daughter)

Sunset in Granada

Granada's plaza Christmas tree.

Our last meal was had back at our favorite pizza restaurant, Pizziaol. Again, yumm!!  Our last hugs and kisses and, of course, tears were had with Louis and Mandy. Then back to Steve and Marti's to rest before being picked up at 10pm for our drive to the Managua airport for our 2am flight to Ft. Lauderdale. And, yes, many more tears and huge hugs with them. No goodbyes, just See Ya Later!!

Everything went like clockwork at the airport. It just goes to show that when you follow Spirit's rules, it's a breeze. We've definitely mastered the weight and baggage limits. The flight was only 2.5 hours but we did get to snooze a bit but it's never the same kind of sleep. 

It took only one hour to get through customs vs the 2 hours on our previous visit. Then off to get our boarding passes with United for our next leg to Houston and then another change of planes to continue on to Puerto Vallarta. Again, everything went like clockwork with no hiccups or incidences. Amazing how lucky we've been throughout our journey this last year with our airlines experiences. 

We arrived early in PV, so our property manager wasn't there yet to pick us up. We waited about 15 minutes and then began wondering where he was. It's a small airport, so there shouldn't have been any issue unless he was running late. As we didn't have internet or a Mexican phone number yet, I had no way to reach him. With one more sweep of the area, I did a full 360 and low and behold, he had been right behind us for the last 10 minutes!! Too funny.  So all was good in our world in our new home location of PV. 

More to come on our continued journey in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on the next update. But that will come after I do a Budget Analysis update to include San Juan del Sur. So, I look forward to your comments and questions, as always. My direct email is 

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