Old friends, new friends

With Manta gone away up North (they were in San Diego, taking care of some things),
we finally got down to neglected business on Pura Vida.

We'd been spending so much time having fun and goofing off underwater, that our "to do" lists were really starting to pile up. There were oil changes and plumbing fixes and I finally thawed out the deeply frozen fridge and took stock of our nearly empty stores.

It was exiting to work through our respective lists of boat chores, knowing that we had a new adventure to plan.

Exciting and overwhelming.

There's a real gamut of emotions to run, when you are about to embark on something really, really big.

The daylight hours are filled with so many things to do, and you are kept so busy, completing the endless list of chores to accomplish and it seems entirely plausible and fantastic that one day soon, you will be sailing across the wide seas.

During the day, it makes perfect, even sensible, sense and this whole mad adventure you are plotting, seems like the most wonderful thing a person could possibly be doing with her life.

It is later... in the quiet dark of the long night, that you wake with a start and are flooded with dread.

You will lie, frozen in your bunk as the wind howls in the rigging and imagine yourself and your little family, THOUSANDS of miles out to sea, utterly and completely ALONE.
You will consider, the many terrors one could encounter in that vast expanse of the wild and temperamental Ocean. All the gentle monikers people give the Great Crossing, "the Milk Run" "The Puddle Jump" will seem like, impetuous lies, designed to enchant foolish, under- experienced, dreamers ( ME!) into attempting the craziest thing in the world. Sail across an ocean???!!!

Then you will lie there, for the rest of the night, in abject panic and you will vow to cancel this whole crazy idea at first light.

As the Dawn, leaks slowly through the hatch, you will crawl out of your warm bunk and shuffle out on deck to stare up into the purple-blue atmosphere. You will rehearse again, how you will break the news to your partner as soon as he wakes up.
This crazy notion was and is madness and shouldn't we just go back to some saner version of life?

Then, the stars will disappear one by one...
and the giant Sun will roar over the horizon...
And you will be flooded with courage.

You will stand there, bathing in the warm glow of possibility and your husband will appear,  with a steaming mug of coffee and you will beam at him with love and joy and gratitude and you will sit together, as the sun rises, flipping through your new Cruiser's guide book to the South Pacific, and dream of all the amazing archipilegos and you can't wait to get started on the to do list again.

Then you will repeat this whole process, all over again, every, single day.

At least, this is what you will do, if you are like me.

If you are like the wonderful Ali, a fellow cruiser we met, on her boat Muktuk, you will not do this.

You will be brave and awesome and fearless and you will sail around and around and around the world with your husband and your two adorable children and crossing to the marquesas will be no bigger a deal than driving over to the next province or state to visit a favorite aunt.

One of the wonderful things that happened recently, was we met Ali and her husband Carl and her joyous little boys, Jan and Noah.

Actually, we had seen Muktuk before but never met.

They were part of a pair of boats we were anchored close to in Agua Verde. I had labled them the "Stern-looking Norweigens" only they weren't at all Norweigen, they are from Austria...and the only reason they seemed grumpy is because we were noising-up the anchorage with our compressor running twenty-four seven.  Us, dive happy boats were forced by the Norther's to hunker down in one spot for a few days and we were driving everyone else in the anchorage nuts with our noisemakers. After we met Ali and Carl and spent a couple of quality days getting to know them and hearing of their adventures, we all had a good laugh about that first meeting.

Carl admitted to being exactly the same way when he was younger and keen to dive all the time, and we learned a thing or two about etiquette and in the future we will  make sure to stop by with a smile and an apology to all the non-dive boats in an anchorage.

Mutuk is just passing through the Sea of Cortes, having recently sailed down from Alaska, where they spent the summer, after making the North West Passage. Before that they were in South America, went around cape Horn, sailed across the Atlantic to Europe, went over to Greenland...they have up down and around Central America, South America, Antarctica, the Carribean, the Alantic-seven crossings- they build and restore everything on their boats, Ali speaks at least four languages (that I know of) their boat is neat as a pin, they made everything on it and they were all around, jaw-droppingly inspiring to us-and Kai was THRILLED to finally have some boys to play with. He and Jan shared a mutual love for all things Fish and spent a few happy (though unfruitful) days trolling the harbor.

And...we also met up with our dear friends on Eyoni, again. Finally. We had been trying to catch up with them since last summer. They spent the past few months on the "hard", meaning their boat was out of the water, while Ethan restored her completely. Hunter and Zada reconnected and there was a sleepover and a princess party and it was fun to not be the only kid boat around.

On the nicest, warmest, calmest day we've had in a month, we loaded up the car for the 16 hour drive to San Diego. We will leave the car to sell, get our hands on some spare parts and second hand dive gear...

And buy those big, wonderful, paper charts for navigating the South Pacific.


sleepover smiles

Too big to snuggle
Breakfast formal

Eyoni's newest crew member...Mancha Dog!

Hard to say goodbye

The far voyaging Muktuk

Gaggle of kids...

On the road
Meeting Manta in SD and feasting on favorite snacks!

Beautiful Dawn

Back home again to family...and baby Pippen.

Life in a Jar

Windy days meant time for the quieter chores.

Not much has been happening here, lately.
We got laid up the last few days, waiting out a gale...
I got some sort of boring cold and since it was too rough in the anchorage to even go out in the dingy-
We just lazed about took care of mending all the torn and broken stuff and baked banana bread and drank pots and pots of tea.

I had time to sort through some of our old photographs and I realized, I forgot to share a nifty little mystery we "discovered".

A while back, on a dive with Manta, I spotted an unusual creature swimming in the upper water column. 
The dive had been pretty uneventful, not much sea life and poor visibility, heavy current...
on our safety stop, as we clung to the anchor line, floating in the current, like technologically endowed sea horses-this little guy swam right by my mask. 
I signaled to Dawn. 
It took her a minute to see what I was blurbbling about. 
He was really small-maybe only a half an inch across and was swimming pretty vigorously, with a sort of fluid, fluttering motion, like a flounder or a halibut. 
Orangish with black spots and interesting little tentacle-like antennae on the front of his head. 
Dawn pointed him out to Terry who gave me a surprised, "I have no idea...!" look.
This was interesting.
Terry has been in the Sea of Cortes, for thirty years. 
He's pretty hard to surprise when it comes to the critters swimming around in the waters here.

We had no specimen jars with us at the time, so we let him go on his merry way.
When we climbed back in the dingy Terry and Dawn both confirmed that hey had NEVER seen anything like it.

Later that day, we were anchored somewhere new and Kai and Jon went  freediving for clams for dinner.
I took the opportunity to use the signal from the big hotel on the beach and spent a couple of  hours on the internet  trying to identify the mysterious creature form the upper water column-all to no avail.
But I sure saw a lot of cool stuff I never knew existed.
The next time anyone needs inspiration for a color palette or a creature for a  space movie-they should really check out the whole nudibranch, sea slug, sea-angel thing.
There are gobs and gobs of these magnificent , invertebrate animals in the sea and many of them are not even classified properly yet.
Owing to the huge numbers of  both amateur and professional divers and underwater photographers, 
the scientific community can't keep up with all the new discoveries.

Isn't that cool?
I mean, really, really cool.

Anybody can go down there and just discover a species. 
Something new, something no one even knew existed...
I think we should create a program where kids in public schools get to classify and name these new creatures...
Wouldn't that make science class more fun?
Wouldn't that touch the landlocked kids in Kansas and connect them to how amazing and precious our ocean is?

That was all there was to my sighting of this little guy, although every time I got in the water for the next few weeks -I looked for him but I never saw another one.

A few weeks later, on a nearby island, I was making a shore run in the dingy with the kids when I spotted something unusual in the water. 
Little orange-brown spots floating by.
"Stop!" i yelled at Kai.
Kai cut the engine and I nearly jumped into the water trying to get a closer look.
"That's them!" I gasped.
"...look how many there are!"
"Hurry,  back to the boat and get the jars!" the kids squealed.

We raced back to the boat and grabbed sterilized jars and zoomed back to the spot. 
Joy of joys, the little guys were still swimming around in the same area.
"What are they?" asked Hunter, peering in her little jar.
"I have no idea," i said.
"...but we're gonna find out".
Unfortunately, we had to weigh anchor right away as the wind was picking up and putting us on a lee shore-so I only had time to snap of a couple of quick shots with not enough light and my stabilizer wasn't on-so they aren't the best shots. 

I tossed them back  in the ocean before they got too uncomfortable.
I didn't want to kill the little guys, we're so eager to identity.
We aim for non-intrusive examinations-unless, of course, we plan on eating them for lunch, afterwards.

No matter how many sites I searched or phylums I tried, I couldn't find this guy.

A few days later, one of the small research cruise ships that frequent the Sea of Cortes came into Escondido as we were resupplying.
We hopped in the dingy and knocked on their giant blue hull and a very crisp officer came out to the massive swim platform where they launch tourists into zodiacs or kit them out in their snorkel/ exploring gear before gently pushing them off to explore.

Kai and Hunter held up an 8x10 copy of my terrible shot and asked in their sweetest voices if they might speak to the resident Naturalist aboard.

I was very proud.

I felt sure he would come out and gasp and run to the bridge, our blurry picture in hand and demand the captain to make an urgent call on the satellite phone and a conference would be scheduled, of the top scientific minds in the world and they would meet in Geneva to discuss the importance of this miraculous...well, you get the point.

The Naturalist gave the shot a perfunctory glance and said;

That's it.

Then he handed Hunter back the photo.

Hunter eyed him suspiciously.
The resident Naturalist had donned a life jacket, before venturing onto the oversized swim platform- sand his ship was still tied to a dock.
My 8 year old was less than impressed.
"You didn't look very closely" Hunter said to him-and folded her arms across her chest.
"Shush" I growled at her.
"But mommy, he didn't..."
"It's a terrible picture...' I explained to the man who seemed eager to go back inside his massive ship.
I was hoping I could get him to look a little closer.
"But i can tell you all about what it looked like..." I offered, not very scientific-like. 

Terry looked at Hunter's grouchy little face.
Manta had followed us over in their dingy.

"I've been here a long time and I've never seen anything like it.."  said Terry, smiling up at the guy with his coolest guy-ever look.

At least he had my back. I felt better...
and Terry is convincing. 

The Naturalist reached out a hand and Hunter handed back the shot -with a smug little look.

We all held our breath.

"Tunicate" pronounced the Naturalist again and then handed back the picture.

Well, there was no arguing with the man in the life jacket.

So, we all went back to our boats.

I spent the next few weeks looking up tunicates every time we had a signal.
I am sorry to say, I'm not convinced by the hypothesis of the life-jacket Naturalist.

Our creature was free-swimming and clearly of a much more highly developed structure.

So, a mystery it remains... for now.
I hope to come upon them again one day-and get a better shot.
But who knows?
Maybe, there was just this one chance. 
Maybe, they live thirty year life-cycles and this is why Terry has never seen one before...
And maybe, the next time someone finds one, they will send it to an inner-city high school and the kids will say it is a new creature and they will name it...

The Brooklyn PS.321-Phishzillaseamonkey-

Now, THAT would be cool.

My apologies for the terrible pics. They remind me of those ridiculous, grainy, "saskwatch lives!"  or "Alien's were on my rooftop!" shots printed in some National Enquirer rag mag.

 In reality, this creature was beautiful and intricate, with a definite "tail" and "head" ...

If anyone comes up with what "he" or "she" is... it might even be an "swings both ways" scenario here...please let us know!

Angel standing by

Back to school...

January came with news from the North...

It seems Hollywood (always an uncertain prospect), was not exactly banging down the door.
We were let off the hook (very nicely) by the executive producer in charge of our only prospective source of income.
There would be no guarantee of work for Jon in the next few months.
Normally, this sort of news flows like ice water through the veins-but we chose to look at it differently this time.
This is what living like an outlaw will do to you.
When the highway is closed, you shrug and ride the goat trail through the hills, instead.

The answer to less stability, is to up the adventure.
Hoist the sails and raise the Jolie Rouge.

After we received the email telling us our services were not readily needed,
we had a long and sober (resolutions, resolutions) discussion about our plans.

We lay in our bunk, drinking expensive, imported, herbal tea (to soften the piety) and I looked deep into Jon' s eyes.
I was searching for any longing, for unanswered dreams, for masked disappointment;
there wasn't any.

"Okay." I said, 
realizing that I was about to call a very serious play with my next statement.
"Let's go, then" .

Today, we are anchored in Escondido, where we will leave the boat for a few days as we travel North...
Jon is, at this moment, underwater with a scuba tank, securing a new Zinc to our prop shaft.
I am thawing and turning the last of our deeply frozen chickens into soup.
The kids are quietly home learning.
Kai is drawing birds and Hunter is working from her Anatomy book.
We did Shakespeare this morning, in the chilly sunshine, the kids taking turns reading aloud the Witche's parts from Macbeth.
I showed Hunter how to play a basic blues progression on her new guitar and Jon showed Kai how to fix a faulty electrical wire with a soldering gun.

There isn't enough money left to gamble on another pilot season-unless we sell the boat.
Sell the boat...
and swallow the anchor?
Put the kids back in public school, where they won't learn how to fix a diesel engine or bake bread?
Where they won't spend the morning listening to Jerry Garcia play blue grass with David Grisman and watch the Ospery's catch fish?


We could boot North and refill our visas.
Put our trusty old Subaru up for sale and catch the bus back across border.
With maybe a used scuba tank or two....

And we can return to our Sea Home,
Wait for a fair wind and sail South to the Mainland.
To warmer Mexico...
Where touristas lie, like rows and rows of plump, greasy eclairs on the beach.

We will haul the boat.
We will scrape and paint her bottom and grind out a few nagging blisters,
We will study our navigational charts, we will learn the rules of the ancient stars, we will take tests for HAM radio licenses,
Then, when we have stocked up with as many cans as our storage berths can handle,
and filled our spare tanks to the brim...

We will head for the open seas.
and adventures on some greener isles.

There are places on a chart that I keep by my bunk,
that only see ten boats a year.
Where they trade in fruit for sewing needles.
Where Time lies, stoned and unemployed under the coconut palms,
working on his tan.

Perhaps, one day, when the tides have changed, 'Hollywood" will call again.
Pura Vida will let us know our children have gotten too big for her old bones,
and we will furl her sails and say goodbye and go...
back to whatever life will have us.

But for now...
I think we have opted to take the Rebels oath.
To wear our hair long and our hearts on our sleeves, 
and spend our few remaining dollars on a game,
of wind and waves.

"Let's do it. " I said,
 "... It will be March soon and we could just GO, couldn't we?"

I was talking about the Pacific Ocean.
Sailing across.
From Mexico to the Marquesas. Then on to Tahiti, Fiji, Tonga New Zealand...

I was saying this and Jon was looking at me, with unfettered calm.
His eyes were deep and serious.
March is not that far off.

But I was on an un-premeditated flow,
following one of those strange lines of thinking that bubble up and my mouth is moving and my soul is open but even I can't believe what I am suggesting we do.

I put my hands on his face.
"...I trust you as a captain, I trust our boat. We've all learned so much since we came down last winter..."

I could literally see Jon's skin changing colors.

Maybe that's an aura.
Whatever it was, it lit him from inside.
"...and the kids are doing so great and we can hunt and fish now and we know all our systems. Pura Vida's in as good a shape as she can be, for an old girl and the engine isn't getting any younger...".

"The weird thing is..." I continued, not even sure why the hell I was suggesting all this. I mean, I'm not 23. I worry about security and a future and all that, but here I was, concocting a plan to take my young children and our precariously small bank account and sail across the seas.

"I'm not scared." I said.
Then wondered if this was actually true.

Jon looked over at me and smiled.
"Your just happy we're not talking about swimming with Tiger sharks in the Revillagigedos..."

I had to laugh.

My whole life is so constantly nerve-wracking now, I think I've just given up.
Or given in.

If it's Life that chooses us...
then, we will find ourselves doing things we never imagined we were capable of.

Who knows where we will be in a month?

Maybe Terry and Dawn will ask us to join them on Benedicto Island and we will ride the backs of the giant Manta's...
and beat off the Tiger sharks with a stick.
Or perhaps, we will be waiting for the Pacific High to drop to the lower latitudes and like centuries of sailors before us, 
we will head West looking for the Trade winds to carry us across the wide ocean.

When Kai was little, he had a big map of the world beside his bed.
I was tucking him in one night, while Jon was away in Hollywood, working on a job.
Kai looked at me and asked,
"what's your job, mommy?"
"I look after you" I said,
"...and sometimes, I make up stories".
"What kind of stories?" he said with a sleepy face,
I pointed to a stretch of long blue ocean on his map.
"Exciting ones. About people who sail across the sea and dive with whales and discover new things living in the oceans..."
"That sounds fun" and he yawned and pulled the torn ear of his floppy dragon.
"I hope I get to do that someday..."
And I'm pretty sure I said, 
"me too".

That really happened.
And that stretch of blue ocean was off of Tonga.

Maybe it was always in the cards,
this unexpected, life of adventure...
or maybe the Angels, just happened to be standing by that night.
And know a good idea when they hear it.

Terry gave Kai his medal awarded by the Navy SEALS for excellence in diving tests...
and made him the happiest boy in the world.

Anatomy lessons
wildlife drawing

In search of a school of yellowtail in the anchorage
back in the 'hood in Escondido

Ode to Eliade

Happy New Year!

It turns out the World, did not end, after all, back on December 21, 2012...

I had been fairly sure it wasn't gonna.
According to the Popol Vuh, the Ancient Mayans actually considered themselves, the greatest, most awesomest, people the cosmos had ever seen.
They had no concept of Apocalypse - a miserable, pinche gringo concoction...They thought of themselves as eternal.
Like all cool kids.

Most likely, they were making ends to calendars, just for the excuse to have an epic party and build a few more temples by the end of the epoch...

Even though I knew it was unlikely, I decided Impending Doom was an excellent opportunity to NOT think about what we would do next (for a few weeks) and enjoyed eating as much Nutella as a person can consume in a month.

So, when December 22 dawned bright and clear...
I was back to pondering what we would do and where we would go once the holidays were over.

Thankfully, the big ponder could wait for a few more weeks-we had another guest arriving on the same day my mother was flying out.
We were sorry to see her go but the list of things to get done before for our friend's arrival kept us busy until the final moment.

Once again, we washed and cleaned the boat and filled the water tanks.
We changed the sheets in the sleeping bags and took the towels to the washer-ladies,
I loaded the boat with bags of Masa for tortillas and Jon sharpened his spear.

JR would be bringing a large bag of goodies for us and our much needed water maker membrane and we were looking forward to resurrecting this helpful tool.
Ours is not the greatest water maker on earth;  it's old and small and doesn't make much-only a gallon an hour -but cruising without one is an exercise in constant vigilance.
We carry about 140 gallons. The four of us use about 10 a day-more with guests and more with washing up after grand holiday meals-so, after a couple weeks out, you do have to start to do the math.

While mom packed her bags and had last minute snuggles with the kids, Jon and I whirled like Dervishes and got everything tidy and ready and ship shape.

The winter weather pattern was holding and we were experiencing another round of strong Northers. We mapped out a course to head South on the winds and then work our way back up on the calmer mornings-the big loop would let us show JR some of our favorite spots, keep us protected from the worst of the weather-and get us back in a week so he could fly out again.

The fishing and the marine life would be up to Mother nature but we had our fingers crossed that we would get lucky.

JR literally stepped off of his plane as my mom was getting on hers. Hunter and I still cried and our hearts were tight with missing Nana but it was good to have JR here and he brought  instant smiles and laughs and more PRESENTS!

There was an unbelievably cool dive light for Jon and a Monster High Doll for Hunter and another cool light for Kai and box sets of shows I longed to see and more presents from Grandma Sara and more stuff for Pura vida...it was Xmas all over again.

After one last shop for the Best Ever wheat tortillas made at the roadside stand in Loreto, we loaded all our goodies onto the boat and settled in for the night.

The next morning we had a fair sail South on a bright and windy day. 
JR is a sailor from way back and he settled right in to our routine.
He also ate about thirty tortillas on the first day.
It's literally impossible to describe how good they are.

Later, after anchoring in the lee of a rocky islet, Jon and Kai went hunting for our dinner with Manta while Hunter and I took J for a snorkel.
As we worked our way along a small reef, I noticed a chink in the rock just barely wide enough to swim through.
Poking my head through, to see if we could make the tight passage, I noticed it narrowed into a long squeeze for five feet and then opened up into a twenty foot deep canyon on the other side.

It was a giant aquarium.
A  "fishbowl", literally filled with a huge school of juvenile sardines. 

Millions of them.
Milllions and millions and millions of tiny silver fish.

I signaled to JR and Hunter to swim through.

We spent the next hour, in gin-clear water, surrounded by a moving, silver bait ball.
Every direction you moved they swirled and moved, together and apart, around you, above and beneath you.
As they rushed this way and that, their moving bodies made a sound unlike anything I have ever heard.
It's the sound of shooting stars,
and the goddess dreaming.

Never in my life, have I seen anything like it.
Well, maybe, kind of, in an IMAX theater, but my daughter and best friend were the stars of this movie.

When you get one of these moments out here;
Where what's happening in front of you is one of those gobsmacking moments of surreal beauty,
and you look over and see the expression on the face of a person you love dearly...
And you are sharing this thing, this happening, that no one else on earth is having, in this way, at this very moment...
Well, it's hard not to feel like a Mayan.

And that you are part of this, 
The Myth of Eternal Return.

It's just f-ing great...

And then you pause to wonder what big thing might be lurking in that drop-off (right over there) and what these terrified Sardines are hiding from?

Later that night the wind came up from the West and made the anchorage untenable.
We woke the crew and weighed anchor and moved to a safer spot.
The moon was up, the wind blew cold and we rocked gently on the wraparound swell off a long empty stretch of beach.

We decided to move on to Agua Verde the next morning- out of the North winds and a good spot to teach JR how to scuba on the protected reef inside.

Manta had also told us of a cave in the hills that was reputed to have ancient cave paintings.

As we set down the hook for the third time in twelve hours, there were  dolphins in the anchorage -
Hunter offered to take JR for a ride in the dingy and show him how to "play" with them.
Jon and I had to chuckle as we watched our eight year old daughter expertly hook up the fuel hose and lower the outboard and prime the engine and start the finicky machine.
JR looked at us with a "OMG?" expression.
We shrugged. 
Boat kids are neat like that.

That night we climbed on the boom and laid under a blanket of stars and talked and laughed.
It was great to see our old friend.
We've all come a long way from previous incarnations in our lives and all of us have shared in the growing and changing of one another.
It was a gift to see our friend in such a happy, peaceful, prosperous place and we were thrilled to share our new special world with him.

JR learned to Scuba and re-discovered his long lost love of Pufferfish.
He spent most of every dive catching and cuddling the prickly little puff balls.

New Years eve we had another feast on Manta with freshly found Sea delicacies.
We danced to Old School Soul and watched a full crimson moon rise from the sea.

Manta went to bed and we dingied back across a sea of phosphorescence to Pura Vida and waited for 2013.
We whispered prophecies and wishes, sent prayers for friends and family not with us,
counted our blessings, told silly jokes,
meditated the coming year
and at 12:00 the kids banged on the pots and pans and woke up the only other two boats of non-partying, goat-fish eating, stern-looking Norwegians who shared the anchorage with us.
Then JR looked at his iPhone and realized our boat clock was wrong and we were 7 minutes ahead of midnight.
So, 7 minutes later, we woke them up again. 

New years day was blowing a light gale but the boats were well anchored out of the fetch so we set out on an adventure.
Manta had located some GPS coordinates on google earth and spotted what looked like the painted cave.

We hiked for hours through, desert trails, past old graveyards, through ranchers fields across someones yard,  through a swampy jungle, down a three mile beach and then climbed a mountain.

There was no cave at the given longitude but we found another one.

From the beach we looked up the cliffs towering over the sea and at the very tippity top you could see a low cave mouth.
"If I was ancient peoples, that'd be my spot." Kai said.
And so it was.

The cave, where in times unknown( it turns out archeologists have yet to identify the early peoples of the Baja, despite their evidences being everywhere. The Mexican gov't is only just beginning to take an interest in funding the scientists looking to explain it) must have held at least twenty or thirty people, was incredible.

From inside it, you could see forever.
The ocean, the lands surrounding, there would have been fresh water nearby-the jungle creek we hiked through- you could have seen the great whales and the schools of giant tuna moving in the channel...
Hunter found evidence of fire in the back of the cave...
and of course, there were the paintings.
Tiny handprints in red ochre on a limestone relief.

I watched Hunter and Kai clamber around the cave, 
imagining who might of lived here and what they might of done, where they went or what they became.
Just  like those Ancient Mayans...
A mystery...
surrounded by a bunch of gringo's making S@#% up.

Give me back my camera!

Amazing J

Agua Verde

Honeymoon cove

Who's hands?

inside the cave

Letting off steam

life of a boat kid: schlepp schlepp schlepp

J treats us to a hotel...and dinner and a massage for me!
and a hot tub for Hunter!

And Kai finally takes a REAL shower

Sorry to see you go our lovely friend!
But we looooove you!
PS. The kids say "GO TO BED!"