Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Christmas Escapades: A Tale of Family, Food, and Fun

Our 2 1/2 week long trip to Denver and Utah started like all of our other vacations... I anxiously awaited the day that I could begin packing my suitcase, I made numerous lists of things I'd need to bring, and I couldn't stop telling my husband how excited I was! You see, going home is a treat for us since we aren't fans of the 13 hour drive to Denver and an additional 8 hours to Salt Lake City, and plane tickets can quickly add up. Before we knew it, the time to fly out had come and visions of Cafe Rio pork salads were dancing in my head as we made our way to Denver.
^^my husband does, in fact, have ears...he's just wearing earmuffs ;)^^
We spent the first week of our trip in Denver with my husband's family, and kicked it off with a trip to the Denver Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas lights. This, my friends, is when it finally began to feel a bit like Christmas! The rest of the week leading up to Christmas was full of last minute shopping, eating Cafe Rio pork salads, wrapping gifts, making cookies, and playing waaaay too many games of Monopoly. It was wonderful being able to forget about responsibilities and just spend time with family since it was our first time being all together in over a year!

I'd have to say my favorite moment of our time in Denver was when Ben's extended family gathered on Christmas Eve for dinner and a program (read: Christmas videos, lots of caroling, and a gift exchange). Everyone had finished eating and my husband's uncle turned on this video - cue all of the tears. It was a lovely reminder of the reason for the season. We ended up going to a Christmas Eve service later that night at a local church to hear my husband's aunt and uncle sing in the choir; although the music was absolutely beautiful, I quickly learned that staying up late isn't my thing anymore. ;)

Our Christmas was full of good food, exchanging gifts, playing board games, eating a great big dinner, and going to see Unbroken. It was a wonderful day, but what made it special was being together with family.
The day after Christmas we flew out to Utah! We filled the next couple of days with Comedy Sportz, exchanging gifts, seeing family and friends, multiple eye appointments for my husband (he got PRK while we were there - it's kind of like LASIK), a little bit of shopping, Cafe Rio pork salads, family pictures, board games, running errands, and funny YouTube videos. We tried new restaurants, watched movies, slept in most days, and did face masks. I can't even begin to tell you how nice it was to just sit by the fire and relax! My favorite moment in Utah was going to Temple Square one night with my family. It was so, so cold but the lights were as gorgeous as ever.
Our New Years Eve was low-key since my husband wasn't feeling great and his vision was a bit blurry the day after surgery. We ended up staying home with my sister and watching Netflix movies. At one point I made a run for shake stuff and we had a bit too much fun playing with the Oreos - Happy 2015!

Sadly, before we knew it, it was time to do some laundry and pack our suitcases to head home. The worst part of any vacation, for sure! (Minus the unpacking once you get home, ha.) There's truly nothing greater than getting to spend time with family and friends that you don't get to see very often, and it's never fun to say goodbye. However, we've got some plans to see family in the works throughout this year and I'm over the moon that I get to sleep in my own bed once again. ;)

I hope your holidays were lovely and filled with a Cafe Rio pork salad or two!

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