We had an early dinner at our local fromagerie and then took a drive over to Lighthouse Point to see the Fantasy of Lights display. This is a local event that is put on every holiday season to raise money for charity. It was basically a number of light displays set in the park that's on the waterfront.
In the mail today, we received what must be the tiniest Christmas card ever. I tried to illustrate how small it was versus a regular-sized card, but it's really even smaller than it looks here. There was barely enough room for a stamp and the address! Thanks, Helena!
Our early morning flight back to Connecticut was cancelled straightaway thanks to the snow we've been receiving for the past few days. The next flight we could get on was a full 12 hours later. So we enjoyed another half-day at home before starting out for the airport in the hopes we'd get on the flight. All was fine!
Yes, it's a genuine Zhu Zhu pet! My nieces and nephew were lucky enough to get one hamster each for Christmas (two from Santa and one from Aunt Gigi). They also got the hamster house and a carrier. This is Chunk, who is being fed a piece of bread by my sister.
One Polish tradition we have on Christmas eve is sharing the oplatek. The oplatek is a thin wafer that you break into pieces and share with the people around the table at dinner. My mother luckily found one that she had left over that we used tonight.
Medici is one of the places at which I spent a lot of time while in college. It's a Hyde Park institution. We used to walk over there after a late night studying session at the library, and we'd have coffee, quesadillas, and fries. My sister and I went downtown for massages and S needed to be down in Hyde Park so we stopped for lunch at the Med. It was just as I remembered it and my spinach and goat cheese pizza was fabulous.
My sister, S and I took the kids to the Rainforest Cafe and then to the Shedd Aquarium. We had a great time! Personally I think the best part was finding street parking and not having to pay $12 and $19, respectively, for official parking at each place. Here they are on the way back to the car.
We escaped the New England storm but not the Chicago one. This is the view from the airplane while we sat on the tarmac in Chicago waiting for a plane to be de-iced so that we could pull into the gate.
One of the nicest things about the New Haven train station is its flip board. This is a rare sight in today's automated world and I was pleasantly surprised the first time I entered the station and saw it for myself. I just read online that they are going to be replacing it with two LED boards. How terrible! There is a public outcry but as these things usually go, I am expecting we will see a new board in 2010. Sad. I was on my way back from New York when I snapped this.
We went to mass at St. Thomas More rather than our usual St. Mary's. St. Thomas More is the Catholic center at Yale. Last time we were there, I noticed these interesting light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. This time I was able to snap a photo surreptitiously.
We purchased a new pressure cooker last weekend and we've been slowly experimenting with it. Today we decided to try to cook two containers worth of beets. It went well except at the very end when we opened it too early which resulted in the violent-looking scene you see here.
New Haven had its Christmas tree lighting today on the green. We walked through before going home, and to our dismay we spotted this frightening 'ride' for the kids. It's animatronic reindeers, tigers, and other animals that kids get up on and 'ride' around the fountain in the center of the green. We watched in horror for a while but had to leave when they got up close to us.
We took the parents and my aunt to the Sands Casino here in Bethlehem. I wasn't going to play any games but I did decide to take a chance on a 5-cent machine. After a few turns, it got stuck...the reels would not stop spinning! We had to wait for an employee to come and fix it. After that, I won a bonus and made $12! So I quit there and took my winnings home.
The big project of the day was trying to fix my aunt's dishwasher. This was really needed yesterday, when we had 20 people over for Thanksgiving dinner, but we just didn't have time to get to it. My cousin, uncle, dad, and S all had to assist in this task and there was a trip to a home improvement store as well, but it did get fixed in the end!
Today was pie day! We walked over to another building where we picked up the pies we were given for Thanksgiving. This is George's blueberry, which is what I also requested. I can't wait to try it on Thursday!
I was meant to have a doctor's appointment on the 24th, but I got a call from the office at the last minute asking if I could come in today instead. Sure! It was a good appointment but I had another case of high blood pressure this time round. Hope it clears up by the next time.
Mira and Joe had come to see us, of course, but also came to see The Game...Yale vs. Harvard. It was quite a sight...the tailgating was something else. Sadly our Bulldogs came up short and lost 10-14. But it was still a fun day!
We were walking home from work when we heard a familiar sound...a person driving with a flat tire. The woman who was driving this car realized it just when we did and pulled over at the corner. We asked her if she needed help and she did, so S changed the tire for her! Added a bit more time to our walk home but at least we've built up some good karma.
I got a ride to work this morning (thanks, S!) and what did we see but police officers standing in the street and along the sidewalk. This is a sting! They were waving people over if they were seen committing a violation - talking on their cell phone, driving without seat belts, driving without a license plate. This is how I got a ticket last December. Jerks! I hate when they do this! New Haven has real crime going on; they should be out doing some good, not trying to make money off of tickets.
We decided to walk down to campus and visit the Yale Center for British Art, which had an exhibit that I wanted to see about Mrs. Delany. Mrs. Delany was an English woman who lived in the 1700s and created mosaics of flowers and plants made out of paper. Many of her works can be seen in the British Museum, and the Center here decided to have an exhibition with some of those pieces as well as other items such as paintings of her and her contemporaries. This was a display of the materials she would have used to create the mosaics.
I mainly took this photo to prove I can stay awake past midnight! After we got back from NYC, we had a quick dinner at home and then went to our friend Tariq's party (he of the blue sweater). We were just saying our goodbyes at this point.
S's birthday and we went out to dinner and then to Libby's in Little Italy (yes, New Haven has a Little Italy) for pastries. S had cake (I was good and just had a small bite of his) but don't the cannoli look amazing? I will have to come back and have one sometime!