On Holiday

Another accidental hiatus. This is where I’m supposed to say I’m not going to let this happen again, that I’ll be on here all the time posting at least once a week and all the rest of it. But that would just be a lie and I usually confess immediately after telling a lie (what?). Usually the reason I don’t write is because I haven’t been doing much of anything and have nothing to write about; no pretty pictures to post. But recently I’ve just been lazy.

Now that’s out of the way…

A few friends and I decided we needed time away from the city and chose to make a quick escape out to New Mexico for some of its famously fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Most of our plans went out the window on the first day. Flight delays, a layover in Dallas that resulted in our having to take separate flights to Albuquerque, and arriving at the hotel close to midnight meant that we lost an entire day.

The next morning we planned our walking route to cover Old Town, Downtown, Nob Hill and a few other places nearby. We started out on the old Route 66. And we walked. And walked. And then walked a bit more. Thought we might be lost, when finally, we saw this:

It appears somewhat out of nowhere, surrounded by major roads and strip malls, so it’s understandable that we thought we might be lost. Old town is the historic district of Albuquerque and dates back to the original Spanish settlement of the area in the early 1700s. It’s a few blocks of traditional adobe buildings surrounding a central plaza.

Today it’s comprised of lots of shops, galleries, restaurants and a few museums. Depending on what your interests are you should be able to explore all of it in an afternoon.

After seeing that it would be almost impossible to explore this city on foot we decided to book a rental car. We walked back to the hotel through downtown Albuquerque which is supposed to have lots of great restaurants and is considered an entertainment district. If all that was there, we missed it. The only place that stood out to us was the old Kimo Theatre.

It’s a pretty interesting building, built in a style that combines art deco with traditional adobe pueblo designs, unfortunately there were rehearsals going on that day and we weren’t able to look around inside.

Thankfully, getting a car gave us a lot more to explore. Eventually I’ll get round to writing about it…

Oh Christmas Tree…

My favourite part of the holiday season is definitely the Christmas tree.

Going to pick out the perfect (or sometimes, not so perfect) one. Inhaling the rich, sweet scent. Getting lost in the tangled strings of lights. Unwrapping ornaments. Drinking lots of wine. I love it.

This year, my sister and brother-in-law are going to his parents’ for the holidays so we all got together this weekend for a little early celebration.

Here it is getting wrapped and trimmed. Normally we’d make a morning of it, spend and hour or so walking around the farm, sipping hot chocolate. But this year we went with the quick, commercial option…

All lit up. We need a lot more, but all just would not be right in the world if all of the lights worked properly.

Some of the ornaments.

I love the way the crystal sparkles.

Finished! All that’s left is to start putting presents under it.

Food: Christmas Dinner

It usually falls on me to cook Christmas dinner. Not that I mind. My mum’s kitchen has everything you can imagine, things you never even knew you would need, which can actually make it quite fun. I’ll just post some pictures today and get in to details later.

Fresh bread, hot out of the oven

Sausage rolls, waiting for their turn in the oven

Roast vegetables

Pommes puree with loads of butter (sorry about the terrible photo)

Mac and Cheese just waiting to get browned on top

Roast lamb with garlic and rosemary
(this was snatched away from me and almost all eaten by the time I got to take a pic)

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!