Fun Family Festivities
21.12.2007 - 03.01.2008 10 °C
We're back from our Christmas break.
We travelled to Baltimore to take up an invitation by our cousins to join them for Christmas. We travelled by train, as planes were cancelled in the last two snow storms, and we weren't feeling confident enough to drive down in the snow. The train was roomy and more spacious than the Australian trains we have travelled on but none of our trains were on time not mentioning the one that broke down or the other that just didn't show up and although we got priority seating heading South our carriage had really bad suspension bouncing us up and down and left and right through the Northern U.S.
We had a great time eating our way through Christmas feasts with plenty of big fat Greek hospitality, its OK they had lamb. It was quite novel to have big family gatherings for Christmas its been either us or one family for so long we got a bit lost initially but everyone was so welcoming and gracious we felt pretty blessed by the end.
Jen also celebrated her birthday while we were in Baltimore. I decided to take her out for dinner in an Aussie restaurant. However the Outback Steakhouse was more Aussie by name than by experience. Eleni did find a place where they could give her Chippies when she asked for Chippies not fries and I did get to drink Fosters out of an Oilcan. We didn't even get a "G'day!" when we walked in.
Jen also did some successful birthday shopping the next day as she went out speed shopping as my cousin called it (i.e. no kids just two girls shopping for themselves).
As well as catching up with extended family we also took a day out to explore Washington, D.C. After deciding not to attempt to keep Eleni amused on a bus or trolley around the sights for 2-3 hours we made up our own walking tour starting from the Capitol Building and walking down the mall to the Washington monument with a detour via a few of the Smithonian museums, then on to the White House and the Jefferson Memorial. By the time we got to the Jefferson Memorial Eleni had fallen asleep in the stroller, which meant that the last part of our walking tour was even more peaceful and we could wander back to the metro and a train back to Baltimore.
I got to go to my third, 2nd in the US, live American Football (Gridiron) game, I now have a greater understanding of the game. Despite the cold and rain the game was great! It helped that the Baltimore Ravens won on the night. Another bonus for me, during our time in Baltimore was that I got to play Playstation with my nephew. I hadn't realised how much I'd missed playing PS II games, but it was certainly an unexpected highlight of our trip for me.
We were not aware of how much we had acclimatised to Montreal's deep freeze that when we got to Baltimore and temperatures 5 to 10 degrees above zero felt quite mild.