Saturday, January 4, 2014

Home for the Holidays

The kids realized early on that Christmas would be a frugal affair if they couldn't figure out a way to get back home to the land of plenty, and Grandma and Grandpa, Abuela and Abuelo. Now mind you the kids were about as subtle about wanting to go home as a herpes flare up, and as lasting. Grandpa is their prime target, apparently he can move mountains, and buy airline tickets at the flick of a finger. All this and yet he is putty in their hands. It worked, we are all going home for Christmas.
Emerald Bay Marina is a really nice place to leave Mirador for the holidays. It's well protected from weather or strangers, and affordable, but most attractive, we are already here.
We are low on some supplies, and we are at the end of our cruising guides so we could freshen up on both. This would also be a great opportunity to reflect on our methods and madness, and make adjustments. For example, before we had started I decided that we would not stop at any marinas, but simply anchor anywhere. I thought we could save a lot of money this way. Now, after a couple of months, I know that a few marina stops to relax from the constant adventure is a necessity for Marie and myself to retain our sanity. Our little brains can't handle so much adventure, sensory overload if you will.
Trying to figure out the details of importing supplies to the Bahamas seems impossible to pin down. Search efforts on the internet only produced what seems like their entire constitution, I can't decipher that! Asking around got us some ideas, but everyone would give us a puzzled face to go with their answer, even the people at customs. You know the kind of face that would make you run and get a second opinion if it came from your doctor, yeah that one. Oh well, we decided to deal with the details of importing goods when we needed to. Worst case, I could make Eva cry in front of the customs agent, that usually works.
Our friend Israel offered us a bedroom at his house in Miami, this is great because the alternative would have been my parents house. My parents keep their air conditioner at about 78 degrees, and still they shiver. I have figured out that at 75 degrees I can sleep, at 76 degrees I can't.
Eva and Hadrian opening presents at uncle Israels house.

As much as one may try, things will never be entirely perfect. I really miss not being more involved in my grandsons life. Yeah I know what you're thinking. "what's a spring chicken like him doing with a grandson?" Hence my dilemma, I'm still busy discovering the world. I hope I can make it up to the little guy in the future.
 My mom and my sister-in-law both entered a raffle and each won a whole pig. It has become part of our family tradition that I cook the pig for the holidays. This is not to say that if I were not around they would not have the pig, but if I'm around, I'm cooking the pig. Now being as we have 2 pigs I have some culinary freedom. I decided to prepare one in the traditional manner with mojo, and the other Memphis style, with a dry rub. The next step was to build a pit. Every year we concoct a pit by dry-laying masonry blocks in the middle of the lawn. You can still see the thin grass from last years pit. No sense burning a new spot in the lawn, so I place the pit in that area, again. It takes about 4 hours to cook a pig, it is an informal ritual of sorts where I, the cook, and 2 or 3 companions marinate ourselves in libations as we watch over the "barbacoa". Modesty aside, I must say that I have mastered this Cuban ritual. The roasted pig is artisanal, and  at the end of the process I still show no signs of inebriation.
Max, Eva and Hadrian with what I calculate to be a $150 ball that they won (???) at "Game Time".

All was not fine in our home port. On our arrival we have discovered that we are the unbeknownst owners of a five star bed and breakfast. We had rented our house while we traveled to mediate the expenses. Our entrepreneurial tenant has decided to start a business. We were shocked to see the advertisement on the internet. I must admit that she has the place looking so nice that I was a proud. The web site included reviews from previous clients and they were all five stars. Again, I was proud. Unfortunately, we are not comfortable with the liability of this endeavor so we will be looking for a less industrious tenant in the very near future.
For new years eve we wanted to be in St. Petersburg with Marie's parents. we rented a car and drove up. I love the time we spend at my in-laws. Although I don't get to burn a hole in the grass, we always have a great time cooking, and they always have a bottle of The Balvenie, a single malt scotch, just for me.
Eva and Hadrian opening yet more gifts at Grandma and Grandpas.

But life was not always this good. I used to have the worst in-laws in modern history. I think I was being punished for something that I did in a previous life because I just can't think of anything that I could have done in this life that would merit such a sentence. Luckily, my case came up before the "board" for review, and I seem to have been pardoned.
We have been enjoying a great holiday season with our families. 


  1. Hi Joaquin, it was great pleasure in meeting you, Marie (and the fabulous oxtails) and your family. After reading your blog, I am astound of your idea of adventure with your family. Not only a voyage you'll never forget, but the knowledge and adventure your children will have gotten from it, to hand down from generation to generation. Well, I know this is huge and exciting for you and your family, and I'm hoping all your adventures through your sail are good ones. Be Safe and look forward to more readings!

    1. Thank you Nancy, The pleasure was mine, and it's always nice to get moral support. Try to make it out here to join us for a little cruising. That way you'll be in the blog!

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