Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas 2013 - #2 DAVID & FLORIDA

We drew names for Christmas this year.  Each person drew 2 names for a $25 gift.  That way everyone had 2 gifts to open.  It was Marc's idea and it turned out great.

Plaid - Susan
Snowman - Aric
Blue Snowflakes - Karin
Santa - Marc 
Snowman - Oksana
Snowman - Mickey
Mouse - Jerry
This is how we started off our Christmas gift exchange.  I bought each of us a pair of Christmas socks.  You can see 2 people cheated and had them over their shoes:  Marc & Jerry
The little packages the socks were in.

OKAY - now back to the first of this story....
Marc loading (cramming!) all our stuff: bags, gifts, pillows, etc. into the trunk of his Cadillac as we prepared to depart at 5:30 a.m. December 21st. 

It was a 1328 mile journey from Owasso, OK to Vero Beach, FL.  We knew it was going to be a long 2 day drive when we began planning this way back in October. We had no idea what the weather would be:  turns out we had ice covering the streets, trees, grass, everything in Owasso and Coweta but it was clear and barely misting.  The mist did not last long and turned quickly into hard rain.  It kept raining harder and HARDER.  Shortly before we got to West Memphis, AR the traffic came to an absolute stop.  They were doing road work (Arkansas is always doing road work!!) and we were not surprised at having what we thought was a brief halt.  Over the next 1 1/2 hours we were at total stops or b-a-r-e-l-y moving.  Not in our game plan but no one (at least in our car) got upset as we crept along.  Marc had made reservations at the Hampton Inn in Oxford, AL.  We had anticipated a 10 hour drive time but we arrived at 7:12 p.m. 13 hours 45 minutes later (actually 12 hours due to the time change.)  Checked in and headed to Arby's to get a quick bite before coming back to the motel and literally ALL asleep by 9:30 p.m.  A wonderful, even though hard day.  The HEAVY rain did not abate the entire day and we were praying for no rain tomorrow.  

December 22nd:  Up early and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast at the Hampton and hit the road by 7:00 a.m. for our final journey into Vero Beach.  Guess what??? we awoke to rain and Marc had to drive the final 10 hours again in HEAVY rain, but not quite as hard as yesterday.  Lots and lots of traffic on both days and the heavy downpours did not make it an easy task for Marc but he handled it superbly. 
Arrived at about 6:30 p.m. and greeted by our hosts, Karin & son David.
December 24th - The bro's inspecting David's new 2013 Ford Edge with all it's bells and whistles!  The day was spent doing some last minute shopping and I picked up a 1,000 piece puzzle for Karin and I to work.  The guys spent time playing golf on the X-Box TOGETHER in person.  An easy, laid back day awaiting the arrival of Oksana.  Marc left at 4:30 p.m. to pick her up from her 6:30 arrival in Ordando.

Aric & Oksana getting their first look at the Atlantic Ocean and Vero Beach. With David living in San Fransicso, before moving here in July, both of them have seen the Pacific Ocean several times.
Brother & sister walking on the beach, as dad Marc watched, above left.
Marc watching his 2 wonderful children from above on the Board Walk
Two of my favorite people in the whole world giving this trip, visit and Christmas the thumbs up.  Notice Aric never did shed his shoes!!
(beach pictures were actually out of order and were after the Christmas morning festivities)

A family tradition I started many years ago, when the kids were all young and at home, was to make a Cherry Go-Round Yeast Pastry for Christmas breakfast.  I knew I wouldn't be able to do that this year but prior to leaving I saw a sort-of similar Cherry pastry (made with crescent rolls!) so I picked up the ingredients the day before when we were out and about.
Mama's traditional (well close) Christmas breakfast treat.

The table setting, black tablecloth and lovely blue-gray dishes.  Karin had a pretty center display on the table but we had removed it the day before to work our puzzle on this table.  Our almost done puzzle in under this tablecloth!!  We had to cover the table each night, weighing it down with many books to keep the cats from destroying our masterpiece!  The guys said it wouldn't work, but it did.

WONDERFUL dinner prepared by Karin:  Baked spiral ham, delicious mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, yams with marshmallows, corn, mac & cheese and rolls.  We ALL pigged out.  Key Lime and Apple Crumb pies for dessert.  
Marc after opening his gift of the GREEN Detroit Red Wing Hockey team cap he requested.  Also a bolo strap to hang a bolo in his car that he has had for years and the strap broke.

I didn't take pictures of other gifts because there were a lot of gift cards, don't make for good pictures.  Books:  this family loves to read!! 
Jerry: Charles Krauthammer-Things That Matter and Bill O'Reilly-Killing Jesus; 
Marc: Charles Krauthammer-Things That Matter. 
Oksana: Dave Ramsey-Total Money Makeover
David: golf balls 
 Karin: special body lotions from The Body Shop
Mickey: Khkai trousers 
Aric:  Video game play card
Susan: I'm going to tell about mine on a separate blog tomorrow about my birthday 
Oksana and Uncle Jerry who drove his motor home all the way from Clarksville, TN to join us.  Such a blessing.
Oksana with one of the 2 cats
Oksana with the other cat - Karin is going, right after the 1st to the Human Society to adopt a 3rd kit tie.

I will do the 3rd Christmas post tomorrow about our puzzle fun and our return trip home.

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Humble wife said...

Oh how happy I am that I am reading after you are back! The ice/rain etc is not the best to travel on holidays! How fun for you all to spend this time together. Love the piggly wiggly socks...

Love you are readers~us too.

Love the grands... you are ever so blessed with your grandbabies!

I cannot say much aside from the fact that family does make the special days special.

Oh and ps...I forgot to say Happy Birthday to you. I know you and Bill share birthday. Happy Belated Birthday Susan~I am so glad to know you and yours.


Mari said...

What a wonderful trip! Time spent with family is a joy, even if it's 13 hours in a car, in the rain! I'm so glad you were able to do this!

country girl said...

It sounds like a blessed time with your family.
I am back on line and could not wait. To catch up with you.
Happy birthday and a safe trip home

country girl said...

It sounds like a blessed time with your family...
I am back on line and could not wait to catch up with you.
Have a safe trip home.
P S Happy birthday

retha said...

Oh, now I see those socks came from before. It is because I started reading from the top down and only now came to when you actually got the socks.
Our east and west coast oceans has very different temperatures, how does it compare over there by you?
Traditions or memory stuff is such wonderful things for a family, I like it that you thought of making it even if it is not exactly the same as usual, Susan ma'am
So glad the guys were wrong ;o) to rebuilt those small type pieces would be lots of time.