After a grueling day, it was a delight to see all the Christmas decorations downtown. Pillars are swathed in red velvet, forming gigantic bows. Lights are strung up and down California Street. With the cab stopped on the corner of Mason and California, I could see fresh wreaths centered in the windows of the Mark Hopkins and the Fairmont hotels. I hated that the radio station 96.5 KOIT started playing Christmas music even before Thanksgiving, but now that the decorations are up, I’m starting to get into the festive spirit. I’ll have a one week reprieve as I leave on Saturday for Nicaragua for one week, then head straight to NYC for another week. The contrast couldn’t be any more severe. From summer to winter. From cheap to expensive. From laying out at the beach resort to walking hurriedly through subway traffic. I’d say that December is even lovelier in Manhattan, but honestly…who cares for the bittery cold. Marc and I were walking around yesterday evening–no jackets, just long-sleeved sweaters. It wasn’t even that cold. I doubt there will be much internet access when in Nicaragua. We’re travelling to remote, but eco-friendly resorts. I can’t wait to do nothing, but sleep in and read my books. I’ve warned Jen more than a handful of times not to wake me up. I’ll write more before I leave, but there will probably be a one week lag…maybe even more. I’m not taking my laptop to NYC! Another grueling day tomorrow…time for bed.