Christmas Eve

I’m back from NYC and now in Cape Cod, where I will stay with my family until the new year. NYC was a blast and that will be explored in another post in the next day. I’m a tad backlogged, as it’s a hard balance to stay in and write as well as go out and explore. But now it’s time to get up to speed before the new year! I have told you about my “trains, planes and automobiles” adventure of getting to Connecticut, which put me in my childhood home around 2pm on Christmas Eve.

Our family Christmas Eve is very traditional, and unfortunately my late arrival meant we lost some activities (cookie baking, wrapping gifts with care, listening to Christmas songs, visiting old friends). Instead, we all rested and showered while my Mom was working hard in the kitchen to prepare the perfect meal. Around 5:30p, we gathered in the kitchen for a buffet of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, dips, and of course crab cakes and baked stuffed clams. So delicious. We also do something on Christmas Eve that is extremely special in my family, we eat by the fire in the family room. Only on this night are we allowed to eat in the family room, and I love how intimate and special it makes this meal. We sit by the Christmas tree and the fireplace (although un-lit this year due to warmer temperatures).

Our stockings were laid out around the tree. Grandma, Erica, me, Mom, Dad and the Doggie (from left to right).

I added this photo purely to show off my gorgeous grandma 🙂 Grandma Trudie (my Dad’s 93 year old Mother) spends Christmas Eve at our house so we can all wake up together and get the most out of Christmas. She is such a cutie and it’s so much fun getting to celebrate with her.

The family went off to church while I stayed home to wrap all the presents I had sent directly to the house. By the time I finished, they were home and it was time for dessert and a little egg nog. Here’s a tip, courtesy of my mother, for those of you who like egg nog but can’t handle the calories (because it’s a ton!) try buying a carton of soy eggnog which tastes the same (maybe slightly less thick), add a little nutmeg and Captain Morgan and you’ve got a great healthier nog. We put on the Sound of Music while eating our treats and before we knew it, it was time for bed. My favorite day of the year was complete, and boy was I jet lagged!

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas… or Happy Sunday, if you don’t celebrate.  I made it to CT in one piece and with enough time to celebrate.

This was taken fresh off of the red-eye. NYC in the morning.

After just missing the first bus, I waited for a second bus into Manhattan.

Then into Grand Central for the packed train ride to CT. I got home around 1:30p on Christmas Eve. After a lovely night of good food (crab cakes and baked stuffed clams, yum!) I wrapped gifts and caught some of The Sound Of Music with the family before I had to bid them ‘adieu. There will be a later post about Christmas when I upload my images, but lets just say that my family is so thoughtful and generous. Also, 2012 is going to kick-ass. I got new hiking boots, a sleeping pad, camping pillow, headlamp, a sleeping bag compression bag and seven free camping passes. I’m SO pumped for the new year.. so pumped. I also think Im ready to find a male camping companion… so if you know any single outdoorsy-men, send them my way 😉

Well, tomorrow I’m off to NYC for 2 days of fun. In the summer, when I went to NYC last, I came with a full list of activities and this time I’m going with nothing. But, I’m seeing good people and I’m confident enough that we will find fun things to do. I’ll of course recap it for you when I get back. After NYC I head right out to Cape Cod for a week of amazing New England adventures! I plan to break in my new hiking boots. Cape Cod may not have mountains but it’s awesome to hike in places so controlled by the tides. It really puts you in touch with nature. I’m signing off for the next 2 days!