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Christmas in California

I'm feeling a little blue after returning from California. It was sunny and warm down there. Barefoot weather. The sunlight and warmth felt so good.

So the family gathered in Desert Hot Springs for Christmas this year, rather than in Central Oregon as we'd been doing in the past decade. My parents will no longer be spending their summers in Central Oregon. They bought a condo in Portland, and that's where they'll spend their summers. Part of the transition is that we went to their wintering spot in the Coachella Valley for Christmas. (In the past, they've come up from California for Christmas.)

It felt a little strange, but I ended up loving it. I didn't take advantage of the pool or hot tubs, but on Saturday I joined my brother, sister, nephews, niece, and niece's husband on a hike in the foothills of the the Little San Bernadino Mountains. That's where the picture I posted a couple of days ago was taken. We had an interesting encounter with a guy from Kosovo, who ran up the trail behind us (it was a very steep trail) to warn us from desecrating a couple of ad hoc monuments that he and a friend had built to the friend's dead wife. Very strange. People are strange, when you're a stranger.

Yeah, a strange land. Hadn't realized until this trip that my parents' place is right next to the San Andreas Fault. I imagined the other side of the fault dropping away into the sea, leaving us with a beachside resort. Bye bye, Palm Springs!

It was good to hang out with the family. Baby Celine (my great niece) was the center of attention. We ate our traditional meals, and the prime rib was excellent.

This gathering of the tribe was probably only possible because my aunt's place next door was also available. I don't know what will happen if she sells that place, as she'd like to. Uncertain times ahead, but I could get used to a few days in the sun every Christmas weekend.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
wrdnrd
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:26 pm (UTC)
The wonderful thing about spouse being from San Diego is we always have a reason to visit (and a place to stay in) SoCal when the Seattle winter gets to me. We're thinking of going down over Presidents Day weekend this year. Nothing like the opportunity to feel your muscles and nerves thaw out for a short time in the middle of an otherwise grey, chill, dreary season.
randy_byers
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
San Diego is probably my favorite place in SoCal, of the places in SoCal I've visited. It has the ocean, but it's not as overwhelming as LA. It also has great beer these days.
wrdnrd
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:46 pm (UTC)
Speaking of beer. When my brother was out over Vets Day, i perhaps should have just put him in your care for the week. "This is Randy. He will be your mentor in the ways of Seattle beer." I'm getting the impression that next time he comes out this way, he's just going to Portland with *maybe* a 2-day trip up to see me. :P
randy_byers
Dec. 28th, 2011 07:54 pm (UTC)
Portland isn't called Beervana for nothing.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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