I hadn’t planned on going totally MIA over the holidays, but things were a bit chaotic and there wasn’t much time to get online!
Wednesday: Left work early so I could hit the gym and go home to pack. Arrived at MIL’s (well, future MIL) house just after dinnertime. M and his brother had friends over, so socialized with them, played some drinking games (note: not advisable with red wine… just sayin’) and I had a fairly early night while M went out to the bar around midnight for a couple of hours.
Thursday: Celebrated Christmas a day early with M’s family and then had turkey dinner. Completely overate, felt like a blob. Furthered the blob cause by eating some kind of custard pie prepared by SIL that was tasty, but not at all necessary. If it’s not apparent by now, I fell- or maybe leapt- off of the healthy eating wagon over the holidays.
Friday: Headed to my parents’ place which is about 3 hours away. We brought kitty with us in his softsided carrier and he was a trooper, save for the last 15 minutes or so when he started mewling. He’s an experienced roadtripper at only 6 months of age (actually, I think he turned 6 months on boxing day; the shelter said his birthday was June 26th!). Went for Chinese food with some extended family. The food was delicious but a bit greasy since we had ginger beef, chicken chow mein etc. Also had sizzling tomato beef over rice, baby broccoli, wonton soup, some kind of pea greens(?) and a great French white wine. [As you can tell, this re-cap involves a lot of wine].
Saturday: Had a lazy day in at my parents’. I did squeeze in a weights workout which was a triumph. Watched Extract which was so-so, not as funny as I had hoped. For some reason, was exhausted and crashed around 3pm for a 2-hour nap. I never nap – so strange! My parents made paella with crab and clams which may have been the highlight of 2009. It was amazing. I really should have taken a picture since it’s astonishing that only 4 people polished off the quantity of food that we had. Then we broke into the bottle of Taylor Fladgate 10-year Port that my mom received from M’s family. Also delish. I love port. We then watched Beyond a Reasonable Doubt which was pretty cheesy; the plot itself wasn’t bad, but I can’t say the same for the acting (sorry, Amber Tamblyn!)
Sunday: Another lazy day at my parents’. I love just being able to hang out and watch movies all day – it’s something we rarely have the opportunity to do. Watched State of Play which I really enjoyed. Oh and we met my best friend and her boyfriend for a quick drink to exchange presents. This also involved a beerlini (raspberry ale + bellini slush + fresh raspberries) and some loaded nachos since at this point I figured, hell, it’s a lost cause. My mom made a big organic roast and roasted root vegetables for dinner. and we also had a delicious French red wine. Wish I had the names of all the different wines that we tried but they were all new to me since my parents received them as a gift (I suppose they still have the empty bottles for recycling). It was unusual that we had so much French wine; usually we stick to a few tried & true inexpensive (some might say cheap – tomato, tomahto) wines, primarily Australian and Canadian.
Monday: Packed up kitty and all of our gifts, then headed back home. M unpacked all of our stuff while I went to the gym and the grocery store. Being in another city, I miss my parents a lot but it did feel good to be home! I am a major creature of habit and I get a bit discombobulated when I am away from home and out of my regular routine. The grocery store had fresh perch at a decent price, which piqued my interest. Fish/seafood that hasn’t been previously frozen is hard to come by here and is often very expensive. Turns out, the perch was delicious. I pan-fried it with some butter, dill, salt and pepper and had it with asparagus and brown rice. Even the non-fish-eating fiance said it smelled so good that he willingly tried it (if you knew him, you’d know how big of a deal that is) and even- gasp- liked it.
Overall, a great Christmas! My parents swear that they will be in Hawaii or somewhere else warm next year for Christmas. I don’t know if we would join them since we might take our honeymoon in early December (finances and other factors depending).
Oh and I did get totally spoiled, as did M. I’m an only child, he only has one brother and thus far, there are no children in either family (which is actually a shame, I think Christmas is more fun and magical with kids around!). This leaves only us for the parents to spoil – and they did. Mostly, I got tons of gift certificates which I know some might say defeats the purpose of giving but I don’t care! Money is a bit tight with trying to save for the wedding so the gift of shopping is the perfect gift indeed.
Now I am back at work for a three-day workweek which is a nice way to ease back in. Also trying to make preparations for our New Year’s Eve bash. Trying to figure out crowd-pleasing appetizers that are both man-friendly (mostly for M’s sake) while still impressive… These bacon cheddar stuffed mushrooms are a strong contender, but I am still going to peruse the web while at work (shh) for additional ideas.