Christmas 2015 at Craig’s Castle

December 25, 2015, Day 1: Home to Craig’s Castle for Christmas with the family: About 20 miles.

Christmas was upon us and it was time to head for Craig’s Castle in Stockton to join the family for the usual dinner and celebration.2015-12-25a Craig's for ChristmasJacks down at Craig’s Castle for Christmas and overnight ’til we headed to Gale and John’s for our 72nd birthday together.

We were joined by the rest of the family as the afternoon wore on, and by sometime around 1700 we began the long anticipated Christmas dinner. We had turkey and ham and all the trimmings. And we had so many sweets for dessert I can’t remember them all, but I remember the pecan pie and I sure got my share!2015-12-25c Lavonne cookingLavonne watching over the cooking ham – mmmmm, it was superb!

2015-12-25d Christmas dinnerThe family at Christmas dinner: (L-R) Laura, Craig, Carlee, Mike, Lavonne, Brett, Dale, Breanne.

We had a grand time together at dinner. Afterwards, we opened gifts and played games together. When they broke out the Bingo, I headed to the coach for the night. I was just tuckered out and wanted some peace and quiet.2015-12-25e Peace at ChristmasSeveral times during the afternoon I returned to the coach for some peace and quiet. I’m not much of a party boy.

2015-12-25f Christmas dinnerAfter dinner it was gift opening time. I try to convince the family to draw names and simplify the gift giving, but no, everybody buys and exchanges with everybody else. It’s just too much!

The dinner was plenty, but then the gift opening began and I endured it pretty well. When dessert was served I enjoyed some pecan pie. Then when they brought out the Bingo cards I bid everyone goodnight and headed to the coach. I was party pooped!

Back in the coach I began this travelogue, edited the photos, showered and got ready for bed. It was a cold December night but we were cozy aboard Big Blue for the night. When Lavonne returned from the partying, she went online to visit her favorite sites. I dug out a WWII documentary and spent the rest of the evening watching TV as I enjoyed a couple of my good Tom Collins.

We hit the sack around 2300 and although it was a very cold night, we slept comfy and warm in the coach.

Saturday, our 72nd birthday, Day 2: To Gale’s in Gridley:

I was up around 0530 to turn on the water heater and turn up the heater. It was a cold morning, the outdoor thermometer read 34°. I climbed back into bed for another half hour as the coach warmed up.

I heard the gang leave shortly after I got up. They were headed to the airport en route to visit Allen and Nancy. Their kids, Jason and Erica, were home for Christmas so they would have a grand reunion in Colorado.

Lavonne and I took our time preparing for the day as we had only about 100 miles to drive to Gridley. We didn’t leave ’til sometime after 0900. We stopped at a Mickey D’s off I-5 in Lodi for breakfast.

2015-12-26a winter in the valleyIt was definitely winter time in the valley as all the orchards were bare as could be.

2015-12-26b the ButtesThe Sutter Buttes on a clear, cold, windy day as we neared Gridley. 

After our drive against the north wind, yet again, we arrived at Gale and John’s a bit after noon. Gale and I would celebrate our 72nd birthday. We spent the day inside, chatting and eating. Gale and I sang a few of the old gospel songs we love as John and Lavonne put up with us. Gale harmonizes and for a couple of old folks, we don’t sound too bad.

2015-12-26c dinner at Gale'sThe Old Folks gathered for our birthday dinner of Christmas leftovers – and they were delicious.

2015-12-26d Happy 72nd…and still smiling after all these years! The Twins together again and this time to celebrate 72 years!

After a dinner of Christmas leftovers that we brought with us, I brought in an ice cream cake Lavonne had bought for our birthday. Although we were pretty much stuffed anyway, we enjoyed the praline and cream cake.

Lavonne and I bid Gale and John goodnight around 1930 and returned to the coach for the night. We spent our usual evening aboard, Lavonne on her websites and I updated this travelogue and watched more documentary on TV.

We hit the sack around 2230 and slept well through the cold and frosty night.

Sunday, Day 3: Gale’s in Gridley to Home after the holidays!

I was up at 0530. Again. I turned on the water heater and turned up the coach heater and went back to bed. It was just 30° outside and the coach was too cool for comfort. At 0600 I was doing my chores and preparing for the new day. Lavonne joined me soon after.2015-12-27a frosty Gridley morningIt was a cold and frosty winter morning at Gale and John’s place in Gridley.

We passed the time online and sipping coffee. We awaited the curtains being opened at the house, our sign that they were up and around and time to visit. It was around 0830 that we headed to the house.

Lavonne and John whipped up some fruit and crescent rolls for breakfast. We gathered around the table once again and had a nice visit. We spent a couple hours or so together before I headed out to the coach to set her up for the drive home.

We pulled out sometime after 1100 for home. The drive was unremarkable as we like it, but the traffic was pretty heavy as many others made their treks home after the Christmas weekend.

When we arrived home we set about unloading and dumping the coach. It was good to be home, but we sure were caught in a cold snap. At 1500 it was only 44° outside, a very cold day by our standards.

We had enjoyed Christmas with Craig and Lavonne’s family and spent our 72nd birthday with Gale and John – a very special weekend, indeed!

In a week or so it would be time to load up the coach for my 2016 Search for Sunshine, an annual tradition for me and I was surely looking forward to some warmer weather!

About FishWisher

Over the years I have posted many exciting fishing and boating stories here, but now in my seventies, it was time to sell the boat and find less demanding pastimes. All the fishing stories are still here! I will now post my travels aboard the motorhome and other activities. I hope y'all will still enjoy the fishing and boating adventures and perhaps peek in on my post-boating activities on occasion. Thanks for dropping in and I hope you enjoy your visit.
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