Monday, January 14, 2013

A Christmas Tale (In 3 parts) Part I

 The entire point of this blog is for me to get in the habit of updating it. I want to do some extensive traveling after we get married....and this is the best forum to stay in touch with a lot of people.

So far, it's not looking so good for staying in touch ;) I"ll try to be better...I swear!! It's just a daily habit I need to adopt.

So, our Christmas trip home... 



Friday Dec 21

Trip to MD started off a little frenzied since the Super Shuttle showed up 20 minutes earlier than scheduled. On the way to the airport, the driver narrowly missed a dog that had somehow made it across 6  southbound lanes on the 405 freeway to the middle :-/ I like to think that he made it safely across the other 6 northbound lanes to his destination. But, we swerved pretty hard and it was upsetting. AND...after bragging to Preston that I had the two most important things I needed...my ID and my b.c. pills...I realized in the shuttle (right around the time of the dog), that I had, in fact, not brought the 2nd month pill pack. Fail.

Luckily, by the time we arrived at the airport and had a beer in the bar...I had arranged for my prescription to be transferred to MD and the dog was happily home in front of a fire place napping. And THEN!! As we were boarding the plane...the agent says, "oh. I'm sorry, we had to move your seats to keep a family together. I hope that's ok" and I said, "Of course. Are we still together?" and Preston said, "More importantly, are we in First Class?" and the man said "Yes!!" Awesome!!

We had been at the airport trying to think of how we wouldn't starve to death on a 5.5hr flight that landed at 1030pm...and now we were presented with...champagne for take off, wine to follow, a shrimp linguine starter salad, a green fields salad, pasta in sauce and stuffed chicken breast with a fresh assortment of rolls, more wine!!, followed by an ice cream SUNDAE and fresh cookies and coffee. For real. Add comfy seats  and the service dog lounging in the aisle next to me...and I have to say...what can I do in life to make sure I ALWAYS fly first class??

How we do.


Sat Dec 22

Went to our catering tasting!! It was just my parents, Preston and I. Was a nice time. And the girl who is working with us is so sweet. She knows that Preston loves ice cream and had a little treat for us at the end of the tasting. I wasn't blown away by the food...but I was blown away by the service. :)

We spent the rest of the day with my family and then went out in downtown Frederick with my brother (Mark) and friends: Julie and Jimmy.  Julie has a cute new apartment in town and I just loved it. Frederick has such an old and charming look...I think it took Preston by surprise.  We went out for my favorite beer (kolsch) at Brewer's Alley. Other friends joined us throughout the night and we had a great time.

We ended the evening at my best friend Trisha's house...just relaxing and laughing together.

Julie, Mark and the girl with weird eyes





Trishie :)

 


















Sun Dec 23

It was the warmest day forecast for our time in MD, so my brother and I took Preston to one of our favorite spots in Frederick. Gambrill State Park is just a few miles further up the mountain from my mom's house and has tons of great hiking trails and beautiful views down both sides of the mountain.  Now that I live in California, calling the mountains in MD 'mountains' seems a bit of a stretch, but...hey, it's all relative!!

It was a great hike and (I think) got Preston a bit more excited about the area...and reminded me that I am REALLY not in shape. We checked out the 2 overlooks on the Frederick side and my favorite overlook on the Middletown side. It was so refreshing and wonderful to feel back at home.

Good citizens...clearing a fallen tree from the trail. They failed.

North Frederick Overlook

Pres hanging with the locals

















We headed back to the house and met up with my cousin Amanda to head to DC for our annual shopping trip and dinner at CPK. Amanda and I have been doing this trip for years and years. We used to actually shop (cue memories of lugging a robe that, I swear, weighed 50lbs around the mall for an entire night. Word to the wise? Buy heavy items LAST), but since I've moved to California...we really just use it as an excuse to eat copious amounts of BBQ Chicken Salad and pizza.

Sleepy after hikin


We used the jaunt to DC as an excuse to stop by my Aunt and Uncle's new house. It was great to see them and they even joined us for dinner. Yay!! The more the merrier!! Per tradition, we ended the night with a fire that would not light...and "Love Actually". Ah, Christmastime.

Mon Dec 24

CHRISTMAS EVE!! It came so fast!! I'm all about routine and tradition (can ya tell??), so to continue in the vein...we met my dad for our annual Christmas Eve breakfast at IHOP. IHOP is gross. My dad LOVES it there. So weird. Especially with his mr workout man diet.

IHOP







  Next tradition? Making cookies with my cousins!! Jack is getting a little too old and cool to hang out with his cousin baking cookies...so it was just Maddie and I this year. My grandmother stopped by to help. We made our old standbys of sugar cookies (which Mad decorated...she's so creative), oatmeal raisin (my dad's fave) and peanut butter blossoms (Mmm!! MY fave). 






Cookie Bakin





My mom used to work in a wedding boutique...so she has a lot of off the rack wedding dresses. I tried on a few...which was sort of fun, but nothing that I liked. I was very surprised that they all really liked the one I felt naked in!! Scandalous!! There was one awkward moment where Preston loudly pondered (in front of my mother, grandmother and 14 year old cousin) when it was appropriate or not to wear an all white dress. haha!!

Naked.
I know, I know...Preston isn't supposed to see the dress, but trust me. This is not it.

Back on the tradition train...we took Preston to Roy Rogers for lunch.

Roy Rogers. This needs its own paragraph. Now, I don't eat a lot of fast food. It disgusts me...most of the time. I mean, everyone needs an occasional (and I'm talking MAYBE once a year) big mac or mcnugget, but Roy Rogers? Roy Rogers is in a class of its own!! Awesome burgers!! A Fixin's bar!! The best cherry coke in Frederick!! Gold Rush Chicken!! ROAST BEEF!! Mmmmm. It's one of my favorite places...since I was little girl. My parents took me there. My grandfather took me there. I went on DATES there. It's just, awesome. Unfortunately, I don't think Mr. Villers was all that impressed :-/ Maybe I should give this engagement/marriage thing a second look?

I kid, I kid.

Well, while we were at Roy Rogers...snow flakes started falling from the sky. First thought? "Oh, preeettty".  Those snowflakes began to furiously increase with size. Then those snowflakes started really coming down!! Before we knew it...the roads were blanketed. We got my grandmother safely back to her place and headed home. It was really snowing!! Completely uncalled for snow!! It was really really pretty...but had plans!! LOTS of plans!!

Beautiful, but bothersome


My mom lives in a neighborhood on the mountain...and our house sits down in a sort of valley...that you can only get out of by going up one steep hill...or going up another steep hill...both followed by downward (slides?) sloping steep hills. Blasts!! I am not a snow driver. This is 70% of the reason I had to move to California (kidding :P)...I'm immobilized by snow. Thankfully, my brother took mercy on us and offered to drive us the 30 mins to my Aunt's house in his all wheel drive car.

Well, we didn't make it :( It was a gallant effort. The problem was not really my brother or his car. In fact, he does FANTASTIC driving in snow. (I guess I missed that life lesson growing up? I was drinking hot chocolate and sledding while Mark was out doing donuts in parking lots?). The problem was all the other people, who like me, can NOT drive in the snow!! Both roads leading over the mountain to my Aunt's house were completely blocked. Wrecked cars were everywhere :-/

We made it to the grocery store and back and that's about it. I was really sad to miss out on seeing my cousins and going later to my friend's house and then the candlelight church service, but on the bright side of things...it was a lovely snow. It was a very relaxed Christmas Eve...with a reprieve from all the running around. My mom had the house decorated so nice and we had a fine meal of spaghetti all together in the dining room with wine goblets and everything!! The four of us (my brother, Preston, my mom and I) took a walk in the snow around the neighborhood. This used to be one of my favorite things. Walking in our neighborhood...no matter what the season. In the snow, the sky is pink and the ground is all lit up. Some people in our neighborhood ( a sad few :( ) still do the luminera on Christmas Eve. It was magical to see all the bagged candles lining their properties.

My gorgeous mother and her fantastic decorating

Snow walk and luminera




We came home and watched the Christmas Classic "Pitch Perfect". Ok, it's not a Christmas movie at all...but was still nice to be all tucked in.

All in all, it was a great Christmas Eve :)

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