Post-Christmas Run Down

Oh hey 2013, nice to meet you.

So I’ve been a bit delayed in getting a recap of our trip home together. Mostly because I forgot my good camera at my parent’s house {sniff} and with it, all the photos I had taken.

Luckily for me, I can remotely control my parents’ computer back home, so I sent them to myself. Score one for technology.

Do not score one for technology when I discovered this weekend that my blog and all my other websites were running painfully slow. After scouring the hosting forums for the issue, I was informed that I needed to upgrade my hosting…as I see it, I’ve been a customer for so long, my hosting became outdated and rather than just make the (free) upgrade for me, they just left me my websites for dead. Nice. Real nice.

Anyway, there’s more to that story, but it’s boring, so I will save you. But it does mean I can’t currently upload photos so boo to that. I’ll save the visuals for another post I suppose.

So right, the trip home.

It was awesome and not long enough.

We spent a couple days in Long Island, before heading down to Maryland to visit Dave’s grandmother for the actual Christmas holiday. Upon our arrival, we were greeted with snow. It was fantastic. Especially because I got a white Christmas! Whoo hoo! I took a lot of photos of things covered in snow and the neighbors of Dave’s grandmother probably think I was casing their houses for a heist, but really, I just had visions of taking photos where I captured a snowflake mid-fall, with the rest of the background artistically blurred out. Since I’m not Ansel Adams, this failed miserably.

Christmas Day we woke up to pure white snow, which was a lovely backdrop by which to open presents. I love Christmas because, aside from Easter, it’s the only time I feel as though eating candy for breakfast is acceptable. I’m perfectly aware that I’m almost 30 years old, and that I could eat candy for breakfast every day because that’s my adult right. Yet somehow, on Christmas, that Lindt truffle goes down a lot easier and without my mother’s voice inside my head asking me if I have brushed and flossed yet.

Dave’s parents, grandmother, he and I all gathered around the dining room table and opened all of our gifts…much to my delight, I got an immersion blender with a European electrical plug (We’ve only been home 10 days and I’ve made creamy-based soups for two of them).

After our opening of the presents, we got cleaned up and got to work on Christmas dinner. Chris (Dave’s mom) had made arrangements with Dave’s Uncle Andy to get a turkey breast and a ham so those were taken care of. Dave and Chris went to work on the sides…I supervised—told them to keep up the good work 🙂 Actually, I’m always quite at home in the kitchen when there is a lot of activity going on, so once everyone arrived, I was completely in my element. Grabbing bites of hors d’oeuvres in between checking things in the oven. We had quite the spread and I’m bummed I didn’t take a photo of the dining room table with it’s pretty Christmas tablecloth and all the good silver laid out.

After a long afternoon of celebrating and wearing down Uncle Andy to play Kool & the Gang on the piano, we closed the books on Christmas 2012, 1.0– a solid success!

A few days later found us back in an airport (by the time we arrived back in France, we calculated that our trip home had taken us through nine airports total. Impressive.)

We arrived in CA on the Friday after Christmas, where my mom picked us up from the airport. After delivering some sad news about a family friend who had experienced some sort of heart issue that mirrored a heart attack at first diagnosis, followed by news that my grandpa’s heart was acting up, causing him a trip to the ER, I was pretty much going on sleep-deprived adrenaline. A very long story short, both patients are ok and for our family friend, it is practically a miracle. But for the majority of our trip in CA, we ran to answer ever phone call, waiting for some sort of update or news on his status.

Saturday we got together with my friends from high school and I got to see Amanda’s growing belly up close. We pretty much claimed the corner booth at Gott’s for a good portion of the lunch rush, but it really was the only place the seven of us would fit and isolating us loudmouths to the corner of the place was probably wise.

We also had Christmas 2012, 2.0 with my family. One night after dinner we all gathered in the living room and my dad played Santa, handing out the presents from under the tree, my mom and me acting as though we’re the paparazzi with the cameras. My parents went all out and got me an iPad to make my professional life easier. Now I can do my work remotely and not be chained to the desk in this apartment that I just love so much (can you hear the sarcasm??) Plus, I really love technology and my inner geek is in love with my new toy.

Our trip to CA was probably characterized by the excessive amount of cooking we did. (Did I mention how easy it is to refer to my recipes on my brand new iPad?) Dave and I, excited to have a full-blown kitchen at our disposal, had my grandparents over for dinner on New Year’s Eve. We made Cioppino, a salad and grilled some steaks. For dessert, we had both seen a recipe for a cannoli tart that we’d had our eyes on. New Year’s Eve was the perfect time to test it out. It turned out pretty good, but our take on the dough recipe needs some slight tweaking but that didn’t stop us from eating it!

A few nights later, we headed down to the local fish market and picked up a bunch of crabs. We’d found a recipe for oven-roasted dungeness crab and we paired it with some Cheesy Herbed Popovers that we’d spied online. Then we basically had a crabfeed at our dining room table. We’d bough enough crab for my brothers to join us, but both made other plans, so more for us!

The next night was our last night in town, and my aunt and uncle had returned from their quick New Years trip so we made plans to go to one of our favorite restaurants in Downtown Napa. I’m grateful my aunt made plans because if there was one thing I learned from this trip, it was that I needed to make firm plans with people. Otherwise, the days just seem to slip by and I didn’t get to visit with as many people as I would have wanted. Lesson learned.

Of course, the days flew by and before we knew it it was 4am on January 5 and we were getting ready to leave for SFO. 29 loooooong hours later, we made it back to our place in France.

I’m still shaking off the jet-lag a bit, overcome with exhaustion around 9pm, but we’re getting there. Dave is now preparing for his exams and I’m preparing to turn 30 tomorrow (yowsers!).

Sadly, we don’t know for sure when we’ll be back in the States, as it depends on Dave’s summer schedule and whether or not he gets an internship for harvest. We’ll have to play it by ear until then but in the meantime, we’re already halfway through our stint in France (!) and looking forward to 2013!

2 thoughts on “Post-Christmas Run Down

  1. It was so lovely to see you darling! I will make every effort to continue to capture the expansion of Amanda’s belly on film, so you can keep up to date. Let me know what dates you’re London bound… just in case i can swing a long weekend with you!

    love you!!

  2. Time certainly did go by quickly. We were happy to see you two and glad we had a week to be together! Thanks for all the delicious meals. You have inspired me to use the iPad to look up different recipes and to “go for it” ! Wish we could all be celebrating your birthday with you tomorrow. It’s a big one, also reminding me of how fast the time goes. It just doesnt seem possible that you were born 30 years ago on a cold Sunday night. Hey, we’ll make & eat a snackin’ cake in your honor ;-). <3

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