Friday, December 30, 2011

Panning with Friends

Friends visited from SoCal and Henry quickly shared one of his favorite activities...panning for gold.

After that it was time for tractor rides!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Day

Our first Christmas in the US since 2006.
What fun!! A feast of smoked turkey, packages... everything but snow!
The country home where we are house-sitting gave us a charming place to enjoy Christmas this year.  The Charlie Brown Christmas tree added to the authenticity of the day.  Being together and enjoying the Christmas spirit was the best gift of all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Panning for Gold

Henry pans for gold with his new buddy, Dave. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Tree Hunting..... In Your Own Backyard

Tree lots are a dime a dozen up here in the woods.   Henry would have nothing to do with those beautifully shaped, fully foliage-d farm trees.  He scouted, sawed, and huffed our tree home.  A few strings of popcorn and red and white striped ribbons, and the Christmas tree transformation was complete.  It became our very own Charlie Brown tree.

Stringing popcorn while Doug reads aloud.  I think Norman Rockwell was in the corner painting. :)

The finished product.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cowboy Stew

After learning from our friend, Mark, how to make cowboy stew over an open flame, Doug tried his hand at the same and it was muy delicioso!

Enjoying the stew with friends, Mark and Gail, who own the house and head to Mexico in a few days.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Northern Experience

From the Sea of Cortez to Pollock Pines, CA in the Sierra mountains we're house-sitting for the winter and spring on this apple/pear orchard owned by Mark and Gail on s/v (sailing vessel) Mangareva.  As they continue to sail south we'll watch the deer and take care of the chickens.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Looking ahead

In April 2011 toward the end of our sailing expedition, we connected with dear friends we met a year earlier in Mazatlan.  Gail and Mark seasonally sail their beautiful wooden boat, Mangareva, through Mexican waters each winter.  We were so happy to run into them again in the Sea of Cortez.  Here's a view of Mangareva at sunrise from the deck of HanaCrew.

Mark and Gail talked about needing a caretaker for their property near South Lake Tahoe, where they live in the summer and fall months.  They shared with us that their house, barn, cabin, fruit trees and chickens needing looking after during the winter of 2012.  We were looking for that next step back in the States where we could give Chandler and Henry Wyatt another experiential learning environment and all of a sudden Gail and Mark's need became our plan.
To check it all out, in August 2011 we made a quick visit to Gail and Mark's house in Pollock Pines, near South Lake Tahoe.  It gave us a view of the house-sitting "job" we accepted and as you can see, we fell in love with everything this next step included.

Chandler and Gail enjoying a walk around the lake near Gail's house.

Mark made sure we arrived in style by giving the kids a ride in his vintage MG!

We visited gold rush country and learned more about California history at a nearby museum.

The Strongs' front yard has the world's best tree swing where the kids would spend many days soaring through the sky!

We hiked the nearby mountain paths surrounding Lake Tahoe.

Found glacier lakes...

...and sneaker-skied down snow left over from the winter of 2011.

Later that same day we played volleyball with Gail's family on Lake Tahoe's beach.

Gail, Mark and their clan, including us!  A warm and loving extended family
The hammock on "Grampa" Mark's and "Grandma" Gail's porch was one of the best resting places!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hiking and Sailing with Eyoni, one last time

In early June we were glad to see our dear friends, Nancy, Ethan, and Zada, aboard their boat, Eyoni, arrive into Puerto Escondido, our home port.  We spent a day hiking a nearby canyon none of us had hiked before.  We found tadpoles, mountain goats, and a swimming hole in the middle of the trail!?!

A break in the shade

How does it do that?
Blue gecko

Mountain goats scrambled above us when they heard our footsteps on the gravel.
To continue on the trail we had to swim through the pond.

Finding tadpoles!

The next day we sailed alongside Eyoni to Isla Monserrat, a few miles off the shore of Loreto.  We had the beach to ourselves, the kids had a blast snorkeling in clear and warm waters, Ethan and Doug caught tons of lobster and fish, and that night we feasted! Good friends, good food, good days!!

Chandler and Henry Wyatt on the bow - taken from Eyoni, thanks Nancy!

HanaCrew heading out to the island

HanaCrew anchored off shore
Nancy strolling the shore of Isla Monserrat
Catch of the day...or should I say the week!!

And a sleepover on Eyoni after it all!

                                 Nancy, thank you for the wonderful photos of our hike and sail.