Monday, November 30, 2009


This Thanksgiving the entire part of the immediate Russell family that was not already in Nicaragua came to Nicaragua. We spent the majority of the time in a tropical paradise two hours from Managua called San Juan Del Sur. We rented a beach house 50 yards from the ocean where we body-surfed, played games, ate delicious snacks and meals, and hiked. Here are some pictures:


All the Russell siblings (Whitney, me, Barry, David, and Joanna)

IMG_6695 Hudson Russell (Barry and Tess’s 2-month old) enjoying a rare smile :)

P1000666 Barry imitating Hudson’s more common response to the world.

IMG_0332 The massive van we traveled around in.

IMG_6676Inside the van

IMG_0313 The Russell girls (Kristina, Joanna, Whitney, Tess, Julie)

P1000651 The Russell men (notice Tess casually inserting Hudson under Barry’s arm)

IMG_6903 Julie quenching her baby fever


Funny story with the location on this one: on the way to San Juan Del Sur, some of us in the van needed a bathroom break so we stopped at an outdoor cafe in the middle of nowhere and used the restroom. Not wanting to be rude, we purchased a few pieces of cake and a cup of coffee to justify our use of the facilities. We didn’t want to sit and eat because of how long that would take, so we ordered it to go. It took about 15 minutes to come out and we were awkwardly loitering in the parking lot. Once we got the food, we suddenly remembered that we weren’t supposed to eat or drink anything in the van we borrowed. Solution: we wolfed down the cake in the parking lot (ignoring bewildered stares) and drove away, bottoming out as we left. Our belief is that we communicated several strange messages to the two employees that were on duty:

1) “We like your food but hate your atmosphere”

2) Americans will do anything to avoid having to tip

3) Americans have two great and extremely urgent needs: bathrooms and chocolate cake

We can never, never go back there.

Pictures from San Juan:

IMG_0413 IMG_6936 IMG_7055 IMG_7103 IMG_0366

more family pictures:


IMG_7095 P1000705IMG_7076

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