Wallace Christmas Season Travels

(posted 12/28/2014) - We've had a nice holiday season. On the morning of the 12th we stopped off at a rehab center in Indianapolis to visit my cousin Edna and husband Richard. Both are undergoing physical therapy and seem to be recovering nicely. They are hoping to return to their home in Vero Beach shortly. From there we drove on to Memphis and visited with the Blairs (Holly's folks) for two days. Then we drove down to Houston for a great four day visit with Uncle Phillip and cousin Patsy. We celebrated my 67th birthday on the 14th (the evening we arrived) with a really exceptional cake that Patsy made from scratch. Needless to say it was fully consumed in short order... Thanks cousin Patsy.

On the 17th we drove to Austin and visited Matt, Holly, Payton, Dylan, and Rudy. Jerel and Betty got in from Memphis later that day.

We all enjoyed celebrating Payton's 3rd birthday on the 18th. Both Payton and Dylan are fun to be around - though I think having 6 adults hovering around all the time was probably more stimulus than any pair of youngsters needs. Regardless, the grandparents loved it!

The weather was nice (50's and 60's) so walking the dogs and grilling on the back porch was never a chore. The neighborhood is large and fun to walk around... lots of Christmas decorations to enjoy. We used the wagon a couple of times to take the kids out on walks and they also enjoyed the lights and talking Santas and Snowmen in folks' yards.

We stopped off in Casey on the way back and visited with my cousin Loistel. She will be doing Christmas at son Tim's home and seemed to be doing quite well. We ate pizza together and gossiped, then we got back on I-57 and headed home -- reaching Glen Ellyn on the evening of the 23rd. All in all we put 2600 miles on the Focus ST. It averaged about 30 MPG for the trip and was a pleasure to drive. I look forward to more cross-country jaunts in 2015.

John and Kat Parker came over Christmas Eve and we opened a few presents and went to see the latest Hunger Games movie and have dinner. On Christmas day we first skyped with the Wallaces in Austin (really enjoyed watching the kids open their presents). Afterwards John and Kat arrived and we opened gifts. Later John and Pat prepared a delicious dinner (Breaded and seasoned Talapia and Salmon filets with sweet/regular potatos, stuffing, sauced cranberries, sauteed cauliflower and brocolli, and mixed salad greens with vinegar dressing) accompanied by a nice red wine.

Got some nice gifts -- especially fond of the chromecast dongle for the TV, the Game of Thrones History (book), and the Xbox RockSmith 2014 guitar training DVD. I'm a decent guitarist but that package has lots of new songs to learn and great tutorials on technique that I've never mastered to date. Looking forward to spending some time learning new techniques.

I hope everyone has a wonderful new year!