Many, many games of Exploding Kittens were played - this game was so much fun, and as we played, we learned some game strategy (some of us more than others, but I rather enjoyed boggling everyone's minds with my card choices). We got a little loud, which made Paco nervous, so he'd jump onto the nearest lap:
Exploding Kittens plus See's Molasses Chips = game night perfection!
We mostly cooked and ate at Sam's place, but we did go out for a few meals. Nothing stood out as spectacular, food-wise (even the BBQ) this time, but we still managed to have a good time:
We went to Tribeca Tavern on New Year's Day for a late lunch (after our 11 mile run) and were sad to discover that they no longer serve their amazing pancakes anymore. We survived with burgers, which were good, but dang - we'd been thinking about those pancakes for weeks! We also tried Biscuitville, which is only open until 2:00 pm each day (I guess no one wants biscuits for dinner?). It was good, and their cream gravy was every bit as delicious as you'd imagine cream gravy would be.
Paco did really well at Sam's place, all things considered - it's a three-story townhouse, so we had to slow him down on the stairs as he seemed to limp a bit after a few days of raucous up-and-down jaunts, plus he had to be taken for walks instead of getting to run around in a backyard, but he adapted just fine except that he didn't eat much. Toward the last few days, I was petting him and realized that I could feel his spine more than usual; wouldn't it be nice to be able to lose that much weight so quickly as a human?
This was what I saw most of the time on our drive back - his "Mom, please make dis stop" face.
We took pity on him once again on the drive back and got Paco a sausage McBiscuit for breakfast. He ate the entire thing and then promptly went into a deep sleep...food coma at its best!
While we were together, I wanted to get a family picture, so I brought out my 35mm camera and tripod, and forced everyone to get dressed and go to a nearby park. Nine thousand outtakes later, I got the shot I wanted:
Finally, a family picture where we all look like ourselves!
Of course, there were these gems:
There's always one person in the crowd who can't keep it together long enough for me to set the timer and run back to pose for the shot!
...along with enough goofy shots that I ordered a 4x6 of each and will put them in a collage frame, because much as I like this picture, the goofy shots really show their true selves.
Sadly, we had to say goodbye to Sam and drive back to Texas. On the drive out, we stopped in Birmingham, Alabama for the night (after 12 hours on the road), but on the drive back, we went all the way to Dallas. We started just after 6:00 am on Saturday morning, drove through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and finally hit Texas, arriving at Allie's apartment in Dallas at 1:30 am. WHEW!!! That was one long day. The nicest part was when we stopped at Buc-ee's in Terrell, TX and got gas for $1.42/gallon. WHAT THE WHAT??? Now, it's really cheap by my house (I drove by Sam's Club and it was $1.59/gallon on Wednesday) but holy moly, that was nice.
We woke up and were on the road by 8:00 am on Sunday, stopped for coffee at Starbucks (and came back to a VERY disappointed Paco, who apparently assumed he'd be getting yet another sausage McBiscuit), and were in our driveway at 11:30 am. Life is getting back to normal now, but I have to say, all the driving was worth it...although I think we'll switch off and have Christmas in Texas this coming year.
Have a great weekend!