Rancho Santana in Nicaragua

“You’re on the planet too. Why should James Bond have all the action, fun, money, and resort hotel living.”
― Paul Kyriazi, How to Live the James Bond Lifestyle: The Complete Seminar

When my best friend from high school came to visit us last week, they asked us to go to Rancho Santana with them. What a treat for us! We are country people at heart and usually choose inexpensive and funky places to stay, but we live on this planet, too! Honestly, why should James Bond have all the action, money, fun, and resort living?
Rancho Santana is a world-class resort and residential community on the Pacific Coast of Nicaragua. It was developed in 1997 and continues to provide first-class services to tourists and residents. 

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A Great Opportunity

“People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. Live your truth and don’t EVER stop!”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

This is a great opportunity for the right people. If you are searching for a new lifestyle, this may be for you. Eleven years ago, my husband and I followed our dreams by answering an ad for a manager of a hospedaje on Ometepe Island. Although, managing a youth hostel was not our thing, it led us to revamp and rewire our lifestyles and we’ve never looked back.

The Corner House on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

This job may be for YOU! Read on.

Dos Mangos

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What a difference a year makes! Last year at this time, our Italian friend was living in our house while we were in the states. He had to tear down his house block by block because it was sitting in the middle of the proposed runway for our new airport. His Italian girlfriend broke up with him, leaving him heartbroken.

This year, he built a new house, opened Dos Mangos, married an adorable local girl, and they are expecting a baby boy next month. I am thrilled for him! Life is always full of surprises in Nicaragua and the challenges are many. However, if one can approach life here with an open mind, a positive attitude, and lots of patience, it is possible to live a rich, fulfilled life.

Ron and I went to the grand opening of Dos Mangos yesterday. I think it is going to be our new lunch spot on Ometepe Island. It is close to our house, near the Punta Jesus Maria. The food is prepared with love…hand tossed authentic Italian pizza, delicious homemade banana cake, and plans for weekly Sunday specials. He wants to keep the costs low, so that he can cater to everyone, particularly local families.

Congratulations, my friend! I am so happy for you and your new life. We will definitely be regular customers at Dos Mangos.

Pizza Dreams

Pizza and calzone

It may not seem like a big deal to you, but pizza delivered to our door on Ometepe Island is an exceptional treat! In fact, when we moved from the Ozark Mountains to the Smoky Mountains, we searched for a place where pizza could be delivered to our house. No kidding!  In the Ozark Mountains, we lived 60 miles from the closest red light and beer distributor. Pizza delivery was only a spicy dream. Moving to a tropical island in Nicaragua, we had no expectations of fulfilling our dreams for a hot, spicy pie loaded with anchovies and delivered to our door, until we met Francisco.

Francisco dreamed of pizzas, too. Six years ago, he worked in a local restaurant in Moyogalpa making pizza pies. He learned the art of making pizza from an Italian visiting the island…and he’s never stopped perfecting his craft. For five years, he saved every penny (cordoba) to buy a pizza oven. Then, last year he opened his own pizza parlor, Pizzeria Buon Appetito.

It’s been raining steadily for a week. We are inundated with rain and holed up in our house watching movies, wearing long-sleeved t-shirts, and sharing our Gortex rain coats with our neighbors. “Cory, please run up to Carla’s pulperia and see if she has any chicken for sale,” I begged. But, he returned empty-handed. “No hay pollo,” he said.

That’s when I pulled Francisco’s business card off my refrigerator magnet. “Do you think he will deliver pizza to La Paloma?” I wondered. I ran outside with my cell phone to get a stronger signal. Sheltered from the rain under our closest mango tree, Francisco answered my frantic, hopeful call. “Francisco, my dear friend, can we have a pizza delivered to our house?” ( Francisco used to live in our house before we bought it, so he knew where we lived.)

“Of course, no problem,” he responded. Thirty minutes later, in the downpour, Francisco delivered a steaming hot pizza and calzone to our door on his dirt bike. You gotta love Nicaragua! Where else in the world do pizza dreams come true?

El Zaguan…Best Steak in Nicaragua

                                      Filet Mignon

Last week, Ron and I celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary. Actually, Bill and Hillary Clinton wed the same day and the same year, too. I used to send them anniversary cards, but when we moved to Ometepe Island, I stopped using mail. We have no mailman, no mailbox, and only one tiny post office in Moyogalpa. But, this is a story about steak!

We both had a hankerin’ for a melt-in-your-mouth dainty fillet. As far as we are concerned, the best place in Nicaragua for a tender filet mignon is El Zaguan in Granada. The service is impeccable, the house wine is dry and perfect for my tastes, and the steaks…well take a look for yourself.

We started our celebration with wine ( Wine isn’t Nicaragua’s forte, but Flor de Cana Rum is! I recommend the seven-year rum.). A crunchy, delicious salad was next with real lettuce. ( When you order a salad in Nicaragua, usually it is shredded cabbage.) Then , the mouth-watering, juicy, filet mignon  arrived smothered in mushrooms. After the main course, we ordered mountain grown Nicaraguan coffee and chocolate cheesecake.

My taste buds tingled for a week after the meal at El Zaguan. Now, how much would you pay for a meal like this in the states? Possibly $100 for two when you throw in the tip and the tax? Maybe more?  Our bill, including the tip and the tax, was $48 inclusive. And best of all…we could use a credit card! It is difficult to find places where a credit card is accepted on Ometepe Island.

Have I told you how much I love Nicaragua?