November 2013 – January 2014 (Houston, Austin, San Diego, Utah, Colorado):
We flew from South Africa back to Houston and spent a wonderful two nights at Patrick and Beau’s house where David caught up on the news and was nearly smothered by Spaniels:
We also got to catch up with some friends and former colleagues from SG before we headed to Austin for Thanksgiving.
We were super excited to see Pancha when we got to my mom’s house near Austin. To be honest, we had been worried. We were gone for 10 weeks and, at her advanced age, that’s a very long time.
Fortunately, my parents took really great care of her, getting her acupuncture and laser treatments frequently, and she was still trucking.
David’s mom joined us for the holiday and we had some great food.
After lots of turkey, we headed to Shreveport to see the Hansils for the weekend and then drove back across Texas to El Paso. Which took 14 hours. I had not driven across Texas in about 30 years and I’m happy to wait another 30 to do it again.
After filling up on some great Tex-Mex, we headed across New Mexico where the landscape always looked like a watercolor.
We got to San Diego to trade out summer for winter gear at Mark and Julie’s place, and also to do some renovations to Tigger. I changed the loud Suburban propane furnace for the quieter and more efficient Propex HS2800. We also took out the original toilet, capped the black water tank, and installed a composting toilet.
After a quick detour through Los Angeles to see Kathy, Adriano, Elisabeth & Sean, Kalpana & Rory, and the Giffords, we headed for Colorado. We had free passes to ski at Brian’s Head Resort in southern Utah, which is only 12 miles off I-15 on the route from Los Angeles to Colorado, so we stopped off there for our first day of skiing this season.
We spent Christmas in the Aspen-Snowmass area with Brett, Mark and Julie. Super fun times.
Pancha has been having more and more trouble keeping traction when walking, especially with her back legs. So we got her some shoes which definitely helped.
P also did some yoga with me.
Pete and Erin are awesome people. All who know Erin will not be surprised to hear that she is a very talented woman. One of those talents, which she didn’t even know she had until now, is cutting hair while drinking wine.
Perhaps amazingly, both of our haircuts turned out great. And only three bottles of wine were emptied during the process.
After another week of more snowfall, David and I headed back to Snowmass to meet Jayashree for more skiing.
Pancha had more trouble navigating the snow than usual but still seemed to enjoy it.
She also enjoyed getting lots of love from all three of us.
And we had an epic day of skiing where it dumped all day long and we had the mountain practically to ourselves. We skied onto every chair – zero lines – and managed to even tire J out. We literally caught the last chair.
After dropping J at the airport, we headed back to Leadville and hoped for more snow.