Everyone Needs a Christmas Break

In the midst of moving, the LAST thing I wanted to deal with was two weeks of holiday house guests… even if said “house guests” were my family.


It’s not that I didn’t want to see them… or didn’t miss them like crazy.

After having gone from seeing them all the time to never ever, nothing could be further from the truth…

It’s just with NO IDEA where we’ll be living in California, plotting a cross-country drive with a toddler, and packing, packing, packing… I just didn’t think I could handle a two week break from everything going on.

Well, what do you know… a break was exactly what I needed and even though I declared “only gifts for Avery this year” (i.e. I can’t handle shopping on top of everything else right now), hanging out with  my favorite crazies was the BEST present I could have ever gotten.

(Well, that and the fabulous  new digital SLR awaiting me in the States…hehe)

My family being in town also gave us a chance to do some sightseeing, which we probably wouldn’t have been very motivated to do on our own. We started with a bus trip to Leeds, Canterbury, and Dover…

Okay, so we’ve been to Leeds Castle before, but not at Christmas time when the entire castle is decked out “Nutcracker theme”, which was both delightful…


… and SCARY!

img_22961(Why, yes. It IS a giant rat surrounded by dozens of smaller rats in the royal bedchamber. Sweet Dreams and Merry Christmas.)

Next stop, the white cliffs of Dover and the fr-fr-freezing British coastline.


I’m told, on a clear day, you can invade… er, I mean see France from this beach.

And for our final destination, Canterbury Cathedral… beautiful stained glass windows, site of a famous murder-turned-martyrdom, medieval tales of pilgrimage


Sorry, but there really is no way to make this stuff funny…

What was funny, however, was running into this family from Houston. They found out we’re from Dallas/Fort Worth and wanted to know everything about us… and guess what, my family proceeded to tell them everything about us.

Oh friendly, outspoken Texans! How I miss you!

You see, all of the things one would consider standard small talk — “where are you from”, “what do you do”, “how do you like…”, “Hi, I’m… what’s your name?”, etc., the Brits consider instrusive and off-putting… or so I’ve been told.

I ask anyway, which probably explains why I only have one British friend, and I think she only puts up with me because she lived in the US for a bit and is “used” to  Americans…


In other family news… I got a (future) brother (in-law) for Christmas!

(Because it’s all about ME. ha!)

My family took a  side trip to Paris before heading  home and in the most romantic gesture ever, my sister’s boyfriend proposed at the Eiffel Tower.


Alex (or “Mr. Alex” as we have had Avery call him so as to not be presumptuous) has been part of the family ever since first I met him. He’s good peoples and everything I could every want in a brother.

Could not be more excited for them!



Filed under Family, Holidays and Merrymaking, Sightseeing

5 responses to “Everyone Needs a Christmas Break

  1. A'Dell

    Oh boy! Another wedding for your mom to plan! 😉

  2. So glad you and your whole family got to do some sightseeing before you leave England. The work to come back to the States will be waiting for you when you are done having fun!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful time and just what you needed. Can’t believe you are coming back to the states!

  4. Ah, yes, that prune-y Brit sneer when an overly-friendly America says, “Hi! how are you.” I remember it well.

    Hey, California? Maybe Northern CA??????

  5. What could be more romantic than a proposal in Paris? Cute couple..it’s also a bit about them. 😉

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