The holiday season has come to a close and now it’s back to work, but it was a really good one for us. First we trekked up to Detroit with Mali to stay with my parents for Christmas Day. We took it easy, seeing friends, but not trying to squeeze in too much. Sometimes it feels like we’re running around everyday trying to see everyone and everything around Detroit. This time we had plenty of dinners at home and didn’t make any trips to Ann Arbor. On Christmas we went out to my aunt and uncle’s house for the day. Everyone on my mom’s side was there. We exchanged some gifts and tried on other people’s gifts. The gift we’ve used the most since then would have to be our new camera. You can see some of the pictures here, but a close second is the crokpot that my mom let us take home with us. We’ve been on a tear this week testing new recipes.
The only downer about Christmas Day was the weather. The snow that had been on the ground when we showed up disappeared on Chirstmas when it rained all day. For the day after Christmas we had a family portrait planned but our photographer came down with something. So we moved furniture, brought in some shop lights, got out a tripod and took our own ‘pro’ photo in the living room. We’ve been adding new backgrounds via Photoshop ever since. That night we headed to the Toldeo Zoo for their display of lights with a bunch of friends from church.
On the way home we wanted to stop by Akron to see our buddies Dave and Liza, as well as new baby, Ella. They moved to Salt Lake City and we were able to see them over the summer but this was the closest they’d be for awhile so we left Detroit around 5:45am and headed east. We had a nice breakfast and got to spend some relaxing time on their estate. Then we piled in the car for another 12 hours.
We took Monday to run the necessary errands and to unpack and repack before leaving on Tuesday for San Francisco to meet up with our friends, Paul and Hilary, and then head to Lake Tahoe for New Year’s and Hilary’s Birthday. Our first night there we had dinner with everyone’s parents. The theme of the dinner was around a pizza cookbook I had given Hilary’s parents some time ago. Since then it had become a household favorite and a bit of an obsession for Howard. We left for Tahoe the next morning. One of the most valuable lessons we learned on this trip was how to put chains on our tires. By the second day Paul and I had it down.
We had a place rented for the week. It was a timeshare that Paul’s cousin owned near the Nevada side of Heavenly Ski Resort. We spent most of our days discovering hikes around South Lake Tahoe. For two days we rented snow shoes and went trekking around lakes and up hill sides in feet of powder. On the last day we got lift tickets and hit the real slopes. Paul and Hilary rented skis and Lauren and I got snowboards. I had never been on a lift or a slope in skis or a snowboard. After some brief lessons with one foot in the binding at the base of the hill we went to the top of the first run. I fell and got up and fell quite a few times. Then we fixed my shoes and went back up to the top of the lift. Lauren tore it up after about 5 years away from it. I never quite go the hang of it but we went down a bunch of blue runs on the mountain and made it up more than 2,000 feet from the base. I was a lot of fun, kind of scary and wholely tiring. I was, at the same time dealing with a pesky cold that had crept up a few days before. By the end of the day I was hopped up on cold medicine, sore and exhausted. My body was completely confused. Now we’re home and dealing with snow in GA. I’m still battling the cold, and it’s spread into my right eye. Nonetheless, I am excited to try it again.