null Christmas in Coronado

After we left Mt Hood and Timberline lodge we traveled back to Portland because we had rented a Camry which had no business on the snow packed slopes of Mt. Hood.  Hence, in order to make it to Mt. Hood and back, we had to borrow my sister and brother-in-laws AWD Honda Pilot (for which we will forever be in their debt).  We swapped the cars and headed south in our fair-weather Camry and, you guessed it, back into the snow.  We were betting heavily that we could stay ahead of the storms that were predicted to hit the west coast, from Seattle to San Diego.  For the most part, we did.  We had a pair of "snow socks" which were supposed to be as good as chains in snow.  But, I really hoped we wouldn't have to find out if they really WERE as good as chains.  

We really only had two "bad" snowy sections: One was before we entered Klamath Falls.  It was high country with open spaces that just about begged for drifting snow.  The only other section was in California just after we passed the June Lake area.  As I recall it had the memorable name of "Deadman Summit".  We also got see something we have never seen, and probably will never see in Texas:  Gas selling for $5.89 gal.  I almost stopped and bought a couple of gallons of $6/gal gas just so I could tell some of my Texas friends I paid six bucks a gallon for gas in California.  To see them turn ashen and slack-jawed at the expense and listen to a rant about how greens and liberals are ruining America would have been worth the price.  

The  unused "snow socks" were returned to a Les Schwab in Victorville and we jumped back onto the Interstate parking lot that is California traffic.  The last 150 miles that would take maybe 2 hours in Texas (OK, NOT on I35 but maybe on I10) took 4 1/2 hours.  We thankfully entered the confines of Coronado in one piece but VERY tired of driving.  Pretty much walked everywhere we needed to go in Coronado.

Despite forecasts to the contrary, we actually had a very pleasant morning on the 23rd.  Grabbed breakfast at the iconic "Clayton's: 

Jonas and Heather arrived that afternoon and they treated us to "Not not tacos" in little Italy in San Diego (delish!).  Sam arrived on the 24th, which completed the family connections.  Again, we were spared the worst of the stormy forecasts we had heard on our drive to Coronado so we walked to any of the island destinations.  Loved having a busy house with our loved ones.

We headed downtown for a Christmas eve service and I have to admit it was about as "downtown" as you can get.  We worshipped in a small storefront church that was sharing space with a PCA church we had visited before.  A wonderful, very mixed bag of folks, from the streets and suburbs, gathering to sing carols and listen to God's word.  A great reminder of the diversity we have as a Church.  We need to remember our common bonds more often.

Christmas eve was also when we started on the 2000 piece puzzle that Jonas and Heather had gifted us with.  We barely finished it in time for our departures on the 27th....

Yep...Disney Pixar movies in 2000 pieces...

Our last night in Coronado, we walked down to the Hotel Del Coronado.  Decorated for the holiday and surrounded by throngs of like-minded wanderers, it really was a beautiful sight.  The air was *just* cold enough and the air breezy enough to add a Christmas chill to the air.  It was a memorable end to our Christmas in Coronado.  We may just try this again (without the 1400 mile drive!)