s/y Nine of Cups
Home for Christmas
We haven't spent Christmas in New England in many years and this year afforded us the opportunity to go home in early December and stay for
the month. To save money, we took a rather circuitous route from Puerto Montt to Santiago, Chile to Lima, Peru...then on to Miami and a
3-hour drive to Melbourne, FL; then planes to Boston and Las Vegas. Words to describe the trip: family, friends, travel and SNOW!!!
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Our first order of business was attending the
SSCA Annual Gam from Dec 5-8 at the Eau
Gallie Civic Center in Melbourne, FL. Above,
the anchorage off the Pineapple Pier had about
30+ boats...exactly the spot we had anchored
in 2007. We saw so many old friends and met
so many new friends. Absolutely wonderful!
This is the essence of SSCA.
The keynote speaker was Jimmy Cornell who made
two separate presentations that were informative, fun
and well attended. We made a presentation on
"Islands Off the Beaten Path"; Marcie participated in a
Women's Forum; we did a Round Table and Marcie
presented a Marketing presentation at the Annual
General Meeting then attended two subsequent Board
meetings. Whew! Fun, but exhausting.
From Melbourne, FL, we caught a flight to
Boston just in time for Lin's  birthday
celebration. They had waited to pick out the
Christmas tree until we arrived (God love
her!). Above, nephew Nicholas (Nicks) has
grown lots since we last saw him!
Nicks did the honor of putting the star atop
the tree and we began decorating in earnest.
Actually the men disappeared for most of the
hard stuff (like putting the lights on...yuck!),
but reappeared in to time to listen to the
stories about each ornament before it was
hung on the tree with care.
When our kids were little, it was a Christmas
tradition for David to make chocolates with the kids.
Nicks was reminded of the chocolate-making and
asked David if he'd be interested in showing him
how. That's all it took. The ingredients were
purchased immediately and the two of them spent an
entire 12+ hour day, making delicious chocolates for
gifts and lots of quality control sampling.
We weren't in Boston very long before the
first of several ice and snowstorms occurred.
It was wonderful to see snow again, but
smaller doses would have been preferable.
We only had a few days in Vegas so we
wanted to make the most of our time with
Becky and David's sister, Mary. Mary had
prepared enough food for an army and we
ate and chatted all our time there. Then the
snow came...to Las Vegas. The most snow
they've had since 1979 and all the flights
out were either delayed or cancelled with
little hope of finding seats back to Boston  
before Christmas Day.
Between snowstorms, we flew to Las Vegas
to visit Becky, David's 91-year old Mom.
She looks exhausted above as we arrived
about 3 hours late due to delays because
of...the snow, of course.
A patient ticket agent from Continental worked with
us to find seats back to Boston out of any city we
could drive to...Phoenix, Arizona ended up being
the only city with two seats. We grabbed them then
hustled to rent a car. It's only 500 miles away and it
was a great side trip...even though unanticipated.
Pretty odd seeing so much snow in the desert!
We drove over the Hoover Dam at Lake
Mead and enjoyed a lovely view as we
stopped for a quick break.
As we got closer to Phoenix, the
snow disappeared and was replaced
by more typical desert flora. Above,
an ambitious saguaro cactus.
Above left, a panoramic view of beautiful Lake Mead. Above right, the marina on the lake. Note the
islands which are just the tops of hills left after the flooding to cause this manmade lake.
From Phoenix, we connected to Houston, TX
where most flight were either delayed or cancelled
due to more snow in Boston. For some reason,
our flight alone was on time and we sighed a
breath of relief as we deplaned in Boston...home
for Christmas and a winter wonderland.
We made it home just in time for Brennan
& Hannah's arrival...again they traveled in
the snow. They were only able to stay for
an overnight, but we crammed lots of
eating, drinking, chatting and hugs into a
short period.
Christmas Day at last...First thing on the agenda,
mimosas (champagne & OJ). Then we opened
our stockings...the best part of Christmas for Lin
& I as these are the only gifts we exchange, but
oh they're wonderful. Lin models an Embera mask
from Panama which topped her stocking.
Unfortunately, we spent so much time drinking
mimosas and opening stockings, Marcie didn't
take many photos...or she did and can't remember.
A huge flock of wild turkeys visited Lin's backyard while we were there...another bird photo to
add to our growing list of sightings. We were having prime rib roast and duck for Christmas
dinner, so they were safe!
Well, it snowed again...and again...and again. In fact, it was snowing when we left Boston to head back to Miami, but luckily not enough to disrupt
the schedules. Our flight from Miami back through Lima to Puerto Montt was delayed 14 hours and all of our luggage was lost (but delivered 5 days
later). We arrived in Puerto Montt on New Year's Eve around 4pm just as our South African friends aboard "Odyssey" were tying up at the dock.
Between the two boats, we managed to put together a New Year's Eve feast complete with champagne and celebrated the New Years, good friends
and being home again.  All in all, an absolutely wonderful holiday season. Now it was time to get to work on "Cups" and get her ready for the Pacific
passage. All those Pacific islands await!
We saw Bea (Marcie's Mom) lots and of course
had the chance to visit with
Jelly. She stills
remembers us (or was that the catnip mouse we
brought?) and gave us a meow welcome. She's
happy, healthy and lazy and loves living with her
Come to Puerto Montt with us and
enjoy the fun!
More personal side?