A Dover Christmas

Bienvenido, loyal reader. As a friendly reminder, Bruce and Mary take this opportunity to say that the original motivation for this blog was to keep family and friends informed of their doings. That being said, some of you may want to sit this post out, because, outside of said family and friends, it may be kind of boring. So… proceed at your own risk! 🙂

This is the scene at the Puerto Vallarta airport as we get in line for gate passes. We thought something was up when we saw a busy, makeshift sidewalk bar set up next to the main entrance and then this mass of people. We spend about an hour in line.

This is the crush of people entering the secured area.

We cleared security and are walking to our gate when we see this hazmat operation. It wasn’t until much later in the day that we heard what had happened. Our day was about to get a lot more complicated.

After sipping 93P cervezas and grazing on trailmix for about five hours we finally see an airliner arrive at a gate. It is a SW Air flight to Houston, which does us no good but it is good to see that the gates are starting to open. Our flight starts boarding about a half hour later. Originally we were connecting in Denver with our final destination Boston but now we have been diverted to Newark.

We’re at the Ramada Plaza in Newark. Of course our flight landed about two hours too late for the Boston connection so we waited in line, for about an hour, at United customer service. We did get food vouchers and a voucher for this overnight stay, along with gate passes for a 7am flight tomorrow morning. We hit the sack at 2am with the alarm set for 5am.

Thankfully this next day of travel has no added excitement and after an hour and a half bus ride from Boston to Dover, NH our son Sam picks us up at the bus station about 11am. And the first order of business is…

Grandma decorating cookies with nietas (granddaughters) three year old Summer and five year old Aria.

This is the Christmas dinner prep crew: Son Sam, better half Annah and our daughter Helen.

While dinner is cooking Aria tries to teach me how to do a pirouette.

Let’s see how I do.

After my performance (such as it was) a wonderful vegan Christmas dinner featuring Chickpea cutlets is served. It is delicious, even for this meat eater. I fill my plate twice.

The table has been cleared, time for the Christmas presents. This doll crib has been in Mary’s family for three generations. A special thank you to Mary’s brother Bob and wife Mary for getting this out of storage and shipped here.

Mary is playing a Bingo type game with the girls.

I’m playing the Acorn game with Aria and Summer. The girls take turns winning.

Helen and Aria are making custom headbands.

Mary and Summer are doing some clay creation.

Here’s a cool gift, specialized lens for our smart phone cameras, that we got from son Joe and Meryah, who were unable to attend this year’s celebration.

Let’s try the fish eye lens.

It’s the next morning and we’re at Aria’s basketball practice.

Aria is center and facing us. BTW: The volunteer coaches do a terrific job.

We’re back home and Auntie Helen is romping in the snow with her nieces.

Kathy and Pat, Annah’s folks have arrived for brunch.

After brunch we play the card game Five Crowns (a gift from Kevin and Rosie). That’s John, Annah’s brother next to Mary. Pat alternates between, “I hate this game!” and “I love this game!” After all is said and done, Mary wins, naturally.

It’s later in the evening and the kids, joined by their friend Chris are playing Betrayal at House on the Hill, a game that is way over my head.

Annah, coerced into playing, is having her fun balancing dice.

It’s Sunday and Joe and Mer are joining us via Facetime.

We’re at the Friendly Toast in Portsmouth for Sunday night dinner.

While we wait for our food, Aria the artist does portraits of each of us:

Not bad for a five year old, eh?

After our meals we head home to Dover and everyone konks out pretty early except for Helen, me and Mary. We’d set the alarm for 1:30am as our bus heads to the airport at 2:30 but when we find that we have partied until 11, when Helen heads downstairs, we decide, what the heck, let’s just stay up all night. Which we do. Sammy is up at 2:10 and takes us to the bus depot and our travel back home to Vallarta is, thankfully, without incident.

A belated Happy New Year, everyone, Cheers!

Thanks for visiting, gentle reader. Hasta proximo Domingo!


January 15, 2017 · Bruce · 10 Comments
Posted in: Family Business

10 Responses

  1. Mary Mendez - January 15, 2017

    Looks like you had an awesome, whirlwind visit with family. My favorite part….”good job, you did I it”. Now you can pirouette down the Malecon. Happy New Year to you and Mary.

  2. Bruce - January 15, 2017

    Hola Mary,

    Hahaha, that is my favorite part as well!

    That would be a picture, me pirouetting down the Malecon. 🙂

    Happy New Year to you as well, Cheers!

  3. Jaromey Menshal - January 15, 2017

    Hey you two!
    I see that you did indeed have a Merry Christmas! It was fun to follow through with this little visit with your family – I almost feel as though I know them from our previous conversations… fun! And what a lovely pirouette that was, abuelito!!! I’ve been thinking of you two all week, so I shouldn’t be surprised that you showed up in my inbox! Wishing you the absolute best and funnest New Year ever!!!! Love Jaromey

  4. Bruce - January 15, 2017

    Hola Jaromey, good to hear from you, we think of you often.

    Hahaha, maestra Aria was pretty patient with her estudiente, there were quite a few reps before the published version.

    Wishing the very best for you and yours in 2017!

    Con abrazos!

  5. Lynn - January 15, 2017

    I loved Aia’s reaction as well! Looks like a good time was had by all!
    Happy New Year to you both!

  6. Bruce - January 15, 2017

    Hola Lynn,

    Yes, Aria is a kind and patient teacher, just like her folks.

    Happy New Year to you, as well, Cheers!

  7. Alex - January 15, 2017

    Your nietas have gotten so big! What a travel nightmare. You can always rest when you get home!

  8. Bruce - January 15, 2017

    Hola Alex,

    As you know, nietos grow so fast, and we see ours so infrequently that it always amazes us how much they have grown.

    Hahaha, yes it took awhile for these old timers to recover from those travel logistics.


  9. Jose A Herrera - January 15, 2017

    …families are forever…New England is a most beautiful part of the U. S….I did visit my very dear daughter Elenita at Westborough before she went to heaven…thanks for sharing !!!!

  10. Bruce - January 16, 2017

    Hola Jose,

    Yes, New England has some of the most beautiful vistas on earth.

    Family is precious, without it we have nothing.

    Thanks for reading, Cheers!

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