Sunday, December 25, 2005

A 'white' Christmas at Paradise Beach in Mexico

PUERTO VALLARTA, NAYARIT, Mexico - Christmas traditions die hard - even ones that are only four years old.

So this year, even though Sabbatical was in the frosty (ok, just cold) climate of San Francisco, we had Christmas Day on the beach at Paradise Village resort shown in the stylish stock photo with this blog.

We were the realllllly white people on the beach, except that there were about 500 more reallllllly white people (mostly Canadians, eh?) there, too. When flew down on America West airlines Christmas Eve, the plane was loaded with folks from Alberta who were well into having a good time. The flight attendants nearly ran out of vodka.

When you haven't been surfing, it's well, hard, so I opted against boogie-boarding the first day, instead I just did a little swimming, quite a bit of sitting in the sun (too much) and more walking around than I have done in weeks.

My knee is killing me, I'm kind of pink, but the day was nearly perfect weather for Christmas - 80 degrees, 10 knots of wind and not a cloud.

Not a cloud.

And dinner? We had thought we would go to Victor's Restaurant (Cafe Tacuba) in Marina Vallarta for dinner, but it got late and we decided to save his special margaritas and fresh seafood for another night.

Instead, we will have a traditional meal - Italian - of pasta and margaritas.

We need to carbo up a little before our first surfing expedition tomorrow morning.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Loose talk about buying a new automobile

Who needs an SUV?
Originally uploaded by Brite light photos.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - There's some loose talk around the house about the need for a larger vehicle - something that can carry more than two people.

Maybe something that can carry a little cargo, too.

But on granddaughter Samantha Rose Allen's 8th birthday in October, we did very nicely transporting her birthday present, at least until we stepped up the speed to about 35 when the wrapping paper shredded, sending ribbons and bows all over La Riviera Drive.

We drove home, regrouped and rewrapped, this time with the bedsheet draped over the whole package and tied it down securely.

After all, why cry over a little shredded paper? If you want to cry, buy a new car and make payments on a $20,000 car loan.

Now that is sad.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sabbatical Christmas card preview on the web

RICHMOND, Calif. - After a uneventful, three-hour motor tour of San Francisco Bay we returned to our slip at Marina Bay Yacht Harbor and had our snapshot taken for a Christmas card - provided we actually get around to ordering some this year.

Oh! And mailing them out, too.

(Hmmm. A three-hour tour, something about that phrase seems to ring familiar.)

The weather was actually DDG (drop-dead-gorgeous) at least for San Francisco in near-winter. The sun was brilliant (I have a little sunburn to show for it) and temperatures in the 60s. If you were sheltered from the wind - which we were in this photo-op pix - the temperature was close to 70 degrees (note the T-shirt).

But, even with this little blast of warmish weather, it won't be too long before we rocket off (ok, jet off) to Puerto Vallarta for a three-week, mid-winter hiatus and some visits to old haunts like La Manzanilla.

Viva Richmond! Viva Mexico!

And to all a good night. Ho, ho!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Cold is certainly a relative thing to ponder

VALOIS, N.Y. - The photo with today's blog is actually several weeks old, sent to us from Brett and Denise, who are house sitting the Seneca Lake cottage for the winter.

With a new fireplace insert - and obviously a few cords of wood - they hope to avoid frostbite and report that despite how cold this photos looks, inside is quite cozy.

I thought about this photo today when I was outside hanging Christmas lights on the outside of our Land Park house in Sacramento, the wind brisk and the temperature, oh, probably around 50 degrees.

I was freezing. As in freeze-the-appendages off an Eskimo freezing.

Last night we actually had a frost and for just a minute I thought I might have to scrape the windshield of my truck before I drove it this morning. (I didn't, it was probably 45 by the time I got ready to leave.)

So in New York, when it's above 32, it's practically T-shirt weather, in California it has to hit about 60-plus for me to put the shorts back on. (That will be in early February, I hope.)

But in Florida, my friend Sanders reports that he actually had to resort to a long-sleeved shirt for awhile today.

Mon dieu! Mon dieu!

In the meantime, I'm going to my woodpile in the back room and grab one of those presto log things for the fireplace to make the living room look, well, cozy, now that's it's decorate.

And so, like the song says: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.