Sunday, January 6, 2008

Stormy Weather

Just to spice things up, I'll tackle the holidays in backwards order, starting with the flight home from Anchorage. I left Thursday morning, with the original itinerary including a long stopover in Juneau, a flight to Seattle that was supposed to leave me sleeping in SeaTac and an early Friday AM flight from Seattle to San Jose.

What REALLY happened was a "free" rountrip flight from Anchorage to Juneau and back, and nearly a second roundtrip from Seattle to San Jose and back. In Juneau, our plane never arrived due to mechanical trouble, so they stuffed us on a flight back to Anchorage, and then on a direct flight at 1:00 Friday AM from Anchorage to Seattle and got in with 45 minutes to spare for my final leg to Cali. All was calm until we tried to land in San Jose. Turns out I managed to fly in during the worst storm we've had since 2002. Good timing. We circled, we attempted to land, and then the captain said, "we'll give it one more try, otherwise it's back to Seattle." Fortunately (?) we landed, and then the adventure to get back to Santa Cruz began.

Original pickup bailed since Hwy 17 northbound was already closed. Second driver, a friend making the trek from Oakland, bailed due to high winds blowing semis over. As luck would have it, I ran into my next door neighbor, who was there to pick up his sister. After her adventurous landing, we stuffed into the pickup and crawled over Hwy 17 home. Sometime after that, they closed Hwy 17. Needless to say, I was relieved to get home. Spent the rest of the weekend cooking, eating, and sneaking out during breaks in the weather to run and peek at the surf.

I spent post-Christmas/New Year's in Alaska, skiing with Tomas, Eleanor and Luc, who are friends I know through Bryn and Louis. Got some turns in, ski toured to some huts along the Resurrection trail system for a few nights and even got some skate skiing in, so I got a solid dose of winter. Also, lots of laughter and plenty of bruises from the rounds of Euchre (mental bruising only), Semi-Awesome Ball (still a little fuzzy on why it isn't Awesome ball, but I was told clearly it was NOT), crab-walk kickball and Nail 'Em. Sorry no pictures. I forgot my camera. And the other pictures are likely of folks demonstrating the concept of "see food" or a poor beany baby chicken way out of his element.

Spent Christmas in Seattle with the family and Carla (old friend from Minneapolis) came and spent the holiday with us as well. We got a light dusting of snow so I can say we had a white Christmas.
I was pleased to see my 2.5 year old niece has taken to the pumpkin hat I made her when she was born.
Since I've designated myself the aunt that will make knitted projects she'll grow into, all seems to be going according to plan. We'll have to wait another year to see the red jacket I make her LAST year for Christmas. Right on schedule.

Christmas pics: Carla trying not to laugh at my attempt to read upside-down

OK, she is really cute!

The whole clan embracing unrestrained eating

So, let Winter Quarter 2008 begin. And the official New Year's Resolution is to eat as much chocolate and cheese as possible. Or to put my money where my mouth is (literally and figuratively). Or both?

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