If how much weight you gain during a vacation is indicative of how good the trip was, the Christmas in California was one of the best. We had an amazing time. Although it was really hard for us to hold back the tears of sorrow of not having to shovel snow out of our parking spot in 10° F weather for the next 2 weeks, we were able to make the rough trek to the land of sunshine and fog. Yes the trip was long, yes the snow was thick, yes the beef jerky was old and stale, but we were willing to make those sacrifices to see everyone. So, instead of summing up what we did, I'm just going to let the pictures tell the story and just sort of reflect on our 14 days of memories.
Open house and PJ’s:
First, we both thought the open house for Fred (Dad) and Marlene was phenomenal. The only thing that I regret was not stretching my stomach out a little more the weeks before so I could eat more meatballs and shrimp. Later, we went over to Phil and Stacey's (I forgot why) but Keaton showed us his Teddy’s pajamas: chonies (so classic!).
The next few days were full of Christmases (it’s probably more like Hanukah than Christmas) all over town full of visits with close friends and family. The following are just some quick highlights of the trip.
Lunch with G&G Brockmann:
We had an awesome lunch with grilled cheese and onion sandwiches (very delicious by the way) and a tray of brownies. We visited afterwards, heard Jack’s army stories (many which were new to Grandma) and then Jack and I took his virtual airplane for a spin. Had it been one of his real ones, I would have broken the whole collection of them on the landing, or lack thereof.
Christmas #1: Grandma Violet’s house.
In addition to the traditional German Sausage and Ginger Ale, I was one of the very few that night to get some of Trayce’s ABC chips (already been chewed—which actually were not that bad). Afterwards, we had a nice visit with Violet talking and singing Christmas carols.
Christmas #2: Kent’s house.
So, it opened up with the traditional Swedish dinner (good thing I’m not French. I don’t think the German and French foods would get along so well in my stomach) with Swedish potatoes, coldorma (sp?), Swedish meatballs, and pickled herring (aint nothing like a pickled fish to put hair on ye chest). Dale did an amazing job with everything, like always. We exchanged Jesus Gifts (gave: bows for Ashley (thanks Stace); got: man-pron (like an apron but manly)). We had Christmas #2 the next morning and got our pride and joy addition to the family: deep fryer #1. That morning we had Swedish breakfast and helped clean up the house.
Christmas #3: Linda’s house.
Coming back from a wedding reception, we went to my mom’s house and had a prime rib dinner with yummy potatoes. We opened presents that night and got deep fryer #2, which we later exchanged. My little bro got Guitar Hero World Tour. Needless to say we played that night for hours. Tons of fun!
Hamilton's Birthday Bash: Disneyland
So, being the son of Redondo Beach residents really does have its pluses. Like, say, having your birthday party with Donald and Mickey Mouse! We went to CA Adventure (got soaked on the rapid ride) and then Disneyland (Hamilton loved It’s a Small World). Next day we had awesome gourmet pizza by Alex and brought in the New Year with a bang.
I think when I came home I could only fit into my stretchy pants comfortably. Luckily, we live on the 3rd floor, so I’ve started to put the stretchy pants away. To everyone, thanks so much for such a great time.