I promised photos of the surf competition. There are big barrels, famous surfers, and rainbows in the spray. And now that I am at my parents' house in New England, there are pictures of holly berries and sunsets and my puppy in the snow. And I have enough time on my hands (between DAO sessions) to put together posts with these photos. But my parents' internet has such questionable bandwidth that I have about a 50% chance of uploading a single photo (takes about 2 minutes), and a 50% chance of instead somehow shutting down my house's internet, requiring me to unplug the thing and plug it back in then wait a few minutes for it to start up again (can an internet connection overload/short-circuit?). Needless to say, uploading photos is a bit frustrating. But I will get them up as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I am happy to be home. I arrived at the airport the morning before the big storm hit (thank goodness, otherwise I might have been stuck in my layover L.A. airport for 24 hours--or more!). I had only the chenille sweater from my suitcase that I'd pulled over my little T-shirt. Luckily, my dad picked me up at the airport and brought the winter coat that I had neglected to take with me to Hawaii, though I did have to sprint out to meet him at the car in the 19 degrees F (-7 C) weather. Kind of a shock after leaving Honolulu at 80 F (27 C).
Now I'm enjoying Mom's cooking (chicken fajitas, Chinese beef and broccoli, and now she's making some sort of beef stew that involved lighting Cognac on fire), hanging out with my dog, and drinking hot chocolate (Spanish chocolate, not from powder, spiced with cinnamon). The snow outside is beautiful and makes it feel so cozy inside. Life in Honolulu has not made me soft yet for the cold. I just have my nice sweaters, and everything's fine. Everything's fine. Home is nice.