Christmas with the Dowes

As soon as I arrived home from work Friday night, Dave and I packed up the car and headed down to Illinois to spend Christmas with the Dowes. Since we moved to Stevens Point, the drive has now gone from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 hours….bah humbug! Just out of curiosity, I looked up a flight from Stevens Point to Chicago and had to laugh at the $500 price tag….PER PERSON. I think Dave and I should invest in a private jet.

After the long drive, we arrived to this beautiful sight. Hallelujah



After big hugs and hellos, we headed down to the basement to see this.



The Dowes don’t screw around at Christmas time.

We spent a few hours chatting and I indulged in a martini before passing out on the couch.

The next morning, it was go-go-go as we got ready to prepare our foods and beverage for Christmas Faux Eve.



But not before breakfast.

I managed two eggs and pieces of bacon made by Barry, and Dave helped me eat the rest.



Definitely a white Christmas this year, Bing.

Dave’s mom Kathy had to work part of the day, so he, his Dad and I ran to the store for a few last minute things before getting our cook on.







At 4:45pm, we packed up the cars and headed to Ali and Jaimee’s for the first Christmas ever in their new house.



They had their house all decked out for the holidays as well, and it was gorgeous.

And the food….oh, man, the food.



Herbed Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomato Bites.


Salami Roll-Ups.



Smoked Salmon and Cucumber Salad Crackers.



Egg Rolls.



Deconstructed Crab Rangoons.



Chicken and Pork Steam Buns.



And, of course…cheese.



We also had hummus and baba ganoush with vegetables, risotto balls, stuffed jalapenos, Scandinavian pickled herring bites, mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara sauce, bagel bites, olives, and bacon jam. Yes, you read that right. I will have a recipe for you courtesy of my mother-in-law Kathy soon.



I had at least two of everything and promptly fell into a food coma.



Steve felt the same way after a few bites of kibble.

This is how much food was left after we ate.



We do not know how to cook for six people, apparently.









After dinner in the living room, we headed back to the kitchen for a board game. (Hey, that sounds a little backwards).



Ali is famous for scouting out awesome board games (which Wil Wheaton clues her in to), and we ended up playing two rounds of one of her newer finds–Pandemic. I’m sometimes afraid to learn new games, but this was so fun and interesting. Dave and I both loved it.

After we saved the world (we killed everyone the first round), we headed to the front room to sing some carols while Jaimee played the piano.







According to our Christmas rules, we were supposed to watch a holiday movie, but we were far too tired to manage it. Instead, we headed back to Dave’s parent’s house and waited for Santa to come.



We all must have been very good this year!



Kathy prepared her traditional Christmas morning cinnamon rolls, and we opened lots of lovely gifts. I know we’re getting older, because we get really excited about things like new hot pads, storage cubes, a garden cart, pressure cooker, as well as a huge fermenting pot to make sauerkraut in next spring. I also got some lovely new moccasin slippers, a beautiful crocheted scarf, and a ‘Make Love Not Horcruxes’ tote bag. Another year of Food Network Magazine, too…sweet!

It was a wonderful visit, and we were both sad to make the trip home so soon. I will be heading home to my parents tomorrow night to celebrate with them, so I hope you all have a very lovely holiday.


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