Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Colorado Christmas Eve Skiing at Winter Park

 Yesterday was a gift.  Truly.  Our friends Mary Ann and Chris made plans with us a couple of weeks ago to ski on Christmas Eve.  We met early and carpooled to Winter Park Resort.  When we arrived, we discovered not only did we have "freshies" (fresh powder), but also not many people were there skiing.  No lines, open terrain!  It snowed all day and every hour the snow was better and better.  We were so happy, Mary Ann and I sang Christmas carols on thd chairlift!!  After skiing nearly six hours at Mary Jane and Winter Park, we stopped to take some photos, have some hot cocoa and headed home to Denver.  Thank you, universe, for such a beautiful gift of friendship and a day of epic skiing! A day we will remember forever.

    Mike and Katie 

     Chris and MaryAnn Winckler-warming up cold toes

    Enjoying a little lunch (homemade gluten/dairy free calzones!)

    Post-skiing photos by the tree

    And, of course, a photo with Santa and Mrs. Claus 

    Happy Holidays !!

    First Mate Kate

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Mexican Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving Day.  In Mexico.  What an experience!

Thanksgiving began in the cockpit of our boat playing and singing with Scott (Scott Free).  Wendy (Willow) and John (Time Piece) came over to take in the music and fun.  Even Al joined in on the fun!  After an hour or so, margaritas were served while I finished up rosemary sweet potatoes and jalapeƱo cranberries for the potluck.

John and Wendy
Mike and Scott

Katie and Mike

Yes...I'm actually playing guitar
Al holding the guitar.  :-)

We were well into celebration mode by the time we headed to the potluck.  There were 200 of us at Thanksgiving dinner, which was set up outside under tents by the marina office.  An old bakery oven was used to cook all the turkeys and I have to say, it was the best darn turkey I have ever had!  

Mike and Katie enjoying Thanksgiving dinner

We all ate well and moved the party from the tents to all aboard Shindig.  They have the perfect cockpit for a post-Thanksgiving party.

Scott and Mike brought their guitars over and were playing a bit, when all of a sudden, a mass jam band (bluegrass style) broke out on Shindig.  It was amazing!  Quite the impromptu party!

Rob (Shindig) and Patty (Oogachucka)
Nancy (Shindig)

Patty and Ken (Oogachucka)

Rhonda and Dave (Swan) 

Mandoline and fiddle
Guitar and fiddle

Mike on guitar

Scott on guitar

Here's a movie of the music (hard to see, but you get the idea).

I am very grateful for a day full of music, laughter, friendship, food and fun.  It was definitely one of the most memorable Thanksgivings I have ever had.  Thank you, Marina Palmira, Shindig and friends, for offering up such a rich and beautiful day!

First Mate Kate

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Todos Santos

Our friend Wendy (Willow) had her mom in town for a few days and I had the opportunity to drive down to Cabo with her to take her to the aeropuerto.  We stopped at Todos Santos along the way.  I just LOVE Todos Santos.  It is a little artist community on the Pacific side of Baja.  There are quaint shops and foody restaurants and, of course, lots of Mexican ware.

Winnie and Wendy

The town is full of charm; the streets are decorated in festive fashion and even the tables and benches are artistic.

We had breakfast at The Hotel California.  That's right.  Home of the song by the start singing with me now..."Welcome to the Hotel California".  We were able to leave after breakfast and get Winnie to her flight.  :-)  The food was great.  I had the Breakfast Benedict with a cilantro hollandaise sauce.  Talk about YUM!  Thank you, Winnie, for breakfast!  I did a little Christmas shopping at an artisan shop, including this lapis and pearl pendant.  Merry Christmas, Katie.

Breakfast Menu
New necklace

We had a pretty drive down the coast and even saw a few whale spouts along the way.  It's an awesome experience to connect with the humpbacks.  Even from the highway.

They built a new airport in Cabo and it's really suited to the tourism industry.  Very south L.A.  I appreciate the nice bathrooms, shops and restaurants.  Yes, in that order!

On the way back to La Paz we were stopped by the Policia and they were nice enough to wave us along.  Wendy has a way of charming everyone.  Nice work, Wendy!  Right as we were getting back to the city, we encountered this pickup truck in front of us.  Mexican moving.  A pickup, a refrigerator and two guys sitting on the bed barely holding on.  One big bump or sudden stop and we would have had a car-full.  HA!

Moving-Mexican Style

What a great day!  

First Mate Kate

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The last day at sea with Paul on the Sea of Cortez far we have had good luck with the wind.  When we needed to get north...the wind was lighter and we could sail there.  As we wanted to head south...the wind is from the north and STRONG!  We were really almost at a complete run.  The winds started out a little gentler than we wanted, and had a little challenge keeping the sails at wing on wing.  After an accidental jibe we kept the sails more at a beam or beam reach.  We started out with light winds but by the afternoon we had 15-20!  SO fun!

Paul having fun on the main
Mike enjoying the down wind sail
I look like the incredible shrinking woman behind the helm

Here's some great shots from the bow (thanks, Paul!)

We anchored at Cardinal on Isla Partida.  It's a great, quiet anchorage.  

The morning paddle before heading back

Mike decided to combine his paddle with snorkeling

I played hide and seek with a couple of sea turtles

First Mate Kate

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Continued Journey up the Sea of Cortez

We have had five days of good sailing, fish catching and beautiful days and sunsets.  We left Isla San Francisco after two nights and headed north to Mangle Solo for a comfortable anchorage, Timbabeche (just south of Los Gatos), and back to Mangle Solo (near the lighthouse) because of the north winds.  

We caught a dorado on the way into our anchorage and had two nights of good eatin’!

I took advantage of a little nap on top of the paddle boards.  This was my view.  :)  Not bad, eh?

We had great wind and everyone seemed happy on our sail up north in the Sea.

We had a pretty paddle in our anchorage at Timbabeche.  Manuel, a local fisherman, sold us a Cabrillo (spotted grouper) so we were set for dinners for a few nights!

We have really been lucky with the wind.  We had a light day when we had to head north and strong winds from the north when we had to head south.  

Back in Mangle Solo, Mike and I had our daily paddle and did a little hike to a bay tucked behind the channel.  Here are some shots.

Looking down the beach

Pangaea through the cactus

Photo of the bay

Sunset at Mangle Solo...never disappoints

I love the sunset with the cactus

First Mate Kate and Captain Mike