For Thanksgiving this year Ben and I went to New Jersey to visit my family and friends. It was a great trip! We only had a few days but packed in a lot of fun. My grandmother is temporarily living with my parents, so we had a chance to catch up with her and keep her company while my parents were at work. We drove to Sussex County NJ to visit my fathers sister and pick up some apple cider donuts, apples and pies for Thanksgiving at Windy Brow Farm
We were able to meet up with our good friends Rachel and Teddy for some Korean BBQ in Fort Lee, NJ. It was interesting, but not my favorite Asian food. It was more like Chinese food, which I really dont like at all. Give me Thai or Vietnamese any day though!
For Thanksgiving dinner we went to my Uncle Jesse's house with my parents and grandmother. It was a really big group of us including my grandmothers 3 children and all but one of her grandchildren. She was overjoyed to have us all in one place at the same time for the first time in over 15 years. Unfortunately I didnt get any great photos. Here is the best one.....
Seth, Fran, Anne
We also had a chance to visit with my good friend Carly at her parents house in NJ and go for a nice long hike. I enjoy hiking in the Northeast in the Winter. Eventhough everything is brown and compared to Washington looks mostly dead, the crisp, dry air is very refreshing. The large boulders and little streams are beautiful when covered in ice. Maybe its just nostalgia. Either way Im going to have to take some more photos next time I go back.
On to December......For Christmas this year we decided to keep it low key and stay in our home state. We didnt go against our tradition of traveling for Christmas to the point of staying home though. This year we rented a "cabin" in Packwood, WA near Mt Rainier. I put cabin in quotes because they use the term cabin very loosely. It was more of a luxury home that happened to be in a wooded area.
We did some serious relaxing there. Our four day trip consisted of cooking, taking baths in the jacuzzi tub, hiking with the dogs, playing games and watching movies. And Ben went skiing while I relaxed at the cabin.
Ive really been wanting smores for awhile. I havent had them since I was under 10 years old and always LOVED them. I couldnt resist with the pile of dry fire wood and a fire pit and lots of time on our hands. I ate a lot of smores and they were awesome! I even used high quality imported chocolate and organic graham crackers. Ben was a star smore maker.
We had very little snow at the cabin, but as soon as we drove up a few hundred feet there was just enough on the ground to need snow boots for our hike. We had the trail completely to ourselves. It was unbelievably quiet and peaceful.
We left on the 24th to have a Christmas Eve dinner at home and wake up at home on Christmas morning. We spent Christmas day relaxing around the house. Ben made pancakes for everyone for breakfast and we opened presents for awhile in the morning. We went for an afternoon walk at Marymoor dog park in Redmond. For dinner we went to one of the only restaurants open in Seattle called Andaluca, a Spanish restaurant. After that we went to a late showing of Avatar in 3D IMAX. By the time we got home at 1:30 am, we were exhausted and slept very late the next morning!