Saturday, December 31, 2011

Nicaragua Update

Sorry, net has been down for two days.

Flight was uneventful landing us in Managua around 2pm.

Got luggage, rental car, some cash and we were on our way.
Crazy directions with hardly any signposts on the road. We took one wrong turn and had help from a man to get us back on the right road.
We were then pulled over by a policeman, who didn't speak any English, however we figured out we had committed an infraction of following too closely to the car in front. Right!! His boss then came over no English either to say we had to give him the driver's license and go to the bank and get $100 US. No way were we surrendering the license but we did have around $70 US and he reduced it to $80 and we make the difference up in cordobas. What a racket but what can you do??? He wouldn't even write up a ticket. DH suggested he come with us to the bank but he said no LOL!!
There are cows, horses, chickens, kids, horse and carts making it a constant circus added to the missing signposts was a harrowing drive.

Anyway back on the road and 2 1/2 hours later and 30 kms on a dirt road we are almost there. We then spot my sister and her husband walking towards us looking for us. They hop in and we tell them we didn't stop for groceries as we wanted to get there before dark.

The house is down a very steep hill but overlooks a bay on the Pacific.

This was the view the next morning! Oh, yes I (we) have a pool boy daily!

We have a lazy morning and then go to Playa Gigante for lunch. When you order lunch here be prepared to wait at least an hour for the food to come.

And then back for a swim while the guys go into Managua to pick up the remaining two nieces, in the dark, on those roads!! All arrived safe and sound after also being stopped for an infraction of turning on a yellow light. Their fine was less and they also tried to make him write out a ticket which he refused.

Saturday Shoes

All dressed up for New Year's Eve!! All the best to everyone in 2012!!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wednesday's Words

This strip mall in North Carolina along highway 70 near Havelock had me shaking my head as we drove by (hence the not so great shot).

There is a pawn shop next to Worship Him, and can you see the Guns billboard on the far left?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Nicaragua Information

For the weather go here.

For the time go here. Nicaragua is one hour behind Toronto time.

How to call Nicaragua from Canada:

dial 011 + 505 +

Map of Nicaragua

For where we are go here. We are just south of Rivas.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Macro Monday

Macro Monday is easy to play, snap a macro (or any close-up) photo, post it on your blog and  go over to Lisa's Chaos and sign MckLinky. 

From last summer in my garden.

It's Monday! What Are you Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at  Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.

Finished this week:
Other People's Money: A Novel
You can read the recap over here.
So... finished. Not a character in it that I could like, people with so much money that 400,000 billion pounds means nothing. Old money, old powerful, supercilious men, old secretary/companion still in lobe with old boss. 
I did really like Melissa, a reporter who cracks the story to the newspapers, after losing her job and starting a scintillating blog.

But it is a gripping tale of the current economy when an old private English bank that gets caught up in the hedge funds scandals and has to use family money to prop up the bank's balance sheet so they can sell it to an American bank and walk away with gobs of money never worrying about who gets hurt in the meantime, the ordinary, other people. As long as they can come out with their lifestyles, it's all that matters.

This is a new author, to me, but I will be looking at his other books.

Also finished this week:
The Forgotten Waltz

This was a very quick read of a modern day tawdry affair in post Celtic Tiger times in Dublin. I had not read this author either before but will also be looking for more of her books.
The narrator is Gina, who leaves her husband for an older married with child man. Sean is dashing but cold. I could never see what she saw in him. I understand the kisses and mad passion in the hallways of hotels but more than that with him? No.
Gina is a nasty piece of work. Her humour crackles with desperation, however, I did  share her impatience with her overprotective sister (whose children have never seen a cigarette) we want to distance ourselves from whatever she is thinking (even though you might be thinking the same thing). 
Gina’s is lazy in her recounting of the affairs: how, why and when the critical events in her story take place. (“I can’t be too bothered here, with chronology.”) And she’s hazy on details, preferring the fuzzy and general summary to the sharp and particular representation. Her job involves translation, but not from “the romance languages, unfortunately, I do the beer countries, not the wine.”
Her mother is dying, but she hides her head in the sand until it's too late and then gets all morose.
One of my favourite sentences that I bookmarked to repeat here was:
"Delighted that the end of her marriage to the hapless Conor has rescued her from having to visit his boring family, she crows: “I just can’t believe it. That all you have to do is sleep with somebody and get caught and you never have to see your in-laws again. Ever. Pfffft! Gone. It’s the nearest thing to magic I have yet found.”
Much as Other People's Money above is about greed and money this also touches on these topics. 
I did enjoy the voyeurism into the seedier side of their adultery.
All in all a good read.

Plan to start:
Tell It to the Trees
From the book jacket:
One freezing winter morning a dead body is found in the backyard of the Dharma family's house. It's the body of their tenant, Anu Krishnan. Why had she, a stranger to the mountains, been foolish enough to go out into the blizzard? From this gripping opening, Anita Rau Badami threads together a story of love and need, and of chilling secrets never told aloud.

For Anu, seeking a secluded retreat from the city, the Dharmas--the authoritarian Vikram, his aged mother, gentle Suman whom he has brought from the bustling warmth of India in a swiftly arranged marriage, their young daughter, Varsha, and her little brother--are a tightly knit family with values to uphold. The joy of Suman's good Indian cooking, the tales told by old Akka, the beauty of the place, delight her; but she soon realizes that the Dharma family holds unexpected secrets--Suman is a trapped, silent and fearful woman--and the memory of Vikram's first wife who died in an accident casts a long shadow over the household. Anu's arrival will change the balance of the Dharma household, and when the secrets start to spill out, something terrible is bound to happen...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Book Beginnings

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Katy from A Few More Pages. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include the title and author so others know what you're reading.

This week I started The Forgotten Waltz

"If it hadn't been for the child then none of this might have happened, but the fact that a child was involved made everything that much harder to forgive."

I'm intrigued...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wednesday's Words

Did we miss anything in this statement?

Equality Statement
XXX Seniors Centre is committed to ensuring that its mission and operations embrace the entire community regardless of age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion), colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union of staff association, political affiliation, race,  receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristics. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Include the link to your Teaser in the comments.

 I'm currently reading and completely enjoying it!
Other People's Money: A Novel

Here's my teaser:

"He hates charity dinners, with all that bonhomie and the childish showoff auctions and those terrible jokey speeches. Dickens described financiers of his time at a charity dinner: sleek, slobbery, bow-paunched, overfed, apoplectic, snorting cattle."

Monday, December 19, 2011

Nicaragua Itinerary

Map of Nicaragua

We will be staying here from December 27 until January 9.
 Bahia Gigante, Nicaragua, Central America
Check it out!!
A aerial shot of Redonda Bay with our home on the left

A aerial shot of Redonda Bay with our home on the left
The house itself is constructed of beautiful Brazilian hardwood and locally sourced tile. All of the furniture is brand new, top quality and handmade in Nicaragua. The main floor features a great room with an open kitchen, a dining table that seats eight and a living space perfect for conversation and games. The main floor veranda features an additional dining table with a view of the bay that is ideal for coffee, breakfast, lunch or an evening drink as the sun sets. The veranda also has rocking chairs and lounge chairs for whatever matches your mood. The kitchen features brand new appliances and is made for entertaining. The bunk room is a great place for kids with beds for 6 (3 twins and 3 trundles), a full bathroom, double doors to the veranda and plenty of room to lounge, hang out and watch movies.
A aerial shot of Redonda Bay with our home on the left
The lower level features an infinity pool with a terrific view of the water, hammocks, chaise lounges, a hardwood picnic style table for dining/games that seats eight, a half bath and even an outdoor poolside shower. It’s the perfect place for the kids to hang out and call their own or for the entire family to relax. Adjacent to the pool is a palapa (thatch roofed shelter) and just above is the casita with a private bedroom (full size bed), full bathroom and laundry room.

The upper level features a gallery, three bedrooms, three full bathrooms and a wraparound sun deck. The spacious master suite features a king size bed, balcony, dressing room, double sink full bathroom and double doors leading to the sundeck. The bedroom next to the master features two twin beds plus a third trundle bed and a full bathroom. The third bedroom features a full size bed, built in cabinets, a full bathroom and double doors leading to the sundeck.

From January 9 -13 we will be in Granada - the oldest city in Central America.

Casa Pasos por Susanna
Calle La Calzada #802
Granada, Nicaragua
Nicaragua: 505-836-81544
Nicaragua: 505-847-24863
The owners are Shylow and Becky.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at  Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
Finished this week:
The Templar Salvation

Took me longer than I planned to finish this as "stuff' got in the way. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just a great read with lots of history mixed in. Any time a book covers off the secrets of the Vatican I am fascinated.The story flips back and forth between a Templar knight's adventures protecting and hiding ancient Christian religious texts and the modern search for the same texts by a terrorist who wants to destroy the texts to undermine the Christian religious beliefs that the Vatican would want all to believe.
We start off in the Vatican and then travel around Turkey in search of the texts.
There's plenty of action, some a little unbelievable, but makes for a lot of fun reading. 
It's one of those books that you'd like to see made into a movie (although of course the book would be better) just so you could see some of the stunts.

Started this week:
Other People's Money: A Novel
AArecap of the story line ca be found in this post. It is moving along quickly and other than a slow start it has picked up. 

Plan to start this week:
The Forgotten Waltz
From the book jacket:
The Forgotten Waltz is a memory of desire: a recollection of the bewildering speed of attraction, the irreparable slip into longing, that reads with breathtaking immediacy. In Terenure, a pleasant suburb of Dublin, in the winter of 2009, it has snowed. A woman recalls the trail of lust and happenstance that brought her to fall for "the love of her life." As the city outside comes to a halt, she remembers the days of their affair in one hotel room or another: long afternoons made blank by bliss and denial. Now, as the silent streets and the stillness and vertigo of the falling snow make the day luminous and full of possibility, she awaits the arrival on her doorstep of his fragile, twelve-year-old daughter, Evie. InThe Forgotten Waltz, Enright is at the height of her powers. This is Anne Enright's tour de force, a novel of intelligence, passion, and real distinction.

Macro Monday


Macro Monday is hosted by Lisa at Lisa's Chaos.
Macro Monday is easy to play, snap a macro (or any close-up) photo, post it on your blog and come back here and sign MckLinky. 

This was taken last March - the first sign of spring (bring it on!!).