My Christmas Vacation -- 12/30/00

What I did on my Christmas vacation: nothing! *grin*

And it's been wonderful and relaxing...

We slept in until almost eight a.m. on Christmas morning, opened presents, had a nice pancake breakfast. (Jennifer's friend Andy joined us for breakfast.) In the afternoon we went over to Nancy's Mom's house for a Christmas visit and dinner. Nancy's sister Janet and her husband and kids were there (middle school, high school, college), plus Nancy's sister Cathy and her son (a six foot four or so 16 yr old), plus Nancy's "baby" brother, a 30 yr old Marine Corps officer and his girlfriend.

Most of the week we just hung out at home and relaxed, read books, had conversations. Sean had to work most days (bagging groceries) but he likes that... or, rather, he doesn't mind the work and really likes getting paid.

One night Nancy and I went to the movies -- saw Family Man (Nick Cage and Tea Leoni) which we really enjoyed. Some other nights we rented videos.

Yesterday my brother and I got together. We picked a spot in Connecticut about halfway between us -- Meriden Shoppingtown Mall -- and met there for lunch. I think I got the easy "half" because it took me about an hour and three quarters and it took him about a half an hour longer. It was good to see him; we hadn't been together since summer. We had lunch (soup and salad bar at a Ruby Tuesday) and then walked around the mall and poked into some shops. All Wound Up -- a toy and novelty shop that sells all kinds of wind-up and battery powered strange things -- was having an after-Christmas clearance sale. Those Billy the Bass singing fish things were $2.49... Charlie found a singing duck in that pile and couldn't resist... so I broke down and bought a plastic robot dog that walks and barks ($9.99 marked down to $2.99)... and it may be silly little gadget but nobody has been able to resist pushing the control buttons to make it walk and bark.

We got snow today... not too much, just a few inches... but the broadcast weather people were having their usual panic attack ("near-blizzard conditions possible Saturday in some areas" -- yes, not actual blizzard conditions, just kinda sorta like that but not so much... "possible" but not probable? And in some areas, so not most places)... but never fear, given the slightest chance of a storm and Rhode Islanders dash to supermarkets to snatch up milk and bread.

I managed to go for a run this morning just as the storm hit us... my across the street neighbor was just heading out on his run and he invited me to join him -- but I declined as he was planning a seven mile run and I was planning to jog two miles or so (I ended up doing three miles before the snow began to come down too hard, making it difficult for me to see and making footing slippery). I need to work my way back into condition. I was doing pretty good during the summer but when autumn took away daylight my mileage dropped way off. (I also put back on half of the pounds I'd lost during the spring and summer.) This was my fourth run during this holiday vacation... other than that, however, I've really been relaxing and taking life very easy, keep the stress level low. I bought new running shoes earlier this week -- kind of a family shopping trip because Jennifer and Sean came with me -- she got new running shoes and he got a new pair of Vans (his running shoes have had very little wear).

The snow this morning and early afternoon was marvelous heavy wet stuff, great packing snow. The kids across the street were rolling big snowballs to make snowmen and snow forts. Jennifer and her friend Andy went out and shoveled the drive way... but first they built a huge Snowzilla. I came out to help them finish the driveway and sidewalk but then (as it often does here along the coast) the snow began to change to rain. The driveway was clear of snow but Jennifer and Andy had their cars parked in it (blocking the garage) so Jennifer loaned me her car to pick up Sean from work. The precipitation (rain, snow, sleet) tapered off during the course of the afternoon. It's supposed to be windy tonight, chance of snow showers tomorrow but no further accumulation expected.

We're staying home this year... not going out to First Night in Providence or Westerly or Newport... no parties planned... just going to sit around and read or watch a video. I've told Jennifer I'd put together a bunch of munchies if she wanted to have her friends over but I think they're all going over to Andy's house. Last year we had Nancy's mother and one of Nancy's sisters and her husband and kids over for dinner and drinks and snacks and videos and a midnight champagne toast. We're just not up for fixing a big meal, etc.... really lazy this year. I know I have a lot of wine around but I'm not sure if I have any champagne or not. I thought about stopping on my way home from picking up Sean to buy a bottle but forgot about it and didn't feel it was important enough to make another trip.

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