This year for Christmas Reed and I went to visit family in Nicaragua.
Yes you read that right, Reed and I have family in Nicaragua. Here is a quick explanation why. Reeds family are full time missionaries that own a pineapple farm (Piñas de Paz) right outside of Managua Nicaragua. They have been there for about 10 years and it has been a HUGE part of Reed and I's relationship. If you've read any of "our story" you know I've know him almost my entire life and that we started dating while I was visiting his family in Nicaragua. So this country has a special place in our heats, not just because of the people or family but because it has some fun history for Reed and I :)
I thought I would share some of our trip with you. And maybe some of you will find this country as beautiful as I do and think about visiting my family and their ministry :)
Basically we had an awesome trip. This was our 3rd visit for Christmas (and my 7th trip in general) but the first where we stayed at the farm for the entire trip. It is a stunning place and was such a delight to stay for the holidays. We didn't plan a lot other than spending time with family. Reeds siblings where all able to come down too so it made the holidays extra special!
Our first day Reed and his dad got to go on 2 dove hunts and it was a dream come true for Reed. So much so that he came back and picked me up asking me to come along and document the day. This picture shows the field we were hunting and you can see one of the local volcanoes on the sky line.
Also, check out that view! Thats what we woke up to each morning & yes, where I brushed my teeth :)
One of the excursions we got to take was to see the Christmas lights in down town Managua. It was CRAAAZY like seriously that Christmas tree was massive! (if you look closely you can see people in the bottom left corner of the second picture.) Our nephew was so cute while checking out the lights!
Reed and I took some time to recap some of our best memories in Nicaragua. It was really fun to go back and do a few things that we did when we first started dating 7 years ago. The photo on the left was where we had our "first date". We went on a boat tour around some of the islands in Lake Nicaragua. We toured it again this year with our family. The other two photos, with the water fall, are from where we had our first kiss! Reed and I took the tripod and hiked back to the water fall this trip and took some really fun photos. I could have easily overloaded you with cheesy not so great quality pictures but instead I picked two of my favorite :)
One of the things I had never done in all of my 7 visits was take a "real" hike through the jungle around my in-laws farm. Reed goes every year with Juan Carlos and hikes around looking for iguanas and doves. So this year I told Reed I wanted him to take me, just on a beginner level hike. Non of that scaling mountains type junk. As you can see Reed didn't hear my request other than I wanted to hike in the jungle. We hiked 2 hours in to the jungle and 2 hours back out. It doesn't seem like thats too far but just look at what I had to climb through.... The picture on the left doesn't look so bad but basically I'm walking up stairs constantly, thats how steep it was. Do you see the blue and white dot in front of me?? Thats Juan Carlos, he was a beast and I totally couldn't keep up...
To explain the other 3 "hiking" pictures. We came to a spot in the canyon that was nothing but a stone wall with some branches leaned up it. I thought for sure we would turn around... Nope those branches are there to function as a ladder!!! So inventive. The first picture shows that not only did we scale a rock wall with sticks for help, but we also had to make sure we didn't fall back in to that black hole of nasty, nasty, water. The second and third are of me being super unsure of myself while watching Juan Carlos scurry up in rubber boots. But I did it and Reed was so proud he documented it :)
Basically our Christmas was spent sipping rum and coke, eating fresh pineapple, soaking up the sun, creating exciting memories, and enjoying the company of family in our favorite place! Those 10 days where so fun and relaxing, Reed and I are so grateful for the opportunity we have every other year to travel down to Nicaragua. Now that we are back in the States and trying to get back in the groove of "ever day life" writing this post was a good break. How was your holiday with the family, any new and fun memories made???