Nicaragua Part 1: Sun, Sand & Surf

Overall, the flight from Miami to Managua was pretty smooth. After landing in Managua, I went through customs which wasn’t bad at all. I paid the $10, they stamped my passport and then I was good to go. I then sent my bag through security, so including that the process took about 20 minutes.

Airplane snacks….

I decided to grab some food at the airport and text everyone to let them know that I made it.

After finding out that Kelly and Shawn’s flights were delayed, I went ahead and walked across the street to the Best Western which is where we were crashing for the night.
I checked in, went to the room and then decided to get in some core and leg work after a long day of travel.

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I met up with Cara and Brooke later that night for dinner before meeting the rest of the gang. We had a tossed salad and shared plantains with black beans.

It was an early bed time since we were all exhausted and tomorrow was going to be a long day.

Saturday, March 11: Travel to El Coco Loco Resort

I got up fairly early so I had enough time to shower and eat before the shuttle picked us up. I walked around the hotel to get in some steps and then met the girls for breakfast. The food was good for a hotel and honestly way better than what I was expecting.
I had an omelette, plantains and some fresh fruit. I got in my last couple of text messages since I knew when we got on the road there would be no wifi and I wouldn’t have a way to contact anyone.

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We all met in the lobby to grab the shuttle and head to the El Coco Loco. The ride was about 3 hours long. We all chatted for a bit and then it got quiet and we all passed out after Meaghan turned on her yoga music. Oh and our luggage was strapped to the roof of the van if you’re wondering.

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We stopped at a gas station to pick up some water, snacks and hit the bathroom. I grabbed aloe water and some nut mix.

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3pm: We arrived at the El Coco Loco which is located in Chinandega.

Two of the owners welcomed us and gave us our cabana assignments. Shawn, Kelly and I were in cabana 6. It was actually the newest cabana and was halfway between the restaurant (and pool) and the beach. The rooms weren’t bad at all and we scoped out how to use the toilets.

Jodi and Meaghan did this retreat last year and had such a blast that they decided to come back again this year (I’m so glad that they did). The resort opened in 2010. I won’t type out all of the details here, but I highly recommend you check out the website and learn more about the amazing things they are doing in Nicaragua and the organization Waves of Hope.

Here’s a look inside our home for the week.

That night we all met up for some yoga and intention setting before dinner.
My intention for the week was to just recharge. I needed this time to refocus (especially with just starting Ironman training) and come back to my word for 2017 which is acceptance/trust. I spend most of the week and weekend going about 90mph and often forget to slow down. My goal was to relax, enjoy the time off the grid, and apply what I learn on my mat to every day life when I return to Baltimore.

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We walked to the beach to watch the sunset and then grabbed dinner. It was so nice to have one long table and get to spend the dinners chatting with everyone and learning about their life. It was easy to do this since we didn’t have our phones and weren’t on social media. I will say I did make sure to capture all of the food we ate so you’ll get to see throughout the week just how amazing it was. Oh and every night we got dessert which was a treat for me since I normally don’t (well can’t) eat sweets.

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Appetizer was fresh pico de gallo and dinner was steamed fish. Dessert was a healthy take on a rolo (peanut butter, cocoa and coconut).

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We all were exhausted so went to bed around 9-9:30pm. This is what you do on vacation right?!?!?

Sunday, March 12: Resort Day

It was so easy to wake up early and get going. With the sun coming up around 5:45am and hearing the sound of the ocean, the birds and roosters, there was no chance to sleep in. Plus since there was no AC, we kept the curtains in the cabana open so the sunlight peeked through nice and early.

At Coco Loco they do two breakfasts. First breakfast was put out around 5:30am and included coffee (of course), tea, juice, yogurt, fresh fruit (watermelon, pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe, bananas) and chia seeds. They also had this amazing homemade granola, peanut butter, and bread.

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After breakfast we took a walk on the beach before yoga.

8-9:30am: Yoga with Meaghan. It felt so good to move and get back on my mat. I haven’t been doing yoga as often as I would like so practicing 2x per day was definitely something I was looking forward to. I tried to take pictures after each class and incorporate some poses that we did.

We had some down time after yoga and before second breakfast so we chilled and drank more coffee. Second breakfast was served around 10:30am and was always more filling. Most of the time it included some kind of eggs. There was still more fruit, granola, bread and coffee.

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Today was a resort day which meant beach and pool time. That’s basically how it went down most days and then a light lunch was normally served around 2pm.

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I chilled by the pool and in the hammock most afternoons and tried to get in my reading time before evening yoga around 4pm.

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The evening yoga was about an hour and was more restorative. It included a lot of stretches which is exactly what I needed. We often had time to grab a quick shower and change before dinner.

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Appetizer tonight was fresh guacamole served around 6pm and dinner came out around 7pm. I went with the veggie enchiladas this time. I skipped dessert which was a milk chocolate stuffed macaroon.

Again, another early bed time. Everyone pretty much headed to bed around 9-9:30pm.

Monday, March 13: Surf Day

5:15amish: Yup…early bird gets the worm. Today was surf day which was super exciting. I’ve never surfed so I couldn’t wait to try it out and hit the water. I grabbed first breakfast and then headed to the beach.

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6am- 7:30am: Surfing was amazing and so much fun. We got a brief lesson from the surf instructors. I learned that I was goofy meaning that I put my right foot (regular is left foot) forward on the board. If you’re wondering why it’s called this..in 1937, Walt Disney released an animated cartoon, “Hawaiian Holiday”. In this cartoon, Goofy goes surfing with his right leg in front of the surfboard. A good way to find out if you’re goofy or regular is to have someone push you from behind. Based on what foot steps forward that determines if you’re goofy or regular.

 After a brief intro we hit the water. We only did white water surfing and didn’t go out too far. got up a few times, but definitely a lot harder than I thought.

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Photo taken by Annie

I was in the first wave of surfing so was done around 7:30ish and then headed back to change so that I could go for a run. Shawn and Britta ran before surf and scoped out the distance and the beach. They ran barefoot so I decided to try it out. It was awesome to run solo along the water. I did about 4.40 miles which felt great.

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9-10:15am: After surfing and running, it was time for morning yoga. Jodi led today’s class which was about 75 minutes.

We typically headed up to where breakfast was served and drank more coffee and waited for breakfast.

After breakfast we had all day to chill so most of us headed to the beach until lunch around 2pm.

After lunch I spend time at the pool since I had a massage at 3:30pm. The massage was actually included in the stay. It was one of the best massages. Nothing beats laying on a massage table in a palapa (meaning pulpous leaf) which is an open-sided dwelling with a roof made of dried palm leaves. You could hear the sound of the ocean and feel the breeze from the palm trees which made it even more relaxing. I had Kathia for my massage and she was excellent. I said hard and she definitely hit all the knots.

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4:30-5:30pm: Meaghan led a restorative class and hit all the major areas where I need work including the hips.

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Quick shower and then time to grab drinks, chill and get ready for dinner. Dessert was this chocolate mousse. I didn’t eat any because it was milk chocolate but snapped a picture anyway.

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9pm: Bed

Stay tuned for Part 2 coming later this week!!

xx
Emily


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