Excursion into the Mountains
(23 December 2003 - 1 January 2004)

1 January 2004
Happy New Year
-Drove back through California late last night, stopping briefly at the Garin home in Clovis & a restaurant in Los Banos for a little New Year's Eve dinner.  Watched a rather cheesy San Francisco New Year's show for the last half-hour of 2003.  But anything's better than watching 3-hour-old tapes of the east coast.
-Apparently the Seneca folks got my schedule confused, so I may not have had to come in today after all.  But it's good not to completely fail to work for 2 weeks straight I suppose.

31 December 2003
[from Shaver Lake, California]
-Voice edging back, just in time to go.  Ah well.
-While I've had a good time & am increasingly comfortable around the Garin clan, it's amazing how different this family is than my own & than so many aspects of my personality.  More & more I discover how my baseline assumptions about life & people have been too many & too sweeping.  Life is learning.

30 December 2003
[from Shaver Lake, California]
-Have managed to go 2 full days without a voice & feeling miserable.  Still have had some fun under the circumstances, including building my first-ever gingerbread house (though it was out of graham crackers instead).  I'm getting used to communicating in signals, but it's very frustrating to try to express anything even vaguely abstract.  I have to keep the writing pad handy.

29 December 2003
[from Shaver Lake, California]
-Still sick, & now without voice.  Downhill we go.

28 December 2003
[from Shaver Lake, California]
-Woke up sick.  End of fun.
-Still managed to do some sledding, including a run that some estimated as 500 feet long, where I probably went up to 15 or 20 miles an hour on the fast stretches.  Nevertheless, I've developed a very sore throat & have minimal access to vitamin C.  & there's no worse ailment (at least of the non-threatening variety) than a sore throat.

27 December 2003
[from Shaver Lake, California]
-One of the best days in quite a while.  Got a chance to do quite a bit of sledding, played many games of Settlers of Catan (one of the best board games ever, combining elements of Risk & 1830), & generally hanging out with many people who are relaxed & happy.  This is shaping up to be a stellar vacation.

26 December 2003
[from Shaver Lake, California]
Happy Birthday to Paul Garin V
-Driving uphill in the snow is a taxing endeavor.  & frustrating, especially for those actually doing the driving.  But we have finally arrived & the cabin appears to be as nice as we were hoping, maybe nicer.  It seems utterly huge, but when one's coming up with a home for 15 people for a week, I guess it has to be.
-The evidence of record snowfall is all around!

25 December 2003
[from Clovis, California]
Merry Christmas
Happy Birthday to Holly Garin

-The rain continues, in buckets all around.  My kingdom for 32 degrees.  At least we're going somewhere snowy for the remainder of the week.
-Too much sleep!!

24 December 2003
[from Clovis, California]
-Arrived around 4 in the morning & promptly went to bed.  It's nice to drive down at a time of no traffic, though I'm not sure Will had the same priority of lack of traffic over a "reasonable hour".
-Of course I'm doing all of my shopping on Christmas Eve!  Not that I'm doing much shopping...
-The rain hasn't let up since we got here.  If it got even a little bit cold here, we'd be having a blizzard.
-There's a reason I stopped doing this ten years ago.  Ah, the discomfort, the feelings of being out of place.

23 December 2003
-One more day of work this year!  Hopefully the kids will be in a good mood with Christmas around the corner.
-It seems that a chain has become my favorite Mexican restaurant in the Berkeley area.  But very little can compete with Chipotle, & their hot salsa is really about the spiciest thing in town.  Oh well.

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