Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

One of the more frequent questions I'm asked about living aboard (behind "how do you stay warm?") is about cooking.  Yes, I cook almost every day!  And no, we don't eat beans and weenies.  Sure my range is a little smaller than what you'd find in a typical house, but it ain't no Easy-Bake Oven. :)

Here I am taking Christmas sugar cookies out of the oven.

Aaron is far and away the best sugar cookie decorator I've ever seen. 

Aren't they lovely? They're almost too pretty to eat (almost).  I'd say that Santa will be eating well on his Bella Star stop (we even have a chimney for him!), but alas, we ate all his cookies.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


We're a little mad at ourselves... Why did it never occur to us to take a tropical vacation in the winter?  Why have we slogged through the cold and rain and snow and darkness year after year without a break?  Well, that won't happen again to be sure.  Our recent trip to lower latitudes has shown us the light... literally.

We spent 6 awesome nights on Maui and simply can't wait to go back.  We've been to warmer climates before, but this was different.  This was scraping the ice from our windshield before driving the airport and then not 10 hours later walking on the beach in shorts and flip flops.  This was fabulous.  We kept reminding ourselves that, yes, it's December!  See the Christmas trees in the open-air hotel lobby?  And Santa in flip flops and a lei down by the beach?  Hearing the song Mele Kalikimaka 50 times kept us in the holiday spirit, too (I can safely say that I know all the words now). :)

It's Santa!  You can't see it here, but he's wearing flip flops.  We saw the real Santa posing for pictures with the kiddies on the beach.

We didn't have any set plans for this trip, which is a real departure from my normal vacations, as those of you who know me will attest to.  We did do a few excursions, but the vast majority of the time was spent reading and lounging by the pool.  I can't even describe how wonderful it all was... So here are a few pictures that might help.

Aaron doing what he does best.

On the way up Haleakela

Hiking in the Haleakala crater--it looks like Mars!  We kept expecting to see little Spirit and Opportunity cruising around.

At the 10,000-ft. summit with the observatory and space surveillance telescope in the background (Aaron thinks it's a front)

We love Maui!

A morning walk on the beach. I think the tropics suit us. I think it would suit Bella Star, too.

Even before we left, we decided we're coming back next winter. And if we needed any more convincing, we arrived in Seattle to temperatures in the 20s. Back to reality. :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Ship

The day after Thanksgiving is when we traditionally decorate for Christmas.  Since this is our first Christmas living aboard, we thought we'd decorate the boat.  While our tree has gone from 8 1/2 feet to 2 feet, we still put lots of decorations up, and it's pretty fricking festive aboard Bella Star right now.  We got some Christmas lights for the outside.  Gotta love these LED strings, you can hook up over 40 strings together.

As it turns out, to have effective boat lights you have to go for altitude.  Our neighbor Al hoisted himself up the mast and put a tree up there.  I think he did it to taunt us.

Okay Al.  Fine.  It is ON.  Next year, I'm blowing a paycheck on lights.  On November 26th, 2010, a new sun shall be born on K dock.