Friday, December 29, 2006

My Holidays

I was going to blah, blah, blah about all the PC sayings of the season but decided it was not worth getting up in arms about. Instead, here's how my holidays, alright -- Christmas, went.

My celebration started Friday, December 18 when I flew out to California to visit Mickey's first home and spend time with my bestest friend and her family. I like going to Disneyland about once a month just to mosey around, catch some of the attractions and maybe a ride of two. I just like the atmosphere there. So this trip was great timing as I had Disneyland withdrawals, not Disney withdrawals as I attended a cruise late October. The last time I was at Disneyland was August.

I got to Calif Friday mid morning, ran some errands and headed to Disney California Adventure late afternoon. I wanted to be around to catch the Electric Parade that was resurrected by Sylvania sponsorship. Very beautiful parade and most definitely ideal for the Ho!Ho!Ho! season. I wanted to rush out of that park in time to head to Disneyland and catch their fireworks. Plan got foiled by not be on the right side of DCA to get out. I wound up watching the DLR fireworks without audio outside of the gates. The firework was beautiful. Oh well, I should be able to catch it the next day.

Got up bright and early Saturday and headed to Disneyland. I went here and there and everywhere while waiting for call from my friend Carolann that they were in park vicinity. Cell phone rings and they are here. Isiah, Carolann's grandson, makes the decision on the park -- head to DCA to meeting up with Carolann, David the hubby and Isiah. It was so great to see them.

I met Carolann via the internet about four years ago. She and David had just moved to the LA area from Sacramento area because of David's job. Carolann answered a query I posted about needing a playmate for my Disneyland visit. We've been going to the park and other places whenever I get out to Calif. David jokes that Carolann's first friend in the area happens to live permanently on the other coast *LOL*.

Even though I spent the previous night at DCA, going there again did not bother me as it was spending time with my friends. The day started overcast. It rained on and off while we were at the park. I guess it should not have surprised me, but Carolann and I happen to wear the same rain gear. We ate, talk as we went from one attraction to another and did some rides, even in the pouring rain. We had to part late afternoon as they had a dinner they needed to go, too. It was so great seeing them.

After parting, I headed back to DLR to hang around until night time fireworks. I wanted to see them with audio this time. I caught my favorite show -- Billie Hill and the Hillbillies. I spent time in the stores when the skies decided to open up. I don't know why I did but I did. I waited as it rain for their afternoon parade. The characters actually performed in the rain. The rain and wind did not let up so the fireworks was cancelled. Bummed was I, but c'est la vie.

I slept late Sunday and spent the rest of the afternoon at DLR before catching my red-eye flight back to east coast. Very good weekend even if it did rain on one of those days.

During the week, I had to get the foodies for the main meals I was preparing for the family get together on Sunday, December 24. Standing Rib Roast, check. Goose -- not the optimum size -- check. Herbs and whatnots -- check. I've been making goose for the holidays since the recipe was published in Martha Stewart Living, December 1997/January 1998. Wow, I did not know I've been doing it this long.

It's Thursday and I picked up gift for two of my nephews. My gifts still need to be wrapped and I've not run a check to see if I've finished Christmas shopping. Mom calls and says she not coming on Sundary *arghhhh* She is being hornery -- none of us can change her mind. Now, it's Sunday. Yep, I spent Saturday reading -- bah hum bug. Procrastinator is moi. Bright and early Sunday, I ran around the house hunting down the gifts to be wrapped. By 11, got some gifts wrapped and all presents to be given are accounted for. I had to stop wrapping and start prepping food. Two hours later, goose is in the oven and rib roast is in the Convention Oven/Microwave. Thank goodness for that appliance or I would have to drive the rib roast to my sister's oven. Thermometers have been stabbed into the goose and rib roast. Here's the before and after of the goose -- courtesy of my baby sister.

Back to wrapping and even putting music on two MP3 players. I actually finished wrapping -- not as good as I did 5 years ago when I was really in the spirit -- but they are wrapped. Just finished in time as food was ready to come out. After it's resting period, I cut up the goose and my baby sister made the sauce with coaching from me -- she don't like to cook. We loaded up the vehicle with pressies and food and drove to my younger sister's who was nice to have the festivities at her place again. Everyone is there. We are the last to arrive. My baby sister takes care of the pressies. The goose gets a nice place on the dining table and the rib roast goes to the kitchen to be cut up. My BIL is manning the oven and stove with all the other trappings for dinner. Everything gets put on the table -- goose, rib roast, spare ribs, meatballs in mushroom sauce with pasta, baked potatoes, chicken fingers, corn/pea mix -- and rally the crew to the table -- 14 around the table. Now that I think about it, it was a squeeze. We would have needed to breakout another table if the missing 5 adults showed up. The meal was great and enjoyed by all. After clearning the table, it was time to open pressies. It's great to watch the kids exclaim over their pressies. The adults decided to take their loot home and open up on Christmas Day. While the kids played, the adults returned back to the dining table to enjoy tea, cake and cookies. Yes, the kids came in if they wanted desert but wanted to play more than eat. Go figure! I needed to chauffeur one of the families home before I could call it a night. Once my baby sister and I got home, it was time to load the dishwasher, unwind some more and off the bed.

I get up early again as we need to head down to my mother's. It was so surprising to see my eldest sister there already. We headed out a bit later to take our mom out to lunch. Mom gets another surprise as my older brother shows up. After lunch the ladies head uptown to catch a movie. I have to give kudoos to the people who work on this holiday so some of us can have entertainment and eats. We decided to give my Mom and eldest sister a treat -- penguins (Happy Feet) ala IMAX. It was a fun and entertaining movie. Though I was kind of disappointed as it was not full IMAX. It was Happy Feet in letterbox on an IMAX screen. My baby sis and I finally opened our pressies when we got home.

That's the holidays in a nutshell. I had two days to unwind before rolling down the stairs to get harnessed back to work. Today is the last work day for 2006. Then HELLO 2007. I wonder if it will go faster than 2006.

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