Merry (Sydney) Christmas

So, I’m trying (aren’t I always?) to be better about blogging – so while I plan on still catching you up on Manchester visits and Thailand visits – and my trip back to the states (although I saw most of you there, you know what happened!) here is what Grant and I did for our Christmas together in Sydney.

We weren’t sure where to get a live tree (plus we got back from the States a bit too late to enjoy it for long enough) so we went to a Christmas pop-up warehouse type thing to look for a tree.  We were immediately greeted by Australian-flag bedecked bikinis and sunglasses. It was not a good sign.  Further worrisome was the parade of horrors that included:

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I don’t know either.

BUT we found a tree and some cool ornaments and got it home and lovingly decorated (although that also included getting glitter EVERYWHERE – we went out to dinner with Grant’s uncles later that evening and they were kind enough not to comment on Grant’s appearance until we mentioned the tree/glitter incident (treecident?) – and then they politely said “oh, we thought it was a makeup choice” Indeed guys, indeed!)

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Yes, those are ice cream cones and glitter-covered lamingtons!  We thought the lamingtons were especially clever as we keep mispronouncing the road we live on, and it may or may not be pronounced lamb-ington, not lee-mington as I say. (Who knows? It’s spelled Leamington, so you choose!)

Anyway, the other great find at the warehouse was this:

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Not a great photo, sorry – but that, my friends, is a GIANT 8-PERSON CHRISTMAS CRACKER! IT IS FILLED WITH ENOUGH CROWNS AND TOYS AND JOKES FOR EIGHT WHOLE PEOPLE!!!!! Needless to say, I was thrilled to find out this thing existed. THRILLED.  (And if you don’t know, christmas crackers are a sort of British tradition that made its way into my home my whole life – you pull them open and they make a big CRACK noise and then there is a paper crown, a toy, and a joke inside – my mom even managed to find some non-christmas ones to have at Grant and I’s wedding. (I’m sure most of you know this already though, sorry!)) I had a hard time waiting until Christmas to open this, let me tell you.  So to bide my time, I baked some cookies:

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and made lemon curd to fill them with.  Pro tip: do NOT try to make and then roll out a butter-based cookie during a heat wave in Australian summer.

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I also made some peppermint marshmallows:

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So, on to Christmas morning! I made Joy the Baker’s (who I love – her podcast with Tracey Shutterbean is awesome) dark chocolate-orange-pistachio cinnamon rolls and they were GREAT.  I highly suggest you go watch her video in which she makes them with the pioneer woman right now:

http://www.ulive.com/video/baking-with-the-pioneer-woman

Go ahead, I’ll wait. You’ll thank me!

Yummy, right?

Ok, so while those cooked, Grant and I opened our stockings.

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Grant knew I was grumpy about the lack of cold and snow in Sydney on Christmas, and so he got me some snow in a can! We were going to go outside to build a snowman with it, but it was raining. So instead my dinosaurs built one with the playdough that also came in the stocking:

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Grant approved:

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And then presents! I got, among other things, a professional-quality ukulele and tuner (yay!) which I am now trying hard to master.  I can play “Oh My Darling Clementine”, “When the Saints Go Marching In”, and this:

Grant got some yoga clothes and a little bits/korg analog synthesizer. He had a lot of fun with it and made a LOT of noise with it.

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After that excitement we took a walk in the park.  We discovered a section of park used to train kids to ride bikes in the city (it simulates traffic situations and roads) and there were a lot of kids trying out their new bikes:

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There were also some families playing cricket:

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We also saw a snail:

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Then  it was time to go home for dinner (which was duck – each year Grant and I have Christmas on our own I try and  cook an edible duck.)  I still haven’t perfected it. Here he goes:

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and half way through:

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and then, because I didn’t bother to see how much the duck actually weighed, here he is a bit overcooked at the end of it all:

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And then, the moment I had been waiting for – time to pop the giant cracker! And pop it we did you guys! We each grabbed an end, pulled, and……………… nothing.

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NOTHING! It was entirely empty! No toys, no crowns, no jokes! I couldn’t believe it! I still haven’t recovered! I kept that damn box around to write a strongly worded letter to the “colour christmas company” for about a week, but was lazy, and realized we got it from a sketchy pop up christmas warehouse…. and then just recycled it. WAH – WAH.  Merry Christmas!

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~ by gakather on January 7, 2014.

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