Monthly Archives: April 2012

87 More Sleeps

Hands down one of the most difficult things for me in regards to living in Nicaragua is being away from my nephew Aiden.  A week and a half ago he sent me an email and some photos that I wanted to share with you.

“Dear Auntie E,

Thanks for sending me that bunny book awhile ago.  I had fun hanging out in Mommy’s bed reading it (& playing with my toes) while she got ready today.  I was a happy boy. 🙂  Miss you lots & lots.
 
Love your Favourite Nephew
xoxo”

Aiden was just two months old when I left Canada and will soon celebrate his 7 month birthday. There are no words to describe how much I love and miss this little guy!  Lucky for me he has an amazing Mom who always finds time in her busy day to Skype for a little while or send an email with some recent photos of her baby boy.  

I sure can’t wait to make the most of our visit together in Calgary in August in just 87 more sleeps!

Living Large in a Long Term Rental: Granada, Nicaragua

For $550 USD per month, plus electricity we are now living large at Vista Mombacho Apartments. Our brand new studio apartment is centrally located in the beautiful colonial city of Granada. We are just four blocks from La Colonial Supermercado and about seven blocks from Calle la Calzeda.

Our favorite thing about Vista Mombacho is the large saltwater pool. Although this area looks a little sparse at the moment plants are being delivered and planted daily.

We’ve already enjoyed a couple of days relaxing pool side with our kindles and cold Tona and we look forward to many more to come.

Second on our list of favorite features at Vista Mombacho is the BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze) Rooftop Terrace. It offers great views and cool gentle breezes off the lake.  We can’t wait for the barbecue to be installed so we can start taking advantage of this awesome outdoor space.

The living, dining and kitchen area is a combined space. In case we have a guest that needs to crash over for the night the futon lays out flat to make a bed.

 

In the kitchen we have ample cupboard space with a double stainless steel sink and a full size fridge with freezer.  Our four burner gas stove has an oven and we are equipped with everything we need to cook and bake.  From pots and pans and cutlery to baking sheets – we have it all!

Our dining table seats two and doubles as our office at times when we are working on blog updates or just surfing the net.

Our bedroom area is outfitted with a very cozy, but comfortable double bed.  The large windows allow for a nice breeze to blow through pretty much all of the time.  The ceiling fan helps with the airflow and allows us to sleep very well at night without having to use the air conditioner.

We have a extra large closet with built in dresser and shelving that allows us to tuck away our clothes and other miscellaneous belongings so that everything is out of sight and that I like!

Vista Mombacho offers a couple different floor plans but we opted for the studio apartment. We were drawn to it’s open concept and the gorgeous cane ceilings.

As a bonus we have a great spot to store our suitcases and other large items that wouldn’t fit in the closet.  Gord being a “do-it-yourselfer” decided it wasn’t necessary to bother our maintenance guy Ricardo for the ladder; he just climbed on up and got the job done.

I love, love that our place is brand new and clean.  To ensure it stays that way we have maid service twice per week that is included in the cost of our rent. Wi-fi and cable television are also included in the monthly rental fee. Worth noting is the fact that we have hot water and air conditioning, even though we aren’t currently using either one.

Our bathroom isn’t overly large but it’s functional and like the rest of the apartment it’s new and clean!  The shower is equipped with an on-demand hot water heating system but with daily temperatures in the mid to high 30s we’re not sure who would ever want a hot shower. Not us – that’s for sure!  We turned off the breaker on day one.

In the event that we want to entertain we have a large community kitchen available by reservation.  However, with the limited number of Nica friends we currently have we don’t forsee any dinner parties in our near future.  It’s nice to have,  just the same.

And last, but certainly not least, another great feature at our apartment complex is the two bedroom guest suite available for friends and family who don’t want to pay for expensive hotels when they come to visit. It doesn’t have a kitchen, but sleeps five and the rental fee of just $20 USD per night. Gord and I are wondering who our first guests will be.  *Hint, hint!*

Here at Vista Mombacho we feel like we are living on a mini-resort.  And in case you haven’t figured it out yet – IT ROCKS!

If you would like more information regarding Vista Mombacho Apartments or are interested in renting a unit you may contact Glenn or Jeannie Koons by telephone at  (512) 346-2326 or by email at contactowner@granadahomerental.net.

Chocolate Charlie & The Gang

For anyone that thinks that Elisha and I are care free and always ready for adventure I have a story to share with you. It goes like this…

On February 9, 2012 I received an email from a blog follower.  It read as follows:

“My name is Cameron, fellow Canadian. 5 years ago some friends and myself bought a beachfront lot with a beat up house on it (sight unseen).  Up until now nobody has been able to go down there and check it out.  My wife and two young daughters 4 and 6,  plan to drive to Poneloya in mid-March and stay as long as we can.  3 months or so.”

Cameron went on to ask us if we could take a look at the house for him as he only had pictures from when the house was purchased.  His pictures showed a house that was rough around the edges.  What we saw was a few walls, no roof and a lot of garbage. I guess what Cameron didn’t know was how hard the ocean and heat is on homes that close to the sea. We replied to his email explaining that the house was in pretty bad shape, but we didn’t include any pictures.

Fast forward to yesterday…

Elisha and I were visiting our friend Carlos in Poneloya when we decided to go for a stroll down the road. 5 minutes into our walk and we see a guy up the road a bit waving at us and calling my name.  Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time someone we have never met recognized us from pictures on our blog and flagged us down on the beach in Poneloya.

This time it turned out to be none other than our fellow Canuck, Cameron Yee.  We learned that him and his wife Ashlie have been on the road for three weeks, traveling with their two children Lila and ChynaMae in a big diesel van that they have nick-named Chocolate Charlie. They started their journey from their home in Oregon and have traveled through the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to arrive here in Nicaragua with their two daughters.

When Cameron and Ashlie saw the house they were shocked and a little dismayed at the state that it was in.  Their daughter Lila, ever the optimist declared,

“It’s beautiful Mommy!” and then ran toward the beach with her sister in tow.  

It became abundantly clear that Cameron and Ashlie would need to switch to Plan B and find somewhere else to stay.  Normally this would be easy, but since we are in the middle of Semana Santa celebrations every hotel, hostel and rental home is full.  The short term solution is to park inside the gates at Carlos’ place Hostal El Pulpo, run an extension cord to an air conditioner in the van and camp out.

Over the last couple of days we’ve had an opportunity to spend some time with the Yee’s.  As you would expect they are easy going and a lot of fun.  Their girls are super cute and excited to try new things.  

Less than an hour after landing on the beach ChynaMae spotted a huge Brahma cow, not too far from where she was building her sandcastle.  She took off running after it with her Mom, running behind her.  She eventually got close enough that the cow noticed her – stopped and swung it’s head around – and stared her straight in the eye. That was enough to stop her in her tracks. Mae’s selective hearing finally tuned in to her Mom’s calls and she turned back and ran for the water.  This should give you a bit of a glimpse into the girls’ personalities and why they are so much fun to hang out with.

The Yee’s will be connected to the world again soon via a Claro 3G rocket stick.  If you’d like to read more about the adventures of this super cool and fun family check out their Nica Bound.

Personally, we can’t wait to see where their adventure takes them next!

Do You Wanna Buy an Iguana?

We were recently driving along the highway,  just outside of the town of Masaya when we spotted some youngmen on the side of the road proudly displaying iguanas.  I pulled over to snap a photo and learned the following:

1.  These iguanas weren’t being sold as pets.  They were being sold for the meat.

2.  A nice plump iguana goes for approximately $4.35. Yup, that’s right 100 cordobas gets you one of these bad boys.  If you’re looking for more bang for your buck you can have both for 180 cordobas or $7.83.

Since taking these shots I’ve learned a bit more about this Nicaraguan custom through an interesting article by another WordPress blogger, Rachel Wyatt Lindsay.  

To read about this vegetarian’s experience eating iguana and the link between the Catholic Church and the threat of extinction for iguanas in Nicaragua click here.

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