Sunday, December 28, 2008

the spirit of giving

Wow. We've only got five more days until the new year and then I embark on my study abroad experience in Strasbourg, France three days after that! Has the holiday season really come and gone, just like that?! Time really is flying. I hope you've been having a fabulous time :). I've decided that this is going to be my last post before I leave so that I can completely enjoy the time I have left without the added responsibility of blogging. Not that you're all a burden, but you know how it is. Please don't take it personally! In my attempt to make up for it I'm making this post an extra long marathon one with a treat at the end. Ready?
As per usual, we went to my cousin's house on my dad's side for Christmas Eve. I was quite hungry when we got there so I filled up on Mexican BBQ chicken, ceviche, roasted red peppers, and grapes.
A little while after they broke out the tamales de carne, my mom and I split one. Woah, I haven't had one in so long, it was incredible!
Then we spent the next 4 hours socializing with the family. These are the kids in my generation... we needed all the time we had to catch up with everyone ;). And when the clock struck midnight we watched as the little ones opened up all their presents from aunts and uncles. The innocence is incredible, I loved watching them with their new gifts!

The next morning I got up around 8 with my little sister to see wake up my brother so we could go see what Santa brought us ;). We've been g-o-o-d this year, let me tell you! Afterwards, I enjoyed a bowl of traditional PB Banana Oatmeal, went to mass, and then got our house ready for my mom's family and our Christmas Day fiesta.
For appetizers we had a vegetable platter,

chips and salsa,
crackers with cheese and pepperoni,
baked potato skins,
with optional sour cream and/or chives, and crackers with hummus.
This was the first time I saw these aunts, uncle, and cousins since I left. Gosh I missed them! We were so busy enjoying ourselves, however, that we never took a group picture. Oh well, I've always got the memories :).
Then we were on to our late lunch/early dinner. At the beginning of the buffet was my aunt's famous salad. She mixes her secret dressing recipe with lettuce, tomato, and lettuces in this magic bowl... and each time we end up with an amazing salad that could never be replicated. I seriously look forward to this all year.
Chicken marsala,
Pasta with tomato sauce (for the picky children),
Mashed potatoes,
Roasted asparagus,
and, finally, Pork Roast in an orange, maple glaze. By the end of the leisurely holiday meal my tummy was very pleased...
And you know what that means... time for presents again! Here is a glimpse into our chaos. There was wrapping paper all over my house, and very happy and thankful guests.

Following our gift exchange break we moved onto desserts. We had assorted cheesecakes from Manhattan,

frosted cupcakes,

chocolate chip cookies, brownies, tea cookies,

and last but certainly not least, grapes and blueberries. I did reasonably well... I ate when hungry, stopped when full and, for the most part, had healthy and balanced meals... nonetheless I'm definitely going to be on a bit of a sugar detox the next few days... and it was totally worth it :).
The boy got me a new digital camera for Christmas. You like?

I know I certainly do, he's the best! And so was this breakfast- banana, pumpkin, blueberries, flax, yogurt, peanut butter, and oats. I have no doubt that I could eat this for the rest of my life and be very content.
Now I bid you all farewell! Once I make it across the pond on January 4th I'll begin my traveling seminar in Paris and make my way through Bruges, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Cologne, and Bonn before settling into Strasbourg, my temporary home, on January 14th. I'm sure I'll be meeting tons of interesting people, seeing so many beautiful places, and trying a bunch of new foods. Have any suggestions for must-see European destinations? I've got four months of traveling (and studying) ahead of me and need some sort of plan :). Can I hardly wait? To be honest, I'm not sure. I'm currently going through the same emotional roller coaster as before... excitement, fear, optimism, anxiety... a whole lot of general confusion. One week. A mere seven days. Somebody pinch me. Au revior mes chéries...

No comments:

Post a Comment

Penny for your thoughts...