Ho, ho, ho!!! It's the week after Christmas (and Chanukah for our Jewish friends), but I'm not going to talk about that. Instead, I'm going to try and get a little caught up by talking about Thanksgiving. I should get to Christmas sometime in March or so at this rate, so come back then if you want to find out about Scott, Molly and Audrey's visit.
Okay, Thanksgiving. Sandy had determined in October that she wasn't making any more trips to Denver in her pregnant state so we decided instead to have some people come to Durango for Thanksgiving. My Mom's friends John and Diane volunteered to make the trip up here and bring their twin boys and Mom along for the ride; they also said they would take care of most of the work so that Sandy could relax so of course we said yes. Their boys, Josh and Justin are 13 (I think, sorry John and Diane if I'm off a year) so they were happy to spend the bulk of the weekend camped in front of our TV playing with their X-Box.
Diane and Sandy talked a lot about having twins and Mom and John just had fun being in Durango with us. They did bring up a bunch of food, but despite their offer to do everything, the control freak in me came out on Thanksgiving and I pretty much took over anyway and handled most of the actual cooking. The big thing I learned this year about cooking turkeys: Brining. We used an Alton Brown recipe for brining and roasting the turkey and it came out awesome; we are sold. Then on the night before they returned to Denver we opened presents with Mom because we knew she wouldn't be able to make the trip up for Christmas. All in all, it was a great time and we appreciate John and Diane's help in bringing Mom up for a visit.
Then on the second Saturday in December, our friends Brian/Leslie and Ambika/Matt threw a Durango baby shower for us. Unfortunately, we were an hour late to our own baby shower due to some car troubles. To begin with, Rachel, Sandy's friend from Denver, flew in to visit for the weekend that morning and we planned to go straight from the airport to the shower. Now, the night before we went to pick her up Sandy noticed that a few "idiot lights" had lit up on the dashboard of the Landcruiser and asked if we should be concerned. I handled it the way I usually handle such car issues: if the car is still running, just ignore it. I figured we just had a short or something in the dashboard lights because how else would the brake, battery and transmission temp lights all come on at the same time? What are the chances of all of those things actually going out at the same time? However, as we were making the trip to the airport, I noticed that the dashboard lights seemed to be actually getting dimmer. Then I hit the windshield washers and got the most pathetic stream of washer fluid imaginable out of little nozzles and I realized, wow, the battery really is going dead. Well I figured a car can probably still run quite a while on a discharging battery, so we continued on. We made it to the airport, but the car died there. I got a jump from one of the hotel vans, but the car only made it about another mile back to Durango before dying again. Bummer. Okay, call tow truck, call Baby Shower, tell them we are going to be a little late. Sandy and Rachel had a great time laughing about the whole thing as we stood on the side of the road waiting; I was just irked that my vehicle diagnosis skills seemed to have slipped so far.
Anyway, the tow truck finally arrived and took us to the dealership. Now this was actually pretty cool; Sandy got to ride in the guy's truck but Rachel and I got to actually ride in the Landcruiser as it was being towed. I asked the tow truck guy if this was legal; he said not really, but we promised to duck if we saw any cop cars. I have to say, if you ever get the chance to ride in a car or truck being towed by a tow truck, I highly recommend it; it was great fun. Kind of like an amusement park ride, but much faster. The steering wheel even turned on its own when we went around corners. We eventually made it to the shower, although a bit late and had a great time with all of our Durango friends. Too many people to name them all, so I made the little slideshow below. Thanks to everybody for being there and being patient with our late arrival.
In any event, it turns out that the battery, brake and transmission temp sensor had all gone out at the same time; go figure. The plus side to this was that winter arrived in earnest in Durango right after the shower and we had 5 or so days of snow and ice and locusts and the like to drive through with just our little Ford Escort station wagon (very fuel and space efficient in the summer, but crap in the snow).