Merry Christmas, Little Lady! How are things going over there in Tonga? Everyone here is asking about you, and we are keeping tabs on your weather. No cyclones, yet, thank goodness. We also hear that Santa delivered your presents - sunbrella covers for Kitty and your life raft? I hope they fit well. We miss you, and we thought we would give you a little update on what has been going on.
After mountain biking with Calamity Jane and Tang in Moab, we headed back up to Utah. We took family pictures with New Baby Niece. Thanks, Jamie Broderick Photography!
Then, I flew to Spokane to meet my little sister and drive with her from college home for the holidays. The Delta Airlines Stewardess gave me two packs of Biscoff cookies! Two! You know how I love those cookies.
(Remember Emily? She even has a picture of you together hanging up on her wall!)
While in Spokane, a Polar Vortex arrived. At one point, it was only 3 degrees Farenheight. I was trying to keep my thin, tropical blood pumping by wearing my Dad’s puffy coat. Emily made fun of me on The Snap Chat because I looked like a burnt marshmallow with legs. We explored Gonzaga Campus and Oddgodfrey made his mark on the drawing wall. We did some Christmas shopping and went to see a movie at a theater with very comfy recliners. I do not like watching movies in comfy recliners; it is too hard not to fall asleep.
Anabelle (the old Honda Accord) is having way more fun with the college kids then she did with us. She's doing donuts in parking lots and taking road trips to Canada. She is, however, not pleased with the snow. Living her whole life in Las Vegas did not help her acclimate to her current lifestyle, at all. *Note: this is a sunroof, not a snow roof.
It snowed, then the freezing temperatures hardened the snow to ice. The roads were terrifying for our twelve hour drive back to Utah. At least as scary as a moonless night watch with squalls. Emily wouldn’t let me drive, and my inner control freak was not pleased. Things got better the further south we drove, and we did survive.
Once Emily and I made it home, Andrew and I made several visits to more Utah friends including a visit with one of your favorites: Mr. Elliot and his little brother, Ollie. We did Christmas projects.
Finally, Christmas Eve arrived and we let the smoke out of Christmas Eve dinner. We tried to fan the smoke out of the house, but that strategy failed. In the end, we had to disconnect every smoke alarm in the house. When the dishwasher drawer sprung forth and tried to make its great escape, we knew the party was really on.
*Photo credit for this moment goes to Kayla Smith.
Andrew received a hooded wetsuit vest to stay toasty while scuba diving, and he was nominated the Christmas Eve Ninja.
Osmond and his best friend, Radar the Teddy Bear, were reunited. Radar has been a part of our family since Christmas of 1985. Together, they watched the festivities perched in the Christmas tree. One thing led to another and Osmond ended up in a Rudolph hat.
Apparently, there is more than two pirates in this family.
We will bring you your set of matching jammies.
It snowed like mad on Christmas Eve and in the morning we woke to a foot of freshly laid, powdery snow.
Santa brought Osmond a tiki necklace to help keep him safe and sound. When Baby Niece came to visit wearing an owl outfit, Osmond was quite tickled.
Santa brought Andrew a drinking horn. The drinking horn and Emily’s new set of galaxy ski under-roos paired perfectly for an impromptu manifestation of none other than OddGodfrey himself. What is a drinking horn? Well, of course it is a cow horn, hollowed out, and used as a cup from which one can drink rum. Or chocolate milk....but mostly rum.
Kayla and Radar gave us all a laundry machine. (Scrubba bag and bucket - Woot Woot!)
It’s hard to believe that our trip Stateside flew by and we are heading to New Zealand in one short week. Adding a trip home to visit family and friends topped off 2016, making it our best year yet! Having time to travel, explore, sail, write AND visit family and friends has been amazing. But don't worry, we are excited to get exploring again. Our flights out are purchased and we are ready to go.
Stay safe there in Tonga. Let us know if you need anything.
Andrew, Leslie & Osmond