Home At Last

This is a short post today as I’m still in recovery from the Christmas from hell. Yes I’ve learned my lesson. I will never ever spontaneously plan a vacation to surprise my family. AND, we won’t be leaving home for Christmas ever again.To get to the point, we were served some bad food at a restaurant on Saturday and all of us, except Taylor, spent two days wearing a pathway between our beds and the bathroom into the carpet in our hotel room. Hale ordered the crepes with lobster au gratin and hours later every ounce of fluid flowed from our bodies from numerous orifices like the St. Lawrence River. Christmas vacation objective accomplished: making holiday memories to last a lifetime.

The travel to and from Quebec actually went smoother than expected. Friday morning as we arrived to check in for our 6:59am flight we were told that since the flight was two hours late we would miss our connection thus placing our new arrival to Quebec at 11pm, just twelve hours after our originally scheduled arrival. However due to a dedicated Continental agent in Newark whose middle name must have been “jingles”, we made it on a flight much earlier and got in around 2pm. We salvaged the first day with a good local meal and accompanying beers (served in 20 ounce “pints”).

Even though the weather was crappy on day two (freezing rain and ice) we did have some fun. After a luxurious breakfast at the hotel, we put on our long johns and rain proof winter gear for a short walk to an interactive movie called the Quebec Experience. The movie is a 3D overview of the history of Quebec City. What makes it interactive is a neat waterfall in the front of the theater, cannons that fall out of the walls, a nun that lights up and speaks from the side of the theater, and a large bust of a sickly French sailor that presses through stage left to describe the perils of navigating the St. Lawrence River in the winter.

One note regarding my pride for preparation: I don’t think there was another family in Quebec that was prepared for the onslaught of weather conditions that we were. I thought six pieces of luggage was a tremendous accomplishment for my group of girls. It turned out that we probably packed two bags too many. Of course there were two days of garments not worn because of our woes. But we were one prepared bunch by God!

On Christmas Day, after spending more than 36 hours in our room getting to know the design elements of our hotel room bathroom better than planned, I managed to scrap together enough energy to take a walk with Taylor. What a true sport Taylor was for staying patient while the rest of us battled our ills! She and I had a nice three hour excursion around the Citadel at Battlefields Park and down to the lower old city before taking the ferry across the River and back. The photo here is of Taylor below the Citadel looking out over the River.

Needless to say we were glad to be home yesterday. I almost cried upon seeing the US Customs agent in Newark. We hit an IHOP for a greasy American pig breakfast, which was a bad move for Tracey but somehow worked for the rest of us. We all crashed when we got home. Taylor became ill last night but that seems to be short lived as she has been bouncing around today and outside riding her bike.

So I’ve learned my lesson. Just as I mentioned in an earlier post, as an Auburn person you have to accept that life is humbling. Certainly it was highly arrogant for me to think I could create lasting family memories by displacing my family on Christmas. We’ve always had good Christmas holidays together right here in our home. As we approach the New Year I’m very fortunate to have a family that would allow me to make such a boneheaded move and forgive me. At least I think they have forgiven me.

But hey, no more tears. I’m pleased to learn as I arrive back home that my beloved Tigers are treating the Cotton Bowl like a business trip. Tommy is even laying down the law by imposing tighter curfew restrictions and tougher practices. Maybe, just maybe my Tigers have learned their holiday lessons too.

On top of the Cotton Bowl, my rubbed butt has been requested for Tracey’s company New Year’s party. Yep, my butt will be on showcase next weekend. Tracey finally figured out a way to get me to go to this party. I’ll gladly smoke a butt to have my ego stroked. It’s better conversation than “how’s the job search going?”

Ya’ll take care. Mo’ to come…

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