Thursday, January 1, 2009

Great Christmas Adventures!

Christmas Eve

We were not really sure what the day would bring? But we were excited for what ever our adventure would turn into. Christmas Eve started at 430am for us. As we packed up our items and got ready to leave for the lot to park our car. It all went very smoothly for us. We were a little late leaving the house and saying goodbye to “the girls” as you don’t realize how the time flies as you are packing the last minuet items and getting the bags to the car. I gave “the girls” their Christmas bone and made sure they have blankets and their favorite toys. We made sure there were lots of food and water for them and a place that was shoveled away for them in the back to out to do their business. There was a note left on the counter and a thank you for the family that will be taking care of our “girls” while we will be away. I love “our girls” so much! I had guilt fill my heart when I petted them one last time and walked away. I did what you should never do when you say goodbye, I looked back and saw them sitting together next to the fireplace that I had just turned off and their sad eyes looking at me. I hated to say goodbye, this will be the longest that I have been away from “my girls” since they joined our family at eight weeks old. I still feel guilty and think about them every day? I guess that is how it feels to be a parent and separated from you child. You love them so much and will think about them everyday, even though someone else is taking care of them, you still just hope they will be ok.
We made it to the lot and parked the car. It was so handy, the van that took us to the airport pulled right up as we parked the car. The driver jumped off and was right there grabbing our bags from the trunk of the car. Our driver was very alert and friendly and wished everyone a Merry Christmas and gave each one of us on the bus a candy cane. We were the last ones to get off the bus for our carrier. We were able to do curb side check in and go right to security. It was so smooth from the time we got off the bus to the time we got through security it had not been more than 10 minuets. So we headed to Mc D’s and got some breakfast and headed to our gate to eat. Not more than 30 minuets later our plane began boarding. We found our seats and got ready to begin our adventure that would take us away from home for a week. The flight was awesome, I got to use a Christmas present that Adam gave me which was a mp3 player. I love it! It is small and compact and holds all the memory I need. It plays music, video and pictures. Love it! So I sat back and enjoyed the flight while listening to music on my new little gadget and reading my Sunset magazine. The landing in Seattle was awesome. It was one of the best landing ever. Smooth! As we fly in everyone on the plane is looking out the windows at the white winter wonderland that is below. The whole city and surrounding areas as packed filled snow. As we are sitting on the runway I text my sister and brother to find out if anyone could come pick us up. As we still were not sure if the roads were clear enough to travel. While we were sitting and waiting for a gate to open we counted eight snow plows and I was able to send 14 text messages of the play by play of the waiting. Finally a gate opened for us but the wings in the plane needed to be de-iced before we could get to the gate. We unloaded and as we all gathered our items the plane became very noisy as the excited and anticipation aroused in each of the passengers to get off and get to their destinations. The airport was filled with people who some looked frustrated, sad and annoyed as we got off our plane and walked through the airport. As I read the arrivals and departure board I soon realized that these people just wanted to get to their destinations and flight were being cancelled or delayed. We found our way to baggage claim were I found my brother who was waiting for our arrival. It was so great to see him and he embraced us with a warm friendly hug welcoming us to a great Seattle adventure. “I hope you are up to an adventure.” Is what he said to me. Yes I am I thought to myself, whatever it brings will be fun. It is being with family that counts. So we gathered our bags and headed to the parking lot to find his trunk.
The back of his truck was packed with snow. He brought a tarp and we loaded our luggage in the back of the snow packed truck and covered the luggage with the tarp and enclosed it so the items would not get wet. He tied it down good and we loaded ourselves and off we went. As we were leaving the airport I thought to myself this doesn’t look so bad, but what I kept forgetting is this is Seattle and they don’t get snow. So this is bad for where we are at. As we are driving all I could think of is how beautiful it is outside with the snow covered trees that towered us. It was fun to sit and talk on our way. But I kept thinking I needed to use the bathroom. Finally when I could not take it anymore I mentioned to my brother if we could find a place I really needed to use the bathroom. He said we were close to his house and we should go there. So that is what we did. We were still another 30 mins from my sister’s and so we stopped at his place. We parked the truck on the hill and walked down a steep hill that both Adam and myself almost fell a couple of times walking down. The snow was heavy wet and very deep. It was also slick to walk through.
We were greeted by his fiancée Ildiko and her mother. They had just got done baking the sweet rolls, which are directly translated from Hungarian into English are called foam spirals.
They were wonderful; they tasted like a lemon bar. It was nice to stop and chat and talk with them for a while. We were hungry and Ildiko decided to make us a sandwich. It was so tasty. She had a dark wheat bread, which she put butter on with a Brie cheese, spinach leaves, tomato and pepperoni. It was an awesome sandwich and it reminded me of something I used to get in the train station when I lived in Switzerland. Shortly after we notice that it is getting darker outside and the snow is starting up again. Nancy my sister calls to tell us a tree has fallen on the road to their house and took out the power. After much discussion wee decide to stay the night and have Christmas Eve where we are at. The boys go and get the suitcases from the truck. I open the suitcase and pull out the home made chocolates for everyone to try. We hang out for the rest of the day, talking and laughing and watch a movie about the crucifixion of Jesus that is on TV. Even thought Martha doesn’t speak any English she really enjoyed the movie.
Then it was time to make dinner. With everyone pitching in it was a small task. Ildiko planed a wonderful traditional Hungarian meal. She explained on Christmas eve in Hungry they never ate meat and so the meal would contain mostly mushrooms and fish When it was time to sit down she explained the reason for each item we ate. We started the first course off with a wonderful salad. The next course was a macaroni cheese dish with sour cream on top. It was really good and very different. Then the third course was trout and salmon with mashed potatoes. It was all wonderful and very tasty. For dessert we had home made chocolates, and the foam spirals. After dinner we sat around the table and talked about Christmas family traditions that we do. Ildiko translated for her mother as she told us about her home and what she did as a child and as an adult. We were able to share our favorite Christmas songs. We eat took a turns singing a song. We would sing it in English and then Martha would sing us one in Hungarian. It was a lot of fun. Then Adam and Martha played on the computer pulling up things to show each other. Spencer and I went to lie on the couch and just talk about stuff. I can’t even remember all the stuff we talked about, but it was fun to have the time with my brother. Ildiko did a wonderful job translation for all of us and we were able to learn a lot of new words. “Egan!”

As the night came to an end, we realized the time had just flew by and were thankful that we had power and warmth that night. The snow continued to fall outside and the temperatures dropped. We said a prayer to bless my sister’s family to help them get through the night and hope that we would make it over there on Christmas Day.

Christmas Day!
We slept great! The couches were very comfortable. We were woken up at 4am by a cat asking for food. I slept through it, I vaguely remember seeing someone walk through the room and fill a cat bowl. I also vaguely remember a knock on the door and getting up to see who was there. I saw a baby crawl through the doorstep with a bag that he was pulling. Before I knew it he shuffled in put some presents under the tree and was gone before I new it. I can’t remember if I locked the door? Anyway, we have Santa who is a fat man in a red suit who comes down a chimney to deliver presents. In hungry, they have Baby Jesus come on Christmas Eve and bring presents. So there you have it!
Once everyone got up we made some tea and hot chocolate and watched the snow falling outside. We all pitched in to make breakfast. Where I found a new love, Ildiko, introduced me to my new favorite food. She made homemade wheat bread and put butter on it with some brie cheese and orange marmalade. Oh baby it is to die for! About that time Nancy calls and we were able to hear about their night. Their power went off about 4pm and then came back on about 10pm and they were able to stay warm and had a good night. The power went off again about 8am and was off as we were speaking. About that time as I am talking with her, our power went off. So there you have it. Both household were with out power. It was snowing hard that morning both where we were and at my sisters house. We decided we were best to stay were we were at for the time being and see what the day would bring. After getting the dishes washed and everyone together in the front room we decided to open presents. Adam and I got Spencer, Ildiko and Martha a few presents and I was so happy we did. They really liked it and I think Martha really liked what we got her. I had crocheted some dish rags to give them. I picked out colors that I thought they would like. We gave them a few other things, but the homemade stuff is what went over the best. Everything we gave this year we tried to be homemade by us or by someone I knew that I got at a craft fair earlier. I was really excited with what they got me, which were spices and paste to cook with from Hungry. I enjoy cooking and now my food will be able to taste more authentic with the real deal.
Later in the day as the snow subsided we decide to make the trip to my sister’s house. But not all of us would be able to go, since only the truck could make it out. So Spencer, Adam and I decide to venture out into the snow and drive to Duvall to my sisters house. It is a slow go and the main roads were not too bad, but the side streets were terrible. Once we got on to the main road to Duvall which is the road that we were afraid might be closed. We drove slowly up and down the hills and as we did we took pictures of the trees that were filled with snow and the electrical wires that hung so close to the road and had trees fall on them. It was crazy! We made it and saw the huge tree that had shut the road down the night before. We unloaded and headed to the front door where my Sister greeted us with a warm hugs and a warm house. Their power had come back on. We soon found out that the power at Spencer’s place had come back on while we were gone. We greeted everyone with hugs and smiles and got the luggage in the house. They got Spencer a box of wood to take back home with him incase the power was to go out again and he could light a fire. Spencer didn’t stay long and as back on the road to get home before it got dark. Nancy gave us a tour of her home. I had been there before but not seen it since it had been remodeled. The kitchen with the new cabinets and granite counters were so beautiful. They had hardwood floors put in on the main level and had the bathroom upstairs tiled and redone. The master bedroom had an extension added with a walk-in closet and the mater bath had been redone as well. To my great surprise they had the basement remodeled and it looked so good. After the grand tour of the house the kids begged to open the Christmas presents we had sent. They were so good as to not peek and open them, we each took turns opening out presents, and the kids were the best to watch with their excitement when they opened the Xbox. Which once it was all open and ready to go, Adam and the kids when to the basement to set it up to play. We found that once the power had come back on Nancy had put a roast in the oven for dinner, so the rest of us gathered in the kitchen to put the rest of dinner together. We talked into the night with the family.

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