Wander aka StoneBear (wander) wrote,
Wander aka StoneBear

The Christmas Vacation Saga-The Illustrated Version

Well after I actually got there, the vacation part was very nice. Although getting there a day late meant all the visiting I'd wanted to do got pushed forward a day or two and some people didn't get visited. Sorry cuddles maybe next time dude. Christmas day was spent opening presents, eating and resting. A perfect day in other words. As the oldest son I get to play Santa. Which just means I get to sort through the presents and make sure everyone has one to open instead of sitting on butt and just opening presents. I guess this is the modern American version of primogeniture. Though I'm not sure I'm guaranteed to inherit the whole estate. My brother would be wise to attempt a coup methinks. I also get to carve the festive turkey or ham for whatever holiday we are celebrating. Christmas was good in lots of ways. First, the whole family was together and that is most important of all. After bitching about commercialized Christmas songs, I missed Midnight Mass and so missed singing Gloria and the other things that make it worth going to Church on Christmas Eve. We had Christmas Day dinner atthe neighbor's. Jim and Marion. He's Italian and she is Hungarian. Both from New Jersey originally and used to cooking for huge block parties. And they spare no expense cooking for the neighbors for Christmas. In the folks' neighborhood, each neighbor takes a holiday and invites the other neighbors for dinner. My folks do a BIG Halloween celebration with chili and rum spiked cider, fresh breads and lots of hors douvres. Jim and Marion do Christmas. The Kales down the block have Easter covered and so on. For Christmas dinner we started out with fresh jumbo shrimp cocktail and lots of various breads with homemade spreads. Everyone had a glass of wine or beer. For dinner there was a 30 pound turkey, a whole ham and a huge lasagna and then of course all the salads and veggies and no less than 6 kinds of dessert. I couldn't have stuffed any more food into myself. Good food, good wine and great company. Back home we sat around watching whatever games were on. I even put up with watching some pro football.

Joe and I each got nice digital cameras. I was amused to see how the folks rationalized getting him a 4.0 megapixel and me a 5.0. I guess it was that primogeniture thing again. Anyway, I'm very happy with what I got. And I have to say I'm happy that my brother has really stepped up and gotten everyone thoughtful gifts this year.

The day after we got freezing rain while other parts of NC got as much as 12 inches of snow. I was happy with the rain. We went out for Sunday brunch at Snapper's Point, a very nice new restaurant with an awesome buffet. It was in this relaxing atmosphere my mom chose to get slightly morbid and bring up the subject of wills, asking my brother and I who wanted the good crystal and silver which of course led into a discussion of how other assets were to be divided. All I really contributed was whatefver they chose to do, they needed to put it on paper so there was no question as to what they intended. I did not want to see a similar situation to what happened 11 years ago when Dad's Mom died with no will being found. Dad joked that he would force my brother and I to decide who got what on our own. I countered that if he did that, Joe and I would put everything on Ebay and just divide the resulting cash and sink it in a wild weekend in Vegas. It made everyone laugh at least. Joe said we should handle it by deciding what each other wanted and then I would take what he wanted and vice versa. Anyway, I don't really care. I'd rather just have my folks around for a good long time and not worry about it.

Monday we got dressed up for Family Portraits. We'd not had one taken in over 20 years. Then it was out to lunch at the Sandbar. And ecclectic little place on the water at Beaufort. Afterwards, we went home and Mom insisted we try out our new digital camera taking family portraits even though we'd just had them done. You don't argue with Mom when she decides something like this so we all resigned to more pix. Here are the results.

The Whole Clan

My Brother and I

I did the hair down on the last one so carocrow could see my long hair.

Afterwards we had another day of sitting around doing nothing except bugging the two cats Crookshanks and Shadow.

Tuesday, the folks took my brother up to Raleigh so he could fly up to NY to visit some friends. He was kind of worried because he had a friend in Thailand he could not get in contact with. I've still not heard if the friend is OK or not. After getting hold of a few folks I decided to drive up to Raleigh on my own the back way. I met with lauramander late in the afternoon and we tried to get some pix in of an abandoned mini-golf course in Swift Creek. It was not terribly successful because it was cold and we were losing the light. So we settled for a nice little Mexican Restaurant where we could get a beer or two. She had Corona and I had Tecate and spent an hour or so in nice intelligent conversation. I must say there is something intrisically therapuetic about spending an afternoon conversing with a beautiful woman over good Mexican beer. We had a great time and then when it was time to leave she kidnapped me a few minutes more and we took her earthbound transit, The Lexx over to her house so I could meet her boyfriend "B". He's a really nice guy and a very lucky guy to have her. She gave me some cool tunes on CD to take with me and delivered me back to my ride, saying goodbye with an affectionate hug which was great for my ego.

Next I sped down US 264 headed for Greenville to visit the gorgeous creature known as ryl. For some reason, I failed to take in my digital camera and take a good pic of her. But I did get to bug her 4 cats and she gave me the nickel tour of her new digs that she shares with some gnomeinclature guy. What a great house! We talked for quite awhile and then she thrust some delicious home baked cookies into my grubby hands, gave me a hug and cast me back out into the cold NC night. I made it home just about 1 am. It had been a good day.

Wednesday, I spent mostly being lazy, getting packed and combing the shoppes of Swansboro for a nice gift for Deb. Oh and of course I had to get a couple shots of the shrimp boats. I love shrimp boats for some reason. Mom and I had lunch at a quaint little seaside cafe, watching the boats go by. Afterward, we drove down to Cape Carteret, went over the high rise bridge out to Emerald Isle and came back down the oceanside road through Indian Beach and Atlantic Beach. We stopped at the Iron Steamer Pier to walk on the beach and collect some shells. It was 74 degrees so we kicked off our shoes and waded barefoot into the surf. I got a nice shot along the seawall as well.

Dad ordered up a huge pizza that night and we essentially settled ourselves in "church" watching UNC play UNCW that he recorded for me the night before. The one televised spot I like to watch is basketball, particularly if UNC is playing.

Next morning I was up at 6 and out of the house on the way home by 7:30 which surprised everyone. The folks and I said a tearful goodbye, I thanked them for everything and I was on the road again. I wanted to catch my friend Jen, the former LJ User dragonfly and her beau Rob, the former LJ User Tyrian at their new home in Fuquay-Varina before she got off to work. I managed to catch them both there. I got to see their great new house and talk to them a bit before she had to dash. Last time I'd seen her, the relationship with Rob was just beginning and they lived in separate houses so it was good to see them happy together. She gave me a nice hug and left some great smelling perfume on me and then we were both off again. I spent some time in the area photographing an old house and some tobacco barns for rural_ruin before heading on to Lexington. I visitied a few hourse with Brent and the very pregnant Roxy before heading up to Lenoir to see my friend and mentor, Okema (Chief) Whitehawk. I found her a little puny with a seasonal bout of pneumonia which I need to work on for her. We had a very insightful discussion and caught up on a lot of things. Her aura has some blockage. There was a red glowing spirit hanging about the proceedings who made no effort to hide itself. I think I knew who it was but I need to talk to Starhawk, my sister about it to be sure. If it's who I think it was, it's a good thing he was there. I got out of there around 9 and drove up to Knoxville before stopping for the night. The next day, I was on the road by 7:30 and made it back to Peoria by 5 pm. Just in time to get the car unpacked and get it turned back in by 6. We spent New Year's Eve watching movies and staying awake until midnight to wish my dad happy 67th birthday. Then we went to bed and made love to welcome in the new year. Isn't that how you are supposed to welcome in the new year? Anyway, that's what we did and that wraps up my Holiday saga.


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