Hat Lady Nicole

My Health Journey and the Hats I Wear - Navigating Chronic Illness with Style

When I (Unwillingly) Sacrificed My Favorite Black Retro Fedora to the Masaya Volcano

How Did an Oklahoman's Retro Fedora End Up in a Nicaraguan volcano in the first place?

My husband Don and I attended a meteorologist friend’s wedding that took place on top of Masaya Volcano National Park in Nicaragua–in fact, the bride’s father had the entire park shut down for the ceremony, angering several tourists who had planned to see Masaya Volcano that late December day in 2015. 

Hazy sun behind Masaya

The late afternoon was gusty, dry, and hot, prompting the wedding party to hand out bottles of water to the guests as we awaited the appearance of the bride and groom. Meanwhile, there was plenty of time to take photos of the stunning landscape, which I quickly took advantage of with my mirrorless Panasonic Lumix GX-7.

Soon after I began developing a light sunburn, the bride appeared and the ceremony took place in one of the most unusual nuptial locations I’ve ever seen, complete with a red carpet for our crazy fun friend and his bride-to-be.

Post-ceremony the guests wandered around the top of the park, watching the sun set behind one of the volcanoes, and taking photos of the incredible views. We had plenty of time until the reception near Granada, so I continued to snap shots with the GX-7, trying desperately to keep my favorite black fedora on my head with the eddies swirling around us.

Masaya Volcano National Park Sunset

Just before we headed down the road to the reception, a sudden gust of wind lifted my Nicole Marciano black retro fedora off my head and sent it skittering toward the edge of the viewing area. I ran after it, frantic–likely a hilarious sight to the other guests from what Don recalled–and it lifted up and over the edge, landing very near the slowly steaming volcano crater.

Nicole Marciano fedora sacrifice to volcano

There was no safe way to reach my favorite hat.

Marciano Black Retro Fedora sacrifice to volcano close up
Telephoto shot of black fedora about to fall into the volcano. What you can't see here is how high up we are compared with the hat--the whole side was a landslide hazard.

While disappointed at losing the wide-brim fedora, I quickly turned to laughter to cope, imagining the story I’d tell when I got home about my sacrifice to the Masaya Volcano. After all, I certainly wasn’t the first to lose a prized possession to the volcano–indigenous people used to purposefully sacrifice valued items (and sometimes humans) to appease the great Masaya god!

Nicaraguans Partying
Nicaraguans can REALLY party! They outlasted everyone else on the dance floor. What stamina!

The rest of the night was one of the best I’ve ever had — dancing late into the night with Nicaraguans, drinking Coke and Flor de Cana (my now-favorite Nicaraguan rum), and laughing about the hat that wanted to be with the volcano. Who knows, maybe the volcano needed a hat too?

Don and Nicole after dancing in Nicaragua - post sacrifice
Hat Lady Nicole hatless but happy after dancing with Don

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