Saturday, January 02, 2010

We WishYou a Merry Christmas

and a happy new year.

There was nothing normal about this Christmas. For one thing, my vision of the Christmas holidays consisted of a decorated tree hung with candy canes of every imaginable variety, packages under the tree, and some silk nog. IT seems every year a little more of this tradition seems to slip away. There was no tree this year, no presents under the tree, and I was restricting the silk nog to half a cup a day to keep that girlish figure I worked so hard to achieve. I knew Christmas must be coming, though. TSO's show made it feel like Christmas for a while, and I had all the store displays to remind me. I made sure to put on Christmas music on my Zune in hopes to kindle a little Chistmas spirit. We celebrated Advent at church. But it just always seemed so far away. Before I knew it, Christmas was sneaking up without me.

But Christmas was different in one other very important way as this was my first Christmas as a grandmother. I have a 4 month old granddaughter (Avalyn) born in August, and another granddaughter born on Dec. 11 (Jocelin) who lives in Arizona. So this Christmas, the plan was to drive to Arizona. My daughter (Bethany) and granddaughter (Avalyn) who live nearby were also heading for AZ and the plan was to drop them off at the airport on Dec. 21 and then drive out ourselves. Confused yet? I was a little bit nervous as it is not really the best time of year for driving. Our homestead is pretty much surrounded by mountains, and I pretty much questioned our sanity for driving through some of them in the middle of winter. I hoped and prayed for the best. My car has been having a few issues lately, so we decided to use Bethany's car for the trip. Her car is smaller overall, but fortunately it does have a large trunk! LOL We managed to get everyone and everything into the car on the 21st and head out to the airport without too much trouble.

Once we got to the airport, we parked and went inside to make sure that Bethany would be able to get through security okay before we left. I went through the line and stopped at the checkout point. I guess I could have gone back and gotten some sort of ticket to assist her from the airline, but we decided against it. The security guy was pretty funny commenting on how adorable Avalyn was and then telling Bethany that her id pic was the best he's ever seen and offering to help. Once we confirmed that she had made it to the gate okay, we headed for Kanab.

Driving to Brian and Deidre's place in Arizona is about a 12 hour drive, and the plan was to drive as far as Kanab and split the drive in half, and it is sort of a fun thought to stop just before the border and cut the drive in two in more ways than one. LOL It's so much nicer to divide the drive as we don't have to rush or worry about getting overtired on the road. I made reservations at the Shilo Inn in Kanab for the 21st and 26th of December. We've stayed there a few times in the past and it's been a pretty good experience overall. It didn't hurt that it was off season so we were able to get a pretty good rate as well. That was the one positive side to making the trek in the middle of winter. The other positive was all of the beautiful winter scenery. We stopped along the way and I took lots of photos. At one point we pulled over and took photos of an icy stream. IT was just too pretty not too. I have come to the conclusion that the beauty of snow is what makes it bearable as I'm not overly fond of the cold.

I took a lot of photos on this trip literally everywhere and with three cameras. My point and shoot, my cell phone and my "good" camera aka Canon 50D. It helped to pass the time, and it was fun. It's also customary for me to take a photo of every hotel room I visit. So, when we arrived at Kanab on the 21st much later than planned (well after dark) I took the obligatory hotel room photos. The room was large, and really nice. It was across from the laundry, so there was some concern about noise, but it was all very quiet.

After we settled into our room we headed over to Glazier's market to pick up a few things for dinner. There weren't many places to eat out at night in Kanab in the middle of winter and neither of us really wanted to eat out anyway. The prices were not exactly cheap, and we almost could have eaten out for the cost, but it was much cozier in our room. I will say the cashier was really nice, and in lieu of purchasing some plastic silverware, she offered to give us a few plastic forks and stuck them in our bag. It saved us $1.49 plus tax. LOL

Then we went back to our room, microwaved our meals and just watched tv with Ed dozing off first, and me following a little bit later. It was a long day and we were both pretty tired. Before dozing I set my phone alarm so that I wouldn't miss my free breakfast (never turn down a free meal?) I slept better than I normally sleep in a hotel room, and woke up just before the alarm went off. I took my shower and dressed, and went down to breakfast while Ed got his shower out of the way. I brought up a breakfast for Ed, and brought myself up some oatmeal. Then we packed up and headed out for Dee's place. It had been snowing already. We had another long day ahead.

To be continued...

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