Travel Journal, Day 1: From Santa’s Present To El Paso

December 24, 2017

Santa did a test run with his sleigh and the reindeer the night before Christmas Eve. While he does his test run, he delivers the presents for a handful of children. I guess, Katelynn and Sara were selected for early delivery this year. When we were getting up on Christmas Eve morning, the presents were under the tree. And a letter from Santa was in the tree. He explained to the girls, why the presents arrived that early. πŸ˜‰

1343

Santa wrote a letter to Katelynn and Sara

Once the presents were unwrapped, we packed the luggage, the cooler and got activity games, DVD player, and coloring books together, before we put everything into the van. The neighbor’s daughter knew about our plan, so she could take care of our pets while we were gone. By 9 am, the tank was filled and we were on the road to the west.

While we were driving through Texas, Sara was fascinated with the oil pumps out in the fields. Katelynn was busy watching Bugs Bunny cartoons. And I told Kevin, how interesting it was when the vegetation changed from cotton fields to cacti and later to these yucca palms the further we drove towards El Paso. In El Paso, we drove to the motel to rest for the night. We still had a long way to go to get to California.

… to be continued …

Christmas Day

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

1321

“HO-HO-HO! Merry Christmas!”

Merry Christmas!

May your holidays be happy days,
Filled with love and laughter.
And may each day bring joy your way
in the year that follows after!

πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…πŸŽ„πŸŽ…

The First Christmas Present

Kevin and I met in a club, 17 years ago. He was with a couple of friends, who were friends with my friends. After a couple of drinks we got into a conversation. When I was ready to go home, he gave me a ride to my apartment. Since he knew where I worked, he had shown up the next day. Usually I don’t give people my phone number unless they ask or I ask for theirs. But when Kevin was standing in front of me, I said: “Dude, I forgot to give you my number last night. If you want to hang out, give me a call. Maybe we can do something for Christmas together.” Kevin agreed, folded the note and left. The same night, he called me. And we were talking over a beer in a bar.

The next day was Christmas Eve. I was on vacation leave for the remaining days of the year. Months ago, a friend of mine and I planned a small Christmas dinner for the night before Christmas. I asked her, if it was okay I bring a friend over. She said: “Well, it’s Christmas. Nobody should celebrate this special holiday, alone.” Kevin picked me up from home. When I sat in the car and we talked a little bit, he opened the glove box and handed a little present to me. I shook it, to hear what might be in there. Kevin screamed: “NOOOOOOOOOOO!” Later on I found out, why he did that. Well, the little elephant lost part of its trunk, when I shook the little box. Even when the elephant doesn’t look perfect anymore. But it is a story worth talking about. πŸ˜€ It was very sweet of him, since we knew each other for a couple of days. And it was the first gift, I’ve got from Kevin. I still treasure these three wooden elephants to this very day.

1337

These wooden elephants were the first Christmas gift, I received from Kevin back in 2000.

A Peanuts-style Christmas

Kevin always wanted an outdoor Christmas theme with the Peanuts. Several years ago we looked for a Charlie Brown Christmas pre-lit yard decoration, with no success. We found Snoopy and took him home, instead. The following year, we had much more success. Finally we found Charlie in a local home improvement store. Since then we decorate the front tree with some lights and one Christmas ornament. We call it “our personal little Charlie Brown Christmas Tree”. Maybe we will add more Peanuts characters in the future.

1332

It seems like that Santa has to fix Snoopy, again. πŸ˜‰

1333

Ha, an elf must have shown up to fix Snoopy and the lights at the boxwood bush, when we were asleep. πŸ˜‰

The Christmas Tree Ball

One particular Christmas ornament caught my eye over the last few weeks. And I always wanted to photograph it. Tonight I was bored watching the same comedy episodes, again.Β  And it rains like “cats and dogs”, anyway. I pulled out my camera, and started with my little project. Now, I’m happy I’ve got that done.

1328

I finally captured a longtime exposure of this Christmas ornament, I was eye-balling throughout the season.

One More Week Until Christmas

This week will be busy in our household. We planned a trip to Disneyland in California, a while back. Katelynn visited Disneyland in 2006. But it will be the first time for Sara. Wow, it is very hard to keep this a secret for three months. But we did good so far. It will be a big Christmas surprise for both of the girls.

Today, I wrapped the presents. I still have to get a couple of items for the pets, and then we are good to go. Tomorrow, I’ll start with the food and the packing lists. Some laundry still needs to be taken care off. The girls get early out of school for the holidays, this week. I still want to do a little Winter Solstice celebration at home. So, everything needs to be done before Thursday afternoon. And Christmas is only one week away. πŸ˜‰

1324

Santa Snoopy says: “Merry Christmas, everyone!”