Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Best Holiday Season Ever

Kris and Louise are on their way again after spending the holidays with me. Well, they're SORT of on their way. At the moment, they're waiting for a flight out of Knoxville. Their scheduled flight was canceled due to mechanical failure. *ick* When Kris called to tell me, I told her that it's a shame, but considering how much traveling they've done so far with only this hitch, things have actually gone remarkably well.

They arrived by rental car late afternoon on Saturday, December 22. We had dinner, and Mom and Dad came to visit with us for awhile. On Sunday we went to visit at Mom and Dad's house for awhile and made a grocery shopping trip to pick up last-minute items. Christmas Eve I had Mom and Dad back at my place for supper (lasagna....a Christmas Eve tradition started by Mom years ago). Then they had us back at their house for Christmas dinner.....chicken, ham, and all the trimmings....yum!

Louise has a gluten allergy and apparently got hold of enough wheat products in the holiday dinners to cause her to fall victim to a bad headache on the 26th. So, she stayed in bed trying to recover that morning. Kris went to visit a friend and Meg and I had some quality "recliner time". That evening we went to Bristol Motor Speedway to see "Speedway in Lights", which were even bigger and better than last year.

On Thursday the 27th Kris had an appointment with her tattoo artist to have some work done. I got a little household drudgery done while she and Louise were out and about. After dinner that night, we pursued Trivia for awhile.

On the 28th, Mom and Dad took us to White Top and out for lunch. It was a fun trip, but fog/mist/clouds had settled on the mountain, and we weren't able to see anything at all. The wind was gusting really hard (I'd guess about 40 mph) and it was COLD. It was nice to have an outing all the same.

On the 29th, Kris had another appointment at the tattoo shop, but her artist was sick so she had to reschedule for New Year's Day.

On the 30th, we went to Red Lobster for lunch, then to Castlewood to visit the final resting places of family members. Afterwards we stopped at Dixie Pottery (a failed attempt to find souvenir items), then went to Mom and Dad's for a little while.

On the 31st, Kris packed up some items to be shipped back to Australia. She and Louise took them to the post office and made a Wal-Mart trip. Then they went to the home of one of Kris' friends for New Year's Eve. Meg and I were asleep before midnight, as usual. :-)

On New Year's morning, Louise prepared a wonderful homemade cheesecake for our dessert to have after dinner. I'd invited Mom and Dad to join us for a traditional New Year's dinner: black-eyed peas and collard greens along with ham, potatoes, mixed pickles (a combination of pickled beans, pickled corn, cabbage, etc.), corn muffins, and Mom's coleslaw. Kris and Louise went to the tattoo parlor at noon; Mom and Dad arrived soon after they left. We planned to have dinner at 4:00, but they came early so we'd have some time to place the order (by internet) for their next corporate lease vehicle.

The website behaved perfectly, and we placed the order with no hitches at all. Kris and Louise came back about 3:30, so dinner was served on time and was pretty tasty, even if I do say so myself. Louise's cheesecake was really great and was enjoyed by all.

Mom and Dad visited with us for a little while after dinner, then left for home. Kris and Louise finished their packing in time for us to enjoy a last episode of "Jeopardy" before they had to leave. After they finished their last-minute items, we exchanged some borderline-teary farewells, and they left about 9:00 p.m.

I'd asked them to call when they got checked in at Knoxville; Kris called at 11:15 to say they'd arrived safely. She called me at work again this morning to tell me their flight to Toronto had been canceled. They'd rescheduled a flight to Cincinnati the last time I talked to her, so I'm not sure what time they'll get to Toronto now.

Kris had hoped for a little snow during her visit, but we had temperatures up in the 50's most of the time. Yesterday afternoon the temperature dropped drastically, and there were snow flurries. This morning we had a little snow on the ground and bone-chilling temperatures. It looks like Kris barely missed seeing winter weather at home!

All in all, a wonderful holiday....the best I can ever remember.

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