Sooooo in case anyone hasn’t noticed Christmas is next week. WHAT. Is. Up. With. That?
As the years go by I see how much more time flies. I feel like only a few short weeks ago it was Thanksgiving…o wait it was.
Speaking of which, this year was yet again an epic Thanksgiving for the Santos fam bam.
After a night of boozieness in Monterey on Wednesday with ol friends … the standard, a few beers before, head to Alvarado, stand in the - you’re standing way to close to me - line at Lala’s knowing that you must order a double because you don’t know when how long its going to be until your next one…
Roll out of bed and head to Cayucas to my Auntie Dar and Uncle Nate’s home. To the top of the mountain we went. The next three days were spent with family, friends, vineyards, hikes, sweatpants, food and an odd combination of College Football and the Housewives of Beverly Hills … not sure why but both men and women alike were enthralled.
We, a family 20+ deep, huddle up in my Auntie Dar and Uncle Nate’s home at the top of Wallace mountain. They have to be the most interesting people I know. Auntie Dar known for always having enough air mattresses/beds for everyone, boiling the silverware, making sure you take your shoes off at the door b/c they might have “PO” (poison oak) on them, for buzzing around the kitchen managing an entire meal with such a calm demeanor and for having Shrinky Dinks for the kids to color and watch shrink as they bake in the oven.
She has the ability for you to actually miss her the moment you see/talk to her because you can actually feel how wonderful she is and how happy you are to have her as your Aunt. It's weird that someone can make you feel homesick when you are home.
My favorite part about Uncle Nate is that he is a freak of nature. I have no idea how old he is but I hope I am as ambitious, motivated and active when I get to be that age. I always learn something when I’m around him. Maybe something about grapes and wine and his new blends, or where to hike on the mountain, or maybe about his days as a school teacher or about the new goat that was born that he had to bottle feed b/c the mom rejected her AND then I get to feed the goat.
And of course the meal is ridiculous. But before the meal our family tradition (and educational moment) is when everyone forms a circle around the tables and holds hands. First person to start is given the A and they have to mention something they are thankful for that starts with the letter “A”, next person has “B” and so on. This year I had “O”, I was thankful for my cousin’s beautiful/smart daughter Olivia. It's nice to stop for a minute and let everything in 1 room be about 1 thing. What we are thankful for…”H” for health, “F” for friends, and so on.
After the meal of 2 different stuffings and a dozen different desserts, everyone retires to their favorite food coma position. For me this year, I had a primo spot in the comfy chair right in front of the game with a pillow so perfectly tucked for me to take a Tryptophan power nap to gear up for round 2.
Nice. Yes, thanksgiving on the mountain is one of my favorite trips to take with my family.
Moving on to Christmas…I have been assigned the notorious Relish Tray. Last year I really stepped up my game so I look forward to setting yet again another record for the tastiest assortment of pickled crap known to your local grocery store.
And LOOK There’s More!
A musical moment brought to you by Positive Polly...
I first heard about Alma Desnuda a few years back through my friend Karen, her co worker Paul was part of this band and I had always heard great things. The first time I saw them perform was outside of the Fillmore before a Brett Dennen show just jamming out for the wild kids that came out to wait in line early and have a good time on the street. I think the next time I saw them was maybe at a house party of sorts, always a good vibe and HAPPY/Thankful men.
This past Monday I went to their live show at Yoshi’s in SF. Let me just say they have come so far from that corner outside the Fillmore. They moved and grooved the audience and I am truly thankful for being able to see their set. Thanks guys.
A song that sticks out in "Great Big Water". One of the first times I heard this song I think I was on a 10 hour bus somewhere in Bolivia with Karen, we were stressed that the transmission or tires were going to blow out so she suggested we listen to some Alma D.
With 1 ear bud in my right ear and the other in her left…we were able to relax.
All in all this band does what seems like more for the communities it travels to then for themselves.
Check out their music and the trailer to a documentary about them if you feel so inclined, by their album or buy some stuff, these guys are going on tour to Austrailia and Indonesia, help buy them a beer, they deserve it…
Will be back soon.