Christmas Holidays Wind Down -- The Wallace Kids Return to Seattle and Dallas

(Posted 12/28/2006) - We all got together and enjoyed a nice 4-day visit this year. Matt flew in from Dallas on Saturday before Christmas and Kathy and her significant other (Nate) flew in from Seattle on Christmas Day.

The kids flew home today after a bustling pleasant reunion. We enjoyed Chinese Food on Christmas Day, Italian food on Boxing Day (day after Christmas), and some good Greek-American style food in between.

Now that our children are adults living away from home in other states, getting together on holidays is more than a celebration; it is a time to catch up with each other. Though we do talk over the phone, there is something special about sitting round a table with the whole family. Plus, of course the kids get to catch up with Strider our Labrador (mostly by playing ball with him in the living room).

This year with Nate in town, we drove down to the Shedd Aquarium and spent about 3 and a half busy hours viewing the habitats. Nate is a certified salvage diver and enjoys things aquatic. He was duly impressed with Chicago's fine aquarium.

We also spent an hour and half at the nearby Field Museum -- though we couldn't get into Tut's Exhibit we did take in the permanent Egyptian Displays section which was worth seeing.

Pat and I both look forward to visiting each of the kids at their apartments in 2007. We plan on driving out so that Stridey can come along. It is about 2100 miles to Seattle from Chicago, so that one will be a two-week vacation event.

We got a really great Capaccino Machine, gift certificate, Dual-tuner Tivo and DVD sets from the kids.

Matt got Kathy a Blackberry Pearl to replace her old 'phone' which was starting to experience mechanical key failures due to her massive amount of texting. The Pearl includes email, and the ability to access the internet as well as send/receive text messages. It has a pretty snazzy keyboard arrangement in a small footprint.

Kathy bought Matt some really upscale Silk Ties to wear with all his new suits (he recently joined Booz-Allen Consulting).

My mom bought Pat a wonderfully nice Robe (I clued her that Pat wanted one) and the ever ubiquitus money. I went more downscale, and got Pat new Bibbed Ski Pants (she actually asked for them).

Granma also included a bag of goodies (and did I mention money) for each of the kids.

For some reason no sweaters this year -- instead I got a really nice robe, light-tools, and money from my mom and the director's cut of The Commitments (a classic Alan Parker film) from Pat. I'm pretty contented right now.

Well now we can all get ready for 2007, which promises to be a really interesting year. Good luck to us all!