Thanksgiversmas

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This is very inappropriate Santa garb.

Happy Holidays everybody!  Today was the longest Friday of my life (not just figuratively – it has been Friday the 21st of December for about 43 hours at this point.  To explain: Grant and I flew from Wellington (early 6am flight) to Sydney to Dallas to Cincinnati today. We had a super long layover in Sydney – but used it to our advantage (I will blog about that adventure later).  NOW I AM IN AMERICA!  YAY CHRISTMAS! SO TIRED! DIDN’T SLEEP ON THE PLANE! I was greeted by my wonderful in-laws, chex mix, and REAL pickles. I am a happy camper. (and I thought “Safety Not Guaranteed” was a really bad movie, while “Ruby Sparks” was surprisingly pretty OK.)

But this is not about that, this is about Thanksgiversmas. To get the season started right (and catch up on some festivities) Grant and I collapsed Thanksgiving, our 6 month anniversary, and the official start of Katherine incessantly playing Christmas music all the time into one big day of Thanksgiversmas-ing.  For the anniversary portion, we started off with a bottle of wine we got on our trip to Marlborough (an interesting kind of sauvignon blanc that was affected by noble rot, so it was honey-like and went amazingly well with blue cheese) and some samosas (long story on those, but basically at least one Indian dish must be included in Grant and I’s Thanksgivings from here on out).

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And then we walked down to the city centre to watch the Wellington Christmas parade.  We thought it would be small, but it was actually pretty big, and amazing, and … weird.  The only real difference I noticed between US parades and NZ parades is that while in the US the parade participants throw candy at the spectators, in NZ high fives are the major currency.  All the children were screaming out enthusiastically for high fives.  Healthier nutritionally, but probably not great for preventing the spread of germs.  It was a hot day, and we were at the very end of the parade route, so everyone was tired and hot by the time they got to us.  Here, enjoy these parade photos and give yourself some hearty high fives.

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These were some sort of parade hype guys, from what I could tell.  They seemed to just yell very loudly and carry overly-large laptops.

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A lion.  And no, despite what it looks like, this parade was not sponsored by Burger King.  It’s just that the only spot we could find was across the street from said fast-food chain.

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This is when we knew the parade would be something special – crazy, unexplained, awesome dancing mirror-ball folks.  And man, could those guys and gals in the silver bodysuits SHAKE. IT.

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Most of the bigger floats were advertising various children’s movies/tv shows – which I suppose makes sense in a children’s parade.

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Dancing girls…….

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And belly-shirts!

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One of the only downsides of the parade was its overabundance of scary/sad clowns.

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On the plus side: an overabundance of leaping golden goat-men.


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Vikings! These vikings were very enthusiastic; they not only gave out the most aggressive high fives, they also snuck up behind people in the crowd and screamed at them.

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Aggressive axe high-five.

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There was an inordinate amount of cheerleading teams.

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The bag pipe players were definitely crowd favorites.

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Oh man are these bears cute — but notice, if you will, the man to the right.  I fear that I will now feature prominently in his “baby’s first parade” video for the rest of time.

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These kids were so very, very tired.  Their attempt at doing their routine for the millionth time was adorably pathetic.

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How many parades have YOU been to that involve meditation floats?

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Swing dancers.

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The velveteen rabbit was actively scratching away at his neck in what could only be described as “heat induced terror flop sweat terror”.

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Ok, I need you to know what happened here.  I need you to experience it as I did, because it was one of the most lovely, surreal moments I’ve experienced.  I’ll try to paint you a word picture:  so these graceful, full skirted, twirling lady-dancers were parading their way down the street, while a very, very sad Homer Simpson (to their left) walked alongside.  Behind them was a spiderman-pajama wearing kung-fu fighter, who was trying to kick someone dressed as Where’s Waldo (known as Wally here).  Waldo ran around trying to hide behind kids, and then finally crawled into the middle of the dancing ladies who hid him with their skirts (see photos below)

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This band was small, but incredibly impressive.

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Harry Potter high-fives. (that would be a good band name)

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Dragons!

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From what Grant and I could figure out, this was the Canadian jump roping team?

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Three person bike and ukulele playing – very “heip”

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See? HIGH FIVES! I told you, high fives!

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I would describe this float as “hipster circus comes to down and is overheated, but enthusiastic”.

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These angels were AMAZING – I’m not sure about the mechanics behind their rigging, but they were just floating off the float.

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As in any Christmas parade, Santa signifies the end!

So, that made me feel rather Christmas-y.  But all that was undone by the hot, gorgeous weather. Grant and I walked down to the harbor to watch folks jump into it.  There was a sort of stair/platform thing that was made expressly for this purpose:

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Then we went to the Christmas concert.  Which was really (as became clear very, very quickly) just for children.

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So then back home to cook Thanksgiving dinner.  I made duck.  I burned myself with duck fat. A lot. So I nursed the burns with vodka sodas both inside and outside:

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I tried to make a pavlova.  I whipped everything up and it was glossy and beautiful and JUST WHAT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN!!!! Since our oven is wonky, I failed miserably.  On the first try the pavlova was charred within minutes and our house smelled like a campfire marshmallow that had caught on fire (not a bad thing) – on the second attempt the oven didn’t get hot enough and the pavlova fell. Oh well, I’ll try again in the states.

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Dinner was great – crispy skinned duck and vegetables cooked in duck fat (and stuffing with cauliflower leek puree)

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Grant liked it!

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~ by gakather on December 22, 2012.

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