On the solstice, Matt and I drove up to my hometown of Newport, Washington, where we spent five days at my parents' home, enjoying the cold, snowy woods (it didn't get up to freezing until Christmas Day), the delight of wood heat, and lots of time spent with my parents, brother and sister-in-law, and lots of old friends. We went for lots of walks through the snow, played lots of music together, ate lots and lots of good food, and enjoyed ourselves immensely. It felt like a luxury to be there for so long. Here are some pictures from our first round of Christmas celebrations:
(Click on Photos to Enlarge)
Matt setting the table for Christmas Eve dinner (shish kababs). Photo credit to Lisia.
(Photo below by Lisia)
Lisia took this photo of Matt, Tighe and I washing dishes from the upstairs trapdoor.
Our quarters, the sauna/guesthouse.
The kitchen table set for Christmas breakfast (Dad made pancakes for everyone).
Snow falling on Christmas Day (note my parents' outdoor Christmas tree in the center of the photo)
On boxing day evening, Matt and I drove to Spokane, where we gathered with friends for a party that night, and then again the next evening at my brother's home to watch the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends, whose wedding ceremony was streamed live on the internet from Thailand! We projected it onto a blank wall and watched it large-scale! It was an amazing experience to be included in a wedding from so far away. All the best wishes to S and L for a long and happy marriage!
We drove back to Portland on Wednesday, I went straight back to work at my internship for Thursday and Friday, and then we spent New Year's Eve and New Year's Day at Matt's father's house here in Portland to partake in his family's Christmas Eve and Christmas traditions. They had all waited for us to be there before having their traditional meals (clam chowder on Christmas Eve and eggs benedict for Christmas breakfast!) and opening gifts. We had a wonderful time, celebrating Christmas and New Year's all at the same time.
Matt and his dad enjoying their presents yesterday morning.
Stockings and croissants for early breakfast.
With that, it's time to go take down our own Christmas decorations and get my seed-starting lights set up. We came home from my parents' with some new seeds and some surplus garden gear as extra Christmas gifts, and I am going to embrace the new year by getting things growing just as soon as possible!
Happy New Year!