Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach

Chillin' at CRT on Xpu Ha Beach
How I'd spend every day if I weren't redecorating, cooking, sewing and blogging!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Decking the Halls

My Christmas decorating is done, as usual I have decked the halls and then some! The last two things were the train around the big tree and the angel on top.  Since I couldn't reach, that had to wait until SuperDave was feeling better after shoulder surgery.  It is done and that's a good thing since it's December 17th!




Most of the Christmas decorating didn't change much this year.  The same decorations, in mostly the same arrangement. It sparkles and glows and makes my heart happy just the same.







I showed you our master bedroom tree a few days ago.  I added something new in the master bedroom this year - winter bedding.  I bought myself an early present of flannel sheets  and duvet cover by Eddie Bauer.  This bed is very snugly on a cold winter night, it will definitely make you say Merry Christmas to all and to all a GOOD NIGHT!



I LOVE red and was worried about finding something red that would work in our bedroom with the blue walls.  But I found this flannel red and cream plaid that has a light blue stripe and it's perfect!  It really makes the bedroom look 'dressed' for Christmas! I got inspired by Susan over at Between Naps on the Porch and her beautiful plaid bedding. Now on my project list for my Christmas break is a dust ruffle for our bed.  Your can see her gorgeous bedroom here.  


It makes me want stay to stay in bed until 10 a.m. everyday!  Okay, maybe I already wanted to do that, but this makes my bed even more inviting on a cold winter morning.  If I only had a fireplace in the bedroom....with a remote control.

Enter the master bath and you'll find the room of my home where my beach obsession is indulged year round.  This year I added two ornaments to the tree I always decorate with shells I picked up on the beach.  I got two new ornaments in Santa Cruz on vacation and they were perfect for this tree.  I also couldn't resist this nutcracker sporting his swim trunks and bare feet with his bucket of shells and umbrella drink. 



I'm thinking about adding some sand around his feet so he can have his toes in the sand at Christmas time, even if I can't!  Oh well, I can have my toes my the fire while I sit by the beautiful Christmas tree and that's wonderful too.

Merry Christmas,

Laura


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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Countdown to Christmas

Christmas always seems to come really quickly after the decorations are completed and the shopping is done. I really try to finish early so I can focus on enjoying the season, instead of just being busy.  This year I started EXTRA early because SuperDave had surgery the day before Thanksgiving. I didn't want to be decorating the house while he was recovering, so I had a plan to get completed finished before Thanksgiving.  Also, I need his help, so I needed to get all the decorations he helps with done before the surgery.

It didn't happen.  
It just didn't.  
We started off really early.  

We got the decorations out and set up the big tree a couple weeks before Thanksgiving. We never do that. But in this case, it was necessary. I have a newish big tree this year.  I bought it from a neighbor who moved away and didn't want a 10' tree in her next home, she was ready to simplify.  Having a new tree meant removing all the lights from the old tree - because I do not remove the lights every year. It's a SIX hour (or more) job to put lights on every limb of a 10 foot tree the correct way.  

So, I removed the lights, only breaking a few of the glass bulbs along the way. I gave away the old tree, then started putting lights on the new tree.  Of course, a few strands wouldn't work, so I headed off to the store to buy more lights. There I found they no longer make the type and color of lights I was using. I have a combination of clear and gold, glass flame tip bulbs.  I was attempting to switch from regular to LED so the last few boxes were the same look but were LED.  After fuming, stewing and searching the Internet for a few days I gave up. I was able to get clear and multi-color bulbs (some of them are gold) none of them LED.  I mixed the clear and multi-color strands by removing bulbs and putting them back on the other strands.  Then I pulled some gold bulbs that were already on tree, mixed those in the new strands and put multi-color bulbs where I removed the gold ones.  So now it is consistent (mostly) from top to bottom. It has primarily clear lights with a few gold and multi-color mixed in.

Finally, the lights were done and my kids were coming on Saturday after Thanksgiving.  I focused on everything except the big tree so I could get the dirty boxes out of the house before the grand babies arrived.  Also, I was having the house cleaned before the surgery and the decorating was supposed to be done before cleaning day.  I finally gave up and just closed the doors on 3 rooms that were still a Christmas decorating mess.

All this decorating is a big job and when we got the boxes down from the attic, I almost backed out.  But now that it's done, it's beautiful and I'm loving every little bit of sparkle and glow.  Now I want a pencil tree to put on the upstairs landing because it would show out the front window of the house and give me another place to put ornaments! But if I bring another tree home, SuperDave is going to be sure I've lost my mind.  

What can I say?  I love Christmas.

Now, I'm playing with my camera settings trying to get a really good picture of the big tree. Until I get a shot of the big tree that I love, I'll share some pictures I snapped with my phone of the tree in our bedroom.  



The small pre-lit trees are so easy to put up - normally. Of course, this year half the lights didn't work on this small tree.  That meant I spent of good deal of time removing the lights from it and putting on new ones. But after the lights on this tree are working, it only takes 20 or 30 minutes to finish up with the ribbon and ornaments.  I love small trees!



This tree has a lot of handmade ornaments, one from my hometown, some we picked up on vacation, as well as one commemorating our wedding day - 35 years ago this month!



I hope you are enjoying the Christmas season as we are, deep in the heart of Texas!

Much Love and Laughter,

Laura


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Afternoon in San Francisco

I realized a few days ago that I never posted pics of our final days in California this past summer. Time passes so quickly that it's crazy.  We just went on this amazing trip a few months ago and it already seems like FOREVER ago and we are ready for another vacation!

I wasn't sure we would make it to San Francisco on this trip, so I was excited that we finally got there. I wanted to visit with SuperDave and Colleen since they had never been there before and everyone to visit at least once.

We drove up from Cambria ,so it was afternoon by the time we arrived.  As we drove toward Pier 39 for shopping and lunch I captured this picture and was delighted when I looked later to see I had gotten the street sign in my shot! Pretty good for a picture taken from the car.


We didn't visit Alcatraz but I got a great shot with the zoom lens on my Nikon. I've taken the tour, it's pretty interesting.  You need to buy tickets in advance if you want to take a tour.


This little lady was all alone.  I couldn't believe it!  There have always been dozens of seals hanging out when I was there.  Someone said they had gone south. I can understand that - it was cold!


This area is usually covered with harbor seals, even when I visited before in July. Maybe the ones we saw in Monterey came from here.



A shot back toward the hilly city from our lunch spot on the end of the Pier. San Francisco has such fascinating history.  I would love to spend a few days exploring. At Pier 39 I like to eat at Neptune's Waterfront Bar and Grill.  The views and the food are great!


I ordered "Best of Soup", a sampling of clam chowder, lobster bisque and gazpacho.  I could eat this pretty much every day!



From our warm table by the window inside the restaurant we saw Oski the Golden Bear get off a boat and wave to some UC Berkley fans.


After lunch, we watched some entertainers put on a street show.


We visited my favorite store on Pier 39. 



Dark chocolate turtles and dark chocolate coconut haystacks.

Yes, I was in Chocolate Heaven. 


We also ate crepes, yum! Now you know why I ate such a light lunch.
We were constantly finding more good food to sample!

Then we did a really big thing - we drove across the Golden Gate Bridge in the convertible with the top down!  Another item crossed off the 'ole bucket list! And the sun came out for our drive. The baby girl and myself put the hoods up on our sweatshirts for the top down drive. Did I mention it was chilly?


On the other side we had beautiful views of the bay.


The city across the bay from the bridge, you can see the clouds made the picture hazy. That's normal in San Fran!


It was so cold our baby girl wore Dad's jacket OVER her sweatshirt. It was VERY windy on this high point on the north side of the bridge.


I love this bridge.  I first visited the area when I was 15 to and came to see my sister.  She lived on The Presidio.  When you have time read the history, it's pretty incredible that they completed this bridge across the Golden Gate in 1937.  Did you know the strait was called the Golden Gate BEFORE the bridge was built? Just one interesting fact - read the history, really, you won't be sorry.



One final shot.  Then away we went to find a bed for the night.


You noticed there are no pictures of me so far with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background?  Did I mention it was windy and cold?  Oh, well, here you go!

Definitely not my best look.


Much love and laughter,

Laura


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