The McBryders

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Una Fiesta En Sol

Seattle is known for its dreary weather. There's no point in dispelling this myth, because frankly, it is no myth. Except for July, August and September, which can be as lovely as anything anywhere, Seattle is just one long grey and gloomy rainy season.

Having lived here most of my life, one might think I'd have gotten used to the nine months of perpetual overcast by now. I try every year, beginning in November, to steel myself for the winter. Since it doesn't get too cold, and hardly ever snows, one might wonder what's so difficult. I don't know myself, exactly. For some reason, whatever strategies I employed to survive through January with a relatively chipper demeanor are completely used up by the time February starts.

Then comes March. It gets me every year. I fool myself into expecting the temperatures to rise a bit and sun to peak out a bit more. It never happens. The only difference between February and March is that March's dreariness lasts two or three days longer.

It's also the "slow time" of the classical music season. Okay, August is really slow, but that's the "off-season." So, on top of the gloomy greyness, I experience a combination of boredom and anxiety lasting from mid-January through the end of April; when's the next gig? Am I losing my edge? How much time in the woodshed is required to keep up my game? I feel like Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now: "I'm still only in Saigon while Charlie's out in the jungle getting stronger."

This April, 2007, I know when my next gig starts: April 28. I'll be playing Tommy at Village Theatre. I'll be playing Tommy until the third week of July. Eight shows a week for twelve weeks. That's a lot of Pinball Wizards, my friend. There has to be a twist!

Well, the point is, I figure I'd better start enjoying the "time off" that remains. And what better way than to pack up the family and jet off to sunny Mexico for a few days? Get a few days of R&R, replenish those depleted solar cells.

SeattleS went on line and booked us a four-day getaway to Mazatlan. We were actually gone for six days, but Day 1 and Day 6 were travel days.

Before we left, both SeattleS and I were a bit anxious about traveling with Samantha. The little tyke had never been in an airplane, and she gets so excited about driving in the car that she rarely sleeps, and usually gets all wound up and hyper-fidgety on trips lasting more than a half hour.

Our anxiety was unfounded. Sammy was as close to a traveling angel as one could hope, generally entertaining herself and flirting with other passengers. Here's a picture of her taking in the Mexican landscape on our approach to Mazatlan.

Our four-day stay was so brief, although each day seemed to last for a wonderful forever. Our hotel was a relatively large complex with a couple swimming pools and an outdoor restaurant, right on the beach. If Sammy had her way she would have spent every waking moment (and there were many, since she was too excited to sleep much) playing on the beach. Here she is with mom on the first day:

At first Sam was quite frightened of the surf. But after getting soaked a few times (with my help), her reticence was replaced with obsessive desire to go deeper and farther, to let her little feet get buried in the soggy sand, and to find as many rocks and shells as she could fit in her little bucket.

And if she wasn't attacking the surf, she was more than content to fill her pail with sand (or as Sam prefers to call it, "dirt"), empty it, and refill it again, repeat, etc., while I had fun burying her legs in the sand.

We also spent a lot of time in the pool, where Sammy entertained a constant entourage of admirers, young and old.

Between pool and beach sessions there was quite a bit of sitting around, sunning and avoiding the sun. Sam found lots to do; organizing her rocks, coloring, and of course, flirting with everybody.

Here Sam confronts a local iguana who lives in a drainpipe by the side of the restaurant.

And while Sam kept busy, the cabana boys kept mom and dad supplied with intravenous Margaritas, beer and snacks.

Meals were al fresco, and Sam kept mom, dad, the waiters and other diners constantly entertained.

Sam was generally so excited it took her several hours every night to fall asleep. Here mom tries in vain to read her to sleep.

After finally getting Sam to sleep each evening, mom and dad retired to the balcony for some "us" time, which generally included the entertainments you see displayed here.

In summary, it was such a wonderful, although brief, visit to our southern neighbors, and it was a complete success for everybody. Sam got her first taste of international travel, which was high on mom and dad's list of things they wanted her to taste, and mom and dad got their R&R, and the solar cells seem juiced and ready to carry on with the next few months.

I leave you with a night shot from our balcony in Mazatlan. Peace!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Where did March go?

I have been reminded that March has come and gone without a post. Unbelievable.
I guess when you are sick one full week and two days, and then down in Texas for another week, the whole month just up and runs away.

How about a month in pictures?

Sammy gets her first (and so far, only) lesson

Playing in her "bean pool"

Sammy enjoyed seeing Kim again!

(And so did we! We had a great time visiting with my good friend Kim. She moved to Arizona and Seattle has not been the same without her!)

Making yummy cookies with Mama!

At the beach. Can't wait for it to be summer! While I was in Texas for work, David and Sam went down to the beachhouse. Everyone had a wonderful time.

I love this picture of Sammy making cookies with her Grandma!

And walking back from feeding the seagulls with her Grandpa.

Happy March