Monday, February 13, 2012

Christmas 2011

This year my family and I deviated from our normal Christmas routine in a very good way. Instead of gathering in the beautiful frozen tundra that is Iowa in late December, we traveled to the scenic sunny coast that is southern California in mid-winter. I must admit, initially the thought of forgoing a "white Christmas" disturbed me. My ill-feelings quickly vanished, however, the moment I stepped out of the airport doors and into bright sunshine.

My brother picked everyone up from the airport and shuttled us back to his home in San Clemente. Meanwhile, back at the house, Tejal was preparing a feast.

After stepping in the door, dropping our bags and hugging joyfully, we sat down to a wonderful meal.

Bacon wrapped asparagus
Smashed Potatoes
Meat Item 2.0
Some sort of lovely sauce Tejal brewed

King Arthur Flour Rolls I carted all the way across the country from Vermont. You're welcome. 
Pear and pepper salad
Youngest child with his elixir.
After dinner we opened our gifts and reveled in the fact that we were all in California together.

The following  morning we ate breakfast and headed out to the beach. 

Lunch involved one of California's finest eateries - In-N-Out.

Lunch also included a stationary running Russ. He's all the rage these days.

That night we loaded the Christmas tree into Evan's truck and headed for the beach for a bonfire. Best idea ever.

The next day brought an Evan-inspired breakfast. Bacon and eggs fancy-style.

And then we shot guns! Evan possess a couple military grade hand guns which we fired a nearby shooting range. After I overcame my initial I'm-going-to-kill-someone-if-I-even-look-at-the-gun-wrong feelings, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Evan was a very knowledgeable and thorough teacher.

Our last day in California included a group beach shot and dinner at one of Evan and Tejal's favorite restaurants. We attempted a "jump-shot" more times than I'm comfortable admitting, but alas, to no avail.

Stationary family photo. We attempted a "jump-shot" more times than I'd like to admit, but alas, to no avail. Sorry, Mom. 
Our gracious hosts.
Man fries!

Men with food. Note the various levels of facial intensity.
My parents, Russ and I flew out the following morning, landing in Omaha later in the evening. I spent a solid week at home before returning to Vermont. I have decided taking two week vacations is the only way to vacation.

Was so wonderful to spend quality time with my brothers, sister and parents. I wish we did not live thousands of miles from each other!

Monday, January 23, 2012

One Post to Rule Them All

Due to my lack of discipline and motivation, I have yet again neglected to compose any sort of blog post for the past few months. Not because nothing of significance has happened, but because I simply haven't. I aim to remedy my blog failing with this epic post!

Let's go back to October and start with my family's visit to Vermont...

My parents and brother & sister-in-law all flew out to the East coast to spend a week with me vacationing in New England. Activities during their stay included stopping at an apple cider mill, tour the Ben & Jerry's Factory, hiking Gile Mountain, eating good pizza, car shopping (and to those keeping track - no, I have not bought a new car yet) , bacon making, and an official King Arthur Flour bakery tour.

Moving on, my 24th Birthday also occurred in mid-October. One year til my quarter-life crisis kicks in. 

My birthday dinner consisted of typical Karen fare. Exotic and something I've never eaten before, let alone knew existed. Rice and lamb stuffed grape-leaves with lemon, mint and other things I can't remember because I ate them three months ago. Eaten with an extremely colorful salad and pita bread. Dessert was a rather large peanut butter chocolate cake. 

Then came Thanksgiving! My 2011 Thanksgiving was also spent at Karen's house with a combination of her family's friends and my friends. Everyone brought a little something, Karen and Greg fried the turkey and we feasted. I contributed pumpkin pie and bread. Oh, the perks of working in a bakery...

Stay tuned for a Christmas post!