Thursday, March 28, 2013

Nate @ 22

Here's to Nate, age 22, racing in Europe, living the dream.
Our wonderful son who has risen above, ever stronger.
May the wind always be at your back.
Happy Birthday!

L, Mom and Dad

Nate Bontrager Kit, 3.2013 ... Nate training, 1.2011 ... Nate and Avery, Block Island, 8.2001 ... Care and Nate, Saint John, 10.1991 ... Day 1, Arlington Hospital, 3.29.1991.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Vacaciones ...

Vacations are difficult by criteria. We like to go new places ... it's unlikely we'll go back to the same place, certainly not temporally. So I dig planning and detailing it, sometimes only Walter Middy concepts, a lift from the daily grind. It's hard but important work -- work hard, play hard, get the details right. Capture deeply what you do, live for the experience, and enjoy. Embolden and empower your children, your passions.

We've done many different things, some gifts, some hard-earned. Gift: Flew Concorde to Paris, a week in Hotel du Crillon, Opera House w Rob and Nicolete, our honeymoon. Not gifts: Traipsed Cairo slums, refugee camps in Gaza ... bicycle ventures on Route Verte (Quebec), Bend, Olympic Peninsula, Mallorca, New Mexico, Sundance, Val d'Or, Valloire, Sonoma, Santa Barbara ... touring Prague, San Francisco, Tetons, Cozumel, Saint John, Nova Scotia, Granada, Chamonix, Berlin, Smokey Mountains, Block Island, La Jolla, Athens, Madrid, New York, London, Marbella, Ibiza ... others ... My favorite was two weeks in Ethiopia, quietly occupying a desk in a small office with three social workers, documenting patient care in a maternal and child health program ... HIV site visits ... I was never so engaged, content.

This vacation in Los Cabos has been pretty cool, tho' I'll be light on details. Root cause, my 80-something father has been pretty lonely, most contemporaries of his are gone, one way or another. So he proposed a 'bonding' experience, where I could get to know him better. First idea was a sailboat cruise in Greek isles, conceptually cool, but pretty pricey, and truthfully I wasn't terribly keen on spending 8 days in a 2 berth, 1 squatter no WiFi sailboat w Ol' George and a bunch of National Geographic types. Call me picky. Recollecting an impractical notion he had to take his wheel-chair bound high-school girl friend whale watching on the Sea of Cortez, I proposed that (w healthy me). My initial target was Loreto, a Jacques Cousteau-lauded place about mid-Baja, very uncomplicated, essentially eco-tourism. Great idea, but 'we' didn't get our act together, and all airline seats were booked (only Alaska Air flies there), so we settled on Los Cabos, specifically San Jose del Cabo (SJC), on the eastern tip of Baja California Sur, the Sea of Cortez.

I've loved SJC, a lot of wonderful art galleries, restaurants, a scenic preserve/estuary, lovely people, whale watching at Cabo San Lucas. I've read a couple books, swum, enjoyed fantastic Latin jazz, meshed with internationales of many distinctions, improved my Spanish ... hit the local brew pub, ate and drank liberally, enjoyed tremendously Hotel Tropicana and Latin jazz performances there by passionate chanteuse (and new friend) Rosalia de Cuba ... ¡Todos! George met a former journalist of sorts (Dad was pretty famous, in his day, at WaPo); she a divorced, wealthy 40-something (with two children, age 2 and 4, in tow) ... so they headed an hour north to Rancho Leonero, a fishing camp on the Sea of Cortez. Sounded wonderful, but I chose to stay put in the Tropicana, to enjoy more jazz, art, pool swimming, reading and relaxing.

Overall, a good trip. I think given the evanescent excitement for George, mission accomplished ... (I'm reminded of W's aircraft carrier banner 'post' Iraq ...) ... I certainly had some fun, enjoyed local culture and artistry, saw some whales, and took a few good pics (above and below). So it goes ... !