24 January, 2015

Weeks late...

Better late than never, here is my report on What I Did on Christmas Vacation:

We left Maryland on Christmas day on a direct flight to the Minneapolis area. Parents and a 9 year old greeted us at the airport and whisked us back to my sister’s house, where we were given:
  1. Presents (We also passed out our presents that we brought with us.)
  2. Wine
  3. Snacks. Really good ones like smoked turkey, pita and hummus, chips and salsa and cheese olives. Frango chocolates. I love Christmas snacks.
We played Apples to Apples, a new game that we gifted to the kids. Then I sat down with Gran and the nieces and learned how to play Bunco. Yes, we broke out the dice on Christmas Day, what can I say, that’s the way we roll.
The 26th was another important family day, with visits from my brother-in-law’s family, including his parents and sister/sister’s husband and their two children. The kids roamed around playing and shrieking at the top of their lungs.
In the end, most of the adults wound up in the kitchen slicing veggies, bread, and cheese for our Raclette feast. Raclette is a Swiss meal that involves melting some delicious strong cheese and eating it over foods like bread, roasted potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms, cornichon, pickled onions, and grilled onions. It takes a while to do and you get to prepare it just the way you like it – perfect holiday feast meal.
Other high points of the trip were a trip to the local rock-climbing wall facility (which was called Horizontal Terror, or Slanted Exertion, or Vertical Expressions, or some such silliness), a visit to the NordicWare outlet, and a visit to the meal/show at Benihana with all 14 of the extended clan.
We went to the gym one day. I rowed for ten minutes, learned how to do a kettlebell swing, punched a weight bag, and played basketball with Thing 2 and her dad. I had not touched a basketball for years, but it came back to me, and we enjoyed futzing around, shooting and screaming, “She shoots, she MISSES!” at each other. The young men around us in the gym were slightly bewildered, but we thought it was hilarious. We tried out some Harlem Globetrotter-esque shots, but sadly, Meadowlark Lemon doesn’t have anything to worry about.
There was also a lot of sitting around, doing crafts, drinking wine, and watching silly movies. We played Scrabble, and Bunco, and Apples to Apples and trivia. We sorted through books, and took a trip to the Goodwill to drop off old books and toys. We visited brother-in-law's new office and got to eat at a fun restaurant/bar in downtown Minneapolis. It was a good trip, just the perfect amount of time that everyone had fun and no one had a chance to get tired of each other!

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