I hope you haven’t missed us too much in the last few days. We spent the last week with my family and focused on being with them rather than the blog. Erin, Kevin, Ryan and I all arrived last Thursday to my parents’ house. Colleen and Andre arrived on Friday and not long after, it began to snow. Everyone rushed outside to make snowmen and have a snowball fight. After a relaxing afternoon, we headed downtown to go ice skating. Mom, Kevin, and Ryan opted to go meet one of Kevin’s friends at Figure 8 Brewing as they don’t care for ice skating. The rest of us had a good time dodging all the little kids on their ice skating walkers.
After skating we went to Parea for dinner. It is a Mediterranean restaurant and we decided to introduce some of our guests to saganaki.
Following dinner, we went to the Eagles Lodge to watch the Planetary Blues play. It was an interesting setting for watching a blues band and the most interesting part was running into a bunch of people I haven’t seen since high school. It was an interesting way to spend the evening.
Christmas Eve started with mimosas, a tradition at our house. Although cooling it in the snow is a seasonal event.
We spent the day relaxing with family, going through old family photos, and running errands. I introduced Ryan to my favorite Mexican restaurant in Valparaiso, El Amigo. We snuck away for a little lunch while everyone else was busy.
Making dinner on Christmas Eve got a little complicated. At some point over the weekend, the kitchen sink quit working and began backing up. Plumbers are not cheap on any occasion but trying to have someone come out on a holiday would be crazy. So Kevin and my father spent much of the day trying to fix the sink. Unfortunately, it was not functional by the time we needed to start cooking. So we had to get a little creative in doing dishes:
Thankfully, Erin is a very creative cook and was able to pull things together to make a wonderful dinner in spite of everything. We were joined by some family friends for the meal and had a wonderful time. Then we all loaded up to head to church. It was a lovely service and Ryan and I enjoyed singing carols with my mom. After church we had a rousing game of Catch Phrase before everyone had to go to bed so Santa could come.
Christmas morning dawned bright and sunny. The nice thing about having an adults only Christmas is that everyone sleeps in. We eventually got up and had our annual cinnamon rolls and mimosas. We no longer give gifts for Christmas but rather do a charitable donation as a family. This year our donation went to Housing Opportunities, an organization that offers housing for the homeless and assistance in eventual home ownership. So opening presents at our house mostly consists of seeing what goodies Santa left in our stockings.
That afternoon we headed into Chicago to spend the afternoon with my extended family. Poor Ryan was introduced to almost all the Enneses which is quite the crowd. Here are the female cousins on that side of my family although we’re short one who’s out in Seattle.
After much merriment, food, and gift giving we got to watch old home movies from my father’s generation. I’ll have to see if I can upload their army movie. It’s a blockbuster for sure.
The next day, my sisters and their husbands headed home while Ryan and I headed to downtown Chicago. We started by visiting the Bean.
We tried to visit the Christkindle Market but it had closed the day before Christmas. So instead we went into Macy’s (Marshall Fields) to see the Christmas tree at the Walnut Room.
After that we tried to go to Navy Pier but after spending 30 minutes trying to get on the pier, it was going to be $25 to park. That is pretty ridiculous considering we didn’t have a whole lot of time before we had to head back to Valpo and pack up. It was a great Christmas holiday. What traditions does your family have over the Christmas holiday?