Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Christmas Time WAS Here

And a merry (and very tiring) time was had by all. :)

So, quick recap of my Christmas Vacation so far:

December 24th, Sunday, Christmas Eve:

My sister C, her boyfriend B, and her boyfriend's 16 year old dog Sheila arrive in the morning.

We 4 humans and 3 dogs (we have 2 German Shepherds, Boss and Ellie) go for a walk around a nearby "lake". [It's pretty small by lake standards.] Sheila has to be carried part of the trip. [Thankfully, the 70 lb. and 100 lb. dogs did not require carrying.]

We missed the 4pm Church Service we'd intended to go to. We got back late from the walk, and my sister didn't want to be rushed on Christmas Eve. The dinner was at a restaurant downtown at 5:30pm... I should have probably made it a little later but I was focused more on keeping it early.

My dad was a bit disappointed, but I didn't learn this until later. My dad is 83, my mom's 77... the family attending Church on Christmas Eve is pretty important to him. With my parent's increasing age, the odds are decreasing as far as us being able to do that the following year. Actually, I'm disappointed we didn't go, as well. My Church attendance sucks, and I was hoping on at least making it to Christmas Eve service.

So, we got cleaned up and picked up my parents for dinner at Chef Karim's. Karim made a point of having the restaurant open Christmas Eve for me and my husband, and a bunch of other regulars. So, when I learned the earliest time we could get a table was 5:30pm, I picked it hoping to allow Karim and his employees to get out of there as early as possible and go relax for the rest of Christmas Eve.

Chef Karim's serves Moroccan food. It's... incredible.

My husband's parents and his aunt also came for dinner there. We had a blast. My sister's boyfriend and I both got up and danced with the belly dancer. :) Karim brought over 3 bottles of Amazir, a wonderful Moroccan wine, and we drank to our heart's content. We always have a spare glass on the table for Karim, and keep it filled. [A tipsy chef is a REALLY GOOD CHEF. ;) ]

Then we all went to our house to open presents. My husband's parents stopped by my husband's brother's house on the way over, and also dropped off my husband's aunt at their own house: she was tired. My husband's aunt is recovering from having a pacemaker put in, and has congestive heart failure. My mom also has a pacemaker and is on meds for congestive heart failure, so I know what that's all about.

December 25th, Monday, Christmas Day:

My sister, her boyfriend, my husband and myself took our two dogs to the beach and went hunting for seashells. Sheila stayed home... it would have been too much for her.

Then we went over to my parents house for pizza, and to watch football. Well, my husband and I aren't into football, but he watched a little anyway while I sat on the couch and watched the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica that I'd downloaded to my iBook, but had been unable to watch until then.

December 26th, Tuesday:

My sister, her boyfriend, my husband and I got down to the harbor at 8am. We purchased boat tickets, fishing licenses, weights and hooks. We rented fishing gear. I picked up a disposable camera. And we left harbor at 9am to go fishing in the ocean. :)

They stopped on the way out of the harbor to pick up a bunch of live bait they had in a container there. It was sardines... and maybe anchovies? They also had sliced-up squid to use as bait if you didn't want to use live bait.

We tried a few different locations, but w/o much luck. A few fish were caught, but... We ended up moving around alot until we found the ideal spot. And then the fish just seemed to jump into the boat.

In order to use the live bait, you have to stick your hand into a shallow tank and scoop out a sardine. They are not happy about being caught, and will squiggle out of your grasp. There were quite a few people bent over chasing after escapee sardines that were flopping around on the boat. I started to get really good about catching them and holding onto them.

In order to hook them, you had to push the hook through a spot in front of their eyes and behind this piece of cartilage in their nose. Then you got it into the water, and hoped it wouldn't wiggle off. We didn't use floaters, so you allowed the weight on the line to pull the fish all the way to the bottom.

I lost 2 weights and 2 hooks to rocks. :P And we had a few incidents of cormorants (a type of bird that dives for fish) getting hooked when they stupidly (and repeatedly) went after the sardines! The crew of the boat was expert at getting the hooks out of their bills, so... It was kinda funny... after they unhooked the bird, they would shake it around a little to disorient it and then toss it back in the water. The bird would kindof look around, with an expression on it's face that said "whoa...". :) And hopefully it would decide that going after sardines with metal hooks attached was a BAD idea.

I have OCD. But I wasn't having any problems catching the squirmy slimy sardines, hooking them up, and then rubbing the fish scales off my hands. My husband couldn't stand the slimy-ness, and so was mostly using the cut up pieces of squid. I put 1 or 2 sardines on his hook for him. :)

We ended up catching almost 20 fish among the 4 of us. We had a very cool fish dinner that evening. Some of the fish was given to a friend of my husband's, who made some very tasty ceviche with it.

December 27th, Wednesday:

My sister and her boyfriend (and his dog) left for home. And we pretty much collapsed.

Nothing much else happened over the holiday. We stayed home for New Years Eve to make sure the dogs were ok. [The fireworks some of our neighbors set off did stress them out a bit. You know you're 100 lb. German Shepherd is stressed when he tries to climb onto the couch behind your husband to hide!]

So, how was the holidays for all of you?

This reminds me. We still have HALLOWEEN pictures left to put up. Yikes.

I'm such a procrastinator. :P


Anonymous said...

Dogs weren't much into fishing, eh? I imagine they'd have had a TIME with the cormorants. :)

Fine holidaze on this end, pretty much de-decorated and back into routines. And so it goes.

Sith Snoopy said...

Dogs aren't much into ocean water. (They've had 2 trips to the beach, and prefer to keep their paws dry.) So going after the fish in the water, or even after the cormorants, wouldn't have appealed to them. :)