We decided to do something a bit different this year for Christmas. We had been trying to find the right time to visit the Buchan family this past fall, but life got crazy and so did we. So the Sunday before Christmas, we really felt like we should go to California and make a "surprise" visit. This gave us 2 days to pull together the rest of our Christmas shopping and get ready to make our trek across Nevada. We made the necessary phone calls (to make sure it was okay to go ahead with the "surprise") and hurried our holiday activities.
We "celebrated" Christmas at home on December 23 at 10:30pm. We waited and waited for Nick to come home from work, but finally just started opening gifts....of course, we packed a few to take to the Buchan family and to open on Christmas day.
We packed the car, cleaned up and got on the road Wed. morning, December 24 at 2:30am. We thought if we left early enough we would miss the winter storm that was forecasted for the evening. We pulled up to Heather's house a little after lunch, tired but happy to have a safe trip. After a bit of a rest, the real surprise was about to happen. Steve and Mary Ann called to tell us they were on their way to Heather's house (Steve knew we were there--but Mary Ann had no idea!) When they arrived, we all hid, except Bekah and Spencer who answered Heather's door. Mary Ann just looked at them as they yelled surprise - - and wondered if we had flew them out for Christmas. We all jumped out of our hiding places and yelled surprise and told her we were joining them for Christmas--if it was okay with her. She started to cry--but I think they were happy tears.
We did a little last minute shopping -- Mary Ann was in pursuit of a good "turkey annihilator" for Steve :) We grabbed a few things for dinner and went back to the Buchans for a great dinner with all the family.
It was fun for us, because we even surprised Granny -- who I had dropped at the airport only a few days before. So Christmas Eve included the Price family, the entire Buchan family, Granny and us. It was a great night...and we stayed up till the wee hours wrapping our last minute items.
Our Cousins: Peter Buchan,Alex, Nick, Patrick Buchan Jordan Price, Jared Price & Spencer
sual run for the presents day. We started off watching a couple of movies and eating our traditional stuffed eggnog french toast with cranberry syrup. Spencer's days were so messed up that he didn't even realize it was Christmas morning until he saw a filled stocking near the couch. We actually started our Christmas festivities more about noon. It was fun to share Christmas with the Buchans -- even though all of their children are grown....and the tree was buried with presents since we had 2 families. You would think Santa would have left a path--but Spencer was very willing to dig under the tree and find everybody their gifts. Mary Ann made out like a bandit. It was fun to give the Buchan family our gift (we had them this year). We made a photo album for them all called, "There's Something About Mary" with all of Mary Ann's pictures in it from babyhood to this past Thanksgiving. She cried again--and I promised her we didn't come to make her cry. Spencer got his sushi gift certificate, Bekah her ipod--Alex his only wish--an itouch and Nick a leather coat. The Buchan boys went home with TVs and Heather got a surround sound system...but most of all we all made fun and precious memories of being together for Christmas.
Jared with his bro-in-laws: Paul Price & Steve Buchan
We enjoyed a fabulous Christmas dinner of prime rib, special mashed potatoes, etc.--and homemade guacamole--all made by our inhouse chef--Chef Peter. If he ever decides he doesn't like making bombs for a living, he can come cook for me :) We stayed up late and had a wonderful time visiting. Mary Ann said Steve told her he didn't realize how much work went into getting ready for the holidays....he was exhausted! (I think Mary Ann secretly smiled at his realization of all the holiday preparations she had done over the past decades :) It's nice to be appreciated.
After a sleep in day, we headed south to the bay area. We started off our little get away with a stop at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Alameda, CA. Steve has been going to that restaurant since he was a little boy. Mary Ann and Steve reminisced about the good old days, and we checked out the places Jared lived as a child.
We spent the next couple of days in San Francisco. It was beautiful weather, and we stayed in a really nice hotel right across from the Ferry Building. We have never really taken the kids to San Francisco--so they had a ball in the big city. Spencer didn't really like all the "beggars" around, until we pointed out they were actually street performers. Once he realized that, he had a bunch of fun with them--especially the bush man that tried to scare us and the robot guys.
We walked up and down the Embarcadero visiting the ferry building, riding a train and hitting Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. We ate at Boudin's Sour Dough Bread Bakery and visited Union Square--lots of fun window shopping and the biggest Williams Sonoma I've ever seen. Of course no visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Ghiradelli Square where we ate giant hot fudge sundaes. Bekah ordered strawberry--don't ask me why. Luckily for Mary Ann, she was able to park for free everywhere she went because of her handicap plates. So she would rest up in the car between our city visits.
We also got to spend some fun time with our Price cousins and enjoy our Uncle Paul's fabulous cooking. It was fun to reconnect and visit with everyone.
We celebrated our 20th Anniversay while we were in San Francisco. December 27, 1988 was a great day and so was December 27, 2008! It's gone really fast. Jared gave me a beautiful diamond ring. I made a photo album for him about the 100 reasons I love him. We both feel really lucky.
After a fast and furious trip, we left the Buchans with a little peace and quiet and lots of treasured memories--and I think Steve ended up with the flu (sorry Steve) . We headed home to our wintery haven in Alpine, Utah to welcome in the New Year with friends. We look forward to 2009 and the many opportunities we will have this coming year.