Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Bright Lights & Evergreens

The lovely holiday season wasn't without explorations.... Even if most of them were close to home.
Midnight Madness early in the month was dampened by rain showers, yet still very mad and festive; I heard the carolers and Santas going until midnight, though that was too late for this old lady who had her yearly holiday brunch the next morning!
A quick jaunt north to Amish country in Pennsylvania brought us to the National Christmas Center, quickly leading to mental comparisons between Bronner's in the Bavarian Frankenmuth, Michigan.  
Clearly, any time there is a festival of flora, like the Tree Fest of Maryland, one has to go.  Now if you've never been to such a festival, you should know... it really is only trees... Beautiful trees, yes.... but just trees.
The Russian Ballet leapt into my heart with my childhood favourite, The Nutcracker.
Baltimore was lucky enough to have a mini and temporary  German Christmas set up shop in the Inner Harbor.... and, even with the Reggae band aiding the German atmosphere,  it wasn't all that I'd hoped for.
Our National Zoo (free as it's part of the Smithsonian's)has an incredible light show, a neon safari, of sorts.
I'd hardly call the whole block lighting up the grid (and no doubt their bills) a miracle, but strolling down 34th  has become a little tradition for us.  Along with 35 dozen cookies, service, caroling, and midnight movies,  this was a simple and lovely season.

& there's still a week of vacation left. **sigh**

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snowy Day No. 2

I've discovered how much I can accomplish when I don't work.  I've also discovered how much I can just be.  Thankfully for me, Dixieland panics at the first thought of Jack Frost.  (Actually, this time around, the roads were slippery.) 

I was the one trudging through the snow with my camera, pretending to know about photography, and relishing in the icy crunch under my boots.  
Hoping the snow stays and gives me a white Christmas.  
Enjoying the warmth of my flat and the sweetness of my Chai as I sit in my own mini Christmas town, listening to jazzed up carols, and diving into the stack of books that've been waiting for me for months. 

Is it wrong to be wishing for a surprise icing & another day to sing, "Let it Snow?"

Monday, December 9, 2013

Stones & Snow

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas, every where we go.
And so,  we're working through our Holiday Season Wanderlust Wishlist. 
What better place to start than a town named Bethlehem?
Bethlehem, PA, nicknamed Christmastown during the Great Depression, is a quick jaunt from Philli, and the top of my Wandering List this year. Lamp posts adorned with wreaths, traditional Moravian stars hanging even in alley ways, and a light dusting on the rooftops are postcard perfects.   
In the 1700's, Count Zinzendorf led a bunch of Moravians and set up a mission.  Read about them,. Its fascinating.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Of Our Elf on the Shelf

I really don't understand what the controversy is regarding Elf on the Shelf.  I see streams of posts~ One sharing a cutesy photo of what mischief Bobo or Ferdinand got into, another saying how creepy it is, and another, yet, declaring that the whole concept defies religious statutes and principles.  I say, "seriously?!"  

I kind of like the idea of Elf on the Shelf. 
The guy and I have had our own versions of this our entire marriage.  Meet Literal Elf.  
Literal Elf is....well....literal.  We found this fellow about 4 years ago and have been helping him find literal situations since, all year round.   Above, Literal Elf  questions the words to the LMFAO song, chooses to not be done, goes in for the win this past St. Nick's Day, criticizes common expressions, and finally adopts a pet from the storm.
Literal Elf has a Leprachaun friend who likes to just show up from  time to time.

I guess true love is being able to make your person laugh.