Monday, December 29, 2008
Christmas At Our House
Christmas Day at our house was a quiet affair. We had already put up the tree and Steve had arranged "The Village," which is a collection of little houses and figures that were his mom's, on the mantlepiece. We'd had thunder, lightning, hail, rain and lots of wind on Christmas Eve...which is probably why Santa only left us a handful of presents under the tree this year. What? You think it might be because we weren't good enough? Awwww....
The sun broke through the clouds and we decided to get some fresh air, heading out to Ocean Beach, where a few bold kite surfers skipped along the whitecaps and choppy waves. It was still chilly and windy out there. We had a blustery little hike on the Coast Trail along with happy dogs and their happy humans. Lots of the dogs were sporting new Christmas duds.
Someone found a unique "canvas" to draw on along the trail. You never know when creative inspiration is going to hit.
The next day we received the phone call that the weather was clear enough across the pass, so the Oregon Reinhardts were going to make the trek. We flew into action, preparing for their visit. Here's a shot of the happy group by the Haight St. entrance to Golden Gate Park.
The logistics of gathering up and transporting 12 people around a holiday weekend busy city were a challenge, but everyone rose to meet it. The cousins enjoyed each others' company roaming the Westfield Downtown Center, dropping some cash at Abercrombie's and the food court; while the adults quietly dined at a bistro around the corner. The visitors stayed at the Nikko in 4 diamond luxury, rather than attempting to crowd into our already crowded tiny house.
Here's Pete and Deb enjoying big city life for an evening.
Saturday we all met by the park, enjoying lunch (table for 12??) at Park Chow before walking through the park and taking in the view from the de Young museum tower.
Niece Kaya enjoyed the view from the tower, as did nephews Sean and Luke.
Steve & I left the group to explore Haight Street and beyond while we hurried home to get ready for the triple birthday party. I got these flowers at Safeway and tried to recreate an arrangement I had seen in Martha Stewart Living magazine for probably 1/3 the price.
We can fit about 10 around our dining room table, so we set up a big kids' table in the living room for volunteers Kara, Patrique and Sean. The giant mushroom lasagne worked to feed the hungry crew. After dinner, Uncle Steve showed some Reinhardt family home movies in the garage to round after round of rowdy laughter.
We all sang Happy Birthday to the three birthday boys, David, Steve and Luke before feasting on cake and Christmas cookies. The Oregonians returned to their rooms at the Nikko, except for Luke, who had his own night out on the town. He met some celebrants who were happy to buy him a drink when they found out it was his 25th birthday.
It was a long drive for a couple of days' visit, but I think everybody had a pretty good time.