Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Traveling Summary

Sean and Will came up for the weekend in the fall with a big group of friends for Will's birthday
 Our first trip this fall was down to Maryland to visit my sister Paula and then to Washington DC for a stay with James and Morgen. Scott came back by train and I stayed for a few more days with Paula, returning with the car.
We went down to visit my sister Paula and James & Morgen
Here's Morgen with her sister Claire (she had a baby girl
this January).

Will and his birthday cake
In between Sean and Will's wedding in August and Daniel's Bar Mitzvah in Costa Rica on January 9 we did a lot of traveling - some of it last minute.  Our planned trip in November to visit our two oldest children and their families was wonderful. We spent a week in Tulsa, OK with Josh, Michal and their 5 kids followed by a week with Zoe, George and their two over Thanksgiving. George cooked all weekend and we ate like kings. Time with our grandchildren is fantastic and never long enough.
Cookie, Maya and myself cooking up a storm in the kitchen

Holiday presentations at the University School - here Uzi's class

Cookie shows off her Hanukkah gingerbread house
which she made for the Philbrook Museum
Lights Festival exhibit

The annual Philbrook Museum Lights Festival evening

Cookie and I paint a peacock for Uzi's class project. Each child
 made the "eyes" of the feathers with their fists.

We had planned to come home to Vermont following this but just before leaving we had a call from our Marina in Guatemala. The deck replacement project scheduled for mid March and expected to last 10 weeks could be moved up to start in November if we wished. This meant we would not be there to supervise the whole project but would allow us a longer cruising period this season. We gave them the go ahead. This meant a second trip down to Guatemala in December to check on progress, make payments and decisions. So we flew out of  Boston after returning from California and then back again after 10 days on 12/15.
George carves up the perfect turkey

While Tommy and Zoe clean up

A family Thanksgiving crowd

We got in several hikes through the local preserves

And a trip down to Half Moon Bay

It allowed us a few days at home before jumping in the car to spend a weekend back in Boston for our annual Holiday Open House 12/20 - this year at Karen & Ted's home in Winchester. The whole gang showed up yet again. This party has been going on since 1970 and keeps our group of old friends in touch.  Then home again in time for hosting a neighborhood holiday party on 12/21. Sean and Will showed up for that with James and Morgen coming on the 23rd. When we all get together, planning, cooking and eating meals are our favorite activities. Especially Sean, James and myself. That and playing board games alternated with going for hikes when the weather permitted. Christmas Eve Scott and I sang in the choir at our tiny local church. Sean and Will came along while James and Morgen fixed our dinner; carmelized onion and white wine risotto with grilled lamb chops & steak with a green salad. Of course we had tons of Christmas cookies all week.
Christmas morning we all opened massive stockings and ate a huge blueberry walnut pancake breakfast with local cob smoked bacon and sausage. Larry and new girlfriend Christine joined us for a few days. Christine brought pies for dessert after the Roast Turkey dinner (I didn't get to make Thanksgiving this year so had to do it on Christmas). On Saturday we visited the Smiths in Middlebury for a wonderful dinner and on Sunday had dinner up in Waitsfield with the Silversteins. James and Morgen left on 12/29 and Sean & Will on the 31st. It was a wonderful week and hard to see it end.
We hadn't long now to clean up and get the house ready for the long winter. And of course we had the new trip to Costa Rica to plan and pack for. On 1/5 we flew tiny Cape Air to Boston followed by 1/6 to Guatemala City and then 1/8 to Costa Rica. Then back to Guatemala City on 1/13 and next day, the bus down to the Rio Dulce and Tortugal Marina. So here we are now and will be for at least three more weeks. The old teak deck has been removed, sanded down and new non skid fiberglass panels installed. The finishing work lies ahead. Due to fiberglass dust we have had to stay in a hotel room at the Marina but hopefully will be able to move aboard tomorrow. We've been living in hotel rooms too often these last months!
My handsome and tall grandson Nick, 12
On the deck at Tortugal Marina in Guatemala for coffee in the morning
With Tortugal's owner and our friend Daphne
The Silversteins, hosts Karen & Ted Martin and Tom Dunn
The breakfast table set with "crackers" on
Christmas morning
Sean & Will waiting for breakfast
Scott cooking up the pancakes
With our crowns on in the kitchen
Will does look like a King surrounded by
opened presents 
And there's a lot of them
Morgen and James
At Harvey & Gail Smiths with Colin & Leslie

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