As you know, I am a Southern girl, and this Christmas was a) my first one EVER away from my family and Southern friends and b) my first one in the Pacific Northwest. So, I told my husband, Deek, that I wanted to see and experience all the PNW has to offer at Christmastime. AND...we did!
This part of the train ride felt like soaring through space, with all the little lights as stars. Way cool! Warp speed, anyone?
This tree was such an incredibly beautiful shade of purple (the camera didn't capture it fully). It reminded me of The Prophecy (shameless book plug)!
We have a running joke about iguanas, so Deek rejoiced to find one in the light show!
Next, we participated in a parade in our little town. But the signs we were given to hold made us look like we were picketing. I hope we didn't give the wrong impression and make people think we were boycotting Christmas. LOL! Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of that event, but Deek and I still chuckle over it.
I have always had an artificial tree because it's expensive to buy a real tree in the South. But Deek assured me that they're much more affordable here in the PNW because of the massive number of trees here. So, he researched the best place in the area to go where I could get a true cutting-down-your-own tree experience. We arrived, hiked out into the woods, cut down our own tree, hauled it back, enjoyed a glass of apple cider, warmed ourselves by an outdoor fire, and explored the farm's museum. Total blast! A BIG difference between artificial trees and real trees? Sap. Lots and lots of sap. LOL!
Deek, mounting our freshly cut tree to the roof of the car.
We went out to the local stores to do some Christmas shopping. But before we left, we took a few fun selfies (as we do)...
Look, we photo-bombed ourselves. Heehee!
Next, he took me to a drive-through light show! I really liked the part where they had the 12 Days of Christmas in lights. As we went along, we sang--very fun! We may have looked a little like the Griswolds as we belted it out in the car!!
We drove through these arcs. I totally dug that!
My gal pals and I decided to have a girls' night out. They promised to take me to very bohemian, hipster places. And they did! We ate a fabulous hole-in-the-wall restaurant and visited a super secret dessert place. I mean, if you don't know about this dessert place, you can't find it. There are no signs on the outside at all. And get this...the tables MOVE! Yes, MOVE! Some slide in and out, some up and down, and others spin. Totally awesome! And, to top it all off, the dessert place is in the Best Places to Pee book!! Yes, that really is a book. So, of course, I had to check it out. I did not include a picture of the entire bathroom, as I don't want to spoil the surprise should you ever get the opportunity to visit (if you can find the dessert place at all, that is)... ;)
Super yummy, beautifully presented apple cider!
Creepy woman who holds the toilet paper. The toilet itself was pretty standard.
The next week, Deek and I got the opportunity to head to Portland for a spontaneous date. We decided to buy a ticket on public transit, ride into an area, and pick our dinner destination from there. No planning, just pure spontaneity! As we were walking down the street, we peeked in the window at a jazz restaurant with a band on stage. Deek started his college career as a music major, so I asked if he wanted to go in. He did. We made our way inside, found a table, and ordered our sodas (they only had RC Cola--don't think I've ever encountered that at a restaurant before). As Deek surveyed the group on stage, he realized the drummer was none other than Mel Brown!! For those that don't know, Mel played with the Supremes. AND...AND Deek played a few gigs with him in college. WUT? What are the odds?? So, we ate yummy food and enjoyed Christmas tunes with jazz flair.
In the dark selfie by candlelight...
Riding public transit in our winter hats, looking all cray-zee!
The city was gorgeous all decorated for Christmas!
Here is Deek in front of the Home Alone-style city Christmas tree!
Later in the week, Deek (haha-that rhymes) took me to a local light display. We not only got to see lights but also got to donate canned food to help out the area food banks. Some of the decorations just set our ADD all a-flutter! We opted for the walk-the-route version and again got soaked. But we warmed up with a warm fire, hot cider, and good conversation at Deek's friend (and our wedding photographer) Adriel's house after we finished the walk.
Spaz-tastic light display!
We spent many evenings snuggled up watching Christmas movies. My favorites include Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story! Fra-gee-lay...
Snuck a selfie as we watched a holiday flick!
Then Deek took me to the famed Peacock Lane Christmas lights. Apparently, people who move into this neighborhood have to agree to decorate every year. And the whole area around it is just jam-packed and cray. I can't imagine trying to get home from work every day in that mess. Eep!
With the whole whirlwind of present buying, light viewing, tree cutting and decorating, movie watching, friend and family visiting, present wrapping, sometimes you just need a break. Here I am chillin' by the tree while wrapped up in Deek's sweatshirt.
Peeps, I don't have on makeup. If you've read my 12 Random Facts, you'll understand that my posting this picture here is a huge deal! ;)
Suddenly, Christmas was upon us. We didn't get to do everything on our list (the trip back to the South, at the end of November into December, cut into our ability to do and see it all), but there's always next year! I tried to get a good picture of Deek and I on Christmas, but I couldn't. LOL! We were up late on Christmas Eve, and we just looked sleepy and bedraggled on Christmas Day. Here is the only semi-salvageable picture, but I don't think either of us love it. ;)
And then we prepared for a New Year's celebration. GET THIS!! People, my husband has NEVER been kissed at midnight on New Year's Eve/Day. WUT? Last year, we celebrated the new year over FaceTime. I blew him a kiss, but this year, I made sure he FINALLY got his midnight kiss. We ended up celebrating twice--once with our friends/family on the East Coast and again for our own New Year on the West Coast. Way fun!
He's been kissed at midnight on New Year's Eve/Day--finally! :)
Thank you for following us on our journey in 2014! A lot of exciting things happened: a cross country move, closing the gap (the term used in long distance relationships when you are permanently together), marriage, new publication contracts, and so much more!! We look forward to the ride in 2015 and hope you'll continue to join us!
We wish you all the best in 2015! May your hearts be full of love and happiness and your mind full of dreams! Happy New Year!