We arrived at our secluded jungle bungalow around 1am after an exhausting but exciting 14 hour travel day. Chasing a toddler around two busy airports, keeping her from climbing up the chair in front of us, and constantly worrying about who she might be disturbing is draining. There are only so many rides you can take on the moving walkway, with her twisting herself up, shrieking and refusing to walk on her two feet before you are ready to hand her off to a stranger and hit the bar.
But to give her credit, she was a acting toddler appropriate and really came through when it counted. There was no kicking and screaming while going through customs and little to none on the airplane. I was more on edge and stressed out than necessary and people in airports are much happier to see outgoing toddlers than I had imagined. Sage was bringing smiles up and down the terminal and believe it or not, on the isles of the airplanes too.
We love budget travel and there is no better place for it than Central America. Our wedding photographer Mike Adrian shared his Nicaraguan vacation with us and promised great surf, delicious food, and cheap accommodations. We took his recommendation, begged the Artofs to come with us, and booked the trip.
The San Juan Del Sur area of Nicaragua is green, lush, and very alive. Our jungle home was the Mango Rosa Resort. We saw monkeys, pigs, cows, horses, goats, birds, chickens, butterflies, geckos, and a lizard the size of a cat. Everyday was spent in the sun, at the beach, or in the pool. The surf was too big for me at 12-15 feet, but Peter was happy and whether in the surf or playing in the whitewash we all enjoyed the wetsuit free water. AND, by some miracle Sage didn’t get bit by one mosquito. Thank God. Trying to settle down a mosquito bitten toddler was not my idea of a relaxing vacation.
We loved practicing our spanish and were again reminded of how easy it is to make new friends when on vacation. After a week the place really started to feel like home. The Mango Rosa has a very friendly feel. We loved the hospitality, the food was delicious, they have a great pool, and the other guests were adventurous and friendly. We had a two bedroom bungalow that we shared with our friends and it suited our needs perfectly. While the hotel is not on the beach, it still works. There is always someone to drive you down the road to the good surf breaks and you can also walk beautiful dirt road to get some exercise. While I am happy to be away from the mosquitos, I am just as happy to admit that the mosquitos were the only downside to the vacation. I loved our isolated jungle getaway. A few toys, really good food, a hammock, and quiet time with our little family and great friends is a simple, lovely way to live.