A Perfect Storm

Some trips seem so much like a slam dunk that it’s hard to get excited for them. My last such adventure? A week in San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. My friend Denise invited me, to leave the very next day after I got home from a week in NYC. I love Denise; I figured I’d like her friends. I love San Juan, and I love the beach; easy, peasy. Instead of thinking about it at ALL, I spent weeks getting pumped about NYC. Poor Nicaragua was an afterthought, an “Oh, I almost forgot that I have one night to unpack and re-pack my bags, even though I live in the tropics without a dryer and thus have no idea how I’m going to manage such a fast turnaround.”

But sometimes, a trip to a place that you already know is wonderful with a group of people who you already know you love gets smacked with an added dose of travel magic. For me, for us, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua was a perfect storm of fun.

And this was a trip I almost cancelled.

I was so exhausted after TBEX, literally about to melt after having left for the airport at 3:30 am after a crazy week in Manhattan. Denise, her friend Megan, and I powwowed the night I got back. Internet was down in our Nicaraguan rental, and I hadn’t even told my business partner I was taking another trip. Maybe I needed a week off from globe-trotting? Thankfully, I gambled on the internet connection getting fixed and skipped home to pack my bags. Megan was left with a terrible first impression. I must’ve seemed about as fun as an old mop.

The next morning, bright and early, we headed for the Costa Rica/Nicaragua border. It was the first time I crossed on foot, and it had recently rained. Imagine three girls in their little dresses with a little Chihuahua named Chica, slipping and sliding as they walk in quicksand-worthy mud. When finally we arrived at our rental house, we immediately got the Tonas going, per tradition. It was about 10 am. Somewhere around beer number five and early afternoon, Megan’s friend Mike showed up.  Our Nica A-team was complete.

What followed was a week of having “our” table reserved every night at the Iguanas beach bar, a magical day of private beaches at Rancho Santana, romantic $10 lobster dinners, and night after night of laughing so hard I was determined to never go home. We had our own dance (Denise will have to show you), a close group of local friends (Eli, we miss you; Pedro, get down to business!), and I even got to meet one of my Twitter friends(@ayngelina; she’s awesome).

On the way back to Costa Rica, Megan actually got teary for most of the trip. Me? Nah! I travel all the time; I’m made of steel. Yeah, right. I cracked many days later, when my three Canadians were back… in Canada. I’ve already got my next trip booked, plus a little one or two to keep me occupied before that. But man, it’s hard to get back in the saddle after a trip like that! That trip seemed almost too good to be true, another one of those trips where the place was truly special, but the actual adventure happened thanks to the people who were there.

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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  1. Oh, she’s trouble, that Ayngelina. 🙂

    I refuse to believe the beaches are *that* gorgeous, as shown in the pictures. I refuse. Has to be a special effect. Has to.

  2. Sigh … can’t wait for our adventure! And lucky you for getting meet Ayngelina!

  3. San Juan del Sur is one of the most beautiful places in the world! I’m sooo happy that you didn’t cancel this trip and that you had such an awesome time. I’m jealous I wasn’t there!!! Love the image of you 3 chicas crossing the border in sundresses and flip flops.

  4. @Mike Clearly there were two cameras at work here — my beat-up old Nikon, and Mike’s super-fancy cam. But the beaches WERE that gorgeous!!

    @Andi You would’ve fit right in!

    @D Omg I am seeing you Next Week!!!!!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful adventure in a beautiful place with some great friends! Love the image of crossing the border on foot in your little sundresses 🙂

  6. Sounds like a great trip! Happy that you had some fun in the sun, and hope that one of your travels brings you to DC :)! xoxo PS Loved the photos. The water shot looks like a postcard, and you look great in blue!

  7. Awesome, I love when Twitter buds get together on the road.

  8. Abs! Love you and miss you!

  9. Fun fun fun! But I miss you btw. When are you coming stateside again?

  10. @Keith Isn’t it great? I will go to enormous lengths to meet up with anyone!

    @Abbie Soon, soon!

    @Megan Where are we off to next?!

    @City Girl I am soo owed a DC trip… But maybe I’ll talk you into coming to ME!

    @Margo Us in the mud at the border was ridiculous!!

  11. Abby I am game for anywhere…

  12. I hate goodbyes… Good to hear that you had fun though!~

  13. sounds like a lot of fun! I’ve got to get to Central America.

  14. Adam, you definitely do need to get down here. You’d love it!

    Mike, when I left for Nicaragua, I was so sad after saying good-bye to all of you guys at TBEX! It’s never-ending, huh?

  15. Our trip can’t come soon enough! I want a night of cocktails and laughter. 😛

    Sounds like you had a blast and I have to agree with everyone, the beaches look sublime.

  16. Awww so fun! I always get so jealous when I see all the travel bloggers hanging out. I’ve yet to have a destination meeting with anyone. I need to travel asap!

  17. It’s funny. San Juan del Sur seems so popular now, however I never payed any attention to it when I went to Nicaragua almost 10 years ago. I did have a blast in Ometepe though!

  18. Aww I love Ayngelina! I want to have more meetups! I need to get to this beach. I love beaches, looks like a great time.

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