HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Of course I had to proudly display my new Suzi B. calendar that I ordered. Yesterday, New Year's Eve day, I felt like a 9 month pregnant woman nesting. I loved the fact that it was Sunday and I could sleep in, but of course with age, I've found myself up earlier than I would have been 10 years ago. I promptly got myself going as Bill was cooking us his delicious Sunday breakfast he's so great at doing, but rather than head straight to the kitchen for a cup of something incredibly warm, I put my slippers on and found myself tearing at the file cabinet with all our "important" papers. It was time to start organizing for the year! And I was on a mission. I cleaned, did some laundry, vacuumed, tidied up my office (below), and changed bed sheets because who doesn't love fresh sheets to wake up to on New Year's Day?!
Fortunately I am married to an amazing man who doesn't mind taking all the Christmas decorations down, so while I had to work Saturday, all the decorations came down and put away which freed up my day Sunday to do the little stuff like RE-DECORATING :) It is amazing how barren our house "looks" when all the Christmas decorations are put away. It's funny because it doesn't seem that way until Christmas is over and I have to put everything back where it was. But that's okay. I like the fresh almost bare look this time of year.
The bare house matches the bare trees outside! And can you see the snow on the table there? We got a tiny accumulation the other day, but because of the frigid temps, it couldn't melt! Last night was the coldest New Year's Eve for this area in 41 years. 8 degrees Fahrenheit... And tonight it's actually suppose to get colder. Which means there's no better reason than to have this...
This is the winter life right here! I don't know how anyone would want to go out in all the cold when you can sit right next to a fire, bundle up with a big blanket and warm socks and sweat pants (because with my luck someone would come to my door if I put on pajamas). Since we organized and cleaned up yesterday, that left today completely open for relaxation....and a good home cooked dinner :) But just look at this guy all relaxing and maintaining the roaring fire :)
The whole mantel looks naked with no stockings or Christmas decor lol. And I swear I am missing things...😏 Speaking of Christmas, did you all have a wonderful spirit filled holiday? Bill, our two oldest, and I decided to make a complete impromptu decision to pack up and head out to see our youngest stationed in Norfolk. I've always believed those "last minute" trips turn out to be the best and this was no exception especially since it brought us all together! It's been a long year of so MUCH and a year since we were together so sometimes you just have to look at the cards life has dealt to you and then you'll see the answer...our cards said FULL HOUSE so we made it happen :)
And through the mountains, twists, and turns of West Virginia and Virginia we went. Fortunately our trip there was uneventful. I was no where near as scared going there as I was coming home. On the way there it was dark and we left on Christmas Eve morning so I'm "assuming" all the truckers were already finished with their deliveries and loads because traffic wasn't bad at all. On the way home however, we came back during daylight hours and I thought I was going to die. There were only two lanes, and a light covering of snow in the mountains, combine that with signs that said "watch for ice" as well as semi trucks riding bumper to bumper, oh and then signs that said, "watch for falling rock"... 😳😫 I have honestly become the worst passenger ever and I hate it!
We made our way to Chesapeake, Virginia which is minutes from our daughter. And this is what greeted us when we arrived!
Did you ever just go somewhere and think, "yea, this is suppose to be my house..."?😂 This is what it looked like at night...
Our daughter pulled up minutes after we parked our car and closed our gaping mouths at the sight of the place. I laughed because my daughter who lives there said she passes the Inn all the time and never knew it was an Inn (???).
Two sisters that just needed to cry and say nothing. After the emotional reunion, we entered into our 'stay' for the next two evenings and to say I was impressed doesn't even begin to explain how excited I was! We stayed at Founders Inn and it was stunning! To help set the mood for the holiday, we got to enjoy all this!
The Christmas decor was amazing and all over! The chandeliers were beautiful and sparkling. The next two pictures are of ONE room. It had a fireplace at each end with a Christmas tree cadi-cornered by each one. It also has victorian sofas, but they had moved them to make room for an event the following day.
There was even a corner in the one hallway of this massive Inn that housed this life-size Gingerbread House. I believe this is where the little ones were able to visit Santa the week before! I would have LOVED this if I were a kid again!!!
But the grandest room was the atrium. It had this amazingly stunning tree that highlighted the entire dessert buffet that was being served for Christmas Eve! Then the next morning was Brunch so it highlighted the brunch desserts...And no we didn't do either as there were no available time slots :( However, Christmas morning and the following morning we did get to enjoy breakfast in the restaurant. In the left hand corner of the next picture you can kind of see the restaurant.
The chefs were pretty amazing, I will say that. The Breakfast Buffet wasn't quite your Frisch's/Shoney's breakfast buffet. And it included everything. I felt so important lol. And I wanted to eat all they offered!
And since we are talking food, Christmas Eve dinner was spent here...
Yes, we have our family tradition and that's Chinese/Japanese at Christmas so we found this little place and it was delicious. My daughter brought a work friend (who didn't have family in for Christmas) with us and it was her first time at Hibachi so I was so glad she got to experience it with us! And this is why we have Chinese for dinner...because Ralphy did!!! :)
Christmas Day meant "TIME TO OPEN PRESENTS" and fortunately we had just enough room in our trunk to pack them all. It was a little different exchanging gifts in a hotel room, but it was still nice nonetheless. I went ahead and purchased movie tickets a day in advance so my daughter's friend met up with us and we all went to see Jumanji...with the Rock. I cannot and will not even begin to tell you my "admiration" (to my close friends, I'm calling it admiration because that is all that it is!) for D.J. but the movie was pretty good. I loved the first Jumanji and didn't want it to be a bad follow up to Robin Williams, so I was pleasantly surprised. Dinner however, was not something you would write home about. Being that it was Christmas, not ONE place was open...NOTHING...except one place that never closes...
My only thought was, "please Lord, don't let me eat anything that is going to make the 10 hour road trip home tomorrow the worst nightmare of my life...No one in the car should be made to suffer any type of intestinal distress for 10 hours!" Of course our kids were just fine with this choice. Waffle House is the go to place when you are hungry and it's 3am and you are out late with friends, which seems to be all my kids...It was also kind of sad that they had their order all ready before the menus were passed out...It's obvious who has what standards in our house lol. Ironically, we go back to the Inn, which was directly across the street, to find out that they were actually serving dinner when we were told that morning that dinner wasn't going to be served. Oh, this lady was not happy..., but it is what it is and everyone else seemed to be just fine.
All in all the impromptu trip turned out just fine. It wasn't our tradition to leave home, but a start to some new family traditions that we all hope to create now that our little ones aren't little ones anymore. It's a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but I realized that you have to break away from tradition in order to make new ones. And again, I thank God and all the angels for the protection of a safe trip that allowed us to be together for the REASON OF THE SEASON. Wishing everyone an incredible and prosperous 2018! Time to make some good memories!