During our last full day in Nicaragua, at the tail end of a nine-day mid-January vacation, our group of four bade farewell to the Gran Pacifica Resort and returned by taxi to the capitol city of Managua. The drive took a little more than an hour, at rush hour, and cost a ridiculously low fare of $60.
We had made reservations to stay at the Seminole Hotel in the city so that we could catch an early flight the next morning back to the States. Our two companions had never been to Nicaragua before this trip so we decided to take them somewhere special so we all could enjoy one final dinner together. My wife Liz suggested that we return to a steak restaurant in downtown Managua where she and I and other Pittsburghers had dined several times over the past few years. The meal we ordered was a traditionally prepared churrasco steak. It all was served with exquisite manners and a rather formal style by a well trained, well-dressed waiter. We were amazed at the complexity of the delicious taste and tenderness of the churrasco.
Strolling through Managua
After finishing, quite satisfied, and with a craving for sweets, we left and walked a short distance past a movie theater to a nearby shopping mall, seeking some ice cream. We strolled through the wide corridors of a very modern, well lighted and clean mall, akin to its counterparts in Pittsburgh where we live and regularly shop. Throngs of young and old Managuans were there as we walked. We saw shop after shop of high-end fashions, jewelry and consumer products, stopping in a few that were especially appealing. In our quest for dessert, we were not disappointed, and discovered an ice cream counter in a large food court packed with Managuans out on the town for the evening. We spotted many familiar U.S. franchised brand names in the food court.
Fortunately, we did not have to wait long, as the lines to the ice cream counter mercifully were short. The cones, as is everything in Nicaragua, were amazingly inexpensive, at a fraction of the price we would have paid back home. Not surprisingly, the sugar cones of vanilla and chocolate were scrumptious, rivaling anything we'd find in the States. It's clear that the rest of the world is discovering the amazing opportunity in Nicaragua, and we are glad to be part of it.