Sunday, December 11, 2011

Day 4: Christmas Around the World

Today we got to sleep in at least a little bit, of course I would have gotten to sleep in if I wasn’t so neurotic. Instead of doing what I wanted to do I woke up early and studied for my Real Estate Test, studying on vacation is so not what I want to be doing but I would rather wake up early and go to bed a little later than cut out any of my time with Ms. Pool Shark who I rarely get to see. Of course the smarter thing would have been to take the test BEFORE I went on vacation... stupid timing.

So because I was studying I didn’t get ready in time for Ms. Pool Sharks family to arrive. When they got to the door and I still hadn’t finished my makeup I started bolting for the stairs, I wasn’t particularly keen on facing her family without my full face on. But that is when Ms. Pool Shark turned on the pleading; she hadn’t finished her makeup yet either and couldn’t bolt as easily, gosh I am such a sucker for puppy dog eyes. I ended up staying on the couch and I finished my makeup with an audience. That so wasn’t on my bucket list.


After much back, weighing various options and balancing likes and dislikes of seven people on what we were going to do today we all decided to start with lunch at Station Square. It was a fantastically clear day and even though it was COLD we took an extra few minute walk down the river.


Lunch was at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was really cool to see all the memorabilia of the artists splashed across the walls; old posters and memories of music gone by. I particularly liked the shadow boxes with clothes from various artists like this jacket Michael Jackson wore. And I loved the ostentatious-ness of the hard rock. The bar was super fun. It was a great choice for lunch!


After we ate Ms. Pool Shark took us to the PPG building downtown for a Christmas Around the World exhibit.


One of the suggestions floating around was a few hours on the ice rink. I haven’t skated in FOREVER and I was feeling rather run down from the past few days of busy craziness so my vote was NO. However when we passed the rink surrounding a beautiful Christmas tree and I saw all the fun everyone was having I couldn’t help but wish I had been a little more adventurous and voted YES. It looked like so much fun!


Of course our main reason for coming downtown was to see the exhibit and an added perk was that it was located inside, out of the cold. The exhibit consisted of various Christmas figures from around the world each with their own countries flare and a book with a brief description of the meaning of the holiday. There were so many that I liked but four that I really loved.


Italy, La Befana
On Epiphany Eve, January 5th, La Befana comes down the chimney with gifts and firewood. She carries a hand bell to announce her presence and waves a cane as a warning to bad children – who will receive only a lump of coal!


Ireland, St. Stephen
The missionary St. Stephen is honoured on December 26th for his good deeds. On this day boys go door to door singing for pennies, carrying symbolic wrens made of straw.


Netherlands, St. Nicholas
The children of Holland look forward with excitement to the arrival of St. Nicholas. They put carrots and hay out for his horse and in return, they receive gifts, candies, cookies, fruits and nuts. The children sometimes get letters from St. Nick filled with clever verse.


Germany, St. Nicholas
On December 5th, the German holiday season begins with celebration of St. Nicholas’ Day. On Christmas Eve, St. Nicholas brings gifts and pleasant rewards to all good children.

Of course the exhibit was only part of the fun. In the center of the room was the most gigantic tree I have ever seen inside a building. I know it doesn’t look huge in the photo but most of the ornaments were bigger than my head!

And then my favorite part was that the whole tree was surrounded by a city of gingerbread houses donated by various groups of people. I love me some gingerbread houses and there were some that were SPECTACULAR. The tiny intricate details and the general colossalness of them all made me squeal in delight! I may just have to build my own mini village next year.


And then my nephew is going to adore looking at this post because not only did they have a whole town of gingerbread houses they also had a few train sets scattered throughout. I am going to need to negotiate so many more bins of Christmas stuff if I am going to put a train around our tree next year.


Then on the way home as I was riding next to Baby Pool Sharks car seat she wrapped her little fingers around my hand. If I hadn’t already fell in love with her no one would have been able to resist that moment. Nothing was more precious in that moment than those tiny little fingers and those bright blue eyes.


Of course most people would have called it a night, we were after all gone all day but you see the night was young and we decided to brave Walmart again... this time hoping that by going together we would prevail... Oh how wrong we were. We were going back to the photo center, back to the ragged run down photo employee with multiple potential mental issues, who was working hard at screwing up YET AGAIN. This time, the order was missing. As in not there, as in she was perplexed where it had gone.

Taking a deep breath she agrees to get the order printed right away. So we wander around the store, chatting, and picking up things we really didn’t need. Forty minutes later we get back to the photo center only to realize that the woman is printing the wrong photos, she is printing the ones from a few days ago that we ALREADY HAVE in an album at home. Ms. Pool Shark got the crazy lady on track, and we abandoned the sinking Walmart ship to have a drink.

We ended up at the Bocktown Beer and Grill a cute little tavern where Ms. Pool Shark got a beer and I got a delicious hot chocolate. After the orgy of fried food we have had the past few days we opted to split a healthy Greek platter and then because we are awesome we ended up getting some good karma in the form of a free desert. Egg nog cheesecake = yumminess!


After Ms. Pool Shark called multiple times during our meal to check on psycho walmart lady it was deemed that our photos were finished. We got her photos with bated breath... YES they were right!!! Success at last!


We arrived home ready to just crash, watch some Sex and the City and relax only to return home to a house without power. Instead of hanging out in the dark we went out for a few games of pool. This time we managed to play MUCH better, see we just needed to work a few kinks out of our game.

Arriving home an hour past the estimated time that the power was supposed to be fixed it was still out... SUPRISE!! With a few candles lit, and a ton of laughter we had fun anyways... who needs power when you have little lights of happiness.


After a while we did whip out Ms. Pool Shark’s phone and took notes for the weeks adventures. I love to keep a record of what is going on so when I go back to write these blog posts I don’t miss something. Ahh the belly laughs and editing we did lifted our hearts. There are very few people you can have fun with in the dark (other than you significant other). Ms. Pool Shark is one of those treasures!



paul peggy zeus said...

Sounds like you two had a BALL! I love the Santas around the world and the differences in the St. Nicks.

lilmansworld said...

Yes, I give up on walmart. I'd rather drive to Meijer. Lil Poolsharks hat is precious~

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