Friday, November 22, 2013

Checking in before Thanksgiving

It is 10:00pm and we're waiting for our turn to go spend time with God in Adoration (we have the 11:00-midnight hour). We're leaving for the States tomorrow morning, so will be missing the ending of the 24 hour prayer vigil, the festival of Cristo Rey on Sunday, including the ending of the Year of Faith, and Padre's last mass before he leaves for 3 months on a very exciting assignment. We said our good-byes to Padre earlier this evening, put together the list of all the things our Mexican friends asked us to get for them up in the States where prices are cheaper, and are ready to go first thing in the morning. The truck is already loaded up and all we have to do is get up, have breakfast, Bible reading, and prayer, and hit the road.

It takes us 3 days to drive the Baja peninsula. We love the drive and want to savor it, so we do about 7 or 8 hours a day. Our last night will be in Tecate so we can get in the long line at the border crossing early in the morning. Then, another 6 hours to get to Santa Barbara. The part between San Diego and Santa Barbara is our least favorite part. Mexico is so beautiful, and there's a wonderful wine growing area just before Tecate (el Valle de Guadalupe) which looks just like Napa or Sonoma County did 75 years ago. Then it's the blasted, endless new tract communities on the east side of the mountains (we refuse to go through the L.A. basin). But eventually we'll end up in lovely Santa Barbara with our whole family - YAY!

One thing I love about California - the one in the U.S. - is all the spanish place names. I have a book buried in a box in our storage unit that tells the background of each place name in California - not only what it means, but why it was named that. The title is "California's Spanish Place Names". It's worth checking out, especially for you all who live there. I'm talking to you, Micaela and Valerie and Kendra and Tia!

Many years ago a meat shop opened in Fort Bragg, on the coast north of Mendocino, called Roundman's Smokehouse. When my mother was alive she would buy a smoked turkey from there every Thanksgiving and send it to our son's house in Santa Barbara where we all gathered (except for her - she refused to participate in large family gatherings). She died in 2011 and now it's my turn to be the turkey provider. This is really worth ordering; they'll ship the turkey to you, and the meat is SO tender and SO delicious!

We have missed having Thanksgiving with the whole family for a few years. While my mom was alive, my younger son and his wife, with whom she lived, didn't want to leave her alone. And last year something got in the way - I don't remember what. So I'm looking forward to being with the whole gang again. I'm also happy because we can help our Mexican friends out by getting the special items that they asked for. Most gringos, when they go north, have a long list of things they want to bring back for themselves. Now that we are well and truly settled in (i.e. the Pirate has no more room in his workshop for any more big machines) we don't really have anything that we're longing for from the States. It's so nice to be shopping for other people rather than ourselves.

It's about time to go to Adoration, so I'll wrap up with one last link. I just found another blogger here in Todos Santos. She and her husband just moved here a few months ago and I haven't had a chance to meet her in person, but her blog has great photos of our area and useful tips for people who might be thinking of living here. Her name is Casey and her blog is The Wanderlust Diaries. Check it out!

And to remind myself of what I'm missing while I'm gone, here's the view from our house.

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