Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

25 12 2007

Posted by: Chris

At our Christmas Eve Thai dinner we met Jose, a local classical guitar player who was waiting until his next set. Laura invited him to dinner as no one should eat alone on Christmas. Turns out he was away from his wife and kids until Dec 30th playing during the holidays. He with his broken English and the three of us with our broken Spanish eating beef satay and spring rolls. Twas truly in the holiday tradition. Jose gave us his music cds as a gift and even invited us to stay with his family in Grenada, Nicaragua. After goodbyes and happy hoilday wishes, Laura, Andrew, and I all went to the 9pm church service at San Francisco Cathedral. The service was nice, even if we couldn´t understand a word of it.

christmas-in-antigua-9.jpg

We headed back and wrapped our presents for each other with wrapping paper, a bit of duct tape, and some red string we picked up on the side of the road. Earlier that day Laura and Andrew got a little fake tree and a string of lights to decorate our room. She made this a suprise for me, and upon first sight my immediate response was ¨who in God´s name has been messing with our room?¨ Laura forunately explained it was her doing, and reminded me how slow I sometimes can be. My Mother, always thinking ahead, sent with Andrew some gifts and three stockings which we hung on the coat rack beside the door. I took the last sheet of unused wrapping paper and taped it to the orange wall behind our tree. You can´t say we´re not resourceful.

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At midnight the town went ablaze with every child(and many adults) setting off fireworks. The moon was bright and full, the sky exploding with colored light, and the streets shrouded in a wall of smoke. We´d never seen an entire town set off fireworks like this, but it was a most welcome suprise. Christmas morning Laura did her usual bouncing while repeating “It´s Christmas! It´s Christmas!” Bing Crosby and Peter, Paul, and Mary(wouldn´t be Christmas without them) played on our little ipod speakers while the three us unravelled gifts.

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I´ve spent Christmas the exact same way, in the same house, with the same over-the-top family traditions every year of my life. Few people if any have the sort of overindulgent present giving as the Louis household, and everyone that has come over and experienced it wants to stay. This was the first in my 26 years of existence that I have not been with family on Christmas morning, and knowing how rare that is makes me excited to return to tradition after this trip. Though I think we made Christmas pretty good down here.

To all our friends and family, Merry Christmas! christmas-in-antigua-2.jpg

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8 responses

27 12 2007
Causey

Hey Andrew, Chris and Laura,
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! :-)) I LOVE reading about where you’ve been, etc! What a great adventure!! Keep in touch!
Love always,
Causey :-))

27 12 2007
Lee

Merry Christmas!!!! Sounds like you guys had a fun and extremely different Christmas. Thanks for providing me with a break from work every once in a while

– Lee

PS – I am extremely jealous and envious of you both. Don’t forget that you are not just travelling the world for yourselves, but also for all us who are shackled to our desks…

30 12 2007
Causey

Hey Guys,
It was SO great to hear from you again!!! Glad you are having fun and glad you aren’t dead on a street!! Love always, Causey :-))

3 01 2008
Sarah Wise

Hi Laura, Andrew, and Chris!

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year! We missed seeing you in Jackson this year. Tim and I traveled in Thailand, Mexico, and Peru for 4 months last spring. We weren’t ever robbed, and rather than killing each other we got engaged. I’m sure you are having the time of your lives! Looking forward to seeing more photos and blogs, and living vicariously through your trip.

Cheers, Sarah

4 01 2008
Causey

Hey Chris and Laura,
I’m happy y’all aren’t in California! Check this out from the weather.com website today:

Dangerous western storm

2:44 p.m. ET 1/4/08
M. Ressler, Meteorologist, The Weather Channel
Severe Weather Outlook Submit your own video

The strongest in a series of storm systems is plowing into the West with its impacts spreading far inland to the Rockies this weekend.

Already, the wind and heavy rains have hit Oregon and particularly the northern half of California. Winds in the coastal mountains either side of the Oregon-California border gusted over 150 mph during the morning. Winds gusted to just over 100 mph on the hill tops around Oakland and San Francisco, causing tree and power line damage. Winds have also gusted to between 60 and 80 mph in the Redding and Sacramento areas. The most homes without power are in the Sacramento area. In the Columbia River Basin, winds gusted to near 80 mph in Walla Walla, Washington, causing damage.

Heavy rain totals in the coastal mountains north of San Francisco have reached 8 inches.

Heavy rain is gradually shifting southward from northern California into central California and finally into Southern California. Rain totals will range from 2 to 5 inches in the valleys and along the coast to as much as 1 foot in the coastal mountains. Flash flooding is likely along the entire California coast and will not be confined to burn areas.

Snow levels will plummet in the northern California mountains and the Sierra now through Saturday morning with levels reaching valley floors over northern California.

A foot or two of snow will fall in parts of the Cascades of Washington and Oregon. In the mountains of California, hourly snowfall rates could reach 6 to 8 inches. Snow accumulations between 2 feet (valley floors) and locally 12 feet (ridge tops) will bury the Sierra by the end of the weekend. White-out, blizzard conditions will make any travel through the Siskiyou and Sierra Mountains deadly.

Damagingly strong wind gusts will continue over California especially in the vicinity of a dtrong cold front, ranging from between 50 and 70 mph at the lowest elevations to as high as between 150 and 200 mph at the ridge tops of the Sierra. Strong and damaging winds will also impact western Washington and most of Oregon, where winds could gust over 60 mph.

Swells along the Washington, Oregon and northern California coasts will peak between 30 and 35 feet overnight and high surf warnings have been issued. Snow and damaging winds will increase through interior parts of the West this weekend, impacting Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and the Colorado Rockies. Several feet of snow could fall at the higher elevations with wind gusts to over 80 mph.

5 01 2008
tommy and lucie

we missed yall at Christmas it was at our house this year. With mom in the hospital it wasnt the same though. We had Thai food on New Years as well (not quite as exotic as you I suppose!). Take care> p.s. I hope you had a Wonderful Christmas from Lucie.

11 01 2008
Nicola

I really like your merry little christmas story. Did you know that duct tape is good, in fact, for everything besides fixing ducts?

And- you can tell Causey that the storm wasn’t that bad. I lived.

8 05 2008
Jane

Duct tape and WD-40. If that won’t do it, forget about it.

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