Second Highest on the Totem Pole

Christy Nichols
8 min readApr 14

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Traversing through miles of partly lush, partly dry farmland, acres of plantain trees and sugar cane fields, our road trip motored us past silhouettes of volcanos rising from the horizon, hovering over the two-lane highway that chicken buses, big rigs, herds of cows, motorcycles, horse-drawn carts, and our Land Cruisers all shared in not-so-equal parts.

There would be surfy beach stops to explore sunset tide pools and dine on fresh-caught fish tacos. There would be city stops to wander through weathered cathedrals and taste-test modern non-fish vegan cuisine. We’d horseback ride through swampy green, scenic trails populated with flighty white herons. We’d hike up active volcanos and later feast on more fresh-caught fish tacos.

There were 10 of us in the group. Family #1, parents to a just-turned-one-year-old and a 6-year-old, and Family #2, parents to a just-turned-7-year-old, and an 8 ½-year-old. (The ½ is important). A 22-year-old nephew of Family #2 had joined the caravan, all of us strapped securely inside two packed and loaded SUVs, we set out for the North of Nicaragua for a multi-family family vacation.

In case you lost track with all the numbers I just haphazardly littered this page with, that’s two families of 4, myself, and a college student.

Five days into our travels, we arrived at a lovely Hacienda, where we’d explore, relax, and celebrate a milestone birthday in the group. There was a long discussion over how to divide the rooms given the dynamics of our party.

In the Hacienda, a large house hosted 4 bedrooms and 2 shared bathrooms, offering a blend of privacy but also access to each person’s quarters. The access to each room would come in handy for parents of small, imaginative, and giggly children. Most rooms did not have air conditioning, only fans.

A second cabin on the grounds was a totally private one-bedroom ensuite and separated from the other by a dirt path under a jungle canopy. It was a good 30-second walk away (which is a fair distance if you walk in one direction and time it). The room boasted air conditioning.

Christy Nichols

Educator, business owner, writer, do-gooder (mostly), trouble-maker (sometimes). Life Coach, Book Coach, Nicaragua Retreats hosted by