Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Christmas Holidays 2021

 Sadly at the last minute our son James had to cancel his trip up to us with Morgen and Kolya (our youngest grandson 4 years old). All of them were sick with a cold all week (they did test negative awhile ago but couldn't find a new test available). Washington DC has had a really bad outbreak of the new COVID virus. Regretfully we all decided it they shouldn't make the long drive north. We did see them every day on Zoom and were able to watch Kolya open his presents. Kudos to the Post Office as the huge package we mailed on Thursday arrived on Monday!

Our youngest son Sean and our son-in-law Will cuddle up on the couch. It's snowing outside and you can see our tree over on the left.

But happily Sean and Will came up for a week so we had a Merry Christmas with them. All four of us tested negative before their arrival and we are being tested again before our flights later this week. Sean and Will are flying to the British Virgin Islands on Thursday for a week bare boat chartering with friends. Scott and I fly to Guatemala on Friday. We're keeping our fingers crossed that our flights aren't canceled! Thousands have been over the past week. Next post hopefully will be on our boat in Tortugal Marina, on the Rio Dulce!

We had a roaring fire in the fireplace often and all day on Christmas. We've had snow cover for over a week now with flurries now and then. 

Scott gave me the aqua down vest and I gave him
the navy fleece jacket.

Sean clowning around in his new sweater and
sneakers from Will and the traditional flannel
pants we give all our kids.

Of course we had great meals every 
night. We all love to cook and eat.
here's one of my pies, apple!

A selfie of all four of us.

Scott enjoys one of the many cocktails our 
barrister son makes.

And so do Will and Sean. That's Will's sweater
from Sean and his flannel pants.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Guatemala to California and Back


Scott, Heather, Roy, Dale, Debbie, Jeff, Debarah, Jerry and Ellen (and Garcia bottom center) enjoy our nightly get together for drinks. 

The moon rise over the Rio Dulce from the restaurant.
We got a lot done during our month in Guatemala. Well, mostly Scott got it done and I kept track of the "to do" list. I shop, cook, clean and cheer him on, but the hard labor falls to him. We scheduled the insurance survey a week after we arrived with Captain John. The first part was in the water and then we had her hauled up at RAM boatyard for the second part and some much needed work. The two biggest jobs were replacing the hose and cleaning up the prop that goes between the engine and the propeller. The second was cleaning the fuel tanks. Captain John discovered the first one and we the second when our engine quit a few minutes after we left the dock! Water got into the tanks over the year and a half and grew some nasty organisms. It took two workers two days to polish the fuel and clean the tanks. In order to access those tanks we had to empty all the lockers in the main salon - what a mess. And then Scott had to clean all the fuel hoses and filters. Even then we still had trouble turning on the engine. Happily, Jim came over and they found a loose wire to the ignition - what a satisfying sound that engine makes!  Jim and Renate, our cruising buddies on Emerald Seas, arrived a week before we left. They have decided to sell their boat and only stayed a few weeks to get it ready. We are really going to miss them!!!

Dale, Roy, Debarah, Dave, Tamara, Scott (from Kookie Dance), Alan, Heather & Jerry. This was just one of the several tables for Thanksgiving. There were 29 of us in all. 

The owner of Tortugal , Daphne, brought back a 20 lb turkey and a big ham for our Thanksgiving (and another pair for the staff and hotel guests). Mary, the resident Chef, baked these for us and they were great. All the cruisers signed up for a appetizer, side dish or dessert. Of course we had mashed potatoes & gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cranberry sauce, but we also had stuffed christophenes (also know as chayote) with shrimp, gingered carrots, curried lentils, grilled eggplant etc. It was a feast for sure with lots of apple pies for dessert. One dish brought back a lot of memories for me. Daphne also made a lime jello salad with pineapple, walnuts and cottage cheese. That was a favorite of my mother's and she often made it for pot lucks. 

We were supposed to fly back to the U.S. on Tuesday 11/30 and had reservations at the Barcelo Hotel in Guatemala City for two nights before the trip to be sure and get our COVID test results. A negative test is necessary to reenter the U.S. But I came down with Montezuma's Revenge on Saturday and had to cancel our driver on Sunday morning. Unfortunately the problem continued and we had to cancel again on Monday and reschedule our flights for Friday December 3rd. Our driver took us up to the city on Thursday early and we were able to get our test and results that afternoon. Our flights all went very well and we were back in Boston with Sean & Will that night and drove home on Saturday. 

But not for long. Scott's ex-wife Nancy, the mother of our daughter Zoë, passed away in November and we flew out for her Memorial Service on 12/9 and a visit with Zoë, our son-in-law George and two grandsons Nick and Tommy. The service was really beautiful and we enjoyed a family dinner afterwards at Zoë's sister Kyrie's home. She rented heaters so that we could eat outside! It was pretty cool in Palo Alto - mid 50's. On Sunday we drove to U.C. Merced to visit Nick, who is a Freshman there. Then back to Boston again on the 14th and home here in Vermont the next day. And here we'll stay for a whole 2 weeks! James, Morgen, Kolya, Sean & Will all arrive next week and spend Christmas with us. We're getting COVID PCR tests on Saturday so we can celebrate safely. We already did the Rapid home tests on Wednesday morning. 

Then on 12/30 if the stars align we'll have dinner at Marty & Russ Wolfs house in Concord, MA with the Silversteins and Bond-D'Arpas, followed by flights to Guatemala City on the 31st, and the long drive down to the Rio Dulce and Scott Free on the 1st. of January. Whew! But right now our best wishes go out to each and every one of you for the merriest but safest Holiday Season and lets hope, a better 2022. 

Daphne, the owner of Tortugal and 
a good friend.

Some of the buffet offerings

An appetizer tray

Scott from Kookie Dance carved the

Diane and Heather. We all tried to dress up a 

The next day at Sun Dog Restaurant with our 
friend Rudy, who formerly worked at Tortugal.

Rainbows are frequent on the river. Here's one
that ends at Scott Free!

We had to haul Scott Free for work at the RAM
boatyard. Here she is on the sling.

Scott and I tried to walk everyday on the lovely
roads that lead from the Marina towards 
town. They go through a teak and chocolate
tree farm. 
Tommy, George and our daughter
Zoë in front of their Christmas tree
in Palo Alto, CA
The view from our window at the Las Americas
Hotel in Guatemala City. We're looking over the
airport at several of the volcanos that surround
the city. 
Our grandson Nick with ourselves
at U.C. Merced where he is a 
Freshman this year. 

The chocolate pods were at various stages of
ripeness but these were the only ones we saw
that were two toned!