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Family Trip to Nicaragua – OSEA style

Nicaragua is reportedly the new ‘It Girl’ of Central America. From the New York Times to the yoga retreats flooding my daily newsfeeds, Nicaragua is ‘the place’ to go; the new Costa Rica.

My sojourn to Nicaragua had nothing to do with the travel-pr buzz however. But instead everything to do with celebrating birthdays (mine and our youngest daughter, Mary’s), and ringing in the New Year together as a family – provided there was a new year. My birthday (December 21) coupled with the Mayans’ prediction for the end of the world.

We chose a private house overlooking the sea, and on my birthday, we pulled up to a charming small restaurant (in two rental cars – note: anyone with 20-something-old ‘children‘ knows this is a must). The whole town was lit up with white twinkling lights, so beautiful. But the moment we arrived, Bam! The power went out. Mary was positive the world was ending.

Instead we dined by candlelight, and laughed (as only families can), at Mary, our baby. We awoke the next day to a stunning sea view and meandered into town for (better than Costa Rican) coffee. An Ex-Pat roasting organic beans was as intrigued with my OSEA Ocean Lotion as I was with her coffee, and a ’deal’ was struck (lotion for beans) and a friendship born. She directed us to the ‘must-do’s). But neglected to warn us of the chicken.

This time it was Melissa and David who earned the brunt of our family laugh. Driving back to the house, they stopped for a 12-year-old boy walking alone carrying a baby. Or so they thought. Once seated comfortably in the rental car, he revealed the carefully wrapped bundle to be a chicken – his mother had wished for it and he was bringing it home.

And that, my friends, is Nicaragua. During our weeklong stay, a rhythm developed. Of sea and sun. Of early morning walks and fresh papaya. Of long, blissful soaks in our private pool, and DIY mud-treatments. Of yoga on the deck when the tranquil mood struck. And hula-hooping, when the energy ignited.

Close to the end of the trip, my beautiful adult children brought forth a new  family tradition – vision-boarding. In all of the spiritual growth my work as a spa director, maker of OSEA products, and love-child of the sea, I must admit, that I’ve never physical touched my vision to board. I’ve stated my intentions but have never cut and pasted my desires onto a board. My children, all three, have been vision-boarding for awhile now. And Nicaragua – relaxed and open – was the perfect place to introduce Steve and I.

There was laughter and support, as each of us silently cut from magazines, drew with crayons and pasted onto paper, our desires for 2013. Just like the Nicaraguan mother, whose wish was a chicken, our desires too were being sent out into the universe. And I felt an overwhelming love and sense of connection and true gratitude for being in this magical land with this beautiful family.

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