Rum and roller-coaster rides

It was our last night in Nicaragua and we were ready to party. Holly had arranged for us to spend the evening at La Bahia, a posh eco-friendly resort, sipping on Nicaraguan rum and enjoying the views of Nahualapa.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

La Bahia was an exquisite hotel, probably a five-star venue by Nicaraguan standards. I gave it extra points for friendly hosts, jiving music, and endless booze.

Even though the clouds gathered ominously above our pool party, we carried on with our drinking and laughter. A little rain wouldn’t stop us from enjoying each others’ company or Nicole’s impressions.

Lindsay sent over a few of the local women who participated in Waves of Hope program to provide manicures and pedicures. All of the proceeds went straight to the women and their families (except for costs to replace supplies). It felt nice to have clean nails for a change.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

The rain started pouring during the middle of our pedicure sessions so we moved the festivities to the cabana, drinking to keep ourselves warm.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

Holly had to cut our celebration short, having to consider how we would get home (the rain and lightning meant we couldn’t wade through the estuary to get back). We would split the group into two different trucks to caravan back to El Coco Loco. I hopped in the back of Holly’s SUV. We were lost in fits of giggles while Holly nervously drummed her fingers against the wheel. She shifted over the hills and ditches of the dirt road, interrupting our pointless conversations with a reality check.

“Hey, do you guys remember that little river in the middle of the road?” Holly asked. Of course we did. “Well, when it rains, it floods the road. I think we should be okay, but there is a possibility that we may get stuck.”

This thought was hilarious to me. I could just picture the six of us standing knee-deep in the river, thunder clapping overhead, covered in mud, and pushing her 4runner out of a ditch while still drunk off our asses. I was game. It certainly couldn’t be anymore dangerous than volcano boarding during a thunderstorm.

I marveled at my mindset. Where had the city girl gone?

We approached the river, seeing it from the top of the hill. We all screamed and hollered as the truck barreled down the road. We raised our arms up like we were on a roller-coaster and dropped into the river. We clapped and cheered as Holly sped out of the water, successfully navigating through the danger zone. I would never complain about Vegas roads again.

Photo by Andrea Preziotti

We made it safely back to El Coco Loco and spent the rest of the evening watching the rain fall. I still couldn’t believe it was my last night in this paradise. I reluctantly said goodnight to my amigas and tucked my mosquito net in around my bed.

A knot formed in my stomach as I pondered the days to come. Would I be able to keep my new-found freedom when I got back to the bustle of the Vegas streets? How would I handle being back in such a tech-savvy and competitive environment?

I pushed away the negativity and listened to the geckos chirping. I had a few hours remaining here under the blanket of Nicaraguan stars and thunder. I didn’t want to think about anything else.

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