Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Vacation Day 4: Christmas

Christmas morning J awoke to discover that he had slept 15 hours. Happily, he felt much better.

The two of us excitedly rifled through our stockings to see what Santa had brought us. He always brings us sweet and useful treats like chocolate and bubble bath.

We played with the pups for awhile, had a quick breakfast (green chile egg burritos) and then got down to the fun business of opening presents. Our family and friends were very generous to us this year. J received a lot of dvd movies he wanted, clothes, his beloved weather calendar (from me), and an mp3 player he had his eye on (also from me). I received a lot of presents as well. One of my favorites was the 7th edition of The Professional Chef, sent by J's older brother and wife in Seattle. I simply adore the cookbook/textbook. It's the standard used at the Culinary Institute for training new chefs. So, in theory, once I work my way through the whole book I should be a quasi-pro. Another one of my favorite was the Fujitsu tablet-laptop that J spoiled me with. Its the same model I had when I worked in congress and it is pretty awesome in that it converts from a standard laptop to a tablet pc with the swivel of the screen. I love it! A gift sent to the both of us that we highly appreciated was another placesetting of silver from J's parents. They are in the tradition of sending us one setting each Christmas. It's nice to have the good stuff; the real silver.

After all the presents were opened we spent time enjoying them (I made my way up to page 200 of the chef book) and then we dressed for Christmas Dinner. Normally we have a hand in preparing the dinner but this year we opted to participate in the free community wide Christmas dinner in Conway. It was held at one of their nicest steakhouses (a way for the owners to give back to their peers in the community) and it was delicious. Everyone was so warm and welcoming to us out-of-towners. Just a really great experience.

We went back to the cabin after that and napped for awhile before getting into our hiking gear again and taking the pups out for another winter walk. This time we did another trail in the White Mountain National Forest that loops around a frozen pond.

frozen_pond The frozen pond. Almost looks like a tropical beach doesn't it?

jenna_bridge Jenna walking across the river bridge.

icy_river2 The icy river underneath the bridge.

 

After our walk, we returned to the cabin, packed up the car, and enjoyed the final evening of our snowy Christmas vacation.

We left for home the next morning and the return trip, which should have taken 10 hours (as it did to get to NH), took 17 hours due to a near-continuous traffic jam from Connecticut to Baltimore. Along the way we also had some car drama as smoke started to pour out of the engine while we were hemmed in from all directions on the George Washington Bridge. Turns out it only happened when we engaged the clutch so we tried to avoid doing so as best we could the rest of the way home and then we dropped the car off for servicing at the dealer.

We arrived home to find a package waiting on our doorstep from J's oldest brother and wife. After being spoiled with the Chef book, what more could they give us? Turns out they had thoughtfully purchased presents for our pups too. I love that about them; they are the only ones who consistently remember that we have kids too, just of the four footed variety instead of the two footed.

Thus concludes the great Christmas vacation of 2007 for our family.

Your turn! I want to hear all about your Christmas vacation. Will you email me and tell me all the details or give me a link if you've made a public post about it?

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