Tag Archives: holidays

Day 12…. otherwise known as Christmas.

 

So we got up bright and early to make the almost 5 hour drive down to North Carolina.

 

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                                                         Required Christmas selfie.

 

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And as we were walking down the sidewalk of our resort it struck me…..

 

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I might not be the only one who cursed my husband’s choice of the behemoth rental car.

It was an uneventful trip.

 

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But we saw lots of cotton.

 

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Really, a whole lot of cotton.

 

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And absolutely nothing else. Nothing for miles and miles… except cotton… and I was starting to sweat the steadily dropping level of gasoline.

Behemoths be thirsty.

I also took issue with Apple maps when the GPS put us in the middle of a National Forest and told us to turn around.

 

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WTF?

When the rental beast was pretty much running on fumes, we finally found a service station to fill it…. and us, since we skipped breakfast. The only choice was Subway, where I ordered a rotisserie chicken wrap and managed to leak half of the sauce on my blouse resulting in a large greasy stain.

My first words upon arrival in N.C. weren’t “Merry Christmas!”  but….. “Let me raid your closet.”

 

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My second words were “What you would like to drink?”  as I unpacked my carton of holiday cheer.

Destiny chose a bottle to match her sweater, because coordination is everything.

 

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We gave them our gifts…. and Gracie liked the books.

 

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Though I think she liked the pig a little bit more.

 

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We spent time with our daughter of the heart’s step children, John being home on leave from the Army.

 

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As you can see they aren’t young enough to be hers…. because like me, she married an older man. Which her mother thinks I’m responsible for and never lets me forget, but hey.

It worked for me.

 

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An old Marine Corps buddy of the husband’s came with us….  and it was a laid back country Christmas with lots of love and laughter.

A few highlights:

 

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My bartending skills were highly rated.

 

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And strange toys were questioned.

Does a llama really need to shake her booty?

But more importantly, why was this horror voted toy of the year in Australia?

Watch  the bizarre commercial that looks like a Saturday Night Live skit  and decide for yourself.

 

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Numerous pictures were taken.

 

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Some with prominently placed bows. (These may have been alcohol induced)

 

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Rick posed with his namesake shirt.

 

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Dogs with serious underbites begged for treats from a wonderful brown sugar glazed  ham dinner I completely devoured and forgot to photograph.

Sorry Martin.

Blame the carton of alcohol, not me.

 

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Animated discussions of politics took place….. (Which might also have been alcohol induced)

 

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But my husband smiled wider and laughed more than he has in a while, and that made my heart full.

 

Then before we were ready, it was time to say goodbye.

Hugs and tears….

 

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And we were back on the road.

For the longest almost 5 hour trip ever.

 

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The only bright spot?

 

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This house…

 

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That gave new meaning to the term holiday decorating.

 

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Truly an extravaganza.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For a Living Museum, it sure had a lot of dead things…..

 

Making our way inside, I was surprised by the number of dead things at the Virginia Living Museum.

And to be honest?

They didn’t look too happy about the fact either.

 

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Look at the stink eye on this owl.

Clearly he’s not pleased with that skeleton placement.

 

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The woodchuck has a piece of wood.

A bit too on point…. no?

 

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And Bambi?

Well, he looks like he’s ready to bite off a curator’s finger…. or two.

 

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Even the turtle you climb into wasn’t immune from the specter of death.

 

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But what really took the cake?

The Christmas tree….

 

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Complete with a fish skull angel topper.

 

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If that doesn’t give junior screaming holiday nightmares… nothing will.

 

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Thankfully there were live creatures as well.

 

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Though little people had to be talked into petting them.

 

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Horseshoe crabs used to wash up on the Jersey shore by the dozens when I was a kid and they always fascinated me.

 

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A more prehistoric sea creature you’re not apt to find.

 

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There were interestingly set up exhibits on multiple levels.

 

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Where the husband practiced his fish whispering again.

 

 

 

Various tanks contained the beautiful…

 

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And the bizarre.

 

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I couldn’t quite figure out this crab.

 

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Was he picking his nose… or giving me the finger?

Tough call.

 

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I was pleased to see my favorite Lionfish again….

 

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Spiky venomous fins and all.

 

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Gracie fell totally in love with a puffer and sang songs to it…..

 

 

 

Though she got yelled at by a volunteer for being a little too physical with the tank.

 

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I’m not sure why disco colored lights ruled in the jellyfish area.

 

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But we enjoyed the aquarium and it’s funky residents.

 

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There was an odd cave like area….

 

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That was very dark and next to impossible to take pictures in… so I can’t share the bats and snakes and reptiles we saw.

But I did manage a shot of the sign for my husband’s spirit animal.

 

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Yup… change the shiny objects part to rusty crap? And they’re his people.

Gracie enjoyed the interactive children’s section where all the other kids were making plates of plastic food for their parents.

My contribution to the meal she was making for her mother?

 

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What can I say?

You just can’t beat a nicely roasted rat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cape Cod Day 8…. turkeys, traffic and booze. The way most of our vacations end.

 

Day 8 dawned bright and sunny and it was time to pack up and head for home. Of course packing means different things to men and women. It takes me considerable time…. seeing that I actually unpack my suitcases and put things away.

Remember? Me unpacked…

 

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Husband’s idea of unpacked…

 

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Men.

You really are a separate species.

 

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The local turkey brigade came to wish us farewell.

 

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And soon we were crossing the famous Sagamore Bridge and leaving Cape Cod.

 

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It was a wonderful trip, and we enjoyed every minute of it. So much to see and do…. I’m sure we’ll go back someday.

Next step?

 

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Boston.

 

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And it’s horrible, absolutely inescapable, bumper to bumper traffic. If you can avoid it?

By all means, do so.

Cruising into New Hampshire on I-95 means one thing. The New Hampshire State Liquor store…. no tax!

 

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If we drive to our vacation? We stop here on the way back…. you almost have to. It’s like a rite of passage for New Englanders.

Snow.

Lobster.

And tax free booze.

What’s not to love?

 

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My haul this time included a few Game of Thrones inspired Johnnie Walker Christmas presents.

Ho, Ho, Ho!

And here’s a bone I’ll throw to all my food lovers.

Lunch.

 

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At a riverside restaurant.

 

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With an amazing beer selection.

 

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And a list that went on and on and on…

 

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To heck with the food…

 

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I could just happily sit there and drink all day.

 

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But yes, food.

 

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Homemade chicken tenders and side salad for the husband.

 

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And a massive portion of Truffle fries to accompany my chicken Caesar salad wrap.

So there you have it, the November Cape Cod trip.

The end.

Finito.

Done!

 

 

While I realize it took me until January 20th to finish this series, as I sit here typing this… I still have over 2 weeks worth of Williamsburg, Virginia Christmas vacation photos to sort through and post. So don’t be surprised if you’re seeing Santa and his reindeer right through April….

You’ve been warned.

 

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No funny business….

 

Just a heartfelt Merry Christmas to my loyal readers.

 

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Wishing you joy…

 

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And a Christmas Day filled with everything that makes your heart sing.

 

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May your tree stay vertical, may your outdoor lights stay lit…

 

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And may the birds not strip your wreath down to the wire.

(Speaking from experience)

 

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And now seems a perfect time to say thanks….

Thanks for being there when I log in.

Thanks for putting up with the 112 part series of my vacations and my endless photos of rocks.

Thanks for the laughter, and the snarky banter.

But most of all?

Thanks for not posting those sickeningly sweet pictures of Elf on a Shelf.

 

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I really hate that little bastard.

 

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(Okay, there was a small amount of funny business.

So sue me…)

 

 

Merry Christmas Eve interruption…

 

As you’ve probably guessed…  (Or if you hadn’t? You should have.)  we’re currently off on another adventure.

And have been for the last 11 days.

 

 

Yes, our annual Christmas vacation.

No holiday stress. No decorating. No cooking. No family drama. We leave it all behind, and have since December 2015.

Why?

Because I used to be Christmas crazy.

 

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I spent a fortune, I decorated everything that stood still…. (yes, I’m ashamed to say there was even a tree on my toilet.)

 

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I drove myself nuts finding the absolutely perfect gifts for people who didn’t appreciate it and cooked the absolutely perfect meal for family who couldn’t care less and always complained.

Maybe my mother dying was the catalyst. But in 2015 we took a trip to the Poconos…. had a blast, and never looked back.

Do I miss the beautiful live fir tree in the living room?

 

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Yes.

I also miss all the crazy outside lights.

 

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The well house…

 

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The stone wall…

 

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The funky alligator….

 

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And reindeer who were annually buried up to their butts in white stuff.

 

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The lights in the windows…

 

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And on the bushes.

 

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The sparkling balls on the table…

 

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That caught the sun and turned our living room into a Christmas disco.

 

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The running reindeer on the garage.

 

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The ribboned garlands….

Yes, I miss it all.

But do I miss the 2 solid weeks of work it took to get everything set up (in the snow , ice and wind) and the solid week of work it took to take it all down (in sub zero temperatures with ice and wind) ?

No. I most definitely do not.

But rest assured I’m not totally Grinchy this year, I did put up a tree.

 

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This trip?  Williamsburg, Virginia until Dec. 30th. Meeting old friends and getting our geek on in a marvelous area filled with American history.

Colonial settlements? Check.

Revolutionary War? Check.

Civil War? Check.

I just hope 2 weeks is enough time.

And I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess there might be a few pictures to post when we get back.

 

 

Oh, don’t be so dramatic.

I should be done by …. June.

 

 

 

Weirdo Christmas trees.

 

I have a friend  ( Yes, I really do have them. They exist! And not just in my mind, so there.)  who is quite crafty, artistic and creative. This extends to her holiday decorating and every year she has a different Christmas tree.

And when I say different?

I mean different.

One year, it was made of driftwood.

 

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The next?  Pine cones.

 

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Then giant free floating balls.

 

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Which aren’t usually the balls one wants to have, but these were pretty cool.

 

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Some years there are normal trees…

 

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Which are almost disappointing.

 

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But then we’re back to fabulously odd.

 

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And the next year there’s a canopy tree hovering over your head.

One season it was made from recycled CD’s and put out the light of 100 suns.

 

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(Seriously, this thing could have powered a small town.)

 

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When you visit my friend’s house at Christmas, you never know what you’ll get… which is kind of a hoot.

So we went over last weekend and saw the 2018 version.

 

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To which my reaction was…. meh.

Slightly Seussian with the bare branch and one green ball, but not the most inspirational.

Oh well, there’s always next year.