Thursday, December 31, 2009


We have been on the East Coast for a week now. Our visit was a surprise so we didn't tell anyone we were coming. We flew from Oakland to Las Vegas, where we had a surreal layover (they have slot machines, oxygen bars and vending machines that sell iPods there). Once we arrived in Baltimore, we took a taxi all the way out to my parents house and trekked through the deep snow in their front yard to ring the doorbell at midnight — the official start of Christmas Eve.

It took my mom a few days to get over the shock. I've got to visit with lots of relatives I haven't seen in awhile (this includes checking out one of my uncles new Grinch tattoo — no joke). Ediza has gotten to play with her cousins who live in Pennsylvania, and last night my mom took Amber to get a pedicure.

We woke up this morning to a fresh dusting of snow and Ediza tried out her new bear-claw snowshoes that Santa brought her. A year ago, Ediza was on my back during a snowshoe trek to a cabin in Yosemite. Things were a little bit different this time around.

For New Year's we went to Gettysburg. The night found us meeting a man on stilts dressed as Abraham Lincoln, having coffee and dessert at a diner and sipping champagne in the streets while watching a fireworks display. We wish everyone a happy, healthy and adventure-filled new year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Photos

This year we went unconventional and decorated a piece of manzanita as our Christmas tree. Going this route has a number of practical benefits: it was free, it doesn't need watered and it helped clear the brush from someone's property. Aside from those reasons, it is very beautiful. The white lights paired with silver and crystal ornaments seem to give it a special glow.

During the past few weeks we have been attending many holiday parties and events. Earlier this month, I was an elf at a Christmas dinner for senior citizens. The following day we walked llamas in Twain Harte's charming Winter Wonderland Christmas Parade. Ediza preferred to be carried rather than ride on Mac.

Just the other day we participated in the 30th annual Pop Hudson Memorial Christmas Sing in downtown Sonora. The newspaper organizes the event, where community groups stand on the courthouse steps and lead Christmas carols. Everyone standing in the park below joins in. The newspaper's staff always starts the festivities by singing "Oh, Come All Ye Faithful." I got to sing a second time (with Ediza's preschool). Can you guess what song we sang?