So the January trip to the Mojave National Preserve is still on!
Water pump went out Christmas Eve day, I had the repairs done at my favorite repair shop- Mitchell Tire Service in Anaheim the day after Christmas. The estimate when I brought the car in to replace the water pump, timing belt and tensioner was around $790. The final total was $687 and the car is running like a sewing machine again.
This video shows the car running in the parking lot at my work. Video filmed with my LG Motion smartphone.