Sunday, February 26, 2012

Christmas Here, There, but not Everywhere

Christmas 2011 has been gone for two months now, however now seems as good a time as any to recap our holiday adventures as Ashley and I celebrated our first Christmas together as husband and wife!  Twas the night before the night before Christmas... (so, really our story starts that morning) and we woke up to have our own little Christmas morning.  It is interesting to note the preparation that goes into buying gifts for your spouse at Christmas time, the lying, deceiving, and hiding that goes into keeping the gifts a secret is exhausting!  You find yourself on Christmas morning with the gifts wrapped ever so nicely (which is no small amount of effort) and sitting with anticipation both as to what you will receive and to the joy (or disappointment) your gift will bring to your spouse.  But just like the carefully wrapping on the gifts all the weeks of lies and deceit are torn away in minutes and vanish without a trace of ever having been there at all.  And the gifts come forth showing thought, love, and great care for one another.

The reason for our early Christmas morning was that we were traveling to RI to spend time with that side of the family for Christmas!  We has such an amazing time being with family and friends over the holiday season!  We arrived in RI on Christmas Eve (really the night before Christmas this time!) and that means we arrived in time for Christmas Eve dinner at my Uncle John and Aunt Lori's house for the traditional Italian Christmas Eve dinner!  This is one of my favorite meals all year!  I love all the fried fish and shell fish, the pastas, antepasto, clams casino... mmmm.  I'm drooling just thinking of it!  As my Nana grew up it was tradition for Italian Catholics to abstain from meat (well, meat from animals living on land) on Christmas eve, so there would be lots of pasta and sea food, but no chicken or beef.  For the most part we still hold to this tradition and it is one I wouldn't mind continuing in one form or another.  It is interesting how food, or rather meals are used to commemorate or remember important people and/or events.  Christmas day itself was bursting with wonderful experiences!  We broke from some traditions due to the fact that this Christmas fell on a Sunday.  Instead of trying to get everyone up to open gifts at 7am (notice the word 'trying', I used to truly try to get everyone up, figuring that if I couldn't sleep on Christmas morning, no one else needed to!!!) we got up and had breakfast, my mom and dad, Ashley and I had a nice Christmas breakfast before Ashley and I went to church.  But when we returned I could wait no longer and we immediately began opening gifts from Santa and giving gifts to my parents!  
Clearly Ashley is very excited to just open her gifts!
And clearly Ashley thinks my love of disc golf is so cute...
After opening presents we spent the day at my Aunt Janet and Uncle Chris's house with the Corbin side of the family.  Which means amazing appetizers such as scallops wrapped in bacon!  Followed by a traditional Christmas dinner which consists of the Italian Wedding Chicken soup (once again thank you Nana for starting this and Mom for continuing!) then the second course of succulent turkey, mashed potatoes and yams, and many other yummy side dishes!  All infused with lively conversation ranging from family history (aka embarrassing childhood experiences), politics, science, and perhaps some religion.  When all is said and done, Christmas day ends with all parties very tired and very full!

The rest of the trip to RI was filled with friends, food and adventures!  (If the three months after our wedding didn't ruin all the exercising and proper eating in preparation for the wedding, this trip RUINED ME!!!)  As I mentioned there were so many good memories from this trip but two I would like to highlight are our trips to the Newport Mansions and our disc golf outing (gasp! I know you are so surprised!) I lived in RI the first 18 years of my life and have been back many times since and in all that time I had never toured the
mansions! The mansions in Newport were built in the Gilded Age (term coined by Mark Twain, one of the many interesting tidbits I learned on the tours, also including the trick to 20 second omelets is to allow the eggs to come to room temperature before cooking, and that the personal income tax led to the death of the gilded age and the end to the mansions).  The decor was exquisite and austere, however the tour made the buildings intriguing as they brought to life the atmosphere of those who would have lived here.  I imagined myself sliding down the grand staircase on serving trays with the other children and being completely bored during dinner while my parents hosted powerful men and women of America and other parts of the world.  Enough on that, lets get to the stuff I know you are dying for, disc golf!
We drove up to Leicester, MA to play disc golf at the Pyramids Disc golf course.  It was a splendid 34 degrees Fahrenheit with very little wind.  The course layout was mostly in the woods with a large hill making up one side and a little stream flowing in the middle.  My dad said that when golfing he had the uncanny ability to always find water and figured this would be no different... he was not wrong! (Neither was he alone... as we spend a fair amount of time on the front end of the course fishing out our discs among other things in the stream)  

We did not stay dry, we did not stay warm but we did have a lot of fun!  (Thanks Mom for taking all the pictures and giving us the encouragement to keep going!)  Needless to say when it was time to return to Texas we were not ready to go, it had been such a fun Christmas! 

1 comment:

  1. It is always a joy to read your blog! lol I wished we lived closer so we could get together more often. You guys are seriously the funnest couple around!