September 30, 2015: Exploring the Playgrounds and our First Nicaraguan Pizza

After all of the excitement of yesterday, today seemed pretty tame by comparison.

This morning was our first time actually getting around to making coffee!  So this was our first Nicaraguan coffee.  Hard to believe that we have made it this far without having had any of it at all yet.  It was very good.

We heard a lot of horses this morning and poked our heads out to discover that a whole group of maybe eight horse drawn carriages loaded with passengers had pulled up to the “hotel” across the street and people were getting out and filling up the hotel.  It was very odd.  I had heard that people sometimes use the horse drawn carriages as taxis around town but had not expected to see something like this.  And definitely not directly in front of our front door.  Very cool.

We had a marching band wander by in front of the house today.  Odd.  Not something that we had been expecting to see.

I made mac and cheese for the kids today.  We have Costa Rican mac and cheese rather than Kraft and they love it.  I’m much happier making them something local, although it tastes pretty close.

This evening after I was mostly done writing for the day and because we had promised yesterday, we took the girls out for a walk to go up the street to the Poet’s Park to the playground there.

Unfortunately the playground had looked far better from the road that it did up close.  A lot of it was in terrible disrepair and had missing boards, broken metal and sharp edges.  We had to be really careful.  There were tons and tons of kids there too.

The girls played for a while and Dominica watched them.  I went out walking around town in an attempt to find food options relatively near where we were.  I walked far to the east to the chicken factory and found a grocery store that we had not known about before and explored the neighborhoods in that direction, then stopped by the playground and reported in.  Nothing for us to do in that direction.

Then I set out to the west towards the grocery stores that I already knew.  It was getting hot and I was starting to sweat a lot.  It was a long walk and I managed to find very little.  There was an asada place but, of course, we don’t eat anything that they would have.  There was a local bar and restaurant kind of thing but nothing that felt comfortable just popping into with the kids, especially not this early on our stay in Granada.  Finally I found a pizza place next to the far grocery store.  Better than nothing.

I walked back to the playground and let the family know what we would be doing.  Dominica had been making friends with kids on the playground who were all attempting to communicate.  They were struggling but getting by.  Liesl and Luciana were having run even with the dangerous and limited playground.  I think that there were even more kids when we returned there.

We all walked together over to the pizza place, Pizza Vale.  The seating is all outdoors, it is a very interesting plaza (with bats flying around the inside of it!)  It was nice but way too warm.  Very hard to cool down with no breeze and hot, humid air.

The food ended up being amazing and we had a really nice time.  The pizza was great, similar in style to what we found in rural Panama like my mother used to make.  The vegetarian pizza at Pizza Vale has pineapple on it which was awesome.  Liesl loved out pizza too.

After dinner we went to La Colonia, the fancy grocery store that we were told was more expensive but would have more of the kind of food that we would be looking for.  This was our first time going to La Colonia and this was Dominica’s first Nicaraguan grocery store experience.

We shopped for a while but had to be careful how much we bought as we needed to carry everything back with us, we don’t have a car.  We were very thankful to have real food for the house, this will help a lot.

We walked back home and got the groceries put away and settled into the air conditioned bedrooms to cool down, relax and get some sleep.