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Happy New Year

La Quinta, California: And Happy Anniversary. Today is the 22nd Anniversary of this Little Blog. Can you believe it? Remember when we used to travel all the time and I blogged all the time? Ha, it's been pretty quiet around here lately, and I really want to thank My Loyal Readers for sticking around all these years. Hopefully, one of these days, we will feel safe to travel again?

Until then, here is what we have been up to:


We have a new Granddawg! Lisa and Lenny adopted Denver, an Australian Cattle Dog, and they are getting him adjusted to his new life... though it has been a hectic few weeks for the little guy due to Lenny's parents visiting over Christmas week, and then schlepping Denver out to Palm Springs to spend the New Year holiday with us. No normal for him yet.

Dave and I celebrated December 25th as we always do: Cheeseburgers and Margaritas for Jimmy Buffett's birthday. Jimmy turned 75 this year!

The kids had quite the time with us over New Year. We heated send money the pool to 90°, and it was so cold outside, steam rose from the water every morning:

The dog quickly adjusted to the desert life:

We enjoyed our usual NYE. We decorated the house a bit, dined on decadent Fettuccini Alfredo, sipped champagne and sparkling cider, everyone dressed up and wore paper hats, and we had ourselves a wild ol' time until the ball dropped in Times Square (9p here), when we all went to bed. Party Animals.

But Lucy had to go to school Monday... and Leo still had another entire week off... so we kept Leo, and had a great time with him. Leo is learning to golf, so he spent a lot of time at the driving range with Bubba and they played a few holes every day. They also played pickle ball, and went on hour-long bike rides. Football was watched on television.

One day, Leo challenged me to a 9-hole tournament. Now, I am a terrible, terrible, terrible golfer, but even I can beat a beginner 10-year-old. Leo didn't figure this out for several holes... after he learned that every time you whiff the ball, it counts as a stroke. So, we changed the rules and only counted the times he actually made contact with the ball. Even this was no fun for a competitive little boy, and what kind of Bubbe beats her grandson in golf? We invented a new game: first one in the hole. Dang, if that little trickster didn't leave the course with $20 of my money.

One day, we took Leo to Borrego Springs to see the statues in the desert. It was another COVID-safe activity, and there was no one to avoid.

After our desert exploration and a quick spin through town (don't blink), we had lunch at La Casa del Zorro. It is our usual lunch stop, and the tables are outside. We arrived late and were the only diners during most of our meal. It's a pretty nice restaurant, even at lunch, but our little guy ordered the PB&J!

Too many photos of Leo? How about a movie made by Leo? He worked this up on his iTouch in the backseat of the car on the ride home from Borrego Springs:

Leo Spielberg? Really?

But then our week with Leo was cut short. Back story: Lucy never went back to school due to slow COVID test results at her school. Then we learned the kids had been with someone (everyone was vaxed and boosted and tested) last week who later became ill (fine now) and tested positive! Since the Four L's had been here, we all could have been exposed, so we all needed to be tested (no symptoms at all). The community center where Lisa works does PCR testing twice a week, so we drove Leo back to LA, spit in a tube, and returned home the next morning. All six of us were negative! Still no decision about when the children will return to school.

So that's the round-up from La Quinta. The only other momentous occasion was eating the first orange from our "orchard" (one orange tree and two lemon trees). Dang, if it wasn't wonderfully sweet and easy to peel.

How was your New Year? Do you have traditions for NYE? Please comment below.

Until my next update, I remain, your 22-year-old blogger.

4 thoughts

  1. Wow! So impressed with VIDEO BY LEO!
    Wonder if he will order PB&Js when he signs a big contract!
    Way to go Leo🎉🎉

  2. I was so relieved to see your blog. I had never known such a dearth of news from you and worried that something was wrong.

    For the new year we drove from Washington to Lodi, CA to spend four days at an air BnB with longtime friends and former neighbors while we were living in the bay area in the 70s. Save two years, the four of us have spent New Years Eve together for 40+ years. Both Bev and I are good cooks, if I do say so myself, so those days together consist of good food, good scotch and bourbon, football and Boggle. She and I have played hundreds of hours of that game. Covid kept us apart last year, but we prevailed for 2022.

  3. Great Video Leo!!
    Peaceful New Years Eve…. dinner and drinks with our cousin and his wife at
    a local Italian restaurant. Almost 3 hours later home and a short sit by the
    cozy fire and then to bed. Trusting God for a blessed New Year!
    Liked seeing your new grand dog. Think this breed loves to run
    and is very active. They will be busy. Ha. Oh well, they are young🤗

  4. Your holidays were such a contrast to ours – we went RVing…in Oregon! For 3 weeks! Our son and his fiance joined us in Napa with his rented teardrop…and 8 month old Australian Shepherd puppy. Their normal 8 hour drive from Phoenix stretched to 14 as the battled the western heading storm the entire way. Our caravan was supposed to head north the next day – but the 5 was closed due to snow at the passes! So our supposed-to-be-an-easy 5 hour drive stretch to 8+ as we took the coastal 101….which was scenic! There, we joined our daughter and her fiance (Vancouver, BC) in their rented camper van in McMinnville. They, too, had an 8 month old puppy, a Toller water dog (perfect for this wet trip!) . So, with all the weather – our 28′ Airstream was the “gathering spot” – or as my wife called it “Human/Puppy Tetris Game.” for the entire trip. But fun was really had by all as we traveled along the coast enjoying some stunning scenery…but our usual “active/outdoorsy” activities were seriously curtailed. But there were wineries to visit, trails to hike, puppies to wear out…LOTS of board games to play (And the Spruce Goose exhibit was even better than when it was in Long Beach!). Our stay at Coos Bay was epic…our ‘armada” lined up right along the shore with a great view of the ocean. But rain…turned to sleet, then hail. Then…it snowed! A LOT! Yes, we nearly got stuck at the ocean by SNOW! We split up there, with Canadian-bound headed north, and the rest of us headed south, where Paseo Robles wasn’t a bad drive, but the Grapevine suddenly closed (snow & ice)…so that drive turning into another 12+ hour sojourn home (imagine any mall parking lot back in 2010, the week prior to Christmas and that was the freeway traffic we faced). We arrived back in S. CA. to find it sunny…and warm (first sun we’d seen in 3 weeks!) Why, again did we go? Because “A ship in the harbor is safe…but that’s not what ships were built for” And you really don’t appreciate what you have, until you slip on someone else’s shoes for a spin.

    Wishing you and your family a very HEALTHY (COVID-free) 2022!

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