Before leaving Nicaragua, we had a heavenly night at a different hotel in Granada (Hotel Granada.) It was such a fine feeling coming back into Granada and being excited to be back somewhere... a comforting wave of familiarity. The historic section of the city is so easy to navigate and welcoming.
The hotel was next to the extensive park that stretches for forever to the shores of the lake, Lago Nicaragua. Across from a beautiful ancient church, Iglesia Guadalupe, who's bell was a gift from Mexico. Most important, our beds were dry and Dan located speedy laundry service nearby. Dry clothes will not be taken for granted by any of us for some time. I hope to preserve the feeling of appreciation for as long as possible.
We felt like kings and queens in that hotel after the eco-lodge just 25 miles but worlds away at La Mariposa. We went back to our favorite Granada restaurant, where Jane begged for the falafel (like mother like daughter! Sniff sniff ) and Maggie was excited for pizza.
On our walk, out of the corner of my eye I saw a cart go by a few blocks ahead of us, towering high with stuffed animals. Jane made a sound that reminded us of when she was a toddler approaching a playground.... and with a quick Can I? She was dashing down the colorful street to catch it (with Dan close behind.) Needless to say, we acquired 2 more stuffed friends on our journey that evening (kitties.) Also on the tower of animals was a tree frog just like our mascot for Jazz Fest in New Orleans. You just never know what comforts of home you'll find in foreign lands.
We also saw a long parade celebrating the end of a school term for students in Granada. The next morning I was able to again walk the streets as stores and services were opening, stopping in places I remembered. At that point we knew where to find the "most important" places of interest: post office, used book store, handmade goods, bakery, fruit stand, girls' dresses and espresso.
It was such a gift to have that extra night and day in Granada. To top it off, the airport was peaceful and offered everything we needed to get ready for adventures in Ecuador.