A couple of my siblings have work schedules that make vacation time around Christmas a little difficult so sometimes we can’t all get together until the first week of January. This was one of those years. Since my parents moved to Atlanta 10 years ago, we usually change where we go for “Christmas” each year. Some years we have done destination locations, but most of the time we go to someone’s house, since we are all spread out across the country. We have actually come to Seattle more than any other location. This year we decided to go to my parent’s house in Atlanta, since this is the last Christmas they will spend there before they retire and move to Seattle this summer/fall. (Yay!!!!!) It was Vu’s first time going to Atlanta, and it’s a good thing he made it before they left, as both my mother and his mother like to point out. We flew nonstop from Seattle to Atlanta on Friday and UW was playing in the final four the next day in Atlanta, so there was a lot of UW spirit on the plane, including a tailgate party at the gate before boarding and a camera crew talking to fans as they boarded. I think 80% of the passengers were in purple.
We had a relaxing week, hanging out and playing lots of games. We got Chick-fil-a as much as possible since they are everywhere in Georgia, and I am still waiting for the one and only one we have in Bellevue to not have a huge line. Probably not going to happen.
We had a pretty low key New Year’s Eve. Rachel and Andrew went to the UW football game. We slept in (hello West Coast time and recovering from colds that unpleasantly messed up our heads all week thanks to the flight), watched “The Lord of the Rings” and played games until we watched the ball drop with some sparkling cider. It was my first New Years actually spent on the East Coast.
Last week we went down to Los Angeles for a family reunion with Vu’s family. We flew out Tuesday night and got in pretty late. Wednesday was a really relaxed day, we slept in and then went to lunch with Vu’s cousin Hanh, who was kind enough to let us stay at her house. That evening there was a pool party and Vu’s aunt made some Vietnamese food. Afterwards we went to get ice cream at Cauldron where they use liquid nitrogen to freeze the ice cream and you can get it in a puffle cone. It was so good!
On Thursday morning we were planning on driving straight to Vienna, but after seeing the castles and pretty drive along the river the night before we decided to drive back along in the daylight and stop at Castle Aggstein. I am so glad we did this, the castle was one of my favorite things. It is maintained in a sort of crumbling state, and I love castle ruins. It is also built up on the top of one of the hills and right into a rock. We had so much fun exploring the castle ruins.
Friday was the day of Thomas and Nicole’s wedding. They had the ceremony in the late morning, and then we all headed up to the reception which took place at a ski resort in the mountains. It was such a beautiful area, and I loved the hotel where the reception was. It was so fun and had so much character. I loved that for the couple’s first dance they did the Viennese waltz. It was so fun to see how our wedding traditions differ.