Christmas someplace else

We’re going to go out of town for Christmas this year. The first year without Mom. I’m both really sad and really excited. The family’s only down one member, but she was a large presence in the family and she was pretty much in charge of Christmas. And we’ve done the same thing every Christmas for the past fifty years. This year I just want to do something else, to be someplace else. I don’t want to get stuck trying to make things the same as they were like my mom did. It was just sad. We have a chance to do something different. With no guilt. The Wonderful Spouse is doing the planning. It’s a first.

What was said and what we hear

When I was a kid we went to Canada. It was really beautiful.


That’s me, in the middle.

It was a pretty wild place.


I remember this river. I remember it rushed by so quickly. I remember Dad telling me that if I stepped into the river and got pulled away by the current, he wouldn’t come in after me. What I heard was that he would come in after me, but he probably wouldn’t be able to save me and might die himself.


So I heeded the voice of caution and didn’t go too close. And my memories of Canada are beautiful.


Death Valley

We really had a good time in Death Valley. It wasn’t at all what I expected, what with the rain. I just never thought about what Death Valley would be like in the winter. Instead of dry and barren, it was damp and barren.

One other thing I didn’t expect out of it was a restaurant with a dress code. I guess it was meant for the elite people who actually know that it’s there. People who can’t be troubled with the riff raff that hang out at the cafe and saloon down the road a couple of hundred yards. At least the guy at the front desk was kind enough to tell us about the dress code, so we didn’t wander in in shorts and flipflops. Sheesh.

Our waiter was so in love with his own voice. He came into the room humming, broke out in song and was seldom actually silent. He really did have a great voice and seemed determined to make the most of it. The hotel was pretty neat; probably built in the forties or fifties and with as much of the old place left as it practical to keep. The place was appointed very nicely, even though the rooms were small by modern standards. It’s the best in town, even if there’s only one other.   I noticed that the metal-framed doors to the patio looked to be original to the hotel and still working nicely.  There’s a longish tunnel from the parking lot to the elevator, which I twas pretty cool.  It’s actually long enough to have an echo.  The hotel staff were all very friendly.  The busboy had the answers to a couple of questions we had about the area.  I guess I would recommend this hotel no matter where it was.  I’ve been to a wide variety of hotels in a wide variety of areas.

It was very pretty.  There were people at every stopping point.  I can see why it is a popular time of year to visit there.  The weather was pleasant.  Although it was raining, it wasn’t raining hard enough to keep us in our cars.

These signs are posted all over the valley.  Kind of weird to think I’ve never been as far under water as I would be now, not even when I was scuba diving.

Wanted to take this rock home.  As it’s about a foot taller than my almost six foot husband, that didn’t happen.

Even damp Death Valley is quite beatiful.
On a sunny day in winter it’s breathtaking.