Christmas In January

Hey all,

Apologies for not blogging yesterday; we had to leave at nine and as I wasn’t prepared for such a ridiculously early start (“before nine? Are you kidding me? Are we farmers now?”), I only had time to shower and get dressed. Then we didn’t get home until midnight so blogging opportunities were a bit thin on the ground. Even today I’m pushed for time (going to work with Vanna; I didn’t have to, but it turns out Mandy has the football channels…so there we have), but I got up early* to post this for you. You’re welcome.

Anyway, had a really good time yesterday. Vanna and I went to a friend’s house to celebrate Christmas. As various family members were away at the traditional Christmas time, they postponed it until Friday, and we decided to tag along. Glad we did, as not only did I miss the people there, we had a lot of fun. Also, it was quite different to how I’m used to spending Christmas…here’s a brief run down of what we got up to.

1)      Snowmobiles!

Just as we got to the house, our mutual friend Meg was heading out on the snowmobile. I was asked if I wanted to tag along, and well, how do you turn down an offer like that? I climbed on the back and away we went (I put on a helmet and protective pants first; no pictures unfortunately, as we both forgot we had a camera with us). After a quick trip to get gas, Meg took us onto a snowmobile trail. My hands were freezing even though they were in gloves, but other than that it was an enjoyable experience. Maybe not as fun as quad biking, but certainly up there.

But it got better. On the return journey I had the chance to take control. I was a little nervous to start with, but I got the hang of it fairly quickly. Took me a while to remember I had to turn the handle (? What is it called? Not really a wheel, is it? The steery thing?) when cornering (as opposed to just leaning, which still did work), and my knees were often in the way…but otherwise I reckon I did a good job. We didn’t crash, nobody fell off and Meg didn’t fear for her life…I’ll consider that a success. Would I do it again? Definitely.

2)      Food!

I was a good boy and didn’t overdo the food. After some homemade cookies to keep me going, we then had the meal around 6pm. There was turkey, ham, cheesy potatoes, chicken mushrooms (mushrooms that tasted like chicken), sweetcorn, fiddleheads (part of the fern before it becomes a fern…I think), cranberry sauce and more. No Yorkshire puddings mind, but it was very nice indeed.

3)      The Dice Game

I’m not sure how popular this game is around the world (I’ve never played it) but it seems like quite a big thing in this part of Minnesota. Essentially each member of the party brings a few presents (nothing too expensive) and they all get put on the table. Round One involves everyone taking turns in rolling a pair of dice (or is it die? Eh, I’m tired). If you get a double, a seven or an eleven, you get to pick a present, with doubles also allowing you another roll. This continues until all the presents are taken. Then they are all opened ready for Round 2.

Round 2 is known as the steal round. The dice go around the table three times, and if you get a seven, eleven or a double, you get the chance to steal someone else’s gift. Whatever you still have at the end of the round is yours. Simple enough, right?

Now, it was quite apparent that my luck was not in when it took me four turns to actually pick a present. I then rolled the die, I don’t know, another half a dozen times and failed miserably. I was so unlucky/bad, I got several pity gifts. At the end of Round 1, I was the only one to have just the one present, so I was allowed to prematurely steal someone else’s. Added to a lip balm set (fruity drinks), I got chocolate brownie mix. Super.

Round 2 then came, and as I said, I didn’t manage to roll any of the required numbers. This was noticed, and I was “kindly” given another lip balm set (a savoury one which included pepperoni pizza and French fries…both were awful, but nothing compared to hamburger) and some Care Bear and Winnie The Pooh Socks. Yeah. I then traded my brownie mix for some man spray and chewing gum, so I didn’t do too badly in the end. As for Vanna, she got a car scent thing and some homemade wine, so she did pretty well (she had bad luck with the dice also, but managed to get two presents and a steal).  Here’s a pictures of our things.

The lipbalm is hidden in the sock.

4)      Word Maestro!

The night concluded with some games. I pulled out Bananagrams (like scrabble without the board…I believe I’ve mentioned it before), and without sounding too arrogant, brushed away the competition. Five matches, including one where the person I was playing (I’ll leave their names out of it) had two others helping, and I won every single one. I think I’ve only been beaten once in my entire Bananagrams career…so yeah, I’m pretty good at it. That, Scrabble, Scattergories, and to a lesser extent, Rummi Kub, are just my thang. I can handle trivia too, as shown by my unbeaten score on the plane journey over here(and it wasn’t just me playing, honestly). Not bragging or anything…but I’m good.

Ahem.

And that was it really. Today I’m going to watch the football, and that’s about it. Tomorrow there will be another early start as Chelsea are playing and I can’t miss that, then we are heading over to Vanna’s mother for another family day. Looking forward to that.

Right, I should probably finish getting ready. I’ll try to blog tomorrow, but failing that I’ll be back Monday, hopefully with pictures.

Bye for now,

Alex

 

*I actually wrote this last night before bed. I did, however, get up ten minutes earlier than required so I could take the photos. I reckon that counts.

 

SNOW UPDATE: We had snow last night! Lots of it! Pictures later!

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