Monday, January 11, 2010

Christmas in Az 2009

Sometimes I’ve described my blog as someone’s vacation slide show where you don’t have to supply a gun and one bullet to the intended victims. I really hope my blog is a little more interesting than that.

This entry is Family Christmas Vacation 2009, the flight from Oz. As wonderful as Australia is, it is nice to get home and visit with family and friends. My family met up in Phoenix all within a half hour of one another, arriving from different parts of the world. At least, that was the plan. The ‘other’ airlines had different ideas so there I waited without a cell phone at the car rental desk for over an hour. In the end, all was fine as we headed to my brother’s home nearby.

The next day was Christmas Day and all of us headed to our folk’s home located in Hereford about 10 miles from the Mexican border. Holly was displeased at seeing snow on the ground. She believes that sitting in a plane for a few hours heading in a southerly direction means warmth and sun. Well, we got some sun but none of the warmth she so eagerly anticipated. Again, it was fine and we had a good couple of days.

Holly even got to catch up with an Up With People friend on the way back to Phoenix. She joined us in checking out Rooster Cockburn’s Ostrich Ranch, which looks dismal from the freeway but actually was a blast. Carly brought her boyfriend Alex and along with Nick, sat in the back of the Monster Truck that gave us a tour of their operation. It was driven by a wild woman who probably can’t believe she gets paid to have so much fun. We sat about 12’ off the ground in an open wagon and there was mud above our heads from the previous day’s fun. Apparently it had rained quite a bit and the driver took full advantage of it, much to the delight and dismay of her passengers.

We fed lots of different critters and oddly enough, Rainbow Lorikeets which are like vermin in my front yard back in Oz. Actually, they’re very fun birds (just not as much fun at 5:30 AM).

After only 4 days in the other Az, we headed back to our respective homes and in my case, a cold, wet and dark Island. Really, a bright spot was a new bedroom Holly had put together by herself! Well, Nick did paint the room a nice yellow, but new bedroom furniture and Holly had torn up the old so-called carpeting to reveal a fairly nice (if you like the antique look) hardwood floor. It was my Christmas/birthday present and a very nice one!

Holly had to go back to work on the 4th and with me leaving the 8th, gave me a few days on my own to visit friends. This included a Thursday afternoon at the Pub to meet up with the teacher’s and buy them a round or two for putting up with me crashing their Thursdays often and teaching my kids without killing them.

Sunday the 3rd, we had a late Christmas dinner with all my local relatives which we normally would’ve done on Christmas Eve, but they delayed it for me! I’m sure there were plenty of other reasons, but they do make me feel good. I do have a great family.

I hope your Christmas holiday was wonderful, too and that this New Year brings you happiness and success. I’m back at it in the Gong and wonder what the new year will bring. Mid-October will be the time to renew my contract or kick me out of the country down under. We’ll see what happens in the near future.

In the meantime, James Greer and partner Dawn will be in the area the last 2 weeks of January and plan on spending a little time with me. Former vanpooler Shelley may show up at the end of February or beginning of March. Holly will return the first two weeks of May. My vanpool replacement Christina is making rumblings of a possible visit at the end of May or beginning of June. There is plenty of space however due to my work schedule; the first two weeks of March, June, September and December are usually very busy for me. So, make your reservations early…or not. You’re always welcomed to your flat down under.

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