Monday, December 29, 2008

Winter Break | Bye Rochester!

As our last family act in upstate NY we went to Olympia, a tasty breakfast place near Donna and Jim's house. We took up several large booths. :-)

It was a nice send-off before taking off for Massachusetts.

[Tiara LOVES bacon]

Winter Break | Family Party at Suzanne's

We haven't been able to make it to upstate NY for our family Christmas party since my Grandmother moved down to VA a few years ago. This year, however, we made it a priority to go and catch up with our cousins from Lockport and Rochester.

This is the Cafarelli side of the family, made up of my grandma, her four sisters and their descendants. Here is a nice shot of the remaining sisters: Connie, Irma and Antoinette.

The family party rotates homes each Christmas and this year, Suzanne hosted. We were all asked to come dressed in our Christmas PJs and bring an ornament to exchange. There was PLENTY of wonderful food, wine and sweets. As a special treat for the kids, Suzanne (inspired by Paula Deen), helped each of them make mini-pies...cherry, apple and chapple (a cherry, apple mix). :-)

It's always been a tradition for Santa to pay a visit to the younger kids after dinner and this year was no different. Over time, pretty much all the men in the family have worn the red suit and beard and one point, and Heath's moment to shine finally came. With the fat pouch, suit, beard, glasses and appropriate makeup, even my grandma didn't recognize him. We are pretty sure that Violet knew it was him. His "ho, ho, hos" were very authentic and the family agreed that he did a wonderful job.

More pictures!

Winter Break | Road Trippin'

Many of you know that our break consists of several road trips:

Chicago to DC

DC to Rochester, NY

Rochester to Shrewsbury, MA (outside of Boston)

Shrewsbury back to Chicago

That's 11 hours, 7 hours, 7 hours and 14 hours respectively. Woo hoo!

[our view]

Lucky for us, Violet is great in the car and after years of road trips, Heath and I are road warriors equipped with music, snacks and the right constitutions for long hours in the car. Bringing it back to Violet, though... Mom got her a new pillow "bed" for Christmas and it was perfect for the car. Violet was just high enough to lay and people watch out the window at the same time.

Winter Break | Christmas Day

Christmas morning traditions in the Pietrangelo household involve mimosas, eggs, bacon, sausage, and cinnamon rolls for brunch, 1000-piece puzzles, a good movie and "opening" our stocking stuffers and "Santa" gifts.

Brunch was delicious! We all helped prepare...

Mom caught up with her family on SightSpeed (we'll have to post more on that another time).

Violet spent the stocking stuffer time stalking Grandma.

After a day spent lounging, napping and puzzling, we head to House of Dynasty for Chinese and yes, photos aplenty.