Catching up: Part 2 – Christmas in New Jersey

Our Christmas started a little early with Scott’s brother and sister-in-law, David and Jennie, spending a long weekend with us before Christmas. They brought the gifts sent from Omaha and they were added to the already overflowing table.

We took the train into NYC on Saturday to see the windows at the department stores and the tree at Rockefeller Center. Our first stop was Macy’s. We didn’t wait in line to see the windows, but we got a pretty good view over the shoulders of those in line. We went inside and after taking escalators up to the 9th floor, we found the Christmas ornaments. The escalators kept getting narrower, until the last one which seemed to be the original wood construction.

When I was young, my parents would take us into Chicago to see the windows at Marshall Fields, and we would always go and pick out an ornament to commemorate our visit. I wanted to continue this tradition with Scott, and last year we got an ornament to remember our time in Texas. Nothing says Texas like a Christopher Radko cowboy Santa, so that’s what we got.

This year we were at Macy’s and the selection was fairly traditional. But always on the look out for the unique, Scott and I found these little people dressed as traditional Christmas items. We chose two, one dressed as a stocking (though it looks like a sausage šŸ™‚ ) and a red light bulb. Quite silly, and they will do quite well to remember Christmas in New Jersey. They even hung on an upside-down tree.

From Macy’s we walked to a Korean restaurant tauted as “the best Korean food in the city” by the Not for Tourists Guide to NYC. We were not disappointed by Kunjip. We had Korean BBQ and a two stews. It was great food and a good time.

We walked up to Rockefeller center and saw the windows at Lord and Taylor and Saks on the way. The tree was huge and lit with LEDs. It was quite crowded so we didn’t stay long.

We walked up to FAO Schwartz, waited in a line one city block long to get in, and browsed the toy store. From there we took the subway back to Penn Station and took the train home. I had great fun, and the guys were great sports for putting up with crowds, etc.

Sunday we had a ham and southern sides (hoppin’ johns and spinach mushroom casserole from our Threadgill’s cookbook) with apple and sweet potato pies for dessert. We then watched movies and knit.

David and Jennie, in an effort to encourage my fiber habits, gave me a “Learn to Spin” kit that has a lot of hand dyed roving and a drop spindle. Both Scott and I have contributed to the tiny bit of yarn we have spun, but so far it is very time consuming. I’m sure with more practice it will get easier, but right now it is an exercise in patience. šŸ™‚

From Scott’s parents, I got the Boye needle master set, and I am very happy with it so far. It is nice to have a circular needle short enough to make a hat, and now I have every size I could want. I also got some knitting books that will give me more ideas and projects.

David had to work on Christmas eve and day, so they drove home on Monday. Christmas day we had one of Scott’s co-workers, Takeshi, over for dinner at 2 pm. and had fried plantain and sausage stuffed mushrooms as appetizers, cooked a turkey breast and another batch of the same sides, since we like them so much, and had rice dumplings with red bean paste for dessert.

We had a video chat with Alexey and Elena in Austin, since we spent last Christmas with Alexey and he is friends with Takeshi (from the time he spent as a post doc in this group at Rutgers before moving to Texas). After that we had fun building a gingerbread house from a kit.

Although we didn’t have snow and missed family, we managed to have a good time, all in all.


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