We flew from Australia to Seattle and after a day of revelling in being with Brad, Anette and Magnus, we packed up Obi, several suitcases and toddler paraphenalia and drove to Palm Springs.
|Traffic jam on Los Angeles freeway going east to Palm Springs|
We rendezvoused with them and their friends the Helanders in Palm Springs where they rented a beautiful midcentury house and we stayed in a great hotel just five minutes away. It was a win-win situation for everyone.
|Two wonderful young families: Brad, Anette, Magnus, and Nolan, Hudson and Eric|
|The most amazing milkshakes I've ever had from "Great Shakes". Those are little cakes on top of the milkshakes - a true stroke of genius.|
|Magnus will no doubt like fast cars like his dad|
|Brad drove the three "girls" to get our nails done.|
We heard of an unusual Christmas light display called "RoboLights" in a residential area of Palm Springs. It is at the very least, a little wacko. On the surface the lights are incredible....but as you look closer and find out more, you see there is a quasi political slant to it all, right down to when you pay the entrance fee of $5, and it goes down an actual drain. Think Tim Burton meets Doomsday Preppers.
|Note Santa carrying a rifle.....not the usual falalalala Christmas fare|
|Magnus was mesmorized by the lights....Roger was mesmorized by the whackiness.|
|Family shot before we decided to get the hell out of there!|
Christmas morning was pure joy as Magnus and Hudson really got into the spirit of opening presents and playing with them.
|Christmas in Palm Springs with my beautiful family --- 10 out of 10|
|RaRa helping Magnus open up presents...such a look of anticipation!|
|I'm sure in Grandparenting 101 it states a drum should be given at the earliest opportunity. Check.|
|Roger gave Brad a retro, very untechnical gift for Christmas. Magnus liked it too!|
|Brad and Roger had fun with it too|
|Magnus loves books. Of course we bought him, "Curious George and the Boat Show"|
|Magnus put Roger's running shoes on and merrily clomped around in them.|
|These are Joshua Trees showcased against the beautiful blue sky|
|It dipped down to 3C just before the sun set. We did some photo ops and jumped in the cars again.|
|I never get tired of seeing these two together|
|The trip was long, but had some beautiful scenery|
|View from the ferry coming into Nanaimo|
|Rathtrevor Beach just steps away from our condo|
|Our rented place is in a wooded complex just a 2 minute walk from the beach|
For Christmas Roger gave me a lovely teapot and cups. To many, it might not seem like a special gift, but for me it was. In all of our 11 overseas "homes" we never had a teapot. Sometimes I would start looking to buy one, but then it was time to move on.
To me, having a teapot meant more than a vessel to make a drink. To me it conjures up a feeling of being home. And while we haven't put down roots quite yet, it feels good being here and exploring the island.
I'm so happy... I think I'll have a cup of tea.
"Harry found the hot drink....seemed to burn away a little of the fear fluttering in his chest."