We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas. It really does not feel like the Christmas season here because we are in 80+ degree weather, sunshine, hot sand, warm waters, with no advertising "about the latest and greatest." I went to Manta to shop for food for our Christmas celebrations and was bombarded with holiday decorations, christmas music, sale signs, and long lines (just like in the states). In some ways it has been really nice being away from the holiday madness that we have been accustomed to back in the states. We celebrated Christmas eve at "La Mitad" (Scott and Sheryl's new home). Along with 10 other guests/friends, we enjoyed great food, good holiday music, story telling about the "Posada," and a gift exchange where the giving was of our time, talent, or skill and the receiving was Christmas joy (it was a great time!). Christmas day was spent relaxing, enjoying the surf, and of course the food (Henry spent ALL DAY cooking) and felt like the 4th of July, enough pulled pork, bbq pork ribs, and baked beans for 15 people. Henry and the kids made time to go in to town to hand out Christmas chupetes (lolly pops) to children in Canoa (handed out over 120 suckers).
The kids are doing great, they celebrated Breanas birthday (a little early we know) at school on the 17th, had Christmas celebration on the 18th and are now on holiday vacation until the 4th of January. DJ managed to get himself in trouble and had been grounded for a few weeks from surfing (he's back in the water Merry Christmas). Greg introduced DJ to paragliding (jumping off a freaking cliff) during a beautiful sunset (great! another dangerous sport for DJ to take up). He has been offered another job with Canoa Thrills, taking people kayaking to the caves (increible). Breana spends most of her time soaking up some spanish with her friend Leonela and her family. Both of the kids have limited their time in the water due to the numerous jelly fish stings and sting ray injuries that have occurred in the last few weeks.
Our little community keeps growing, we have new neighbors originally from Quebec, Canada, recently from Costa Rica, and Bocas, (Yonic and Francine)and they make Sushi (yey!). They have a 4 year old daughter, Oceana who speaks french and spanish (Henry's new spanish tutor). A couple from Jackson, Wyoming (Mike and Amy) plan on staying here through February. Mike is a paraglider who has been spending time giving DJ a crash course on the sport and makes fabulous mashed potatoes. Another american couple Ron and Cynthia (from the Pacific northwest) who are having a house built next to Scott and Sheryl's are also here looking in their construction progress.
In the last few weeks we've had numerous large groups stay in the hotel. Henry is still training 5 days a week and his group of fitness junkies has been growing (all these exercise people really need to get a life). Needa and Scott are showing tremendous progress in their training. Both of them have had medical issues and thought that they could not do the things that they are doing now (it is really cool and inspirational). The last few weeks we have been fiddling with the idea of running a bar and grill on the beach in front of the hotel forfun (can't seem to come up with an original name, you know Henry, always gotta be complicated!) Henry would like to name it "Maybe Bar and Grill" (may be open, maybe it's closed). He put out his first fire in Ecuador a couple of weeks ago when a transformer blew and caused a brush fire down the street from where we live (he's still got it!). As for me, nothing really has changed, still sleep in, have my coffee, check my facebook, all before our scheduled power outage at 2:00pm. During power outages, relax on the hammock, eat, play games on the itouch, and occasionally shop, for food of course (fresh veggies are delivered on saturdays and wednesdays; beer, cokes and waters are delivered daily as needed; and fresh fish and shrimp on tuesdays and fridays). As you can see my shopping does not constitute me actually having to leave the beach (life is rough!!). Post- power outage at 5 pm, I enjoy helping my wonderful husband (chef boy 1z) prep dinner, take in the sunset, eat dinner, check email, and of course fall back to sleep to the sound of the crashing waves (don't be jealous, come join us!). We love and miss you all, seriously wish you all were here. Enjoy the pix and we'll blog to you later. God Bless, Adios!!