Pura Vida Travels - A Guide To Travel In Latin America

Somehow we did manage to make it to the wedding on-time, well, on-time for an American that is. At 7 PM the place was deserted and I was thinking maybe no one was going to show up for our wedding. Sure enough, around 8:30 the guests began arriving. I really wasn't aware just how big of an event our wedding was until I was informed that I had to hire the entire police department in Acoyapa to provide security. There was actually a crowd of people outside of 50 to 80 people watching as all the guests showed up. It was a bit like the academy awards and the red carpet. There were so many people that street vendors actually set up camp to sell refreshments to the crowd.

The DJ we hired came in from Managua. When we hired him I thought the $500 price tag was a bit high but considering all they provided it turned out to be quite a bargain. The sound system they provide rivals that of a rock concert. In addition to the sound system they provide lights, a jumbotron type video system, a generator in case the power goes out, and a guy with a video camera that wanders around shooting the video that displays on the big screen.

We also hired a mariachi band from Managua and they played before and after the ceremony.

The Wedding Cake

Hey, They Spelled My Name Right!

It Was Quite A Cake

The Sound System

Our Table

It Was A Classy Affair

The "JumboTron"

Them Some Big Speakers

The Mariachi's Tune Up

Street Vendors Outside
The wedding service itself was a civil service and the ceremony was performed by our lawyer. In Nicaragua a lawyer has the power to marry people like a justice of the peace in the US. The way it works is the lawyer reads a huge amount of information from a book he prepares for the wedding and when he finishes the bride, the groom, and all the testigos (witnesses) sign the book. Once everyone has put their John Hancock down you're married. It becomes official when you file the paperwork with the government. (more on that later)

I Receive "Felicidades"

And Many Kisses

Let The Dancing Begin

Our First Dance

As Husband And Wife

Time For Dinner

Enough Photos Already!

Man Am I Getting Fat

Juniett & Her Sister In Law

Juniett & Her Sister In Law

The Gifts

Juniett & Her Mom
You will notice in the photos that my shirt matches Juniett's dress perfectly. What you don't know is just how hard it was to find a men's shirt that color. I went to at least 20 different stores with no luck. I finally found a perfect match at, of all places, Value City. The funniest part was that the shirt was marked $12 and I thought I was getting a heck of a deal. When I went to pay for it I found out they were 75% off so the final price was a whopping $3.

Well, enough about the shirt, I broke our wedding video up into 4 parts and edited out some of the "slower" parts. There was at least 15 minutes of the lawyer's assistant reading from the book we signed with such compelling information as our passport numbers, where all the witnesses were born, who all our parents are, where they were born, etc. Why they have to read all of that is beyond me but I've stopped trying to figure things out in Nicaragua.

Part 1 - Scenes from Acoyapa

Part 2 - The wedding hall and interviews with the testigos (witnesses)

Part 3 - I arrive looking dazed and confused...

Part 4 - Let's get this party started, the mariachis play...

Part 5 - The wedding ceremony

Part 6 - Everyone signs the big book, the mariachis play "Felicidades", and I provide definitive evidence that white men can't dance....

Mariachi's In Action


A Toast

Mmmmm, Grape Juice!

I Can't Dance

But I Can Tell Jokes

Stabbing The Cake

One More Picture

White Man Dancing
As the wedding started to wind down at 1:30 AM the attempts to shake down the gringo for more money began. First, the lawyer informed us that we had to stay in Acoyapa until Monday to file the paperwork in person. This was completely out of the question since we were leaving on Sunday for Montelimar Beach some 5 hours from Acoyapa. I had specifically asked him about filing the paperwork before the wedding and he said it was no problem and he would take care of it. Now, at 1:30 AM it was suddenly a problem that only 500 more Cordobas ($28) could solve. I grudgingly paid him the money and thus was free to go on my honeymoon the next day.

The next shakedown attempt came from the DJ. At 2:15 AM he came over and wanted his $250 that he was owed. Our deal was I paid $250 upfront and then I would pay the balance at the wedding. The only problem was the only cash I had left on me was 3 $100 bills. The big mistake I made was showing him the $300 and asking for change. Suddenly, he realized it was 2:15 AM and his contract said he was only going to play music until 2 AM so I owed him another $50. I informed him that no one told him to keep playing music after 2 AM, to please stop playing the music now, and that if he didn't find $50 in change he was going to be going back to Managua with $200 instead of $250 in his pocket and he could track me down in Pittsburgh for the other $50. I was already in a bad mood after the lawyer's stunt so I think the guy understood that I meant every word of what I said. Wouldn't you know that he miraculously found a $50 bill a few minutes later.

We finally made it back to hotel around 4:30 AM and everyone was completely exhausted. After a few hours sleep we headed off on the long drive to Barcelo's Montelimar Beach resort or so we thought. Due to a series of mishaps we didn't leave Acoyapa until almost 1 PM, then we had to stop in Managua to return the stuff we rented, and we ended up not getting to Montelimar Beach until around 8 PM.

The good news was this was the end of the exhausting portion of the trip. We started the next day with a late breakfast and then we headed out bikini shopping. My wife (man, it feels weird writing that) needed a bikini so we went out shopping. In the town of San Rafeal Del Sur we found a mercado that was a great place to do some shopping.

Napping In The Produce Van

We Check Out Pali

Shopping For Bikinis

Mercado In San Rafeal Del Sur

Not Sure What This Is

Juniett Shopping

Mercado In San Rafael Del Sur

Fresh Pollo

Clowning Around

No, The Bathrooms Aren't Free

The Meat Shop

Mercado In San Rafeal Del Sur

So That's A Fresco...

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