Friday, December 30, 2016

Christmas Celebrations

Christmas for us almost always starts Thanksgiving weekend with the Festival of Trees.  I loved this ornament that represents to true meaning of the season to me and decided to scrapbook it.  

Since none of our family was going to be able to join us for Christmas, Bill and I asked Chris if he wanted us to come to Bellingham to spend Christmas with him.  He had to work the whole weekend so he wasn't going to be able to come home.  We also hadn't seen his apartment yet and had some things to take up to him.  So we booked a motel room and decided that Christmas was going to be in Bellingham this year.

We were really hoping that we could find something to do with Chris that would be uniquely Christmas.  I happened upon a website that gave events in Whatcom County and found out that "The Nutcracker" would be playing at the Mt. Baker Theater while we were there.  I immediately knew that this was what we were looking for.  We were all a bit on the weary side.  Chris from working all day and Bill and I from traveling all day.  But we enjoyed the ballet very much.

The Mt. Baker Theater was built in around 1927 and has been restored beautiful.  I had seen the outside on many occasions but this was the first opportunity to see the inside.  

Christopher's apartment is pretty sparse.  And I had to make a few trips to the store to get what we needed to cook with and eat on but we ended up having several lovely meals at his new apartment.  He made us a great salmon pasta dish for Christmas Eve dinner and eggs, bacon and cocktail sausages for Christmas morning breakfast.  Christmas dinner was pork chops with a blueberry sauce, baked potatoes and brussel sprouts.
We took up a few gifts for Chris and Tom and Maddy sent our presents there for us to open.  Some arrived in time and some didn't so we have a few more presents to open when Chris comes home for New Years.  The big "gift" of the weekend was going car shopping with him the day after Christmas.  Unfortunately, Grandma's 18 year old car was becoming less and less reliable so we helped him out with a down payment and helped him pick out a used Prius.  Happy that he has a more reliable mode of transportation now.

It started snowing while Bill and I were driving up to Bellingham.  Not enough to make the roads dangerous yet but enough to start sticking and be pretty.  It was really icy by Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the temperatures staying at or below freezing the whole time we were up there so we had a White Christmas.  On Christmas Day, it was so pretty out so I asked Bill to go to Lake Padden with me to take some pictures.  Unfortunately when we got there, I was disappointed that the fog level there prevented me from getting some really nice blue sky photos.  But the ones I got were still pretty cool.  Including really cool ice formations on the tree branches.  And it was fun seeing the ducks.
But this foggy look is pretty much what was available to take photos of.

Tom and Maddy weren't able to come home for Christmas.  The Air Force allowed Tom to have vacation time but had to be within 8 hours of driving distance from Wichita.  So no plane trips allowed.  Maddy was dying to go cross country skiing so they found a place in Colorado to go skiing.  They stayed in Keystone and would drive to Frisco to go skiing.  Sounds like that had a great vacation with some really great skiing and dining at the highest restaurant in North America--Alpenglow Stube.  It is at 11,444 feet and they had to take two gondola rides to get up to is.  They went on sleigh rides too.

We got a later start home from Bellingham than we had hoped for but did make it home around dinner time.  I was delighted to find this centerpiece arrangement sitting on our porch.  It had been there for over three days so happy that it was still there when we got home.  Since we were gone so much of the month on our trip to Hawaii and weren't going to be home for Christmas, I did zero decorating for the holidays.  This lovely arrangement has perked up my holiday spirit.

Other than being sick with the flu or really bad cold for two weeks, it was a really lovely holiday.  We got to spend it with Chris and talked to Tom and Maddy a lot over the weekend.  Family is really what it is all about.

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