Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas Vacation 2016 Recap

My family and I have a tradition of taking off the last week of Christmas to enjoy a nice family staycation.  This year we had a total of 10 days off in a row which made it a nice long break.

Christmas Eve my family headed out for dinner at a local restaurant called Greystone.  It is a steak and seafood place and new to all of us.  In prior years we have gone to Scotch & Sirloin but thought it would be a nice change.  Our overall impression was it was decent.  Some things were just ok (steak, prime rib) and some things were excellent (soup, corn, mushrooms).  The bit that we didn't love was the noisy table behind us that was a buzz kill to our dinner... we could barely hear each other talk. After dinner we opened gifts with my mom and sister's family.

Christmas morning my family was up early to open presents from each other and from Santa.  There were some big hits including the Chewbacca Mask, a Tablet, and a Drone.

For Christmas Dinner I hosted 40 people from my and my husband's family.  It was our biggest turnout yet. We had family from out of town in attendance this year as well which made it extra special.  We typically do a White Elephant gift exchange and we did again this year but we also played two additional games that I set up.  The first was the Paper plate Christmas Drawing game.  Each person followed a set of directions while drawing on a paper plate sat upon their head.  The second game was the saran wrap ball which was a much bigger hit.  Essentially a ball of prizes is rolled up in a big ball of saran wrap and people have to get the prizes out while wearing gloves and restricted to the time it takes their neighbor to roll doubles with two dice.  It was a lot of fun to see people go crazy over this ball.  Definitely a repeat for future years.

After Christmas we had quite a bit planned in advance to make the most of our break.  We had several outings for lunch and dinner.  I have a couple of family members who are obsessed with Abuelos so we made our annual visit there.  I managed to squeeze in a couple of my favorites including Wasabi which has my favorite sushi and Meddys, a Mediterranean place I love.

We checked out Color Me Mine where we selected and painted a ceramic.  It was a little pricey but we did hit it on a day where we got 50% off studio fees.  I think mine turned out best but then again, I'm partial to myself lol.

We did an Escape Room at WeXcape.  This was our first time trying and while we didn't make it out of the room in an hour, we did have a good time and would definitely do it again.

We hit up The Alley for a day of bowling, go-carts, video games, and laser maze.  I really enjoyed the bowling and it had been a couple years since I last bowled.  We definitely need to do this more often and hopefully when my brother in law doesn't have a bad back!

We had a game night where we ate junk food and played some games as a family.  We are definitely a competitive bunch!

We saw a few movies -- Rogue One (just my husband and kiddos because it is so not my thing), The Arrival, and Passengers.  I really liked The Arrival.  It had multiple themes which were hopeful and relevant to the world today.  The power of communication is deeply underestimated.  I also enjoyed Passengers more so than I thought I would.

And last, we did some sitting around at home watching movies (Alice Through the Looking Glass!) and vegging.   It was a great break and I'm sad to see it go....

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