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Christmas Weekend #2

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So much family = more than one Christmas weekend of fun. The Friday before the New Year, Phil and I went to visit my family in Des Moines to have a mini-Christmas of sorts. It wasn’t really much time but I did manage to beat Phil and my sister at foosball. Phil and I also beat my sister and her fiance.  There was taco soup and fudge and cookies. And stockings filled with fun. Hands down, my Mom’s FAVORITE tradition. She even ordered Phil and his son 2 sets of stockings so I could pick out which ones I liked better (and which ones “matched” mine  – the one I’ve had for 20 years – as closely as possible.)

Me beating my sister. I was even wearing a dress.

New Year’s Eve morning, Phil and I met my mom, grandma and aunt for breakfast. When we were waiting, Phil joked about getting a Bloody Mary (it was 10:30 am). We sat down and he just ordered coffee. My aunt said “but I thought you were going to get a Bloody Mary!?” with true disappointment (she and my mom had ordered Bloody Marys – they weren’t joking!) He ended up ordering one and in the mean time, my Grandma and I thought a mimosa was in order. In a hilarious string of incidences, our waiter thought my mom had a Bloody Mary, Mimosa AND a screwdriver within about 30 minuters. She only actually consumed one drink but ordered my drink for me and didn’t like the Bloody Mary she was originally served. We just laughed and made sure our glasses were anywhere near her area of the table.

After breakfast (or is it brunch if you have a mimosa?!) PHil and I returned to my Grandma’s and spend some time with my Dad and Grandma. We opened presents (Phil was excited to add a bottle of Tanqueray and 2 mini bottles of gin to the bottle of wine my mom had gotten him) and hung out. My Dad, my Grandma and I introduced Phil to Rummikub. None of us had played for awhile so we were trying to teach Phil AS we remembered/relearned the words.

We stopped for a late, late lunch at Tasty Tacos where I have to promise Phil we’ll go anytime we visit Des Moines (I thought we should go Sunday for lunch before we left town but luckily my mom mentioned they were closed on Sundays so we got a stop in before we checked into the hotel).

Phil and I started our New Year’s Eve festivities in West Des Moines at Rock Bottom Brewery and tried out some of their brews with a friend Phil had worked with Lawrence until a few years ago and now lived in Des Moines.

Rock Bottom Beer - we took some home.

We then went to dinner at Bravo with my friend Lindsey from high school and her husband, Phil. (So many, Phils, I know).  I had salmon and it was delicious, so obviously the dinner was a success. And the company was fabulous. Wish I could spend more time with Lindsey AND her baby boy who is now almost six months old.

Phil and I headed downtown. Earlier in the day, we were pleased with the VERY mild Iowa December afternoon. Forty degrees with no threat of snow? Weird, but we didn’t hate it. We left the restaurant and were shocked. The wind was blowing in 2012 a bit early. It was FREEZING suddenly and traipsing about downtown Des Moines seemed like a lot of work. And why do that when we had a perfectly nice fancy French restaurant in the hotel we were staying (yes, we stayed in a hotel in the city where at least 75% of my family lives – but shut up – we were splurging and celebrating – 2012 is going to be an exciting year!).

Also home of Iowa's best hamburger. Phil liked it.

The bar's drink menu was on an iPad. We were impressed!

Seriously, amazingly cool restaurant. we just sat at the bar but I’m sure the younger caucus staffers were enjoying their day evening off. Or maybe it was the media staff. Either way, cool in my mind. (The Iowa caucuses are this brilliant tornado of media and politics that this media/poli sci nerd just loves — and was actually a part of four years ago —  so I did not hate being in Des Moines just two days before the first-in-the nation-Caucus. Even if it was just Republicans.)

Phil. Love him 🙂

Phil and I at Django on New Years Eve

The weekend was a great way to end the holiday season and begin 2012 which, as I mentioned, I am super excited for. More updates to come soon, I’m sure 🙂

Happy New Year all!

More pics from Christmas Weekend #2:

Statue at The Hotel Fort Des Moines

We had to have champagne!

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