Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Vacation - Part 1

Now that my Christmas vacation is nearing the end, I suppose I owe you some recaps.  I'll start with the first few days, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Before parting ways for our split vacation weeks, the trauma team enjoyed a family picture.  Aren't we a pretty fine looking group at 4:30AM?

Friday night, after battling heavy traffic in I-85, I arrived home to this smiling face.  Mom and Dad greeted me too, but Bailey certainly stole the show for enthusiasm.  I was beyond exhausted and frustrated from the long drive and found myself passed out in no time at all.

Saturday morning we all drove into Atlanta for the Christmas 5K in Virginia Highlands.  It was 27 degrees that morning - not exactly ideal conditions for outdoor activities.  Nonetheless, we bundled up and hit the pavement.  Bailey and I ran with Dad in an attempt to help him set a 5K PR.  Thanks to Bailey's zig-zagging through the crowds and Dad's new found speed, we all crossed the finish line together at 25:59 - a 4 minute PR for Dad.  Bailey finished as the second place dog, and I have no doubt she would have taken 1st had we not held her back.

After the race we went in search of a hot cup of coffee and a hearty breakfast.  Thanks to Yelp, I found Highland Bakery just a short drive away.  Oh my - what a meal!  Seriously, you have to check this place out!

RUSTIC ITALIAN  Two pieces of grilled rosemary garlic bread with melted mozzarella served with sauteed mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, onions, red peppers with two over medium eggs topped with marinara, fresh basil and shredded Vermont white cheddar. 

 Crab Cakes Benedict 
Two lump crab cakes, eggs poached medium, and sauteed spinach, covered in Hollandaise and served on a toasted whole wheat English muffin with choice of potatoes or grits 

 Peanut Butter French Toast 
Challah bread filled with peanut butter, dipped in batter, encrusted with bran flakes and topped with caramelized bananas 

Royce recently took up road biking a few months ago, yet we haven't been able to ride together due our schedules.  We made time though on an afternoon that promised to have a slight bit of sunshine.  We enjoyed 30+ miles on the road and promised to make it a regular ride when I'm home.

Christmas Eve was rainy and we opted for a lazy evening at home.  After filling up on munchies - nothing better than the plentiful food associated with holidays - we played dominos and awaited the arrival of Royce and Erin.

Once the whole crew was home, we dined on potato soup, Great Harvest cranberry orange rolls, and apple banana salad.  Perfect meal for the dreary weather.

After opening our traditional Christmas Eve pajamas, we bundled up and settled down for a long night's sleep, guaranteeing that Santa could work without disruptions.

We must have been two really great kids, because there sure are lots of presents under the tree.

Bailey was more concerned with getting attention from her Daddy than she was opening presents.
My gift to Royce - UGA Cycling Jersey

Mom helps Bailey open a new toy.  A mere 30 seconds later the furry critter received a deathly puncture through the heart.  No more squeeker.
After opening stockings and presents, it was time for Christmas Breakfast.  This meal is a classic - grits casserole, cream cheese stuffed pecan sweet rolls, and grapefruit.   After my meal settled, I enjoyed my annual Christmas morning run with Bailey.

Time for family pictures!  We first took a couple traditional "stand-by-the-tree" shots, but I think this picture does better justice to our personalities.  I wish there wasn't a four-hour drive that prevented from seeing my little brother more often.

These too are pretty cute too!
Another spread of goodies

Mom is busy preparing the holiday dinner.

Royce and I battled it out with a few games of pingpong

Bailey kept herself entertained watching the squirrels in the trees.
Time for Christmas Dinner!
Arugula, Pear, and Blue Cheese Salad, Cranberry Pork Roast with Gravy, Sweet and Red Mashed Potatoes,  and Tarragon Green Beans.
Thanks for hosting another FABULOUS holiday Mom and Dad!!
And that completes the first half of my vacation.  Up next, we're headed to a cabin in the mountains.

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