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Top Ten of December

December went by so fast that it is half through January that I realize that month is over.  Let’s take a look at the best of December.

1.  Christmas in Virginia

Christmas not in Michigan was not the same but having Christmas in Virginia with Bryan’s family was still quite nice.  It was good getting to know his parents better and at the same time meeting his sister, brother-in-law, and niece and nephew for the first time.  We had some great meals, a lot of delicious sweets, and I was even surprised with some wonderful and thoughtful presents.  It was bittersweet but Christmas nonetheless.

Christmas lights at Bull Run
Christmas lights at Bull Run

2.  The D.C. Tour

My first visit to D.C. to see the sights.  D.C. is a bit surreal to me as I always see the historic landmarks in movies and television shows and know some of the history.  It was clean, warm and sunny, and beautiful out.  We saw a bit of everything, a few smithsonians, the monuments, the botanical gardens, and the air and space museum.  I favored the excursion just for getting a bit of exercise in what was otherwise a very lazy trip.  We walked a ton and I loved it!

D.C. History
D.C. History

3.  Uber-Fancy French Dinner

We had a lovely and expensive French dinner at the cute L’Auberge Chez Francois in Virginia countryside with Bryan’s sister and her husband.  The meal was fantastic and plentiful, at all of 8 courses, but the real winner was getting to talk to those two sans-kids for a night.  We had a great time getting to know one another and really sealed the deal with fresh souffles!

That souffle!
That souffle!

4.  Holiday Cookie Contest

Although I didn’t win I can’t tell you how much fun us girls of Lee St. get with our Olympic competitions.  The competitive nature in us all comes out, the threats, the slams, the snide remarks.  The email chains of knocking each other down are lengthy and leave me laughing.  And the last couple have been really fun getting our friends and coworkers in on our voting.  Next contest will be very soon, and for once I refuse to come in 3rd place.

You know which ones are the prettiest of them all...
You know which ones are the prettiest of them all…

5.  Legendary Company Christmas Party

Bryan and I had an absolute blast at my company Christmas party this year.  I have so much fun dressing up like it is prom and even Bryan got his haircut, bought a new nice shirt and tie, and brought me a single rose.  The venue was epic, at the Seattle Aquarium, where we were told the octopuses were the liveliest they have ever been dancing to our music.  Oh and there was music and dancing, phenomenal chocolate cake, unlimited open bar, passed hors’, and a delicious dinner buffet.  We danced the night away and then raced to the Seattle Wheel to ride it right before midnight.  Couldn’t have been a better night.  Unless Amy was there…

Before getting on the Seattle Wheel!!
Before getting on the Seattle Wheel!!

6.  Proud Dinner Party

I was super nervous to have my new foodie friends over for dinner.  I had delayed the invite for quite some time but finally decided to do it.  For our party of six I tried my hand replicating the cider glazed pork loin with flambeed apples and it came out stunning, seriously.  My guests raved about it and inside I was quite pleased with myself, if I say so myself.

Brined and cider glazed pork loin on a bed of pancetta and garlic spinach and topped with brandied apples.
Pretty darn proud of myself.

7.  Baltimore First

My first visit to Baltimore completely turned my expectations of Baltimore on its head.  We were treated to pure luxury, staying at our friend’s spacious condo in the Ritz Carlton in the inner harbor.  We had some great meals out, rode the water taxi and were safe and sound.  I really like Baltimore, it reminds me a bit of Seattle, although not as great 🙂  Justin and Stacy were really sweet hosts too and made the weekend great.  Plus it was nice just having a real bed to sleep on.

I could eat these crab cakes by the boat load.
I could eat these crab cakes by the boat load.

8.  Yelp Whiskey Round-Up

Sometimes I wonder what my life was like before Yelp.  Just kidding.  But seriously I get really anxious when there hasn’t been a Yelp event in a while.  This Yelp event was phenomenal and I got to share it with Bryan.  Free unlimited whiskey cocktails from the best bartenders in Seattle, live DJ, free food from Tom Douglas, and a very cool venue, we were both elated upon leaving…and it wasn’t just from the alcohol on a Monday night.

Whiskeys galore!
Whiskeys galore!

9.  Deck the Hall Ball

I love the concert every year, and every year it seems to get better and better to me.  I only missed the first half of the first band, meaning that I was listening to great bands from 3:30 pm to 11:30 pm, and not once bored.  The night brought many delights like Lorde, The Head and the Heart, Phoenix, but really was topped off by my favorite, Vampire Weekend, where Polly and I really lost it to dancing like mad women and losing our voices. So. Much. Fun.

Deck the Hall Ball
Deck the Hall Ball

10.  Play, Choir Concert, Comedy, Symphony…Oh My!

In two weekends we saw it all; a fantastic suspenseful play at the Seattle Reperatory Theater, a girls choir Christmas concert, the best comedy show I have ever seen live, and the Handel’s Messiah symphony at Benaroya Hall.  It was eventful and fun and I really felt like I was getting out and taking advantage of what our great city has to offer.  I never tired of them and that was truly sweet.

Hounds of Baskerville at Seattle Rep
Hounds of Baskerville at Seattle Rep

Chelsea

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